Thursday, October 20, 2016 will be remembered as the day that Nintendo revealed to the world their newest “home gaming system” known now by its proper name, the Nintendo Switch. It has really been a long time coming to get solid confirmed information directly from Nintendo about what has been known as the Nintendo NX since the late, great Satoru Iwata surprisingly shared that it was in development back in March 2015 when he announced the DeNA partnership. In the midst of all of that waiting (and silence), many fans took to employing their investigative, however sharp they may have been. That proved to be frustrating for many, and exhilarating for others.
Now, we don’t have to rely on fake 3D model mock-ups, and with additional confirmations trickling in from developers and partners, we are finally entering the realm of the truth dwellers. My main hope is those who alienated themselves, or just felt it necessary to contentiously interact with certain others in the Nintendo fanbase and community, are able to get past all of that and embrace what we have. So what exactly is it that we have?
It turns out Nintendo showed us quite a bit in a short 3:37 minute video. On the surface, the new Nintendo Switch is simply a new “home gaming system” that can be taken on the go with a portable aspect, as well. Now, that concept was not a new one to any observers who have been keeping up with ANY of the rumors/leaks since March of last year. Now though, we have official confirmation, and seeing it in action is much more gratifying than reading someone’s speculation.
One thing that is evident, also, is that Nintendo is making sure that it’s known that the Nintendo Switch is first a home console. They made that point clear with their initial branding following the video announcement last Wednesday evening. The official Nintendo website was promoting for the Thursday morning reveal, and many noted the wording on the site that read, “Watch the preview trailer for Nintendo’s next home gaming system.” In addition to that, though, Nintendo has also reiterated that sentiment.
While the Nintendo Switch is designed for play both in the home and on the go, Nintendo wants to be clear that it’s a home system first.
“Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost,” the company told Polygon when asked if the system was going to impact the sale of the 3DS portable systems.
So, after seeing for certain what the concept is designed to do, we not only saw several different control options, but also saw a few snippets of gameplay, as well. Nintendo packed a lot into that short video, and it was done very well.
Gaming springs into action by removing detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.
Today’s video incorporated short glimpses of representative gameplay to demonstrate the liberating nature of the Nintendo Switch home gaming system.
One of the most interesting things about today’s presentation is the amount of possibility that it presents with the system. Nintendo made a concerted effort to show people utilizing the console in the multifaceted ways that it can be. Whether playing in the living room at home, in the park, on a plane, at the basketball courts, or even in a large group competing in eSports, the Nintendo Switch allows gamers to play however they choose, without boundaries.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO, Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
Developers can design their games supporting a variety of play styles, which gives gamers the freedom to choose an experience that best suits them.
One of the major things that plagued the Nintendo’s most recent home console, the Wii U, was the lack of major 3rd party support for the system, long-term. The company has been aggressive in remedying that as best they can with the Nintendo Switch. Prior to reveal, that was a big “want” from many gamers and digital space influencers as the importance of having real support from developers and publishers outside of the company, and its key role in the ultimate success of the system. Immediately out of the gate, Nintendo has made it clear that they were serious about having the content necessary to bring gamers, old, new and uninitiated, to their new home gaming system. They provided a list of several devs/publishers to help gamers to know who they can anticipate.
• 505 Games • LEVEL-5 Inc. • Activision Publishing, Inc. • Marvelous Inc. • ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd. • Maximum Games, LLC • ATLUS CO., LTD. • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc. • Audiokinetic Inc. • Parity Bit Inc. • Autodesk, Inc. • PlatinumGames Inc. • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. • RAD Game Tools, Inc. • Bethesda • RecoChoku Co., Ltd. • CAPCOM CO., LTD. • SEGA Games Co., Ltd. • Codemasters® • Silicon Studio Corporation • CRI Middleware Co., Ltd. • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd. • DeNA Co., Ltd. • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. • Electronic Arts • Starbreeze Studios • Epic Games Inc. • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. • Firelight Technologies • Telltale Games • FromSoftware, Inc. • THQ Nordic • Frozenbyte • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd. • GameTrust • TT Games
• GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.
• UBISOFT • Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc. • Ubitus Inc. • HAMSTER Corporation • Unity Technologies, Inc. • Havok • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment • INTI CREATES CO., LTD. • Web Technology Corp • KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD. • Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Several other companies have since gotten into the fray, announcing their excitement of being partnered with Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch. A few of them are featured below:
So, there we have it! Nintendo pulled the curtain back for a few minutes to allow us to see the Nintendo Switch, and aside from any clarification articles that may come up here and there, we are not going to get any more official details until some time early 2017. That in all likelihood will be in January, shortly out of the holiday season and after the new year. I expect the information flow to be heavy in the last fiscal quarter 2016 (January, February and March 2017). And as the system is scheduled to release in March, whenever that is specifically, the heat will be on furiously with details and advertisement going constantly. I expect it to be a time where anyone who is paying any attention will indeed know exactly what the system is, and that they definitely want one!
Full game demonstrations, the list of launch window titles, as well as launch date, price, product configuration and related specifics, will be shown and announced prior to the March launch.
Which aspect of the Nintendo Switch appeals to you most? Which 3rd party supporting partner’s software do you think will be a game-changer? What else do you think we will find out about the system that was held back by Nintendo in this initial reveal? Will you be picking up this system at launch, shortly afterward, or quite some time afterward?
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!