So a few months back I shared a few thoughts on what I hoped Nintendo might be planning with the still code named NX. Well, the curtain has been pulled back to reveal the Nintendo Switch, which fits most of the leaked descriptions as far as form factor and functionality. It is somewhat modular in that the actual system contains a screen, which can be docked to connect to a TV or taken to play on the go using two little Joy Cons that slide on the sides of the unit. How does the Switch match up to my hopes, well, it’s hard to tell yet.
Form Factor: So, it appears to be larger than I was hoping for portability sake, sporting a reported 6.2″ multi-touch screen. While that’s a shame for ensuring that it tags along with me everywhere, it does open up a lot of potential for local multiplayer opportunities. Of course nothing on battery life, but we are treated to dual analog sticks, which plays into each Joy Con able to be used as it’s own controller for multiplayer games.
Compatibility: Nintendo has stated that the Switch will not play Wii U disks (of course) or 3DS cartridges (sigh). It would have been nice to have one device that could service all of my Nintendo needs, but the 3DS is still making money, so it kind of makes sense that they don’t want to kill off a good thing. What they haven’t commented on is Virtual Console support. The DS/3DS has such an exhaustive library, a concerted effort to bring that content to the Virtual Console would open up millions of people to great content they otherwise might not have experienced.
Launch Lineup: A new Mario title was visually teased, and some slightly updated versions of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon were featured, along with an unknown version of Skyrim. Easy money is on remasters of a few big Wii U games, like those above, being available at launch, with probably 2 other big titles, most likely the new Mario, and Breath of the Wild.
User Interface: There was no UI featured at all in the preview we got, which was a bit disappointing. I’m still holding out hope for a more 3DS inspired home screen that can be customized with items earned from playing purchased titles. These items could be tied to or a replacement for a trophy system, which is also something Nintendo has skated around for the past few years.
So, we know more, but not a lot more, and it looks like it might be January before all the cards are laid out. The wait is frustrating, but it’s kinda nice to be looking forward to a new Nintendo system again.