Thursday, January 19, 2017

Time To Switch

Sorry about the heading. I couldn't resist a pun.

So the Nintendo Switch is launching in just over a month and I'm very excited for this new console. Admittedly I am a huge Nintendo fanboy. I have most of their systems starting way back in 1982 with Game & Watch Parachute. I loved that game so much that I picked up a keychain version of it at Super Potato in Tokyo.

My Parachute keychain

Despite my love for Nintendo I actually skipped the Wii U. For the last generation I took solace in the New Nintendo 3DS XL instead. The Wii U looked okay, but there wasn't anything about it that compelled me to go out and buy one. The second screen concept didn't do it for me and I found the 3DS was scratching my Nintendo IP itch with Mario, Zelda and Animal Crossing. So, for the first time ever I skipped that generation. Okay, I also skipped the Virtual Boy but that was more a case of not having the cash at the time to buy it having put aside my pennies for a shiny imported Japanese PlayStation.
Virtual Boy - Nintendo was ahead of their time!

So why am I excited about the Switch?

Well, the 3DS is my current go to console. I spend more time playing around with it than I do with my PlayStation. A big factor is that the 3DS is a portable system. I can play anywhere, anytime - and I love how quick it is to start. Flip it open and I can be playing within seconds.

The Switch is promising me this same experience. I don't have to sit in front of the TV if I don't want to. I can take it with me if I want. And hopefully it will have the same fast boot up of the 3DS.

Another thing that excites me is that Nintendo has re-embraced their Wii style control system again - and this time they've packed two motion controllers in the box. This means new ways to do motion control but more importantly it means that 2 player game experiences are possible for 100% of the folks who buy a Switch. Everyone will have two controllers. And they can play 2 player games away from the TV as well. This has a lot of potential.

And of course there is the new Zelda game at launch and a new Mario coming at the end of the year. These look great. And I'm guessing we'll also get an Animal Crossing sometime (but probably not for a year or two) - and then it will be the perfect system.
I just love the dog faced controller!
Of course, naysayers have said that it's just a tablet with a hefty price tag.

Yes, it is technically a tablet. But it's a tablet that comes with 2 controllers, amazing games and the playfulness that only Nintendo can deliver.  You can't judge something just by the hardware - not every non Apple tablet is as slick as an iPad even if their tech specs are the same.

So, I'm excited. Nintendo has managed to sell me on the handheld/TV hybrid console model.

Now, to balance things out, I fully understand that this is a Nintendo product - so some things will probably suck. I'm expecting a poor to average online experience, a mediocre e-shop and higher than industry standard prices for downloadable games. But if it's as half as much fun as the 3DS then I'll be more than happy!

How about you? Are you excited for the Switch?


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