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LONG BLOG

Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch; or will it be called the NS for short?

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Well I am generally positive; it’s not quite the Wi-Fi beast I had been previously considering. But the Nintendo Switch delivers a bunch of solutions that Nintendo had been trying to fix since early on with the Game and Watch series.

 

Or at least most people would think that the best new feature that the Nintendo Gameboy brought to the scene. But honestly there were portable games of arcade quality long before the Gameboy, and even having a screen that could run NES games still is not big enough of a jump for that system. Though having a stereo mini-jack …

 

…Might have been the cool/hip/sexy thing back in the day. It really was not the biggest and best feature of the system. Maybe its just me, but I think what made the Gameboy stand out was the multi-player features it brought. Suddenly your never were really alone as you could meet up with your friend who had the same game and do some two player in Double Dragon and see who ends up with Marian.

As a mature developer, Nintendo has taken some steps to really push what gaming is and how we do gaming. Before the N64 there was zero demand for analog joysticks or even a joystick on a controller as they were considered “old thinking” and “outdated with the Atari” but they busted the market right open with the N64 and even Sony suddenly had a controller with 2 on it.

 Here is the first one, and yes they did copy vibration too!
Yep here is the the "real" PS1 controller. And yes they did take longer to make vibration too.

So I think this whole system is an answer to several problems that happen in video gaming, that they have noticed along the many years they have been in the business. Which I think the #1 problem they have been trying to get past is having a device that multiple people can use and enjoy at once… portably.

 One of the things I remember from The Wizzard besides the video games and Super Mario 3, is that they took a NES into a hotel room. I always thought that was really cool, and with my Wii,Sega Genesis, and PSTV I have really enjoyed packing my much smaller unit in a breif case and taking it to a TV somewhere and playing games with my friends. This new system really cuts out a lot of the work for me being so small and so versitile even in the portable format.


Walking with one I just feel more free and let lose to just do whatever I want without people thinking twice.



As I already brought up the N64; 4 means so much more than 64bit. It was one of the first systems to have four ports, which was copied by Sega and Microsoft. But it was the starter of a trend in that people did not need to buy extra accessories to play with more than 2 people on a system. With the glories that radio transmission has brought us now we don’t need quite so much to hook up, but there was still a limitation.


So to have a system designed to be modular is really a welcomed experience in the future. I have to say I was really excited about that and I think this could be a really big breakthrough, but only if the base unit is not a breakout unit.

It was really cool seeing all the different configurations this unit can do:
1) Standard console
2) Standard mobile unit
3) Motion control mobile unit
4) Car Projection Unit for 2 players
5) Double unit system link for 4 players
6) Standard mobile unit link

 

But having a screen that is detachable does bring a lot of flexibility. Which fixes #2: How to get a single control scheme to work for motion, mobile, standard, and multi-player situations.

 

This system can be as intrusive and extrusive as the user/users want to be.

If Google Carboard is a thing I can totally get that it will have VR in the form of some helmet that you slide the screen into and simply use motion controls or the “pro/classic” controller.

Which is already less complicated, more sophisticated, more simplified purchase, and probably easier to set up than any VR system on the market right now. It easily makes all the other “current” VR systems look overly expensive and intrusive for such a singular experience.

Typical Sony making things way too complicated... At least it does not have a memory card in proprietary format...

Anyway you can have the singular experience you introverted people really want, which I think is really cool. However with the Wii U I quickly learned there were tons of games that could have had really cool multiplayer stuff, but the gamepad was constantly keeping other people from enjoying what I was seeing and doing. Even the 3DS for all its charm and charisma will obstruct other people from seeing what you are seeing.


Even as a solo raid... Or

 



So being able to move the screen farther away really opens up the world for others to see and enjoy the game with you without taking too much away from either player. Which, hopefully given the sales data I might be able to prove why the 3DS outsold the Wii U was due to the fact that you could buy two systems for the price of the Wii U and most parents bought their kids 3DS instead so they did not have to deal with sharing as much as they would have with a traditional system.

 

But that is just my theory.

Back on topic I think the sliding controllers is a huge and well thought out compromise for everyone that was physically let down by the Wii. I paid attention to a lot of forms and simply said there is a lot of people that have hand and wrist issues that simply do not want to deal with motion controls. I feel like the Wii U fixed that issue by letting most of the games have the Wii Mote be optional, but now you get 4 in one.

