The Nintendo Switch: What It Needs To Succeed

The port and tablet of Nintendo's new hybrid device
The port and tablet of Nintendo’s new hybrid device

The future of Nintendo is here, will it be a success or a failure?

For more than a year and a half, analysts and fans were left to speculate about the nature of Nintendo’s mysterious new hardware. Rumors spread across the internet like wildfire. Many hypothesized that the next Nintendo machine would be a hybrid device that blended the handheld and console space. Despite the massive amount of rumors that sprung up, Nintendo remained silent on the subject for an extremely long time.

On October 20th, Nintendo open the flood gates by posting a 3 minute video that introduced their newest hardware: The Nintendo Switch. In their video, Nintendo revealed that some of the rumors were true. The Switch was a device that was designed to bridge the gap between the handheld and the home console space. The main part of the device is a tablet like device seen above, which is attached to two “Joy Con” controllers which have buttons and analog sticks. The device can be played “on the go” with the tablet, or docked and plated on a TV. Nintendo promoted their product as a new way to play, combining “the mobility of a handheld” with the “power of a home gaming system” (Nintendo Official).

With the reveal of The Nintendo Switch, new discussions have sprung up across the internet: is this a good direction for Nintendo to take, what are specs of the console, what additional features will it have, and most importantly, what will it take for the Nintendo Switch to succeed? Here are 7 key areas that could make or break the Nintendo Switch.

7. Battery Life

The Switch needs to have enough battery life to make being on the "go" convenient.
The Switch needs to have enough battery life to make the hybrid feel like taking it “on the go” is convenient and enjoyable.

Despite the many intriguing details that Nintendo revealed about the Switch, the company has yet to reveal information about one of the most important questions: how long will battery life per charge be? As a high-powered console/handheld hybrid, the battery life of the Switch will be critical to its success. Regardless of the sophistication or power of the Switch, if its battery life is poor, than it could handicap the console. The Wii-u suffered from a poor battery life, which lead some gamers to play with the GamePad almost continuously plugged in and charging or to buy a more powerful battery from Nintendo. With the Switch being an even more powerful device than the Wii-U, the battery life of the hybrid will be a HUGE factor that could contribute to its success or failure.

Recent rumors have emerged that suggested that the console could have “a maximum battery life of three hours” per charge (Dale). If this is the case, it could be a serious roadblock to the device’s success. Three hours is enough for a bus ride or train ride, but if you are playing the system on the go a lot, then three hours is not that long. If the Switch is able to reach a more stable battery life of 4-5 hours per charge than taking it on the go would be much easier. Being tethered to a wall outlet or running out of battery in the middle of a play sessions are issues that could harm the Switch. For better or worse, the Wii-U was never meant to be a device you took on the go, so the issues related to the battery life were frustrating, but not a deal breaker for the machine. However, if the Switch has similar battery life issues, then it could be a deal breaker. If it is reported that the Switch has a poor battery life, then these reports would handicap Nintendo’s messaging marketing campaign, focused on taking your games “on the go”. If the Nintendo Switch is being advertised as a console you can take “on the go” then it needs to be able to deliver on this promise.

6. Third Party Support

Third parties pledging support for the Nintendo Switch
The third parties pledging support for the Nintendo Switch

Third party support remains a huge issues for Nintendo. For anyone who is not familiar, a third party developer is a a hardware or software developer independent of the primary product or platform (Xbox One, PS4, Wii-U, etc…) that the consumer is using. Primary examples of third parties include EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. Some people argue Nintendo doesn’t need third party support, others say it is a must. Make no mistake, Nintendo needs it. In the image above, you can see a host of third parties have pledged to support the Switch, but only time will tell if these developers actually make good with this promise.

One of the main issues that the Wii-U faced was the lack of titles coming to the gaming system. Sure, Nintendo’s first party line-up served up some amazing gaming experiences but the droughts between the releases were often excruciatingly long. This continued to be an issue throughout the Wii-U’s life cycle and was often exacerbated by delays in Nintendo titles. For example, Star Fox Zero slipped from a November 2015 launch window to April 2016 and Zelda: Breath of the Wild slipped from 2015 all the way to 2017. These types of delays happen all the time in gaming, but that’s where third party support comes in. When third party developers are publishing games on your device, then they are helping to prevent dry spells where no big games are coming out on your console. Sony and Microsoft can afford not to have the best first party line up during the holiday season because third party developers are releasing games that can be played on their systems. When Nintendo had to delay a game during the Wii-U era, they had tough decisions to make about what their holiday games would be, or if they even would have nay big games available during the holiday season.

