The long wait for Nintendo fans is over. As rumors had suggested for a long time, the NX is in fact a handheld-hybrid console that looks to be the perfect evolution to the Wii U. Nintendo Switch hopes to satisfy those who love gaming on their TVs but also enjoy switching to a mobile setup.
Nintendo is no doubt preparing a Nintendo Direct that will deliver more details on their new console. In the meantime, here are a several reasons we’re confident the Nintendo Switch will be a success based on the teaser trailer and recent news/rumors alone. Mixed in are some of the ways the unique console might leave gamers everywhere disappointed.
Exciting: The Improved Mobile Screen
The most obvious upgrade is the new screen. Instead of being attached to buttons and a joystick like the Wii U gamepad, the Nintendo Switch screen is more like a tablet. This allows you to set up your own little entertainment center by placing the Switch screen on your desk, in your lap, or wherever you desire.
While no specifics have been revealed, the screen looks to be of high quality and capable of producing amazing visuals. But perhaps the best improvement is the ability for more than one player to game on the same screen. The teaser trailer shown today featured split-screen multiplayer with two people enjoyed Mario Kart 8.
Concerning: No Touch Screen
Although it felt gimmicky on a lot of games, some made excellent use of the Wii U gamepad’s touch screen. For example, managing your inventory was easier than ever when using the touch features on The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD.
Of course, no one in the Nintendo Switch teaser trailer performed any kind of touchscreen interaction, leading us to assume that the feature has been left out. We admit that this is only a small concern considering that Nintendo themselves failed to make better use of the Wii U gamepad’s touch screens in a significant way. We’ll have to wait for confirmation by Nintendo.
Exciting: Different Ways To Play
If there’s one thing Nintendo has been getting right the last few years, it’s offering gamers different controller options. The Wii remote itself could be used alone, with a nunchuck, and on its side to serve as a more traditional controller. The Wii U made use of all the Wii accessories plus the gamepad and Wii U Pro controller.
With the Nintendo Switch, it’s a huge plus being able to detach the “Joy-Con” controllers from the small screen and connect them so they serve as one controller. A Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which looks both amazing and comfortable, was also revealed.
Concerning: Battery Life
One of the biggest flaws of the Wii U was the gamepad’s battery life. You could only play a number of hours before the red light started flicking, indicating that it was time to recharge. You then either had to leave it in the charging dock or connect it to a nearby socket, which was always annoying.
The Nintendo Switch controller already looks to boast more range and screen space. However, if the battery life is also poor, this could prove a huge bummer to owners of Nintendo’s new console. If rumors leading up to the reveal are any indication, it looks like battery life will be decent but not impressive.
Exciting: The Games Are Coming
Some people thought it was a major let-down seeing so many older games featured in the first Nintendo Switch trailer. Out of the six titles shown, only two of them are new game— The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a new 3D Mario. But the reason for this is obvious: Nintendo wanted to focus on the hardware first and then show off their lineup of new games later.
We know plenty of great 1st party titles will be available, but what about 3rd party support? After all, one of the reasons the Wii U sold so poorly was because it hardly had any games from other developers made for it. Fortunately, Nintendo is already trying to convince us that the same mistake won’t happen again by releasing an impressive list of partners that will be supporting the Nintendo Switch.
Concern: Less Power
For the last few decades, Nintendo has shown that gameplay always trumps graphics. Even though the Sega Genesis had better specs, Nintendo still beat it with the Super NES by 20 million units. The N64 also had some of the most memorable titles of the late 90’s, while the Wii took the industry by storm with little visual power.
That being said, we’ve entered an era where graphics and frames-per-second are considered (by many, not all) more than ever. Nintendo Switch will probably support 1080p and 60 frames-per-second, but it still likely won’t compare to the competition. Sony and Microsoft are even prepping updated consoles soon that will boast 4K resolution, high dynamic range, and overall better performance.
Neutral: Backwards Compatibility + Amiibo Support
The Nintendo Switch will not play physical Wii U or 3Ds games— a shame since competitors are only now realizing the importance of backwards compatibility. Even though the new console will mainly use cartridges, there was hope that a disc drive would be left so we could play Wii U titles. From Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and Smash 4 to Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D World, there are plenty of amazing games that Switch owners won’t be able to check out or revisit unless they’re made available digitally.
On the plus side, Nintendo has confirmed support for Amiibo. The Switch teaser trailer gave us an early hint by showing a woman playing the next 3D Mario title in her living room. In one shot you can see several Amiibo figurines standing next to the main console. This is good news for those who have been amassing their collection of Amiibos and still want to get more use out of them.