Yes, We Are Very Excited About The Nintendo Switch

Well, that's how you unveil a console. Goddamn.

Both Alex and myself braved the late reveal of the Nintendo Switch. We have thoughts. We have reactions.

They're pretty universally positive because um... I want one of those things.


Alex: So, it's not long after 1:00 AM Sydney time. I'm more or less wrapped in a blanket, somehow still freezing, and yet I don't mind a bit.

Because I've just seen the NX. It's ... sleek. It's slim. It's very, very small.

And even though its capabilities seem more or less in line with what everyone was expecting over the last few months -- those patent finds weren't far off the mark -- Nintendo knows how to make it seem cool.

What do you think, Mark?


Mark: I love it. By christ I love it.

I love the name. It might be the first Nintendo console name in a over a decade that didn't make me projectile vomit upon hearing it.

I love the stupid little finger click the ad made.

I love the concept. Jesus wept, did someone just make a console for me and my goddamn lifestyle where I have screaming kids watching Sonic Underground on Netflix for some reason and my wife watching The Block on our communal laptop.

I just click my fingers and CLICK. I'm playing Zelda on this cool screen with its cool controls and shit.

Then CLICK. I'm driving to Canberra for some ungodly reason, but I've convinced my wife to drive because I'm playing that new 3D Mario game they showed off.

And it's March 2017 Alex. That's five months away. FIVE MONTHS.

Sorry, I haven't been this excited by a gaming console in a while. This motherfucker has blown the cobwebs out of my ears.


Alex: I'm more excited for this than the PS4 Pro or Scorpio.

You know why?

There are games I can't take with me. I'd like to, but smartphones haven't quite gotten there. And Nintendo knows that. That premium gaming experience on mobiles is all too often sacrificed for games that aren't littered with microtransactions or designed in such a way that they leverage that little reward centre of your brain 24/7.

And so the door is open for these massive worlds, games that you could spend hundreds of hours in.

Think about doing all your crafting and grinding in Skyrim on the bus.

Fuck, a portable Skyrim. What a way to end the week right there.

But even something like a fully portable NBA 2K17. I can do my crappy workouts in the gym and get one or two extra games done a day on the train. On something that looks less obtrusive than a fat iPad.

AND you get Zelda, Mario Kart, probably Smash, Splatoon, a new 3D Mario as well?

Please don't price this console above $400. Do everyone a favour and make it $300.

But it'll probably be $399. And you know what? You and I will still pay that in a heartbeat. Because the Switch is the kind of console that fits into our lives.

Consoles don't really do that. We have to make time for them. It's fun, and I love doing it, but fuck.

That's how you reveal a console.


Mark: There's a lot of unanswered questions for sure: price (which I agree with you on), backwards compatibility, specs (which I'm actually not too interested in) -- but right now I'm just really reveling in a high concept that I adore. A console that just really feels built for me on a number of levels.

It's smart on about a million different levels. This is Nintendo taking what it's arguably done best over the last ten years -- handhelds -- and expanding that into this clever hybrid. There's a clear gap in the market here. Tablets can't do what the Nintendo Switch will do. Consoles won't be able to do what the Nintendo Switch will do. It's classic Nintendo -- making something feel familiar and disruptive at the precise same time.

The third party stuff? It's a promise Nintendo's been making since the GameCube days and I certainly don't expect them to fulfil it this time round. It actually doesn't matter. If Nintendo is putting all their eggs in the Switch basket (which I suspect they are -- why have the switch and and a dedicated handheld device?) Nintendo will be able to put the full force of their development teams onto one single console for the first time since forever.

That's a game changer. A big issue for Nintendo in recent years has been their inability to create a steady supply of games for both the 3DS and the Wii U at the same time. You can see them shift focus: for a while the Wii U was game rich, then it was the 3DS. Now Nintendo just have to deal with one. single. console. That's got to be a positive.

People buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games, and I suspect we're going to see a lot of them.


Alex: The real question now will be support.

The Wii U got a bad wrap. But it deserved all the criticism it got for not having enough third-party support.

There was plenty of third-party support in that trailer. But the Switch has to be a legitimate third option, and not just for shovelware 12 months after release. It looks like a great console for massive open-world games with lots of busy work.

If Nintendo can convince developers to stick with it. And finding some way to make life easy for indies to make games on it wouldn't hurt, either, especially in the lean months.

But old habits die hard. How's the Switch when it comes to an online store? Is it going to be overpriced to the rafters?

Even if the Switch never got anything other than Nintendo games ... well, it'd still do real well. But I want Nintendo to try for more. Using the NVIDIA Tegra chip means it's not going to come close to the PS4 or Xbox One. At launch.

So Nintendo need to make up for that in other ways. Like lots of games that are great on the go. And not just their games, either.

Show me how much you've learned.