It should be noted that the Wii-U did launch with some third party support from companies like Ubisoft and EA, but their support quickly dried up as it became apparent the system was not going to be successful. When this happened, Nintendo was left to support the console by themselves. The Nintendo Switch needs a steady flow of games to avoid repeating the Wii-U’s failure, which can only be achieved with help from third-party developers. Even if it builds up momentum going into launch, a drought in software could still derail the Switch. That isn’t to say that the Switch needs to have all the same experiences that Sony and Microsoft are offering, but it does need other developers supporting their hardware with games that people want to play or games that offer experiences unique to the switch.

5. Power Level/Hardware

Video of Skyrim was shown in the Switch reveal trailer
Video of Skyrim was shown in the Switch reveal trailer, Bethesda and Nintendo remain coy about the implications of its inclusion

In many discussions related to Nintendo, the power level of their consoles is a big talking point. With the Wii, Nintendo made the decision to forgo creating a more powerful machine, instead Nintendo worked to offer the unique experience to consumers. This decision paid off big with the Wii, but when they tried a similar strategy with the Wii-U, it failed. Many gamers and critics argued that not enough games used the GamePad effectively or in ways that justified its existence. Many third parties were hesitant to develop on the system and when the launch was unsuccessful, many third party developers chose not to develop for a system that they likely wouldn’t field a profitable return on their investments.

The power level of a console is not absolutely tied to third parties but it is closely related to the debate. Third Parties are currently developing games for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. These platforms were far more powerful than the Wii-U was and porting to a weaker system can be difficult, time-consuming, or just impossible for developers. In the Nintendo Switch trailer, a big surprise was the video of Skyrim (whether this is intended to be remaster or the original) that was included in trailer. While Nintendo and Bethesda have remained coy on the implications of this footage, the statement Nintendo seems to be making is that this new hybrid machine is powerful enough to run impressive games like Skyrim on the go. This is a potentially huge statement as the idea of running a game like Skyrim on a portable is unheard of. If this system is powerful enough to run games like Skyrim on the go, then it is possible that it could support current generation games on it. This idea could also be a huge selling point for the Switch. Sure, you can play games like Skyrim and Dark Souls on your PS4 and Xbox One, but with the Switch, you can take the same games “on the go” anywhere in the world. That’s a potentially powerful statement to make.

The question that remains is this: as Sony and Microsoft release new, more powerful iterations of their consoles, will third party develops still be willing to develop for the less powerful Switch. If the Switch is relatively easy to port to or as powerful as the base model Xbox and PlayStation models then it could open the door for third parties to develop these game on the Nintendo Switch.

4. Online Network/Features

What will online gaming look like on the Switch?
What will online gaming look like on the Switch?

Nintendo has been more than one step behind both Sony and Microsoft in terms of the online support and the additional features that they offer their players. The Wii, though successful, was an anomaly. It was a console with limited online in an era where online quickly was becoming the norm. In the Wii U era, Nintendo’s lack luster online features hurt the company. It was obvious that Nintendo had far inferior online network, features, and infrastructure compared to its competitors. Throughout the Wii-U era (2012-2017), Journalists and gamers have been critical of Nintendo for the “baffling lack of competitive online or account-based features” which made the Wii U feel like a “prior-generation console” (Kuchera).

Nintendo is missing features like Voice Chat, where you can talk to your friends/teammates during online gaming. A voice chat option is standard in most online team-based games. Voice Chat is a feature that many gamers take for granted in 2016, but remains missing from Nintendo hardware. Not only is this feature expected by many, it could be argued that Nintendo’s lack of voice chat has negatively effected games like Splatoon, Nintendo’s fresh take on the third person shooter genre, which requires cooperation and communication to succeed. While Splatoon was extremely successful for a new IP (4.57 million), the lack of voice chat was brought up by many reviewers and fans at launch. While Nintendo has been wary of video chat in the past (letting children talk to stranger online has always been a concern) these features are now a given in the current climate. Nintendo cannot afford to leave these features out of their future gaming devices.

