As the meme of president and chief of Nintendo America’s Reggie Fils-Aime dictates his body is ready. Likewise a whole host of internet personas have made their, um, bodies ready in regards to the latest Nintendo hardware announcement. The Nintendo Switch. Aside from all the sexual jokes I’ve come across in the last few hours about the name and the logo it seems like a pretty decent system. This system is their would be heir to the current generation of Nintendo gaming the much maligned Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3ds family of systems.
From the released video the Nintendo Switch has multiple modes to play with. From a standard home console that plays on your TV to a hand held system centered round a large tablet screen. The tablet appears to be the center point of the whole shebang. When the controller, named the “Joy-con”, disassembles from the body of the controller unit the components attach to a tablet and it can become mobile.
This tablet also has a kick stand that can prop up the screen. In this mode you can detach the Joy-con arms and use them in each hand. from this same configuration each Joy-con can be used separately as a simple game pad, à la the Wii-mote, in two player games. The system also has the ability to connect to a pro-pad for focused gamers. The media for the system is based on cartridges. They are more durable with the rigorous wear and tear of traveling than a disc and due to current technology a lot of data can be stored on them. To cap it off save data can be saved to the cart as well eliminating a huge hard drive.
All this looks great, a truly mobile system that doesn’t sacrifice game play for one mode or another – as it may seem. The video showed off a new Mario game and those games work well going from the Wii family of systems ported down to the 3ds. My concern is what happens to games that have taken advantage of the functionality of a duel screen in the form of the Wii U and the 3DS.
Second screen functionality have been a big boon for Nintendo and game makers who have taken advantage of the methodology of having two visual landscapes to use. The latest Pokemon games Sun and Moon are using this functionality in the form of the bottom screen being used by a in game AI that relays information like maps and stock items away from the main screen and game play. Another concern is the Wii U and the 3DS have touch screen functionality, for the Wii U it was in the game pad in the 3DS it was in the lower second screen. Lastly with the mobile unit of the system basically being one giant screen it just screams to me that this thing will get smashed and banged up. Sounds like a market for fancy screen protectors if I’ve ever saw one. With all this there isn’t much more than the video, official press release, and what NVIDIA, the maker of the processor guts of the system has put out. It’ll be a interesting couple of months until the release in March 2017. Hopefully by that time my body will be ready.