Some might argue that Nintendo haven’t been on par as of late. I’d like to point out from the start that I’m not in that category and firmly believe that the Wii U is an excellent console, if a tad under utilised by first and third parties alike. After the whirlwind success of the Wii, the Wii U fell way behind on the sales figures. This in turn caused third parties to abandon the ship which left us gamers with very little in the way of third party support.
However, with the release of Nintendo Switch this is all about to change. For months now it’s been the rumour that it would be a hybrid console. This is true to the extent that you can play it on the go, as well as being hooked up to your big screen TV at home if you so wish. What is really taking the gaming press by storm though is how powerful this device appears to be. Whilst Bethesda have yet to confirm that it is Skyrim that is running on Nintendo Switch, it certainly looks like that.
The footage of NBA 2K17 on the device is also astounding considering the jump in terms of portable power from the 3DS to Switch. Rest assured, Nintendo are going after the gamers this time, and taking a less family friendly route that they did with the Wii U. Speaking of 3DS, Switch also supports game cards not unlike the ones found on the 3DS. Whilst it is highly unlikely they’ll be backwards compatible, it is nice to go to go back to some variety of a cartridge, especially since as games get bigger, so does the load times. There’s also the issue that over time optical drives wear out. However this does mean that anyone that was hoping to have multimedia playback on this Nintendo console will be left out. Having said that, there will no doubt be apps for Netflix et al built into the eShop. The flash based media should also help in the continued battle against piracy.
The excitement level for Switch is by and large bigger than it was for the Wii U. Whilst it is true that the specs of the Nintendo Switch haven’t been revealed yet bar the mention of Nvidia providing a Tegra chipset, it won’t be deemed as underpowered by the masses in the way the Wii U was. It is unlikely that it will run at 4K, but in all honesty how many people are yet to have a 4K TV? Even the PS4 and Xbox One can’t run at native 1080p 60fps. Due to this, it’s most likely that there will be some 4K upscaling going on, much like Microsoft have opted to do with the Xbox One S.
It speaks volumes when the head of Xbox even says the device is impressive. Phil Spencer has of course always been vocal when it comes to praising other platforms since its helps to drive business forward. With a huge string of third parties signing up, it’s clear that they’re excited about Switch, too. The biggest third party is of course EA, and having them on board will be a real help.
Thankfully multiplayer functionality is available right away without having to buy a second controller. This is due to the fact that the controller arms that attach onto each side of the console in tablet mode are detachable and are usable as separate controllers. It was needed, but its a great touch and is saving gamers having to fork out extra cash for a second controller. It’s little things like that (the Nintendo difference) that really sets Nintendo apart from its competitors. Will it be able to play the next GTA, or RDR2? Who knows, but from initial impressions, it’s going to be an amazing console.