At Long Last: the Nintendo Switch

Today at 10am EST Nintendo put out the official first trailer for their upcoming system, once codenamed the NX, henceforth known at the Nintendo Switch. Check it out here from Nintendo’s official YouTube account:

In just 3 minutes, Nintendo blows everyone’s minds by confirming lots of details about its brand new system. Some things we suspected: the Switch combines home console gaming with handheld gaming on the go. Some were huge surprises. Skyrim for Nintendo?!? We got to see the Switch in action, and revel in all the opportunities it will provide for us to both game alone and game with friends.

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What We Know Now:

  • Release Date: March 2017
  • Detachable controllers, multiple kinds of controllers, and portability of the system
  • 3rd party partnerships

What We Still Don’t Know:

  • Price point (loosely rumored at $350)
  • Touch screen capability (seems to be absent)
  • Will it go on to replace the 3DS family?

Highlights

3rd Party Partners

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I’m SO excited that Nintendo is expanding its horizons and bringing tons of 3rd party games to its system. Most notably, for me, Skyrim. Honestly Skyrim owns my soul and I would die fighting for that game. Maybe that’s beside the point, but I am excited about the prospect of being able to play Skyrim (and other previously non-Nintendo games) on the go, and experience it in a whole new way.

Another notable partner in this list is Unity. I’m so excited about this inclusion because Unity is the game engine that I’ve been studying to learn how to make games! Not sure exactly how the partnerships will work at this point. Does it just mean that games made with the engines mentioned will come to the Switch? Or will indie game makers have more access to creating games for Nintendo platforms?

Games

Six games were featured in the Switch trailer:

  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Mario Kart
  • Splatoon
  • NBA 2K17 (also cited as “a basketball game”)
  • new untitled Super Mario game

Splatoon’s popularity has been waning, with Nintendo recently ceasing its Splatfest events. So is the Splatoon game featured in the Switch trailer the same old game, or is it a new upcoming Splatoon game?

There have also been lots of rumors that a new Pokémon game (not Sun & Moon) will come to the Switch, and if true, that will be awesome! It will be really interesting to see the influence that Nintendo’s experience with Pokémon Go will have on their future Pokémon games.

Concerns:

What does this mean for multi-gamer households?

The Switch looks and feels to me like a personal system (like a 3DS), but it must be shared by people living together. It seems great for all the young adults living alone in the trailer, who can pack up their systems and meet their friends to play together — but what do you do if you’re sharing? Sure, it works for games like Mario Kart. But not Breath of the Wild or Skyrim, or the rumored new titles from Pokémon and Animal Crossing. I’m assuming it will have the same sort of profile system as the Wii U (so you can have multiple accounts on the same system), but that still means that only one person per household at a time will be able to enjoy the “just take it and go!” aspect of the Switch.

If the price point matches current 3DS systems, then that’s okay. But I doubt that’s the case. The Switch will probably be priced more like the Wii U (rumors are placing the Switch at 350 USD). So for a young couple of gamers living together, it won’t make sense to get two. In that case, what will we miss out on?

Let’s Get Excited!

The Switch is coming, people, and it’s coming SOON! Though it won’t be out for this year’s holiday season, it’s still close on the horizon. Prepare yourselves for lots of details to come.

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