First Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch’s Unveiling

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Nintendo’s highly anticipated Switch reveal has left a lot of people in two minds; whilst the console appears to be an unprecedented attempt to amalgamate console and mobile gaming with one product, the unveil left a lot of gamers questioning if Nintendo’s foray into the more mainstream console world will be able to contend with the more powerful eighth generation competitors. The Switch’s specs have brought in to question how a 32GB console can function like and compete with the market’s largest consoles which boast 500GB to 1TB storage, whilst the display runs at 720p through the mobile device whilst outputting 1080p when connected to a television, which PS4, already half way through its life cycle, has been managing all along, showing no attempts made to foray into 4K as previous rumours suggested.

In the hours following the unveiling Nintendo’s Japanese market shares were down almost 6%, mirroring the similar drop when in December when the Switch was initially teased. The scepticism around Nintendo’s consoles may come from the infamous failure of the Wii U. Contrastingly to the market’s negative ruling, many gamers are excited by the larger range of games that will become available in comparison to Nintendo’s exclusive past, including FIFASuper Mario and Zelda. At a quick glance The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Switch’s largest game at the time of writing but may not be able to pull away console gamers, with the recent release of Skyrim’s remastered edition and Final Fantasy XV meaning there is no shortage of gritty open-world rpgs. This begs the question will gamers will leave their consoles of choice in favour for the Switch? With a $299 price point which is comparable to the more powerful Xbox One and PS4 will people be willing to down grade in power for the accessibility of a portable console?

If there is one thing that Nintendo may be praised for it is their dogged pursuit of innovation; whilst this may not have been a success with the Wii U one can hope that all the hype that has grown around the Switch, whether it is positive or negative, may work in their favour and that their attempts to create something wholly unprecedented will last beyond being a gimmick. My personal experiences with the Wii U were fantastic, but unfortunately that is limited to specific games that were designed to make full use of the console, such as Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water’s camera functions, which a lot of other games failed to do in a conducive manner. Nintendo has the benefit of customer loyalty and the power of nostalgia, however the quickly growing gaming industry, up 8.5% in 2016 from the previous year, is increasingly attracting consumers who have no history with the company, and so are less likely to take a chance on the Switch because of previous positive experiences. As someone who grew up with Nintendo I sincerely hope that the Switch proves against expectations to be a success and with a quickly impending release date it won’t be long before we see if the Switch is a success or a failure, and where Nintendo will go from there.

The Nintendo Switch will be released on March 3rd.

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