Nintendo Switch Announcement: First Impressions

The Nintendo NX is now officially called the Nintendo Switch.

The Switch is a handheld/home console hybrid, which allows you to play a console on the handheld then continue playing the exact same games on your TV via a dock, immediately.

I personally did not stay up till 1am in Australia just to watch the 3:37min trailer but I watched it in the morning thankfully without any seeing any spoilers besides the name.

As a disclaimer I am a current owner of a Wii U and a New 3DS XL so my views are probably more going to be from a Nintendo fanboy perspective.

nintendo-switch
Nintendo Switch with Logo on left, TV Dock (top right) Joycon Gamepad (top middle) and handheld (bottom middle) with Jaycon controllers (bottom left and right).

I think this is one of the best things Nintendo has done since the original Wii.

It is probably best for me to describe the Nintendo Switch as a smaller Razor Edge Pro tablet, with the guts of an NIVIDA Shield which runs Nintendo software and games.

The Razer Edge Pro was incredible when it was first unveiled because the whole concept is similar to the Switch, but it had issues with being far to big for portability, costing a lot of money and I’d imagine issues with supported games/software.

There is a lot to like this device, including the handheld to home console instant-ability, built in kickstand, cartridges for faster loading times etc.

The trailer itself was I felt the best way to announce it with how they did it and I got a big impression that the Nintendo Switch is aimed at my age demographic, as there were no children in this trailer at all and the people that are seen enjoying it are the people who likely grew up with Nintendo as kids 10-20 years ago.

The controllers are called Jaycon controllers because of the grip that you put on the controllers themselves. The layout does seem slightly unusual but I think it would make a lot more sense in practical use.

One of the reasons the Wii U probably didn’t do that well, was due to the lack of 3rd party support being a vastly underpowered unit, whereas the Switch is probably a hair less powerful than the PS4 or Xbox One.

The trailer was obviously going to create a lot of questions are here are a few that myself and other people have:

  • What is the battery life for the tablet itself?
  • Will the device charge when connected to the TV docking station?
  • Can it charge while playing on the TV at the same time?
  • How do the Jaycon controllers charge?
  • Do the Jaycon controllers have the same gyroscope like tech in the Wii Remotes, or purely just accelerometer for games like Mario Kart?
  • Is there any way to play 3DS games in this or are the cartridges a different size?
  • Will Nintendo do anything of Wii U owners to move them to the Nintendo Switch, either via a discounted console price or running software on the new machine?
  • Where abouts do you tap the Amiibos for it to work?
  • What is the main user interface like?
  • Is there any form of app support or software from services like YouTube?
  • How much will the games cost since you can play them on a handheld and on a console?
  • How much will the Nintendo Switch console cost?
  • Can you buy the Nintendo Switch handheld without the TV docking unit? Cost?
  • Does the game controller that uses the Jaycon controllers come with the docking station?
  • Does the ABXY buttons on either side act as a D-Pad?
  • What games will be available at launch?
  • What countries are getting the console on Day 1?
  • Is Mario Kart and Splatoon shown in the trailer true sequels or just Switch enhanced versions of the Wii U games?
  • You can use 3.5mm wired headphones but can you use a Bluetooth headset?
  • How much will the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller cost?
  • Does the handheld have a separate SD Card slot from the cartridge slot to expand storage? What is the maximum limit for the slot?
  • Does it have a camera of any sorts to use?
  • Is there any accessories slots for extra features to be connected to it, or would that all be done wirelessly?
  • What is the concept of the new Mario 3D game?
  • What is the screen size and resolution on the tablet?
  • Can the device work with services like Netflix etc.?
  • Does the device support 4K output from the TV docking station, even if its just for videos?
  • Do any games like Zelda Breath of the Wild run better than they do on the Wii U when it comes to refresh rate or resolution?
  • Is the console region-free for games?
  • Is the screen on the handheld a touchscreen? Is it a multi-touch screen?
  • How fast are the loading times compared to a 3DS and a Wii U? Which is it more similar too?
  • What is Day 1 3rd party support?
  • What popular games on the PS4 and Xbox One will also be playable on the Switch?
  • How will Nintendo announce the rest of the details about the system? Nintendo Direct or Press Conference?
  • Do any mobile apps like Miitomo, Pokemon Go or Super Mario Run work on this Switch system in any state?
  • Can anybody create content for the Switch, even if it is not a game? E.g. apps etc.
  • What display type is used on the tablet? TN, IPS or AMOLED?
  • How heavily will Nintendo push the Switch at launch?
  • How quick do all of these devices and peripherals charge?
  • Are Nintendo going to create any new IP’s like Splatoon to work well with the new hardware?
  • Can this Switch control your TVs volume etc.?
  • Does the Switch controller have speakers?
  • Will the Joycon TV controller come with the console?
  • Can you dock the handheld either way into the TV dock or just one way round?
  • Will this console have Twitch support?
  • Does this console use Miis or a new version of it?
  • What can you plug into the TV dock besides power cable and HDMI cable?
  • What connector does the handheld use for charging and can you use a battery power bank to keep it charged while playing?
  • How can you tell if the battery is running low on the handheld or remotes?
  • Does the handheld support 5GHz WiFi for a more stable internet connection?
  • What is the scenario with more controllers for TV docked mode?
  • Are the joysticks clickable?
  • How many Nintendo Switch’s can you ad-hoc for local gameplay like the basketball demo in the trailer?
  • Does the Switch come with a Stylus?
  • Is the ambiguous button on the left Joycon a share button?

Wow that is a lot of questions, but that is exactly what Nintendo wanted to create. We did not know anything concrete before today but now we have a relief of knowing what it is but not knowing the real nuts and bolts of the console.

In short, I honestly reckon this will be more of a success then the Wii U was and in my humble opinion, this is what the Wii U should of been but probably wasn’t technically possible back in 2011/12.

This won’t be as successful as the original Wii but I keep wondering if this will be enough of a success to make Nintendo not become a 3rd party for games.

All that I am really begging for now is that Nintendo gives some form of credit to people that own a Wii U who probably got annoyed with the lack of software etc. during its life-span, even if it is a discounted console or port all software to the Switch via eShop for free.

I shouldn’t be making numbers but if I had to guess how many it would sell in the consoles lifetime, I would get 30-40 million units, but I reserve the right to change my mind on this, especially after it launches.

And on that note I think I’ve said enough about my first impressions. Honestly I reckon this will be more of a success than the Wii U just from what we’ve seen so far alone but by how much, I don’t know.

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  1. Pingback: Expectations: Nintendo 2017 – Neil's Blog

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