Can Your Teraflops Play My Teraflops, Tho?!

As the year 2016 wound down and the anticipation of the New Year 2017 built up, the excitement of what will be new in gaming was palpable. The Nintendo Switch is soon to have its live presentation within days, then will be available for fans to enjoy just a couple months later. It will be amazing for Nintendo fans beginning in just half a week.

NX Secrets for a ReasonWith the coming of the newest system from Nintendo, the environment has seen the ushering in of more and more rumor mill occupants and worse yet so many spec-heads who focus more on new system specs than new games. As the Nintendo Switch was revealed and we were finally able to cease calling it the ‘NX’, the excitement was nearly unimaginable, especially seeing how the community seemed to be nearing exhaustion on anything ‘NX’, specifically, and Nintendo, in general. The reveal video, though, saw a complete uptick in excitement for what Nintendo would be bringing to the market in March 2017.

For game fans, the launch of a new console is an exciting time, especially when it’s from your favorite company. So the current environment is electric for me. There are countless new games and experiences ready to be had with Nintendo’s new console. The possibilities are endless, for sure!

One unfortunate side effect that comes along with the launch of new and unknown contemporary hardware is the race to figure out what is “under the hood”. There is this burning desire for some to pick apart and decipher what the console’s specifications are. In my earlier days of gaming the most concern we had for specifications were 8-bit, 16-bit, and an eye-popping 64-bits. Somewhere after that, though, gamers bought into the “arms race”, and many publishers began to talk more about hardware specs than the much more difficult to measure “fun factor”. How much fun is this game? Forget that, how many shaders? What’s the processor speed? Our new engine, this; how scalable, that? So, now, instead of selling gamers on how fun their new gaming system is, they’ve trained the gamers to worry more about how many teraflops are on-board, and how the game is going to “take advantage” of them. It’s difficult to reconcile that paradigm for me, though. I can’t quite accept that mindset, because I don’t play games to watch them play themselves, or to minimally participate in the activity. Pretty pictures are fine, but if I’m not able to do much more than watch cinematics, then press a single button to get to the next one for the majority of a game’s play-through, I am not very interested in that. Some people find that okay, and I’m not here to judge because I know, “to each their own”, but I also know that is not for me.

With the coming Nintendo Switch, there nx_hardwareare quite a few outlets, “analysts” and on-lookers who are claiming to not only have the final specs of the Nintendo Switch, but they are also breaking down what those numbers mean in comparison to the other consoles on the market. Obviously, there are quite a few flaws in that approach as first, no specs have been confirmed as final by the company who created the system from scratch; second, the way in which systems use hardware in their processes is not universal; and third, have we not seen a single game developer optimize this new hardware (obviously), let alone the other consoles of comparison.

So, why the rush to be disappointed months in advance? I will tell you my theory on that now! In many cases it’s called disingenuous indignation. People are feigning upset, but in actuality are not upset, at all! In fact, many of them are only acting, just as many of them only pretended to be excited initially when the console was announced/revealed. Think of this, since Nintendo shared the reveal trailer and a few interviews afterward, then later said they would not be sharing anymore information until January 12, what have they shared that was different information than earlier? Nothing at all! Reggie Fils-Aime has been seen, Shigeru Miyamoto has spoken here and there, and even Tatsumi Kimishima has given a few interviews and an Investor Briefing, but again Nintendo has remained steadfast in what they said initially. So as nothing else has changed, why the change of heart? I say, there wasn’t one at all. The company didn’t do anything to suddenly disappoint these people, it’s simply negativity buy-in. It is much easier to buy into a preconceived negative image than to embrace what could (and likely will) be another great console from Nintendo.

img_0410Bottom line though, why does it even matter what the company is putting into the console, when we already know that the games will be, by and large, the most enjoyable experiences over these next several years? We will soon be able to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on both the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, and that game has been nominated as the most anticipated game of 2015, 2016 and now 2017! People want to play the game, and anyone who is honest with themselves will say it doesn’t matter what kind of system the game is on; if it is playable, enjoyable and well worth the wait, it will be welcomed! So why does it matter how many teraflops my system has versus your system? Can your teraflops play mine? If the answer is no and I’m over here having fun, then it is of no consequence to you! If my teraflops are being used fully and yours are not, then I’m obviously getting much more value of my teraflops than you with yours! Now if all things are equal and my experiences are incredible and so are yours, then what is there to argue about, anyway?

How will you be gaming when the Nintendo Switch comes out? Do you anticipate picking up one early? Will you get one, at all? Do you believe console prowess is as important as many profess it to be?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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