This is my prerequisite Nintendo Switch post. It seems to be all the rage; all the cool kids are doing them. Okay, I grant you: there’s lots of gaming outlets on the web, both professional and amateur, and if you run a gaming website that even dabbles in gaming news, there’s no way NOT to write something up on Nintendo’s new home-to-portable console, previously codenamed NX and now unveiled as the Switch.
Nintendo unveiled the Switch last week in a three minute and thirty second video, announcing a day or so later that more information on the console beyond what was in the trailer will be coming… in January. That means that for the next two and a half months, a mere three minutes and thirty seconds worth of footage (footage that was mostly of hip twenty-somethings picking up their games and going places with them) is going to have to feed the gaming Internet’s thirst for all the knowledge.
That means a lot of frame-by-frame analysis, technical speculation, launch game wishlists, etc., etc. But, honestly, nothing NEW. What do we know, really? The Switch is a new home console by Nintendo, but one that is embedded in a tablet-like device which in turn can be removed from its home docking station and taken on the go, along with detachable multi-player control devices the company has dubbed “Joy-Cons”.
And… that’s it.
So the “reveal” video only leads to more questions. How powerful is the Switch’s processor? What’s the resolution on the tablet screen? Will The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild be a launch title? Will Skyrim actually be ported to Switch or did Nintendo and Bethesda just collaborate on the trailer together? How much will Switch cost? What’s its release date? Was the Mario 64-style game that appeared in the trailer actual footage of the new 3D Mario or just a tech demo?
I have no idea. Here’s what I do know: the Nintendo Switch is going to be the latest product on which I can play Nintendo games.
I, like you, have spent too much money in my life on mediocre or outright bad games. As I grew older and my time and money both became more precious, I realized I was going to have to be a smarter gamer. I looked at the games I had loved most over my life, the games I felt had the highest quality of design relative to their competitors in the marketplace at the time of their release and that gave me the most satisfaction relative to my investment of time and money in their offered experience, and I realized most all of them had one thing in common: they were games that had been made by Nintendo.
That’s not to say I’ve never loved a non-Nintendo title. Final Fantasy and Mega Man were two of my absolute favorite game franchises during the 8 and 16 bit eras. But by my calculations, Nintendo’s design teams are batting .500 while the rest of the gaming industry is batting around .250. Simply put? I’m more confident that a purchase of a Nintendo product will lead to a satisfying gaming experience than I am that a purchase of any other company’s product will do the same.
So, yes, I have missed some big third-party AAA games over the years, and yes, I can see the same thing happening with the Switch. But the Switch is where I’m going to be able to play the latest Zelda, Mario, Splatoon, Pikmin, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and (god willing) Metroid games. So questions about resolution and inner specs and Skyrim don’t really matter to me. Will Nintendo games be on the Switch? If so, I’ll be buying a Switch.
Also? Let’s be real: they could have called this thing the Nintendo Ham Sandwich, and then sold a ham sandwich in a soggy cardboard box, and I would’ve been like, “Hey, this is a pretty good ham sandwich!”
Excuse that very forced example. I just felt like typing “ham sandwich” a couple of times.