The countdown is well and truly on. On March 3rd, the moment that millions of gamers across the world have been waiting for will arrive and the Nintendo Switch, the legendary gaming company’s latest hardware, will be launched. With the Wii U failing to capture the public’s imagination when it launched in 2012 and Nintendo branching out into mobile gaming with Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run, you’d be forgiven for thinking that interest in the Switch would be low. However, hype has actually been huge, with the only minor issue being some mutterings regarding how much it costs. The £279 pre-order price has raised eyebrows, with research from Voucherbox showing that places it well above the standard pricing for a Nintendo system – which is usually around the £159 mark. It should be noted that Nintendo consoles have consistently been cheaper than their same-generation peers such as Playstation and Xbox versions.
Despite this, Nintendo has argued the decision on pricing is sound, and that the system will prove to be well worth it. To be honest, on this occasion we’re prone to agree – and here’s a few reasons why.
Avid gamers eat, sleep and breathe games and the Switch offers the ultimate USP for that market – the chance to take games with you while you’re on the go and then plug back into a standard TV set-up once you’re home. It is such a simple idea that it is hard to believe no one else has come up with it. All of the signs from Nintendo are that they might just have come up with the goods on this one.
Gamers spent many an hour attempting to not throw their Wii controller through their TV screen back in the day and the Switch’s controller has the same motion functionality. But that is definitely not all. The controllers can be used individually – complete with D-pad and buttons – or can be connected together for a more traditional-looking console controller. The final impressive feature is that the controllers are of course key to the portability of the Switch, as they connect to the sides of the console for on-the-go gaming. This is the sort of innovative genius Nintendo has gotten us used to.
Games available on launch day include the return of old Nintendo favourite franchises in new titles, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Bomberman R. Of course, no Nintendo console would be complete without a new Mario Kart and that game – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – is expected to launch at the end of April. With NBA 2K18, Sonic Mania, Pokemon Stars and many others also in the schedule for this year, there is plenty lined up for gamers to get to grips with.
A particularly intriguing recent development has been the news that Switch development kits are set to be priced at around $450, which is pretty low compared to usual prices. Why is this exciting? Well, it means that independent game developers will have easy access to the tools they need to create new titles for the console, which may well mean that some intriguing and innovative releases from indies could be on the way. It will be exciting to see what such developers make of the innovations offered by the Switch and use them to create new and different experiences.
Plenty to look forward to
The proof will undoubtedly be in the pudding when it comes to the long-term success of the Nintendo Switch – but at this point, the future is looking pretty rosy. It will be interesting to see how gamers react once the console is out in the big wide world.