The presentation of the Nintendo Switch is over. Real fans already attended the event at 4 a.m. via live stream - and received comparatively little news via the hybrid console. Some nice details are now known, but there was no big bang. It is as it always is in the end: the hype is followed by disillusionment. Even if the Nintendo Switch is not a bad idea per se, it should be clear to console gamers by the morning after the live presentation at the latest that the competition against Sony and Microsoft with their new XNUMXK models will again be more difficult than initially expected in the frenzy of technical sensations.
First things first: the release date
So far, only the approximate time of publication of the hybrid console was known. It is now certain that the Nintendo Switch will be released on 03 March 2017 it's planned. So the waiting time until the first personal hands-on is not long, at least if you are one of the players who were able to secure one of the consoles for the release. If the remake of the classic NES Classic Mini taught you one thing, it's never underestimate the hype when making your purchase. Many buyers are still waiting for delivery of the mini version of the Nintendo Entertainment System that they ordered months ago, which was the world's best-selling console at the time. The Japanese video game and console manufacturer with headquarters in Kyoto would like to build on this success. After the live presentation of the Nintendo Switch, the impression that the hype was boundless in the end was strengthened, as was the surprise at the comparatively few outstanding details. There was no information at all on the technical data, which should have disappointed one or the other live stream viewer. In the competition for the crown of the "best console" nowadays it is after all the technical equipment that decides on success. With pure idealism and good ideas, on the other hand, you rarely win the hearts of players.
Nintendo did present some exciting details about the new hybrid console. Above all, the innovative controller, affectionately known by Nintendo as Joy-Con, literally guaranteed joy.
Joy-Con: Innovative controller - close to the Wii
In addition to the capacitive multi-touch screen, the docking station and the appropriate cabling, it is above all the controllers that excited fans the most in the early morning. At first glance, the Joy-Cons are close to the functionality of the previous Wii console. However, a closer look reveals exciting details that the Joy-Con controller turn them into real handling highlights. The left Joy-Con has a button for easy taking of screenshots. If you want to record your gaming success for yourself or share it with others, you can do this conveniently and, above all, intuitively on the Nintendo Switch. The controller on the right, on the other hand, contains an NFC interface (abbreviation for Near Field Communication) that tech-savvy users already know from their smartphones. With the help of the communication solution, wireless connections to the amiibo figures produce. On the other hand, the infrared motion camera, which can recognize objects and outlines of the surroundings as well as the distance of the player's hand, is more exciting. As with the Wii, there will be games specially designed for this technology, in which motion control will then become the central gameplay element. It's technically different, sounds good, but it's not a highlight. On the other hand, the HD vibration, which is integrated in both Joy-Cons, should be more innovative. According to the manufacturer Nintendo, this newly developed vibration technology is intended to convey realistic vibrations to the player's hands. As an example, the presentation stated that you could feel the collision of virtual ice cubes when you swivel the Joy-Con like a glass. Sounds great - so it remains to be seen how well this technology works in practice.
On the other hand, the function of being able to use each Joy-Con controller independently of one another is quite helpful, so that you can easily play with a friend. As long as the right games for them Nintendo Switch* are available - and that is not so certain after the live presentation.
Game highlights announced for the Nintendo Switch
That hit video game heroes Link and Mario would return to the Nintendo Switch came as no big surprise. Much more surprising, however, was the fact that the game Super Mario Odyssey will only appear at the end of 2017, long after the release of the hybrid console. It will therefore be some time before the first nostalgic jump 'n' run orgy. Anyway, the wait is overMario Kart 8 Deluxe shorter: already on 28. April 2017, fans can get into the colorful speedsters to race for best times on the familiar winding courses. Up to eight players can take part in the race at the same time via the local wireless connection. Class!
The highlight of the Nintendo Switch release on March 03rd, 2017 will be the new offshoot from the well-known and popular Zelda series. This becomes the visually impressive open-world role-playing game The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild the workhorse for Nintendo's hybrid console and at the same time the first title that has to face the evaluations of the international press.
