EuroGamer, you have permission to be smug now.
Well, it’s finally time. The Nintendo NX has been revealed… and is actually called the Nintendo Switch.
Everything we thought the Switch would be – it is. It’s a hybrid device that can ‘Switch’ (Clever Nintendo) between a home console and a handheld device seamlessly. Today we got a taste of a few games running on the hardware – Mario Kart and Splatoon (both sequels maybe?), a new Mario Game… and NBA 2017 and Skyrim HD. Yup, that means that EA and Bethesda are on board with the Nintendo Switch, and if you know anything about the relationship Nintendo has had with Bethesda – the non-existent one where Bethesda hasn’t had anything nice to say about Nintendo – that alone is frankly incredible stuff.
But let’s break this down.
First up, the controllers look good. The base pad, as seen in the header, is a really smart concept. It allows Nintendo to have a basic controller format which can then click into place on the tablet-style device, which docks inside a home unit. Once clicked into place, the device lifts out of the home unit and transfers the game onto the screen, which looks to be 720p but that’s still one hell of an achievement. When out, the controller bits can be removed for multiplayer, and the tablet has a rest so it can be stood up for people to use as a mini TV screen. It’s a breathtaking bit of equipment – and the design looks retro enough to be awesome. The Wii U was far too safe and non-descript; the Switch looks like it has an aesthetic style to it, harking back to the PS2 and Gamecube eras, and that’s pretty daring.
Second, the games. EA and Bethesda are on board, but Nintendo Japan has a more broad list of developers working on Switch content;
That’s quite a list – so early support looks to be extremely promising. FROM Software is there – so Zelda Souls is still possible! Come on Nintendo! Come on FROM Software! I dare you! DO IT! DO IT NOW!
Ahem. What I’m saying here is that Nintendo clearly isn’t messing around here – it has all the big players already on board. Including Epic Games, Square-Enix, Activision, Take Two Interactive, Telltale Games – even THQ Nordic. That’s alongside EA, Bethesda, Grasshopper and Warner Bros. Interactive – so content is clearly not going to be an issue for the Nintendo Switch on a third-party front. The industry is, like us, looking at the Switch and liking what it sees.
I think what we can say now is EuroGamer is now vindicated on its leaks a few months back. And more than that, I am vindicated as I was predicting this as a thing earlier this year, even considering the possibility this time last year. This is an evolution of the Wii U in the best possible way; less of the gimmicky two-screen nonsense and more finding ways of having two distinct ecosystems co-exist. Everything we’ve seen and heard was right – and better than that, Nintendo have showcased it in the best possible way. Okay, the lifestyle video thing is a little corny, but I don’t mind corny as long as it is also interesting. Safe can be bland, after all, and no-one likes bland.
More than that, we’ve more to come. Hopefully, the Switch Direct being touted will showcase more games running on the machine. We are told reliably by Nintendo sources that the Switch reveal was delayed a few weeks not because Nintendo wasn’t ready to reveal, but the new Mario game running on the machine wasn’t hitting 60 frames a second, so Nintendo delayed it so they could fix that. Think about that for a second – Nintendo delayed the showcase because one games framerate wasn’t good enough. I mean… wha?! How many companies do that these days?
One thing I am worried about, of course, is cost. This looks like a beast of a machine, and I’m hoping it’ll be £300 but I’m confident it will likely be closer to £400. Still, for what the Switch is and is demonstrating, that’s a good price for a two-tier device. Nintendo is schtum on pricing, so I’m thinking we’ll get that closer to the date of release.
Still, all signs point to promising. Third party support, interesting technical dynamic, good demonstrations and a smart branding name – this is Nintendo at its most ruthless, and I frankly couldn’t be happier. It’s been a rough few years for our Japanese friends, but the Switch is evidence that you can’t keep a good company down for long. It’s looking sweeeeeet!
No really… look at those pictures.
All we’re missing is Eternal Darkness and Metroid.