Yes, last week Nintendo announced the release date and price for their latest console, Nintendo Switch. It will be launching on March 3rd and cost £279.99. So what will you get for that money? Well, by the looks of it what you’ll get is a powerful console in terms of mobile game play but a fairly lacklustre one in terms of home gaming. The Switch console is essentially a touch screen tablet with two wireless controllers which can be attached to the screen for complete mobile play and a dock for connecting the console to a TV for home gaming.
In terms of a home console, the power isn’t a match for the current generation consoles already out but Nintendo systems haven’t been for a number of console generations, so that’s hardly a surprise. It seems Nintendo are hoping to win over consumers with the console’s portable function which allows games to be played outside the home without a network or internet connection. It’s an interesting feature, as mobile gaming is a growing sector, but, it seems to me, there’s a big difference between someone pulling their mobile phone from their pocket and playing Candy Crush on the bus and someone forking out £279.99 on a console to play Super Mario in the same setting. Anyway let’s take a quick look at some of the game announced for release on the Nintendo Switch Console
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Yes, the long awaited and delayed Zelda game is finally announced as a Switch launch title and, to be fair, it does look like it may be worth the wait. This is the only game announced for the Switch launch that I really want to play but it’s not really enough to tempt me into buying the new console and luckily it’s also being released on Wii U so I won’t have to buy a Wii Switch to play it.
This second instalment in the Xenoblade Chronicles will be launched on the Switch console sometime in 2017, an exact launch date has yet to be released. The game does look good and follows an all new hero from the last game released on the Wii U. It is, however, extremely unlikely that this game will be released at or near the console launch date of March 3rd.
Well done Nintendo, you’ve managed to port a last gen game to a Nintendo console and you’re making a big thing of it, like it’s an impressive achievement. Well, it will allow Skyrim fans to play the game on the move, but the majority or people interested in playing this game will likely already have played it to death since its original release back in 2011 and subsequent remastered editions.
Super Mario Odyssey
The flagship of the franchise will be launching on the new console but if you were hoping to indulge on some Mario Switch action from the console launch date then you’ll be left disappointed as the new Super Mario game won’t be launching until the 3rd quarter, just before Christmas 2017. However, you will be able to buy Super Mario Cart 8 deluxe for Switch just a month or so after launch which might work to hold you over if you haven’t already played it to death on the Wii U.
All in all, I can’t deny that Nintendo have clearly put a lot of thought into the hardware for this new console and have targeted a still growing gaming market, mobile gaming. However, I’m not convinced by the launch games. I think following the success of Wii Sports and Wii Fit on the Wii and the prominence of health and fitness at the moment in consumers psyches that Nintendo would have done well to include a new sports and fitness game, as those had a very wide appeal. 1 2 Switch is the Wii Sports equivalent for the Switch but that’s a very different type of game. Wii Sports was the type of game that even my parents were happy to play but 1 2 Switch I’m sure will not appeal to them, as I feel it’s more restrictive to a younger market, those already of the gaming generation. I think that’s a shame, as the Wii’s success was mainly down to its appeal to a much wider audience than the traditional consoles. I just don’t see that so far with the Nintendo Switch console.
Will I be buying one on launch? Not likely. I’d rather invest my money in a PSVR when there are more games available.