Mark: Honestly, this console has gotten me legitimately hyped. It's been a long time since I've felt that way about anything.

Also, one last thing.

HOLD ME.


What are you thoughts on the Nintendo Switch reveal? Let us know below.


Comments

    I'm not understanding the excitement and I say this as someone who called NX as a hybrid a year and a half ago. But my prediction was of a powerful DS that had TV play.

    This is a WiiU that allows Off TV play anywhere, so I'm not sure why some think this may be a success?

    In the article, you're excited about console games on the go, but isn't that the main reason the Vita failed? Too many console games shoehorned onto a portable?

    While I have firmly believe a hybrid was the only way forward for Nintendo, I feel like they chose the wrong form of it. It should have been a portable first, home console second. Why would you leverage your less successful console market instead of your successful one? They should have channeled the 3DS, not the WiiU with this thing.

    I hope it works out for them in the long run. As a WiiU owner, I'll get one and I personally will get a lot of use out of it, but I"m not sure they'll be able to sell this to many more people than they did the WiiU.

      I was cracking up at Mark's reaction. I mean, people got that excited for the Vita until it turned out that it wasn't powerful enough to provide a true console experience. I don't see that changing for the Switch. Just because it can play Skyrim doesn't mean it will be capable of running Battlefield 1 or CoD:IW etc as full-fat experiences. Temper your expectations. If (and it's a big if beyond the first 6-12 months) you get the latest games on this thing they will be running at low resolutions and shitty framerates, guaranteed.

        Skyrim is now a 5yr old game... is this really worth buying a new console for in the first place just to play it portable? Seems a bit silly to me.

        And if Skyrim is a bench mark for it, then does that mean that the list of above devs are just going to port some old games across to it as well?

        But it’ll probably be $399. And you know what? You and I will still pay that in a heartbeat. Because the Switch is the kind of console that fits into our lives.

        That is why I'm excited. Even though I reckon it will be $499

          US$499? If so I think it'd be D.O.A.

          If you mean AU$499 then yeah, I can see that. That's about my US$349 estimate. US$399 is AU$549 from memory.

          $499!?!? LOL You're crazy if you seriously think thats going to happen. Nintendo can't be that stupid...right?

        I don't really understand it either to be honest. Then again, I've never really felt the urge to play anything more complex than crossy road whilst on the train, as I most often read something during this time anyway. Perhaps the console is just not targeted at me, but I really feel like many people compartmentalise their gaming, and would rather play Skyrim in comfort at home on a big screen for 5 hours. I mean, I've been able to watch movies on the train for a couple of years now, and I still never have.

    But will it play No Man's Sky?

      I'd buy one if it did. The bus would be the perfect time to grind through some resource mining.

    Never purchased a WiiU will be purchasing this on day 1. no gimmicky nunchuck controllers is a massive plus. The battery life and heat output on the portable are my main concerns.

      There is a vent on top. Will most likely have a fan in there too.

    Ok, I just don't understand how this will work. I mean, consoles at home need to be plugged in for a reason. They need power and lots of it. How it this going to work a a portable? Either the battery life is going to be on par with the Game Gear or the games are going to drop to such a low resolution that it'll be like playing the original Game Boy.

    I want this to be fantastic. Having the opportunity to play actual console games (and have progress carry over to my home play) would be amazing. I just don't get how it will work, though.

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Nintendo will mandate two different specs for games - one to run on 'console' and one to run on 'handheld'. The 'handheld' will be inferior for the reasons you mentioned.

        Why would a developer even bother making two versions of the same game? Just make the handheld version and call it done.

          I'm thinking more for 'console' games. Handheld/mobile games would just be done PSTV-style.

      Battery and GPU tech have come a long way, The unit, though slim has a room for a good sized battery, I'd be happy to take a power bank with me for longer haul, and I'm sure some really nice battery cases will come out for the thing.
      There are no brains in the dock, so the game experience should be the same on the TV or in the hand, maybe a little fidelity drop to conserve power, that you probably wouldn't pick up on the smaller screen. No need to develop 'two versions' though.

      Consoles are relatively inefficient, they are now effectively PCs running an X86 architecture with a hungry GPU and an optical drive and a hard disc, and outputs etc. The new iPads have serious gaming grunt, this is a new Nvidia processor, designed from the ground up for mobility, I think the battery life will be decent.

      If you want 8 hour battery life, then I think you will be up for a battery case, to me this is a home console first, that has portability, so I can play it on the couch or in bed when other people are using the main screen in the house, I can continue my game outside while the kids are playing under the hose. Full game experiences though, not castrated, micro transaction filled mobile games, that I can continue play on the big screen and enjoy the full experience when available.

      It looks more social too, like an impromptu mini-lan meet up with friends, without carrying all the gear. I would probably still use a PC or PS4, but I think this would fit my lifestyle more.