3. Mainstream consumer perceptions of the Switch

Joy-Con R and L connected to Joy-Con Grip, one of the many controller options for the Nintendo Switch
Joy-Con R and L connected to Joy-Con Grip, one of the many controller options for the Nintendo Switch

We now know what many people within the video game industry and community generally think about the idea of the Switch, as articles and comments have exploded over the internet, but many are still unsure what mainstream consumers will think of the device. These are the people who are not reading every article about the device or watching the reveal trailer live.

Nintendo bumbled the marketing for the Wii-U, not making it clear enough whether the console was an add-on to the Wii or a new device. While the Wii-U had many problems, this confusion definitely hurt the console out of the gate. Additionally, Nintendo’s consumer base has been steadily eroding (if you look at the sales numbers for their consoles, all of the consoles besides the Wii have sold less than their direct predecessor). Nintendo needs to make sure that they are clear about what the Switch is. Mainstream consumers need to be able to understand what the product is and why its different (or better) than a smart phone or tablet device. The smart phone has been steadily collapsing the handheld market for years, but if Nintendo can get consumers to buy into the idea of a “console experience on the go” then they could regain a larger share of the video game market.

Additionally, it should be noted that the Switch has a lot of moving pieces to it. With two removable Joy-Con Controllers, the main tablet, and the docking station, there are a lot of different set ups and options available to owners of the product. The Nintendo Switch reveal trailer did an excellent job showing the different ways the switch can be played, but Nintendo still has a lot of work to do to inform consumers about their product. The Switch will need an especially clear marketing campaign to ensure that consumers will understand what the Switch is and what it has to offer.

2. A Strong First Party Software Line-Up

Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be launched in both the Switch and Wii-U
Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be launched on both the Switch and Wii-U

Nintendo is known for their incredible first party software, which was the saving grace of the Wii-U. Nintendo needs to bring their excellent software to the Nintendo Switch throughout its life cycle in order for the hybrid to succeed. Zelda: Breath of the Wild, many critics E3 game of show, will be a Nintendo Switch and Wii-U title. Despite the excitement surrounding what is shaping up to be a game-changing Zelda experience, it is still unknown how much better the game will look or play on Switch compared to Wii-U. Beyond Zelda, we do not know what other games will come to the Switch early in its life cycle. In their video, Nintendo showed footage of Mario Kart and Splatoon, will these games be ported to The Switch at launch. If these massively successful games were ported to the switch, it could bolster the new device’s game line-up.

Rumors surfaced earlier this year, that Nintendo would bring Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon to the system within the first six months of the NX’s (now the Switch’s) launch. This could be potentially huge for the game developer. These three franchises are probably the most high profile (besides Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers) that the company has, and getting them all on the Switch within six months would be an impressive feat. Pokemon is one of the most successful franchises that Nintendo has in its arsenal and has largely remained dormant on Nintendo’s consoles (the mainline games are on handheld). If Nintendo unleashed a new Pokemon game, or a port of Pokemon Sun and Moon on the Switch, it would be a huge draw for the system.

Lastly, many Nintendo’s development teams have been quietly working on software. For example, Retro Studios, developers of the Metroid Prime Trilogy and Donkey Kong Country has been silent since Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze launched in early 2014. Will the Nintendo Switch herald the return of Metroid, or will the studio be working on a new IP? Additionally, from the footage revealed in the Switch trailer, it appears that a new 3D Mario game is in development. When will Nintendo drop their legendary Mascot on the switch? If Nintendo has learned anything from the Wii-U’s difficult life cycle, they will bring Mario to the system sooner rather than later.

1. Price

Nintendo's New Console/Handheld Hyrbid
Nintendo’s New Console/Handheld Hybrid

The almighty dollar will have a lot to do with the success or failure of the Nintendo Switch. Finding the right price point will be critical to its success. It could prove to be risky to price the Switch at the same price of the more powerful PS4 Pro (out Nov 10) or the future Xbox Scorpio (out 2017). Hitting a more reasonable price point (ideally somewhere between $199 and $299) could help the hybrid succeed. It will be interesting to see the final price point of the switch as President Kimishima has publicly stated that Nintendo is “not thinking of launching the hardware at a loss” (Grubb).

More details about the Nintendo Switch, including the launch line-up, additional features, and price will allegedly be revealed on January 12, 2017. The console tentatively set for a March 2017 release. What issues do you think will make or break Nintendo’s newest device?

