After years of rumors and speculations of what the NX is supposed to be, Nintendo finally revealed the Nintendo Switch to the public. Based on what we’ve seen on the trailer, it is basically a console/handheld hybrid that you can play at home or on the go. It has removeable controllers called the Joy-Con, you can change screens from the TV to the tablet, it has a pro controller like the Wii U only in a different design, and it uses cartridges.
One thing that caught my eye while watching the trailer is that I saw two eSports teams discussing strategy for a Splatoon competition, all while playing on the Switch. Then it got me thinking… “How will the Nintendo Switch play a role in the Fighting Game Community?”
For me, I could think of several ways that the Nintendo Switch can be beneficial in the FGC. Here are some examples that I think it could work.
In the trailer, we were introduced to the Joy-Con Controllers. These are the detachable controllers that you can use with the Joy-Con Grip, or with the tablet. Known as the “L” and “R” controllers, they can also be used to give one controller to another player in order to provide local multiplayer.
We also saw the Switch Pro Controllers, in which they are designed similar the Xbox One’s controller. You can also use the controller when switching the console to Tablet mode while you’re on the go.
Now for stick players like myself, I know for a fact that there will be fightsticks that will be made for the Switch. If possible, could we see anything made from Hori? Hell, when Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was released, it came with a Gamecube Adapter for those who prefer using the Gamecube Controller. However, it only worked for Smash and nothing else, although you can use them for PC and other Wii U games thanks to third-party accessories like Mayflash.
When a new Smash game comes out for the Switch, I hope Nintendo allows Smash players to reuse their Gamecube controllers in the form of an adapter. Or better yet, have Hori design a the Switch Pro Controller in the style of a Gamecube controller.
As I previously mentioned, you can take the tablet portion of the Switch anywhere in a public place. The best part about it is that the tablet has a kickstand so that you don’t have to hold it.
Playing handheld games is something I enjoy when I’m on the go. In terms of fighting games, I encourage the idea of on-the-go training when you are not near a console. Back in 2013 while Dead or Alive 5 Vanilla was out at the time before DOA5 Ultimate became a thing, I remember Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo releasing Dead or Alive 5 Plus for the PlayStation Vita, which I ended up buying. You could cross-play between both the PS3 and PS Vita versions, and you could transfer costumes. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t own a PS3.
With the Nintendo Switch, I can see this being a huge benefit to the Smash and Pokken community since they can train up their sets on their way to the tournament. It would suck for the person that has to drive over to the venue while others are training. Setups will not be a problem at all, and they can bring their Switch Pro Controllers along for the ride.
Now we all know that Nintendo’s flagship fighter is the Super Smash Bros. series, and it has recently branched out to other fighters in their existing IP such as Pokken Tournament for example. Based on the 3rd party support, we see companies such as Atlus, Capcom, Sega, Bandai Namco, Arc System Works, and others on board for this system.
We did see some fighting games come out for the Wii U and 3DS, such as Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition, Blazblue Continuum Shift II on the 3DS, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Wii U. However, they are ports of existing fighting games from other consoles, with the exception of Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden and Dead or Alive: Dimensions.
If you want to go futher back, both versions of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom were released for the Wii, and they were played in tournaments. While the scene for it is not there anymore, it's still being played in tournaments to this day. A prime example of this was Frosty Faustings Top 4 for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars back in January 2016.
Other than Smash Bros. and Pokken Tournament, I hope to see more fighting game titles made for the Switch. Hopefully something for the FGC to play at tournaments.
I’ll be honest: I’ll always have a soft spot for Nintendo. Even though the Wii U didn’t sell well, I still enjoyed the games they released for that console. However, I do admit that the console should have been better. With the Nintendo Switch, I hope to see that it learns from Wii U’s mistakes. I was impressed by the trailer, and I can’t wait to see more information they release about the console on January 12, 2017.
In terms of what it can do for the FGC, I think this will be a huge benefit mostly for the Smash community. Here’s to hoping that we see more fighting games on the Switch, along with arcade sticks and more.
Until next time… Train Up, Fighters!