      Last edited 21/10/16 10:01 am

        to me this is a home console first, that has portability, so I can play it on the couch or in bed when other people are using the main screen in the house, I can continue my game outside while the kids are playing under the hose. Full game experiences though, not castrated, micro transaction filled mobile games, that I can continue play on the big screen and enjoy the full experience when available.

        Sorry, but all I can hear when you say this is "It's the WiiU".

        Their advertising is showing people taking it out and about. As such, the expectation is that you can do just that. The more I think about this, the more I see it as the next WiiU. It's less powerful than the PS4 or XBone. As such, why would I buy it instead of the PS4 or XBone if I want a home console? If it's meant to replace a portable device, why would I choose it over the 3DS? It can't play 3DS games (only has one screen, no touchscreen, etc). The concept of taking my games with me (without losing progress) is brilliant. But that's the only thing I can see that it's good for (aside from Mario and Zelda).

        So the trade off, in my mind, is this: Do I buy a console specifically for a new Zelda game and a new Mario game which plays other games at lower quality? Or do I buy a console that can play every single other game at higher specs?

    Nintendo lyNX amirite?

    I'll get my coat.

      You have to rely on people remembering that beast of a handheld.

      Great idea, poor execution, awful awful battery eating.

    im not sure ill be bothered investing in this console. dont get me wrong, i think its great, and i hope Nintendo do well with it, but i focus all my gaming on PC and my 3ds and this seems too big for me in regards to the areas where i play my 3ds. and i just like keyboard and mouse and my xbox 360 controller for online gaming. cool concept though, id still like to play on one.

    I'm optimistic.

    My prime gaming time is during my work commute, so being able to play Breath of the Wild at home and then take it with me to work is going to be amazing.

    I'll likely get one at some point, when there are some decent RPGs on it. If they do a 'remastered' version of some Wii U games I'll be all over it.

    driving to Canberra for some ungodly reason

    Hey @markserrels! My city's great

      So is mine. Lucky neither of us live in Canberra though, eh?

    So how long does the battery last when it goes portable ?

    It looks pretty thin. Will I have to buy a battery booster like the first 3DS?

    Last edited 21/10/16 9:46 am

      My guess is that if you want mammoth sessions, then yeah, factor in a battery case. For use around the home, or a bus commute, probably will be plenty as is.

    I feel like I'd get more value out of that handheld PC on kickstarter with Windows 10. http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/10/someones-making-a-handheld-gaming-pc/

    Just install steam and should be able to play MOST of my steam library on it.

    My biggest concern is the ergonomics of it. When the Wii U was revealed, it had circle pads and a flat back. But by the time it came out they'd given it proper control sticks and added prongs to the back for your hands to hold comfortably. Also those tiny controllers are so tiny. And the pro controller looks very prototype. And why are those face buttons so huge? Actually it all looks very prototype rather than final. And it's only months away. I don't know what to think.

    I'm totally with you Mark! This would fit into my life perfectly.
    I don't have much time to game at home these days.
    But I am on a train for over 2.5hours a day for work. So this gives me lots of gaming time!
    Well inbetween watching TV series.

    It's an interesting experiment. While the PS4 and XBOne went down the path of being more like a dedicated gaming/media PC, Nintendo is trying out going down the path of being a dedicated gaming tablet. If anyone has a good shot at making this succeed it's Nintendo but I can't help but feel that a lot of people are going to see it and say "I already have an iPad/Surface/Android tablet that I can stream to my TV. Why do I want this?" I'd like to be proven wrong though.

    A lot of people seem to comparing this to a portable PS4/XBO, that isn't what this is designed to be. If you really want a comparison, I'd say it more like an upgraded Vita which you can dock and play the games on your TV. And it's a Nintendo console, so the draw isn't multi-platform games, it's all the Nintendo exclusive games. And with their developers no longer spilt between 3DS/WiiU, there should be a lot more games coming out.

    the right side face buttons are directly above the analogue stick. WHAT A DISASTER.
    Instead of a dedicated comfortable and user friendly device, Once again Nintendo ruins its control system to sell a gimmick. Some things never change.

    I'm a little bit excited about this. Just a little.

    The prospect of Nintendo consolidating their dev power behind one platform is immense. Fire Emblem/Advance Wars bridging home and portable? Yup. With any luck Capcom will bring the next Monster Hunter.

    Including Skyrim was a nice piece of timing. We've got the SE dropping on current home platforms sometime in the next month. So now, instead of going "Skyrim? Ha, I remember playing that in 2011", I'm thinking "was that SE looking shiny as hell on a tablet? If it can do that, what else can it do?".

    Also, any platform that comes with that adorable dog featured at the beginning of the trailer gains my instant support - there were no disclaimers that the dog wasn't included; don't ruin this for me.

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