In March 2015, Nintendo confirmed that it is working on its next video game console, codename: NX. Today, Thursday, October 20, the long wait ends and we finally meet Nintendo Switch:
Nintendo’s new video game console, Nintendo Switch, is the fusion between a console connected to the television and a mobile device. In the living room of your house, there is the Nintendo Switch Dock that connects the system to the TV. By lifting the Nintendo Switch from its dock, the system goes into portable mode, sharing the same gaming experience on the go. Nintendo emphasizes in its press release that it is the same experience, the full game, on the high definition screen of the Nintendo Switch.
In turn, the Nintendo Switch brings two removable controls on the screen, the Joy-Con. One player can use one controller in each hand, two players can use one each, or many players can use multiple Joy-Con for different types of play. They can be remounted in place, or added to the Joy-Con Grip accessory, which makes them a more traditional control.
There’s also the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, very similar to the Pro Controllers we saw earlier on the Wii and Wii U, and which are going to feel familiar to anyone who’s played on a console. Multiple players can get together and bring their Nintendo Switch system each for head-to-head multiplayer games!
Basically, it covers almost every known way of playing video games so far. Developers have new options for adding different ways to enjoy their games, but they can also focus on a completely traditional style. Ditto for us gamers (no more forcing a gadget like the Wii U Gamepad for all games!)
- Nintendo Switch Hardware
- Mario Kart on Nintendo Switch
- Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Nintendo Switch Splatoon
- Nintendo Switch Splatoon
- Nintendo switch
- Super Mario on Nintendo Switch
The graphics system technology is provided by NVIDIA, who wrote about it on their blog. It features a highly-efficient and scalable Tegra proprietary processor, which includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as higher-performance GeForce video cards. The software is also custom, including a revamped physical engine, new libraries, advanced tools and libraries, and new APIs by NVIDIA to take full advantage of its performance: NVN, built specifically to bring light and fast gaming to the masses.
Gameplay is further enhanced with hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for rendering and audio effects. The entire hardware and software suite is optimized for gaming and mobile use cases.
This includes custom integration of the operating system with the GPU to increase performance and efficiency. NVIDIA claims to be integrated into all aspects of the system, promising to provide a great experience for gamers.
Not much was shown, but there are some cool news in the 3-minute video. We already knew from E3 that The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be one of the first titles in the system. But you can also see what appears to be a port of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, plus a licensed NBA basketball game (from what I read it could be NBA2K). This suggests third-party developer support, which was one of the big shortcomings of the Wii U. The list of companies that announced support for Nintendo Switch is quite interesting:
Regarding Nintendo games, in addition to Zelda, what appears to be a version of Mario Kart 8 was seen. Although it looks quite similar, (you can see a photo above) King Boo is seen as a character (not available on the Wii U version). We also see the option of having 2 items, while in Mario Kart 8 you can only have one at a time.
Near the end of the video you see a new Mario game. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the console launched with a new Mario title. From the few seconds we see, we can see an aesthetic quite similar to Super Mario 3D World on Wii U, but with a camera more in the style of Super Mario 64. It could be a new Mario Galaxy, or a completely new title in the saga. We will also find out later …
Finally you see a championship-style call-up with Splatoon. Rumors had been read that Splatoon would be one of the titles that would be ported to the NX, and it is not surprising given how popular it has been on Wii U.
Several rumors pointed to what was finally shown, I remained quite skeptical of the subject until I saw some official information. I was quite happy with the video. The concept itself had already been discussed, but seeing it gives me the impression that it will be very good. The idea of combining “playing in your living room with friends” with what was generated with the Gameboy and successive versions until the 3DS of taking the Nintendo with you wherever you go and sharing it with friends, I think it’s all great.
While the Wii U could be a commercial failure (at the entertainment level it is a resounding success), you can see that Switch is the evolution. The Gamepad may have been a brilliant but poorly executed idea, with the Switch giving the impression that they relied on previous mistakes to learn and improve the user experience.
Regarding the ad itself, Nintendo was too quiet until today. It’s amazing how they kept so much information secret for so long, but eventually we will start to get more and more official data. At the marketing level, I think they were successful in abandoning the “Wii” brand. The video clearly presents what it is, what it does and without saying a single word. An interesting detail is that unlike most of Nintendo’s advertising videos, there are no children in it.
From what has been seen on the Internet, the presentation of the console is having much better acceptance than that of the Wii U at the time. As I said before, it is quite straightforward, unlike the Wii U, which was not understood Wii accessory, or a new console.