Yes it’s finally happened. We now know exactly what the Nintendo NX is, and it’s everything we wanted. Welcome to the world, Nintendo Switch.
This announcement came in the form of what Nintendo described as a “preliminary announcement of information regarding the platform” As such, many weren’t expecting a tidal wave of information. However, look close enough at the 3:37 long first look preview of Nintendo Switch, and there’s quite a lot of information we can gleam from it.
Obviously the first thing we can see is that this is definitely the home console – handheld hybrid we’d all been wanting. Yes Nintendo may be describing it as a “home console first and foremost”, but this console defiantly screams portable more than it does the former. As such, it looks like a great way to bring both parts of Nintendo’s business together.
Aside from the glaringly obvious though, there’s also a range of other information that can be gleamed from this preview. One of which will certainly be of key interest to retro old school fans. And that of course is the glorious return of cartridges.
Yes, the rumours have been pointing to a return to cartridges for a while now. However, to actually see this happen is a very welcome announcement indeed. Not only will this help decrease loading times, and return control of their media back to Nintendo, but it will also help preserve these upcoming experiences for a long time into the future.
Continuing the retro focus and it was also interesting to see Nintendo seemingly target the trailer squarely on an audience that grew up with Nintendo’s 8 & 16-bit consoles in the 80s and 90s. Gone were the children, and in were the late 20s and up. What’s more, this focus was also seen within the games on show.
One of the first things that many would notice in this aspect is the fabled return of the third parties. Not only did we have the standard sports sim in NBA 2K, but we also had some very impressive images of Skyrim running, on what is in reality, a portable console. However, this really isn’t what would have been of interest to those fans the trailer seemed geared towards.
No, instead the excitement came from what appeared to be updated builds of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, more glorious scenes from Breath of the Wild, and of course gameplay from a brand new Super Mario game. In fact, these Mario scenes very much screamed Super Mario 64, and whilst not 8 or 16-bit, they definitely have the spirit of the classics. As does obviously The Legend of Zelda for that matter.
Truly there was so so very much packed into this masterclass of a trailer. I mean we still haven’t touched on the Amiibo support, multiple control schemes, return to couch based multiplayer, and everything else in between. What’s more, there’s also so many question left unanswered too. Such as how will the Virtual Console integrate into the system?
As such, over the course of the coming days, interspersed between all the retro goodness Rings & Coins is known for, we’ll also be taking a retro gamers eye over everything there is to know about Nintendo Switch so far. On top of this, we’ll also be looking at all of the questions that Nintendo still needs to answer before the Nintendo Switch is in our hands come March 2017.
Nevertheless, whilst it is early days, if this announcement is anything to by, then it certainly seems like there’s a bright future ahead for gaming’s most famous and most respected company. Nintendo have long treasured and championed those most retro of experiences and franchises, long into the 21st century, and it seems like with the Nintendo Switch they’re ready to keep on doing that. It may be a glossy new box, but cartridges are back, as is Mario, Zelda, and couch based gaming.
Most importantly though, Nintendo is placing handheld gaming back at the forefront of the industry, 18 years after they first championed handheld gaming back with the legendary Game Boy. What’s more, it’s doing this whilst combining it with it’s successful legacy in home consoles. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be a gamer, especially if you happen to be a gamer from decades gone by.