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Time To Switch Sides: Are Nintendo Set To Re-Define The Face Of Console Design?

Confidence is sexy. Confidence turns you on. Confidence makes animals of the agreeable. Confidence makes the tepid tremble, the ladies lustful and the men go mad. The Nintendo ‘Switch’ is confident.

Nintendo’s dream machine strutted onto the world stage with a reveal trailer so unashamedly modern you’d be forgiven for thinking the package on display was the next iPhone… after it had hot sex with the next Rosetta space probe, and then had a group session with every single piece of slender technology in Japan. The sleek, sexy little seductress that is Nintendo Switch has mere inches on the waist, looks stunning in black, and isn’t afraid to show you its wild side. In fact, the very first thing Nintendo did – after they won gaming forever with the very announcement of this console – was to tease the world with brand new footage from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as the game was seamlessly transitioned from television set-up to a handheld device.


Image: Polygon

Yes: Nintendo have merged home console and handheld, and it works. The Nintendo Switch, busy showcasing the upcoming Skyrim re-release, was also getting social in the hands of the gamers in the trailer, as they took it to various places, gaming on the go with friends being able to join in instantly. With two Switch handheld components next to one another, the controllers that flank both sides of the screen – dubbed ‘joy-cons’ by Nintendo – can be removed, tilted, and then used as separate controllers. The implications of this radical, post-modern design are awe-inspiring, and the ease of conveyance afforded to the Switch unit due to its design means that multiple systems can be taken virtually anywhere. Much like the Pokemon GO phenomenon of months past, Nintendo is eager to capitalise on social, open-air gaming – the very philosophy that saw the company capture the hearts and minds of tech users all over the globe, as they met in parks and pubs in order to catch ‘em all, all over again.

Not wanting to leave players out in the cold for too long, Nintendo has ensured that the Switch will have a place in every home, thanks to the implementation of a dock system that houses the portable screen. While housed, the screen transfers gameplay back to the big screen, with an additional peripheral being used to allow the two joy-cons to fuse together to resemble a more traditional controller. If your hands are still hankering for a conventional controller, however, then Ninty has your back. The Switch will have its own controller, similar to the one that appeared on the Nintendo Wii U. The Switch’s ‘pro controller’ will appeal to gamers who like their pads with more permanence, as opposed to the infra-red interaction that occurs between the joy-cons and the Switch while you detach them in order to play games. The flexibility of the system is shocking, and so uncharacteristically modern for Nintendo, whose previous consoles have been somewhat lacking and lagging behind the modernity of the Xbox One and the PS4. Not anymore.


Image: Polygon

Not only is Nintendo set to re-define the face of console design, but they are also looking to re-ignite the interest of third party developers. A who’s who of studios are primed to develop for the Nintendo Switch, ranging from Bethesda, Activision, EA, Konami, Square Enix, to Capcom, Sega, Platinum Games, and even Grasshopper Manufacturer: all pledging themselves to Nintendo’s new console. Add to this the fact that this is a Nintendo console. That means Nintendo games. That means one particular Nintendo game. That means the upcoming brand new Legend of Zelda title. That means the end of your gaming life as you know it. With a coalition of strong eastern and western third party support, as well as Nintendo’s famed first party titles, the Switch looks set to bring back the fans the Wii U might have lost. Additionally, the Switch trailer suggested that Nintendo will be releasing a brand new Mario title at launch, based on previously unseen footage of a Mario game appearing in the reveal. Furthermore, Mario Kart footage in the trailer showed off previously unplayable characters, potentially confirming a brand new Mario Kart title too.

Although details are scarce regarding the specs and the launch line-up of games for the system, the Nintendo Switch is, as far as I can tell, simply the most confident pitch I’ve seen in gaming in the last five years. No trumped up images, no broken promises, no hyped up hypocrisy: Nintendo has simply put their best foot forward, and started busting moves we never knew they had. The trailer is just full of swagger: canted cuts, sultry shots and tantalising teases of the hardware and the software – all of which are front and centre. Nintendo, the company that just over a year ago was haemorrhaging profits, forcing its members to take pay cuts and reducing the prices on its consoles, has just invented a time machine, and they want to take us all to the future of gaming.

Whether you’re an Xbox fan, a PS lover or a PC elitist, get ready for March 2017: the year you make the switch back to Nintendo.

The opinions in this featured editorial are that of the author and do not represent PressA2Join as a company.

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From J-pop to Nintendo, Adam’s daily battle with his inner otaku is one he enjoys losing. Since playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in 1998, he’s been a gamer ever since. Currently studying English at university, Adam has the silly ambition of one day becoming a paid writer – a guy can dream, right?


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