Work Cited

Dale, Laura. “A Deep Dive on LPVG’s Nintendo Switch Reports and Info.” Let’s Play Video 21 October 2016. Web. 26 October 2016.

Grubb, Jeff. “Nintendo won’t sell Switch at a loss; plans to ship 2 million units in March.” Venture 26 October 2016. Web. 27 October 2016.

Kuchera, Ben. “In the face of recent wins, Nintendo’s lack of online functions is no longer forgivable.” Polygon. Vox Media. 23 July 2014. Web. October 27 2016.

“Nintendo Switch world premier demonstrates new entertainment experiences from a home gaming system” 20 October 2016. Web. 27 October 2016.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Seamore

    This will be the first Nintendo console I never own.

    I feel burned by the Wii U. Unimpressive hardware and hardly any decent games. It even managed to have a weak Mario tentpole game. When has that happened before?

    Captain Toad was a delight, Mario Kart 8 was solid and Splatoon was kind of fun. But that’s about it. I’m never spending a few hundred quid again just for the right to play Nintendo games. It’s a waste of money.

    This console doesn’t offer new gameplay concepts. Instead it just offers more flexibility in WHERE we play our games. With the inevitably weak hardware running it, it won’t attract third party publishers. So we’ll be stuck with Nintendo games, half-hearted third party exclusives and bunch of aging ports.

    Thanks, I’ll pass. Good luck, Nintendo. I’ll always love you, but we’ve outgrown each other. I’ll see you when you become a full third party publisher.

  2. I love the look of this, but I will buy anything Nintendo make.

    It is crucial that Nintendo get the marketing right this time. The WiiU campaign was a disaster. They need to make it clear that this is a home console AND portable console (as I assume it is) which replaces both the WiiU and 3Ds.

    They also need to actually follow through on 3rd party support to ensure a steady flow of games rather than the huge droughts we have become accustomed to on their platforms.

    Oh, and please, please, please get a Bloodborne / Souls game. HD remake of Demon Souls perhaps?

    • Sean Gadus

      From Software is on the “alleged list” (still not sure what to make of the list and will happen in reality) of third parties that are supporting the Nintendo Switch so there might be a chance a Dark Souls game could show up. I believe that Bloodborne was partially funded by Sony and exclusive to PS4 so there is little chance of that happening.

      Additionally, Nintendo has stated they still have 3DS games in development so it might not immediately be the end of the 3DS and according to an article with the president of Nintendo with Bloomberg, the company will continue to support the 3DS.

      But in the long term, it seems to be a replacement for both devices.

  3. I’ll be getting this just to play Zelda\Mario in the bath.

  4. Great article- I agree that Nintendo needs third party support.

  5. agramugl

    The Wii U I think kind of came and left, and a lot of people didn’t really understand it. It wasn’t distinct enough–or, at least, that was my issue wiht the console. Tech, hardware, even online support I feel weren’t the big factors as to why the Wii U didn’t make an impact.

    But the Switch is distinct. It’s incredibly different. I think based on that alone it’ll get an audience…but the fact that Skyrim HD is advertised on it should imply its hardware is superior.

  6. A lot depends on the Switch’s price point. A lot also depends upon just how good the launch range of titles is. If the new Zelda and Mario are stellar gaming then it will sell like hotcakes. Nintendo can win this time, and I hope they do.

  7. Be interesting to see the definitive specs of this, although unless it is a least as powerful as the 1st gen PS4 (and we all know that is highly unlikely), Nintendo will be following Sega down toilet pretty soon if they keep bringing out underpowered stuff like the Wii U.

    • Have you actually played any Wii U games, or are you just trolling? It’s home to some absolutely cracking titles, and manages a rock solid 60fps with all of them. Our Wii U gets used more than our PS4.

      • Sean Gadus

        One of Nintendo’s greatest strength is their ability to make games on their hardware. While the wii-u was underpowered, Nintendo knew the limitations of the system and crafted games that looked great on the console. Mario kart 8 was an exceptional looking game.

        I think that droughts between software hurt the wii-u, as well as very light launch line up. There were periods of time where no new big software was being released on wii-u, which definitely hampered the system.

  8. Eustolia Shrader

    For all the excitement I hear about Skyrim it really needs to be pointed out that Skyrim is five years old and was released on the XBOX360 and the PS3, consoles that were built on hardware that is over ten years old.