If you really enjoy having a screen in front of your face like a GBA you can totally do that. If you enjoy your ultra huge TV you can totally do that. If you like motion controls you can certainly do that. If you forgot to bring a controller you can still school your friends at arcade games.

 

But you are not going to have to pay extra to get all of this functionality, which is really nice, and I think that was one of the huge problems with the Wii U is that the Wii U tablet brought a huge and amazing experience to the table that was so big and so unique that the system could only support one and made the system cost an extra $150 which is $10 less than two extra controllers… Well if they were $60.

 

Though all of my experience with the Wii has taught me that those options are only as good as the developers making the games for it. Most developers forget extra control schemes and ruin what could have been a great experience for someone that did not want: Motion Controls, Six-Direction Joystick with a TV on it, or a standard controller.

But if a developer puts a lot of effort into a particular scheme I usually end up using it. Star Fox Zero was great, though I still missed seeing more action on the big screen.

 

But those two issues particularly were things that were plaguing gaming, and it really is cool to see Nintendo innovate past those two boundaries.

1) Inclusivity
2) Providing flexibility of use.

 

Though this trailer also showed some really good things:

 Nintendo does listen to fans.

To say the least NOA is possibly in the worst of reputations when it comes to making it seem like they care about their consumers. (mainly because they are all too happy sitting idly while NOE does all the heavy lifting.)

The #1 complaint about the DS/3DS was that it was small.

So they made larger versions of it. Then they made better versions of it. However with the switch I think that the system could not get larger without providing some burden on the owner as with a larger screen means your hand would have to be farther apart, change the dock, make it too heavy for kids, mess with aspect ratios, and really generally loose the good tablet vibe.

So I think it is safe to say we will not get a bigger version of the Switch, however for the latter… I think its safe to say in the future they will be making more powerful versions… if not design their next system similarly.

 

Lastly I think this is a great move to moving gaming to even more accepted part of life, probably not quite as big as what the Wii did. There is this huge stigma with gaming that is tied with TVs in a slightly darker room that has sofas and in a secluded place that was much more like the video arcades back in the day.

But having hardware that can run the bigger competitive games outside of places like that will turn coffee shops, schools, and pretty much any space into that kind of hardcore gaming place that was previously stuck to those old styles of games. Which shown by the Pro Splatoon players that they could literally practice and plan in any space and did not need a “house” dedicated to gaming. (Like a lot of other game/teams do)

So overall I am really excited about this new generation/product/line thing cause in a lot of ways it reminds me of the cool gaming stuff that was in Ender’s Game, which for what the PS4 and XB1 are right now… they are not that.

 

I think one thing to hit is that the base unit looks less like a gaming device. Which I think is a possitive.

 

Now that it has been shown, I can only wonder what Microsoft and Sony will do as this device really does make them look age old as they still are playing out the whole Sega Genesis VS Super Nintendo practically every generation. But again Nintendo may not have the most powerful system, but they don’t need it.

I have been watching a lot of Netfilx's Cheif Table show, and I think Nintendo is the Francis Mallmann.

They have been on the top of the market, they have made products that put everything else to shame, and they have awards and accolades. But that was good and all fun but they are returning to the roots of the product and redefining the way we make things finding those ancient recipes and getting to understand the logic behind them. But then using that information to turn your back on modern society because you have been tested through the fire and found something much more different and better than what anyone playing it safe could have found.

Sure the market kind of collapsed around the Wii and Wii U as a one-time thing, which was outdated and too eccentric. But that was simply because they did not understand what Nintendo was trying to learn and create with those devices. I think this system is a great combination of the traditional and the future that the market has been looking for.



Everyone may ask them to play the same old game that they did in the late 1980’s… But they don’t need to play the game.

Because they are the game and they have changed everything... again.

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About Retrofractionone of us since 5:01 PM on 08.24.2009

I play really old video games and enjoy them.

My parents bought an NES and MM6 and Metroid and that is how I got into gaming.

You could say I am a Nintendo fan boy, but I am starting to get off of that train as of recent.

Anyway hope you enjoy my blogs and feel free to leave a comment.

Read more at https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Retrofraction#4qsKE0ZCdVS243Wk.99