This is big. Nintendo have teased the release of a new console, code-named Nintendo NX for a while and now gamers have their answer.
My very first gaming console was a Super Nintendo. It had the simplicity of 4 buttons, a D-Pad, and a start button to pause those all important moments. Cartridges the size of my palm would be inserted into the console, and if it didn’t work then I’d have to take it out and blow the dust out of the bottom of it – classic practical thinking from a 90s kid.
You may laugh at the above anecdote, but to me, and many other 90s children, Nintendo defined the gaming industry. Their games, such as Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, still hold the stature of some of the best ever made; even within today’s market of life-like graphics and reinvented physics engines.
So when Tatsumi Kimishima announced his company’s latest console, the Nintendo Switch, it’s fair to say it peaked this writer’s interest.
Nintendo Switch is a home console which with the simple un-clicking of two side controllers can switch and become a hand-held console with its own dedicated screen; no bigger than an 8-inch tablet. These new controllers are highly versatile as they can either stay connected to your mobile screen or be detached and used just like the motion Wii remotes. If mobile gaming isn’t your thing, the entire console can be put back in the cradle at your home where you are able to switch to your TV screen. The choice between a new Pro controller, and the ones supplied with the console, is entirely up to you.
Nintendo have seemingly solved the problem which game companies are scratching their heads over: how do we get our games on the go without reducing it to a mobile phone?
Admittedly, Playstation has remote play and XBOX can access their games via Microsoft surfaces but these require good internet connection and, lets face it, Australia’s not exactly the poster boy for great internet. So when Nintendo give consumers the ability to take their games with them, in the form of cartridge games the size of SD cards (bring back the nostalgic cartridges!), this could bring in a whole new generation of gamers.
There is still quite a few technical questions which need answering, such as the processing system being used and what graphics card might be installed, but all will be revealed early next year at Nintendo’s Tokyo presentation.
With reports from IGN indicating fewer consoles being dispatched, it seems Nintendo are employing a more cautious approach this time around. Or perhaps they’re imposing a supply/demand hunger which could spread beyond their loyalist fans and break through the monotony of Sony and Microsoft.
Only time will tell, but if anyone knows how to withstand the test of time, it’s definitely them.
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