    If Skyrim is the best Nintendo has to offer then they’re really just admitting that they are going to be one generation behind technically. It’s the Wii U all over again. Big titles won’t get ported, or will get bad ports, because it’s an underpowered platform.

    • X

      They are also planning to rerelease Skyrim with updated graphics. I think that’s worth taking into consideration. I imagine the Nintendo Switch will run the updated version.

      • Sean Gadus

        Both Nintendo and bethesda haven’t said anything about which version of Skyrim it would run, if it will have Skyrim on the switch (no Bethesda games have been confirmed for the switch as of yet).

        But the hope is that it is the remastered version, which would mean that the switch is at least close to the power of the baseline ps4 and Xbox One.

        • Baumann

          In fairness, there’s a remastered Skyrim due for release on the other major consoles too, so it’ll be more relevant and newsworthy than it sounds at first, and while the console may well be weaker, I think there’ll be a big uptake on the prospect of playing Skyrim on the go.

  9. Christel

    If Nintendo really want to clean up they should make a home version without the screen. If it was £150 loads of people would snap it up in a heartbeat.

    • This is exactly what they should have done. Gamecube may not have sold as well as PS2, but it’s exactly what Nintendo is best at: making cheap boxes to play their first party games on.

      They need to abandon first party mobile hardware though. They’ve gotta make games for mobile phones, and good experiences for the living room on their console.

      Keep. it. Simple.

  10. Jiraiyan

    I think Nintendo has learn from the failure of the Wii U. They have decided to embrace mobile gaming and are appearing to have successfully courted third party support. The Switch seems to have something for everyone.

  11. Eli Buck

    Just watched the trailer and it shows you can play as King Boo in Mario Kart.

    That’ll be me buying it then.

  12. Florentina Fitts

    I hope it has a solid virtual console back catalogue, ideally with NES to Wii U generation games.

  13. By not emulating the Xbox and PlayStation, Nintendo might do well. With the two big consoles attempting, and failing, to rival PCs, perhaps Nintendo’s efforts will be a shot in the arm of the home console market.

    Or it might be crap.

    It would be good if you could play 3DS games on that portable screen. I would go for that.

  14. Gotta hand it to them, I love the way grand old Nintendo strives to innovate, rather than just making a beefier version of their preceding console.

    The switching side of things seems like a mild pain in the arse though- we’ve all become accustomed to stuff just working without having to do any fiddling around- but I saw in their video ad that a conventional controller is offered with the unit too, so maybe you can just use that when you’re playing on a TV.

    • Sean Gadus

      I think one of things that makes me neverous design-wise with the switch is the detachable R and L joy cons. It seems like they could be easy to lost.

      Making a conventional controller package with the system or even just available at launch is smart. The wii-u pro controller was an excellent controller and if the switch controller is similar then I think many gamers would purchase it.

  15. Nintendo have been foolish again. They still haven’t figured it out. This is just Wii U 2.0 and it’s destined to languish like the Wii U (maybe a little better because the marketing won’t be so atrocious).

    What they should have made, is a ver similar but cheaper alternative to the PS4 that goes under your TV, with a basic controller, and kept the mobile offering separate. And then either take a risk by making a new version of the DS, specificially for mobile gaming, OR just go all in on the idea of making games for mobile phones. Apple is winning in that space. Get on board. Stop tryign to make hardware that nobody wants. People want Pokemon on their iPhone, not on your handheld (but a few pay for it if they want it badly enough).

  16. The idea of the portable/home console hybrid is my dream. It really depends on the entry price and battery life of playing portable to get my attention. Would also like some type of backwards compatibility for it too

    • Estrella

      Considering it doesn’t appear to support any sort of dual screen gaming or have a disc drive I really wouldn’t expect backwards compatibility. A flurry of ports could boost the line up though.

  17. Newberry

    Sony proved with the Vita that even if you could provide a console experience on a portable, people didn’t want it. People are happy to play what are now quite advanced games on the portable device they always carry – their mobile phones.

    • The point is the vita promised it but didnt deliver. many of the “console quality” games were terrible ports. The price of the unit was too high and the price of the memory card was too high. Its a good machine but Sony many so many mistakes it untrue

    • Lauraleekay

      They’re different concepts with some overlapping features. The Vita appealed to me but was an additional cost – this is not the case with the Switch. Out of the box it is a console that you can play on your TV or take away. Hopefully this means that you can play console and handheld games rather than having them made for different devices.

