By Juan Betancourt
Nintendo Co. Ltd. is set to release its seventh home video game console, the Nintendo Switch, March 3. The console will combine aspects of the company’s previous consoles.
Nintendo showcased details on its new gaming system during a livestream presentation Jan. 12. The presentation focused on the consoles three new game modes – TV, handheld and tabletop, according to nintendo.com.
Nintendo Switch will have a 6.2-inch tablet, a docking station and two controllers, according to Nintendo.com
TV mode is the traditional TV plug-and-play option that will allow players to play with the new, removable controllers, called Joy-Con grip remotes. Joy-Con controllers are similar to Nintendo Wii’s wireless remotes. The Wii remote uses motion control, which follows a person’s hand movements. The Joy-Con will have a 20-hour battery life and will take about three hours to charge, according to polygon.com.
The console will have 32GB of internal memory and a 720p resolution. TV mode offers the full 1080p, according to ign.com.
Game cartridges, which have replaced disk media for the system, will be inserted into the tablet as in the Nintendo DS system.
“It looks like a cross bridge between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii,” Bobby MacIntyre, president of Brookhaven College’s Gamers United Club, said.
Nintendo’s description of its new system really does make it seem like a combination of its previous consoles. The Switch looks unique, but the whole concept really isn’t necessary.
While the Nintendo Switch is docked, players will attach the two Joy-Con controllers into the home gamepad called the Joy-Con grip for a traditional-style controller.
Players will be able to take the system on the go with handheld mode. Players will remove the handheld tablet from the Switch dock and attach the Joy-Con controllers to the tablet.
The third mode will provide tabletop gameplay. Players will flip the tablet’s kickstand and remove the Joy-Cons to play solo or with another player.
The tablet will have a two-hour battery life and will take the same amount of time to charge as the Joy-Cons, according to polygon.com.
But, Nintendo already has a handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS, which has sold over 65.3 million units and is beating the Wii U in sales, according to ign.com. Nintendo’s previous home console, the Wii U, was a financial failure with only 13.5 million units sold, according to ign.com.
Nintendo needs to understand a gamepad tablet is not what gamers want. The Wii U’s gamepad has almost the exact same functions as the tablet. The Wii U consoles were expected to sell 100 million units, but is now the worst selling Nintendo home console of all time, according to nintendolife.com.
Besides the two-player mode allowed with the Switch’s tablet, the Wii U’s gamepad allowed players to play on the gamepad, but was limited in the system’s area range.
MacIntyre said the 3DS sales will probably fall if the Switch is successful.
The 3DS is selling more units than every home game console in the market. There really is no need for the Switch to become a handheld hybrid system since the 3DS is doing well on its own. Nintendo should focus on being a home console.
The gimmick may be complicated, but the lineup of upcoming games is something to look forward to.
Sixty games are set to be released within the first two years, according to gamespot.com. Games such as “The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild” will be released on launch date and “Super Mario Odyssey” will be released during the 2017 holiday shopping season.
Since the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983, both the Mario and The Legend of Zelda franchises have been successful. As of 2016, the Mario franchise has sold over 560 million games and The Legend of Zelda has sold almost 85 million games, according to vgsales.com.
Be prepared to spend a lot of cash on March 3. The Switch will cost $299 and games will cost $59.99. Extra Joy-Con remotes will cost $49.99 individually or $79.99 for a pair. I am not saying to avoid buying the Switch, but people should probably wait until prices drop.