The Nintendo NX has been revealed as the Nintendo Switch. This thing looks really cool, and a lot of the rumors and leaks leading up to the reveal proved to be true. It’s a tablet that can dock to your TV, with removable controller pieces, as well as a pro controller. It’s going to be cartridge based, and third party support seems to be back. Now that we have some solid info, let’s do some speculating.
The price, battery life, and other important pieces of information have not yet been addressed. I’m going to say right now that I think the Nintendo Switch is going to be a little pricier than normal. The reason behind this is that the tech is not the normal “behind the times” type that Nintendo normally runs with. Sure, the Wii U used a second screen, but it wasn’t completely revolutionary, and the build quality on that controller was good, but not as sleek or durable looking as what we’ve seen in the Switch trailer. If smart phones are typically around the $700 price point without a phone contract, I can’t imagine something that is more powerful with a great looking screen being $250 at launch.
Another reason behind the price increase? Nintendo will no longer have two streams of console sale income. This system will conceivably replace the 3DS too, not just the Wii U. Any new system sales will need to make up for two streams of revenue. People may be upset that this ends the line of the 3DS, but that system has been out for 5 years now. Not as long as the last couple of lines of portable systems, but it’s still fairly old.
What about third parties?
This thing is going to sell. At least initially. The press release showed us a TON of third parties that are already on board. The trailer even showed potential Skyrim and NBA 2K17 releases that may or may not actually be coming to the system. This is great, right? Well, not so fast. Remember the Wii U? Nintendo launched that system with a ton of third party titles like Batman Arkham City and Mass Effect 3. After a few months, all those developers bailed on the console. So that is definitely a valid worry.
To counter this worry, though, is the fact that these developers never bailed on the 3DS! Now that Nintendo is trying to occupy two markets at once with one system, we may get some interesting third party exclusives. The Nintendo Switch may not get Final Fantasy XV, but there could be a good chance of another Bravely Default game. No Mass Effect Andromeda from EA, but you never know what kind of exclusive adventure EA and Bioware could have up their sleeve. The 3DS has some EXCELLENT titles. Titles that could have very well played great on a home console.
You may argue that this doesn’t help Nintendo enough. Do they REALLY need those AAA titles that come to the Xbox One and the PS4? It’s obviously not going to hurt them if they do. But think about all the complaining gamers have done over the last few years. There are only a handful of good exclusives on either console. Give Nintendo a bunch of great third party exclusives and it could really help endear the Switch to the traditional gamers, giving them a reason to actually purchase the system to sit alongside their PS4s and Xboners.
Why it’s going to sell
One system instead of the traditional console and portable may be a system seller. When kids start begging their parents for the new system, they only have to upgrade once. No longer will offspring be begging for the new home console AND the portable console. Parents only have to buy ONE system. Hell, big kids without their own children will only have to buy one console. This could ingratiate themselves to consumers, needing only to buy ONE console to play all the latest Pokemon, Zelda, Mario, and Metroid games.
Nintendo Switch developers will no longer be split between two pieces of hardware as well. This means more hands on one system, which means bigger and better games. No longer will they need different teams specializing on one hardware or the other. Nintendo can pool all their talent into one realm, rather than two. This means MORE Nintendo exclusive games. Remember the dearth of first party support the Wii U seemed to get over it’s life cycle while the 3DS enjoyed tons of new games? That won’t be a problem any longer. Add the potentially exclusive third party titles I mentioned earlier, and you’ve got yourself a solid console.
But we still need to know more
I’m cautiously optimistic the Nintendo Switch. But I will be honest, I still want to know more about it, and what games will be released. I haven’t touched either of my current generation systems in months, instead preferring to play any newer games on my PC. I’ll need some incentive to make the SWITCH over to Nintendo’s new console. Give me a great number of first and third party exclusives and that will really help. Give me some other bonuses, like backward compatibility with 3DS games, Netflix access while on the go, Virtual Console, and a good battery life and that will pique my interest even further. There is still a lot to be seen, but what we are seeing now looks promising.