Nintendo have finally revealed their new console which has been known by many as the Nintendo NX since it was first announced for release in March 2017. We now know it by its official name; the Nintendo Switch, and it is easy to see why that name has been chosen. Many of the rumours circulating before the reveal suggested the console would be a home console, portable gaming hybrid. Now those rumours have been validated and Nintendo have done so in impressive fashion. They seem to have learnt from their uninformative launch of the Wii U and have shown how the Nintendo Switch could be a practical solution to gamers on the move. There are still many questions about the Switch that need to be answered though if Nintendo want their new console to be a success.
How Much Will It Cost?
There has been no official confirmation on how much this console will cost. Price is important to consumers considering how competitive the market is. It has been heavily hinted that Nintendo’s portable console will not be as powerful as current gen consoles. What’s more is these current players in the market are taking the next step into 4K and VR which already makes it look like Nintendo’s hardware could be left behind quite quickly. Therefore, expectations on price for this console will be compared against what is already in the market. If this console launches at £300 then Nintendo could see issues surrounding slow sales. The PS4 Pro is launching at £350 so are Nintendo confident that their console is of similar quality?
Of course, Nintendo still have time to convince the public this is a high end machine since we have only seen the announcement trailer. If there is scope to add AR or VR then this could make this console even more competitive and help Nintendo aim for a price nearer the top end of the scale.
Those of us hoping for a low price tag might be disappointed to hear that Tesco may have leaked the price back in September, listed an unknown gaming product at £349.99. Despite many of the rumours and leaks coming to fruition, it is yet to be seen if this ‘price leak’ will live up to its reputation. Here’s hoping that if it is true, Nintendo will review that decision before we see the Nintendo Switch in stores in March next year.
How Powerful Is The Switch?
This question is twofold: will graphics be compromised from the handheld component and how long does the Switch last in handheld mode? The principle of the Nintendo Switch is simple and that actually makes it quite a nice concept, but only in principle. Unless the previous questions have the answers we need to hear then this console will not penetrate the current console market let alone the mass technology market.
With regards to graphics, the Nintendo Switch will come with a custom version of Nvidia’s Tegra processor, typically found in smartphones. This sounds underwhelming but most of us underestimate the power behind a smartphone or tablet. Of course, this means the Switch will be less powerful than both the PS4 and Xbox One. None of this will matter if the games still run smoothly and haven’t taken a step back to the PS2 era!
Unfortunately, there is no answer to the battery life of the Switch and this could be a deal-breaker as the focus of Nintendo’s new console has been on making it portable. What would be the point if we can only get a couple of hours gameplay out of handheld mode. Despite not knowing an exact answer, we can remain positive since the technology in the hardware has been optimised for being used as a handheld device so hopefully, we can expect many hours of battery life!
What Games Will It Launch With?
The reveal was exciting, not just for hardware but also for the potential games that could be coming with the Nintendo Switch. We saw a new Mario Kart game, a new 3D Mario game, the new Zelda game and surprisingly, Skyrim. It is unheard of for Nintendo to support these third party franchises but seeing Bethesda and Nintendo working together for the Nintendo Switch then maybe this is the start of more third party game franchises heading to Nintendo’s new console.
The worry is that no games have officially been announced and it is a concern there may not be enough games at launch to support gamers from all backgrounds, especially when you look back at the Wii U launch. The initial consensus is that Nintendo has learnt from the mistakes of the Wii U launch so hopefully this will remain true for the launch titles to support the Nintendo Switch release next year.
Nintendo have definitely delivered a more compelling reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch but it is yet to be seen how much of an impact this console will have over the market. There are questions to be answered and it is now up to Nintendo to make sure they are answered. It is left to be seen is those answers are what we want to hear as they could be what stand between success and failure for the Nintendo Switch.