They did it when they put a handheld with two screens on store shelves in 2004, they did it when they introduced motion controlled gaming in 2006, and now, it looks like Nintendo has revolutionized the gaming world again with the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch ― previously codenamed “NX” ― was the topic of speculation for months when, back in 2015, Nintendo patented a design for a controller with a screen of Sharp’s design. Since then, rumors evolved, suggesting the “NX” controller would be detachable. In August, reports looking into a patent from February 2015 backed up those rumors. On Thursday, Nintendo laid those rumors to rest when they introduced their latest video game system through a three-minute YouTube presentation, highlighting the Switch’s hybrid-like nature and detachable Joy-Con controllers.
Despite its mobility and function outside of the living room, Nintendo confirms that the Switch is a “home gaming system.” In a press release issued by Nintendo, the president and chief operations officer of the company’s American branch, Reggie Fils-Amie, stated, “Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like. It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
Throughout the video presentation, gamers can be seen playing the Switch almost anywhere, from a living room to a rooftop to a park bench and even on a plane. Even in its mobile form, the system’s touch screen controller maintains the resolution of a flat screen, obviously a result of the screen’s high-definition display.
In terms of software, it looks like the Switch has greater variety than its predecessor, the Wii U. Bethesda Softworks’ “Skyrim” and 2K Sports’ “NBA 2K17” were both featured in the video presentation, which is notable considering Bethesda’s only published ― not developed ― a total of four titles for Nintendo systems and the absence of sports titles on the Wii U. Despite both games appearing to play normally on the Switch, they are not planned for the system’s launch, according to the both publishers.
Many other video game developers and technology companies have rallied in support of the Switch, ranging from Nintendo’s old rival, Sega, to the episodic Telltale Games. At the time of writing, the Switch has gained a total of 48 partners. Compared to the Wii U’s 21 partners, it is a big change. It’s no surprise considering Nintendo’s recent friendly and diplomatic approaches towards mobile apps and theme parks, and in addition, their partnership with competitor Microsoft in bringing one of their IPs, “Minecraft”, to the Wii U.
While it seems as though Nintendo has embraced third-party developers and video games, they are still sticking to publishing family-friendly games we’ve all come to know and love over the years. A total of four first-party titles were featured during the presentation: two new, those being “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and an unnamed “Super Mario” title, and two of which seem to be ports, or updated versions of current Wii U titles, those being “Mario Kart 8” and “Splatoon.”
Whether or not more Wii U titles see the light of day on the Switch is a mystery, but it seems as if though Nintendo is not ready to give up on the Wii U’s software or amiibo figurines. As for the Wii U system, the future looks dark. Being Nintendo’s most unsuccessful systems in terms of sales, the Wii U has dug its own grave. With the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, it looks like the company is ready to move on and take back the video game industry.
The Nintendo Switch will release in March 2017. Nintendo will reveal more information about the system as the release date approaches. For more information, visit nintendo.com/switch.