In just one day, Nintendo laid to rest many months of rumors, speculation, and more regarding its long-anticipated “NX” — now called the Nintendo Switch — as the company’s next successor in its hardware line. After dropping a three-and-a-half minute preview video, gamers were finally given a glimpse into what lies head for Nintendo and, for the most part, it seems pretty exciting and bringing Nintendo into a unique new direction.
After collecting our thoughts from yesterday’s reveal, here are the thoughts and reactions from the DualShockers staff — both positive and constructive — and what we thought of Nintendo’s “console/handheld hybrid,” and what it means for the company moving forward:
Lou Contaldi, Reviews Editor
The Nintendo Switch is better than I could have ever imagined Nintendo could do, given their current spot in the market. Sleek, mature, and novel, it showcases a tonal shift where the House of Mario is engaging its core audience. More importantly, it is finally the companion console that has been sorely missing from my living room — breaking up the uniformity between Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered: battery life, specs, and price will be paramount to how this continues in the marketplace. But with enough hubris and forward thinking, it isn’t unthinkable that Nintendo can position this well. Meanwhile, “Switch” may not be a sexy name, but it is easily explainable to friends, family, and moms walking into GameStop — one of the major speed bumps in the last hardware generation. It’s just going to be uncomfortable getting used to the successor’s name — “Nintendo Switch U.”
Tyler Fischer, Staff Writer
Recently, I owned the Wii. An original DS too. When I needed a 3DS, I would borrow my little brother’s. As for the Wii U, Naturally, I skipped it. Not since the N64 and GameCube days have I had much excitement over a Nintendo console: the announcement of the Nintendo Switch changed that.
I went from a decrepit Nintendo fan, jaded by the companies recent hardware attempts, to one who is ready to pre-order the Switch the moment it becomes available. The Switch looks like a system made for gamers, and that’s all I needed to see. A handheld with all of Nintendo’s first and second party focus behind it? Yeah: that sounds awesome.
Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor
Given that Nintendo has had a pretty rough time in the last generation with the Wii U being one its most underperforming systems (in terms of pure sales and support), I’ve become accustomed — like many others — to jadedness and disappointment when it comes to new Nintendo products. As a lifelong fan of Nintendo in my youth, from the early days of the Game Boy and NES to my personal favorite system from the company, the GameCube, the Wii and Wii U generation showed Nintendo reaching out to a more casual-minded audience that, while successful, ultimately left many from that generation (including myself) feeling like they have been abandoned by the company.
With this week’s reveal of the Nintendo Switch, however, I feel completely different. For all the technical ambition and uniqueness that Nintendo tried to provide in the Wii U, the system’s disheartening support and lack of sales put it far behind no only what Sony and Microsoft have offered this generation, but even from what Nintendo was offering on the 3DS and its predecessors. However, with the Switch it’s clear that Nintendo is targeting an older audience with a sleek, non toy-like design, support from third parties and publishers that (already) seems far more promising than what the Wii U had to offer, and a unique concept that smartly merges its console and handheld markets.
Even in the last few years where Nintendo has floundered in some ways and refused to adapt to the changing landscape of games, it came as a pleasant surprise that not only did Nintendo stick the landing when it came to announcing and showing off its new system, but also make me more curious than ever to see where the Nintendo Switch will take them ahead.
Giuseppe Nelva, Editor-in-Chief
It’s early to judge just yet, as we know precious little abut the Switch. It’s also easy to get excited, as the concept is certainly cool and presented in a cool way.
On the other hand, there are several issues behind the way this has been presented. The nature of the concept itself and and the way it has been marketed, position the console as primarily a portable that you happen to be able to plug into a TV.
There really isn’t much Nintendo can do about this: they can say it’s primarily a home console as much as they want, but what stands out when you see it in action is that you can carry it around, not that you can play it at home. On top of that, Nintendo has been certainly more popular for its portable offering in recent times.
Personally, I seriously doubt that that kind of device will cost less than $300, and I doubt many, outside of hardcore Nintendo fans, will be willing to pay that kind of price for what they’ll probably consider a portable.
It’s also quite big for portability, and the little we know about the hardware seem to hint to it being underpowered compared to PS4 and Xbox One. The Tegra-based architecture itself is also cause of concern, as it could involve additional work in porting games to the console, limiting third-party support on the long-term.
At the moment we know too little to judge, and I don’t blame those who are optimistic. Personally, I remain very cautious.
Joel Taveras, Co-Founder
Let the record state that I called this thing about three years before it happened and I will not let any of the editors of DualShockers live that down. Like ever. Thank you Nintendo for once again making me look like DualShockers‘ resident fortune teller. Now that that’s out of the way, let me hit you with a quick disclaimer: if you were let down by what the device actually is or concerned that its mobile chip-set (probably) won’t match the horsepower you currently have in your PS4 or Xbox One, just give it up. Nintendo has never been in an arms race with other manufacturers in the past and that wasn’t going to change this time around either.
So now that the Nintendo Switch is an actual thing what now? Well that’s what is going to be most difficult to figure out. Judging from it’s reveal trailer if there’s one thing to take away to make this debut, making it very different from Wii and Wii U, is the lack of families. The reveal trailer opens up with a dude enjoying some Zelda all by his lonesome (if you don’t include his dog). Sure, we get glimpses of friends playing local multiplayer scattered throughout the clip, but the usual cookie cuttermom, dad, two kids and the family pet are no where to be found. In their place we have trendy twenty (maybe even thirty)-somethings, commuting, road tripping, excising, and even roof top barbecuing (with folks drinking out of very adult looking red solo cups, mind you).
It’s almost like Nintendo finally understands and is embracing that a portion of its audience has grown up and for Nintendo, this is unheard of. We still see glimpses of Nintendo’s bread and butter through (very) brief shots of Mario, Zelda, Splatoon and Mario Kart, but the real emphasis on ‘grown up’ titles like NBA 2K and what appears to be the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Whether or not this means we see an edgier Nintendo remains to be seen, but things seem to be headed in the right direction.
Nintendo has grown up, and that alone is enough to excite me.