On January 12, Nintendo announced the release date for their upcoming gaming sensation, the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo gave everyone a sneak peak of the Nintendo switch last October (Before it was even known as the Switch). The Nintendo Switch brings the good qualities of the Wii U to the table with some completely new features.
The keywords when it comes to the Nintendo Switch seem to be functionality and portability. Nintendo describes the Switch as, “a home console that you can take with you”.
If you think deeply about it, there are only a few issues with home consoles: It’s difficult to walk around with it and the whole time you’re taking it somewhere, you’re worried you’ll break it on the way. These problems were what the Nintendo Switch is attempting to solve.
Looking at the contents of what you get, it is a very friendly deal for parents and/or people who aren’t familiar with video games and video game consoles. It comes with everything except the TV, basically. Here’s my basic background of how consoles and their accessories are usually packaged: They tend to come with one controller, HDMI cable, adapter and console. Sometimes they don’t even come with the HDMI cable to actually use it anywhere. The fact that Nintendo is bringing a dock in the box really pushes their vision on how the Switch will be used. This provides the consumer with a smooth transition from on-the-go to chilling at home.
Nintendo was asked questions about the Nintendo Switch by Kotaku, a popular gaming news website, and Nintendo answered them on Friday. First, they asked if there will be backwards compatibility on the Nintendo Switch, which means playing old games or using controllers from previous consoles. Nintendo responded saying no, which was not surprising at all. Most gaming console companies will avoid backwards compatibility in order to get you to buy more games. Sometimes it could even be another copy of the same game you already own but for a previous console. They do this in order to make more money and to keep their customers buying. I have no problem with Nintendo about it, I actually support it since it’s a smart business move.
The next important question and answer were if the Nintendo Switch would be bundled with any games, to which Nintendo replied with a no. This surprises me, as most of their consoles have had at least two or three bundle options available. But I can see why they may stop doing it in the future, as the Nintendo eShop has steadily continued it’s population of games, from classics to state of the art. It would be foolish of them to ignore the progress that their online video game store has made.
The last interesting question was if the Nintendo Switch will allow streaming applications, such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go. Nintendo replied, saying,”All of our efforts have gone toward making the Nintendo Switch system an amazing dedicated video game platform, so it will not support any video-streaming services at launch. However, support for video-streaming services is being considered for a future update”. This may very well be an astute answer, but I believe this to be a well-dressed excuse that when taken apart is translated to “we forgot”, or “That’s not the point of it, dummy”.
The goal of streaming on the Nintendo Switch boils down to this: if you want it to compete at the “Big boy table” with Playstation and Xbox, your foundation of the product should be close to or exactly being able to do what they do. If I play my playstation at night and use it to watch Netflix whenever I’m not playing video games with it, It’s going to be tough to convince me to switch over to a less powerful console that doesn’t do what my last one did. Try switching an android user over to an iPhone. It’s not an easy objective. My view on this subject will drastically change if they add the streaming support in the future. It just is not a great idea to launch without it, in my opinion.
That being said, the people who are going to buy this when it comes out on March 3rd will know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, or at least I hope so. A portable home console has been tried by many companies and has not gotten much buzz after launch. I hope to see the Nintendo Switch succeed, and possibly open up a whole new market for video game consoles.