By now we all know about the Nintendo Switch. Since its reveal, we have seen fans arguing both for and against its design. We have seen gamers worry about the potential lack of third party support. We have seen debates rage about the potential specs and whether they are good enough to appease gamers. The list goes on and won’t get stop growing until the January 12th announcements. This is all well and good, but the one question I haven’t seen addressed is what does the Nintendo Switch mean for us older gamers?
Many of us older gamers work ridiculous hours just to make ends meet. For many of us, that means our time for gaming must largely be spent away from the house. Until now we’ve had great systems like the Nintendo 3DS, the Sony PSP, a slew of Android-based handhelds, and the Razer Edge to keep us entertained. They’ve done well, but none of them can scratch that itch when you want a console game. Sure there are retro console ports available for the 3DS and PSP. I won’t take that away from them, but when you want something newer and beefier they fall flat. The Razer Edge steps up to the plate in its own way, but it’s just a portable PC. You won’t find your console exclusives here. At least not in a legal capacity.
This may sound ridiculously niche. Admittedly it is, but if you’re like me then you know how powerful the itch to play a Nintendo exclusive like Twilight Princess on the go can be. If not that what about Skyrim, Call of Duty, or any other traditionally non-portable game? If the third party support holds up then we could see a lot of AAA, hardcore, mainstream titles on the Nintendo Switch. While they will not have the graphical fidelity of the Xbox One, or the PS4 they will be portable. For me, that’s a trade-off worth making.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a cheapskate. I’ve passed up on the Wii U because my budget can’t handle the cost of the 3DS and the Wii U. Until now we haven’t been able to buy one console and have the best of both worlds. That’s all changing. This design allows us to have the very best of Nintendo’s unparalleled mobile gaming expertise and a core console experience at the same time.
Is there a downside? That depends on the tack you take. For starters, the games will never be as graphically rich as a core console. But Nintendo has never been a system you buy for cutting edge graphics. Battery life could be another issue. I think Nintendo knows what they are doing though. If there is anyone we should trust with designing a mobile device it’s them.
Retro Gaming Potential
Let’s face it a huge reason we love Nintendo is their large backlog of timeless games. However, their implementation of multiplayer classics on the Virtual Console have almost always been gimped. Let’s take Super Mario Kart for example. The game’s primary appeal is multiplayer. For me, it’s the battle mode. It launched without multiplayer support on the 3DS, and that killed it. The Nintendo Switch has a grand opportunity to right this wrong. It could herald a new golden age of console retro gaming with the right support. Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking but I would love to play Star Fox with friends on the go.
Parents and Children
Many of us are parents. We have children that follow us around and want to do everything we are. Often times we cater to their desires and let them have control of the television or play games on our tablet to pacify them. The Nintendo Switch gives us a tool to better share this space. When the kids want to watch television and we want to game there no longer needs to be a compromise about who gets to do what. For many people, this by itself is a good enough reason to make the purchase.
What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch? Do my expectations line up with yours