  18. I think the biggest issues that have come out of Nintendo game console development are from their lack of understanding of what draws people to their systems to begin with. The Wii, I think, had less to do with continuing the legacy of the Nintendo brand and more to do with Nintendo trying to prove they were doing something “different” and “innovative”, i.e. detecting motion in 3 dimensions and whatnot. In doing so, it actually really limited the kinds of games that Nintendo was able to produce and distanced people from what they originally loved from Nintendo games. They attempted to fix that with the WiiU, which offers that familiar handheld controller feel, but…at that point the damage had already been done and Nintendo has lost a lot of its credibility as a popular system.

    That being said, I’m glad you point out the importance of third party supporters. Nintendo needs to prove again that they can make diverse, engaging games that are able to take on lots of different forms. Also, being able to take games on the go has always been such a staple of Nintendo gameplay and I’m excited to see the next step.

  19. What mainly concerns me is the online aspect of the Nintendo Switch. While it is not Xbox Live, it is still a major concern for many consumers today when it comes to buying a particular product, particularly a console. The features of the Nintendo Switch look cool, but many times they fail to deliver. One of the commercials I remember catching my attention with the Nintendo switch was the fact that you could remove the side controls and use them between four people to play games like NBA 2K13. The feature is quite useful but there is always the fear of it not being as great as expected. So all in all, I hope that Nintendo does good on making a dual product that is durable and headache free for its users.

    • Sean Gadus

      I think that online features will be very important to the switch, Nintendo has been far behind its competition in terms of online features so they really need to step it up with the Switch!

  20. I honestly would love to see the Switch do well considering i’ve been a fan of Nintendo forever but right now i’m still on the fence. Nintendo has always been great with first-party titles but has lacked the third-party support. It does seem like that is becoming more of the focus going forward but I just hope that it continues to be a focus in the life-span of the console and not just at launch.

  21. I’m excited, but I have some big provisos because we actually don’t know much about this nifty little beauty. Battery life, touchscreen, and durability are all fairly large question marks.

  22. Well, I’m in. Admittedly I’m a fanboy and I’ve infected my kids so this isn’t the difficult purchasing decision ever, but I’m definitely in.

  23. This is great and everything, but I’d rather Nintendo focussed on actually releasing the new Zelda for Wii U, which is one of the main reasons I got the console and for which I have been waiting for about 2 f****ing years now. You’d think I’d have learned. It happens with every Zelda launch.

  24. Looks great! Think I’ll be getting one. I would like to know the specs though

  25. This is pretty good for someone like me. I have a young kid who will soon be interesting in gaming so a nintendo product is a good way to start and I like the occasional game but rarely have time unless I’m traveling. If they can produce some good games and keep the price right, I’d pick it up.

    • Sean Gadus

      I think the size of the Nintendo Switch is much more appealing for young adults and kids. The Wii-u gamepad was enormous and it didn’t seem to feel comfortable to many people with smaller hands, including kids. The switch looks to be smaller and more comfortable to play with.

      And I think that for people traveling, the Switch could be great gaming option, especially for people who want a more traditional “console” like experience than what is usually offer in mobile games.

  26. Well I’m pretty much sold! I had no idea that they were relaunching this product. As a child I could not get enough of this game. My favorite part on each level was all the different sound effects! Also the price point is actually affordable. Thanks so much for sharing.

  27. Let’s be real for a minute. This console could be revolutionary, or it could be a total flop like the one before it. That’ll come down to how well it can run popular third party titles, in console and handheld form, and how cheap Nintendo is able to offer it for. All logistics aside, this has potential to just be truly awesome. A portable console with remotes? Skyrim and smash bros on the same platform? The 10 year old in all of is absolutely stoked for this console, regardless of how the numbers look. With the new Zelda game looking as breathtakingly amazing as it is, Nintendo has everything it needs for a strong start. They just have to remind us why we loved them in the first place: the heartwarming nostalgia and sense of adventure we only get from sitting around with our friends and reliving the glory days of Mario Party and Smash Bros.

  28. Benjamin Brandall

    I’ve not owned a Nintendo console since the original Wii, but I’m hoping to get one of these. Disregarding most of these factors, I’d say the most important thing for me is whether the major franchise games (Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon) stand the test of time.

    There have been a few forgettable releases in that department in the past, but I’m holding on to a new classic coming out way.