It's a clever, but not surprising, move by Nintendo to kick off the release season with one of the most iconic heroes in the Nintendo universe. The game 1-2 switch! on the other hand, it is intended to put the innovative Joy-Con controller in the limelight, making it the first practical test for the gameplay suitability of the advertised functions. Basically remembered 1-2 switch! of the typical party games that Nintendo fans already know from the Wii series. That sounds entertaining, but it's not particularly surprising either. Also the multiplayer martial arts game ARMS smells more like a recycling of the well-known boxing games with gesture control, even if ARMS will become more technically advanced and visually more appealing. After all, ARMS clearly puts fast and uncomplicated multiplayer fun in the foreground. Thanks to the sensitive Joy-Cons, ARMS could actually become a functioning tactical knocker that leaves the wild controller waving from bygone times behind. So that's what players can look forward to!
Fans of Wii titles should especially enjoy the second part of Splatoon. In Splatoon 2 Exciting and particularly colorful 4-on-4 battles provide entertainment. Instead of playing with the Joy-Con, fans can of course also use the separately available Pro Controller. In addition, Splatoon 2 will also have voice features of the so-called Nintendo Switch smart device app which has been announced in a limited version for summer 2017.
Otherwise Nintendo announced strong brands for the Nintendo Switch. For example, offshoots from The Elder Scrolls, Fifa, NBA 2k and Minecraft will find their way onto the hybrid console. That is good and consistent, because these game series have large fan bases - but again not surprisingly.
Minecraft and Skyrim in particular are almost nostalgic titles that tend to (over) live due to their modding features and communities. So players have to be patient and hope that Nintendo or the game developers are brave enough not only to port their titles, but also the technical specifications of the Nintendo Switch* to be used for gameplay.
When it comes to technology, Nintendo has noticeably held back. Which hardware inside the Nintendo Switch will provide the right performance remains unknown. At least for the Battery life Nintendo presented some details. That the running time will vary depending on the active games (Attention!) no surprise again. This is known from handhelds, tablets and smartphones. What is more exciting, however, is the fact that the battery will last for around three hours of a session of The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild when fully charged. A decent value considering the visual presentation of the Zelda game. For other games, runtimes of up to six hours should be possible. If you use Zelda as a comparison, the well-known rule of thumb applies: more action and optics = shorter playing time. After all, the multi-touchscreen can also be conveniently charged with the power supply unit via the USB-C port while on the move. Sounds solid and could become one of the strengths of the Nintendo Switch that clearly sets the console apart from the competition.
Find more current news about Nintendo Switch: There will be no regional closure, however. All titles come onto the market without a region lock.
Nintendo Switch: Feels Like Missed Opportunities
Despite some innovative details, the presentation feels like a missed opportunity. Much of the information was not new, others not as sensational as hoped. The Nintendo Switch ultimately gives the impression of a technically revised tablet with at least great operating functions. There are also numerous rather critical tones among the voices in social media.
The Twitter user BahamutSin27 writes about Skyrim: "Nothing for me. And with a 6-year-old port of Skyrim, you don't need to peddle anymore either." With this he agrees with the tenor of the comparatively surprise-free game presentation. Questions about a new Pokemon offshoot also came up.
Kiwi-Kaiser puts it in a nutshell on Twitter: "I feel like Nintendo is failing to have good launch titles again."
After all, the appearance of the games presented seems to make a lot of fans feel positive. User KeomaNullZwei writes under the hashtag #NintendoSwitchPresentation: "The Mario game looked great, but who's surprised? Nintendo will not show any weaknesses." The in-house series have always been strong at Nintendo. That won't change with the new Nintendo Switch either.
The question remains whether the technology can keep up with the competition despite the first suspected weaknesses and how much the mobile features are used by the console players as soon as the initial joy about buying a console has subsided. The Nintendo Switch thrives on its multiplayer features and shared gaming experiences that must be used by gamers and developers alike so that the hybrid console can be successful in the long term. If, on the other hand, the console spends most of the time in its docking station, Sony and Microsoft will have an easy time with their 4K models, which conjure up a completely different experience on home screens.
In the end, the pricing should also be decisive for success. In the USA the current sales price is assumed to be $ 299 off, the price for Germany is not yet known, but including taxes should be around 300 to 350 euros - also because higher prices would hardly exist for users due to the technically strong competition.
Nintendo can hardly be blamed for discouragement, but that was also the case with the Wii and WiiU.