Thursday 20 October 2016

Nintendo Switch Announcement [Events]

We have it! It is here! No more need for speculation!
The codenamed NX got a trailer, and there is also a proper name attached. The Nintendo Switch. As concepts go, this is interesting. Within the first half minute of the trailer, we don't get much. Just someone playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. After that is much more interesting. The Switch logo appears, then back to action. The Joy-Con parts form a controller of their own, or can be snapped onto the console itself. When in TV mode, the console rests in a dock. When you want to bring it to handheld form, just remove the console from the dock and the image is switched from TV to the console's screen. There's many ways to play, as shown within the trailer. The Joy-Con parts can be used individually as controllers or put together as one for a more traditional controller. Those Joy-Con parts can attach to the console itself to create a true handheld. There's also a proper controller like any conventional console. This is an interesting take on a console, and though some people will say its hardly a new concept - think about what is being done here. It is a conventional console, no denying that. Nowhere throughout the trailer did we see anything hinting at touch controls - the main interaction is through the controller - meaning this isn't just a tablet with a controller wirelessly connected to give better control in certain games. There's also if the instant switching is that instant. If it is, that is something great that will surely be a key selling point. I'm already hearing some say this is how the Wii U should have been.
The console uses cartridges, that has already been known. Those cartridges are seen in the trailer - not in any detail, but enough to judge - and they look like a cross between the 3DS carts and the PS Vita sticks. There also has to be quite a lot of memory on them, considering we see Skyrim being played within the trailer.
As for other games, it looks as though rumours about ports really are true, as we see Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon being played on the Switch. From how Mario Kart 8 looks, there's the possibility - almost certainty - that these are going to be more than just ports. King Boo features in the Mario Kart 8 footage - who is a character not currently in the game - and also that there is now the ability to pick up two items. Splatoon of course would need some features removed such as motion control and second screen usage. We also see near the end a new 3D Mario title. EA Sports seem to have got a number of games coming as well, since a basketball game that could be a new NBA was shown.

Now, GameXplain have already got a number of videos up analysing every bit about this reveal, so I'm not going into that territory. What I will say is that this is seriously something I could see myself using, even more than my Wii U now. It looks sleek, with both console and controllers. The console fits into the dock when you play on a TV so that solves the issue of the Gamepad taking up space. Since it is just one screen, there's no need for developers to be wasting resources streaming things to two separate screens which could go into a more polished game. Despite already owning Mario Kart 8 I can see myself buying it again on the Switch - both to support the new console and for the convenience that owning it on the Switch brings. The new Mario game looks like fun, despite the very little we see of it. As for Splatoon, I can see myself buying it again as well, for the same reasons as Mario Kart 8. I'd certainly buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as we've known since E3 that it looks stunning - and that was on the Wii U. I've never been one for sports titles, and I've never got far in Skyrim, so while it's great that the Switch is getting them, they aren't for me.
And that's just the games we've seen in this small trailer. Think how many more there are going to be once Nintendo start to go into detail about this thing. There could be more enhanced ports of Wii U games. The entire collection of this year's EA Sports games. More franchises that have hardly ever been on a Nintendo console. Revived Nintendo franchises such as F-Zero. And don't forget those we already know of such as Project Sonic 2017 and Dragon Quest.
There is though, through all the hype, reason to get more interested or more cynical. We've only just started to delve into what the Switch is about. There is still a lot more to be revealed about it. I expect everyone will be keeping their eyes open for more official news. I'd say a Direct is more than likely to deep dive into the facts. Point is, this is the start. I can hardly contain my excitement for this thing right now. The fact we've known about it for so long and had so little information about it has been agonising. There have been countless rumours, and there still will be. And that is the point. We know the basics - the concept - of what this is now. Nintendo Switch is an apt name for something that has switchable controllers and instant switching between big and small screens. There's still the deeper things. How well do the games run? How good is the switching? How user friendly will the interface be? These things and more are what people will want to be knowing now. Because they are unknowns though, there will always be two sides. Those who think it'll work well, and those who don't. When more information comes to light, I will be adjusting what I think of it. As I've already said - right now I think this will be a cool machine to have that is more than likely going to work. There's been two years since we first heard about it. Think how much time has actually gone into it.

That's my say on the announcement, and keep on the lookout throughout next week for more information. That Direct I mentioned will more than likely happen over the coming week. This announcement has opened the floodgates for more companies to announce projects they have in the works, and it will be interesting to see just how much of a launch line-up builds over the coming months. That's all for now, so bye for now.