  29. DrownSoda

    I’ll admit, this is the first article I’ve read about the Nintendo Switch (though I did watch the trailer recently). I think the voice chat feature could definitely be a make or break situation for the upcoming system. I, for one, am very much looking forward to its ability to be used as a handheld console. Perhaps I am an outlier, but I much prefer the physicality of a handheld device (as an avid user of the DS) over touch screen games. Regardless, I can’t wait to test all the features on the Switch!

  30. John McCracken

    I am currently planning on investing in one of these because I am blown away by what they have presented to us. I am hoping that all of the features that you listed here are going to excel, but the main focus that I think is important is for longevity and networking/online gaming. I want to be able to buy this and then continually buy new games for this systems for a while, not have a re-purposed Wii. In this age of gaming, if the Switch doesn’t come with a focus on being at the front lines of online gaming, it isn’t going to last. I am super interested in where this will land price point wise and also excited to see what Third Party developers they work with,but I will not let the past of the Wii go just yet. Excited and nervous for this development!

  31. Very good Article! I’m likewise very excited about the switch system and the promising games/3rd party companies that are planning to develop game for it! I have never owned a wii or wii u as I liked the portable games like the ds. This new console is very exciting as it could be the bridge between portable and home consoles.

  32. Great article! Unfortunately, I think that this system will be a flop as well. It seems that Nintendo is in a weird limbo stage right now. It is if they can’t decide if they want to go with the more motion sensor based Wii, or the more plain console base. I think the Wii was great, but it is time Nintendo created a console with a higher power level. Most Nintendo games don’t require too much power, but perhaps it would be great to see games that were made for a higher power level. The new Zelda game seems to be going in the direction, but I am afraid it will be limited because of the weak power of the Switch. Creating a mobile system just won’t allow these games to live up to their full potential. Nintendo will always have a special place in my heart and I am sure others as well. Many of us grew up playing Super Smash Bros, or Mario Kart 64 with our friends. I think Nintendo has tried to live in this nostalgia for too long. It is time they stepped up to the plate and rivaled Xbox and Playstation.

  33. Very well written in terms of how the Nintendo Switch must succeed. I think this new console will be Nintendo’s saving grace.

  34. I think that you hit on the two key things necessary for this to succeed. Third party support is an absolute must, as that was one of the major downfalls of the Wii-U. I also think that a strong launch line up is good, but they need to have good games spaced out evenly, so that way they don’t end up with large chunks of stagnant games.

  35. It’s all about that beginning momentum, especially with marketing. Like you said, if an essential feature, like battery life, is reported as lackluster, it will absolutely trample any of their marketing attempts. But if they have the essential features, I think Nintendo might actually pull it off marketing-wise this time. In the past year their efforts in that department have seen an upward trend.
    I mean, just look at that reveal trailer for the switch. The tone of it, it’s far surpassing in general appeal than anything they put out for the wiiu.

    Great article!

  36. So excited for this to come out!

  37. There is a lot to consider when you are looking at this product. For most they may not like the lower resolution of the screen but the pixel density with a smaller screen will make it look better than you think. The controller while it is docked is smaller than normal but manageable. I think that people will be looking more toward it being a handheld than docking it with their television.

  38. I would say they need to do better online. There should be party chat and in game chat at the very least. If not they will be on the receiving end of some hefty abuse come March.

  39. BreannaWaldrop

    Nintendo has done a much better job of advertising for this console than they did with the WiiU. Hopefully, they will begin to focus more on bringing in 3rd party developers and improving their processing.

  40. So far, I think it’s an okay system. I’m hoping Nintendo will be able to deliver at E3 2017. Because BOTW can only sustain an audience for so long. But I’m loving how their spreading out there releases, to cover possible droughts with the console. So far, the system is at a C+ to a B for me.

  41. Sean Gadus

    I am so excited for E3 2017 as well. I hope there can be some exciting new announcements (new Metroid and a new Smash would be nice). But over all I want to see more crazy new IPs from Nintendo.

    The core idea of the switch has been executed well, it just needs more games and features.

  42. Very informative essay. I am so exited to buy one!

  43. Despite the absence of games to draw new players in, Nintendo has reinvented the wheel in terms of video games and interactivity. With the Switch, they encourage multiplayer games as to how they have designed their controllers.

  44. From what I have read from your immediately succeeding companion article, except for the game selection, Nintendo either did not meet expectations, or were equivocal in meeting them.

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