Last week, Nintendo unveiled details for its upcoming video game console, The Switch. It will succeed the WiiU which, as you probably know, didn’t do so well, especially compared to the successful Wii before it.
Chance are you already have a Playstation 4 or Xbox One, or even a WiiU. Maybe you’re a Nintendo fan and you have a Wii, WiiU and a DS. As for if it’s for you, that’s your call, but Zelda fans will want to pay attention.
The biggest differentiator about The Switch is that it’s both a portable handheld and home console. The main unit is a touch-sensitive tablet that you can play anywhere with attachable “Joy-Con” control pads or, when home, you can dock it for big-screen gaming. This is a unique move for Nintendo, especially for a company that’s always had both portable Gameboy units as well as home consoles.
The Joy-Con controllers can also be used as old-school controllers or as motion-sensitive remotes a-la Wii. As for media, the Switch will use cartridges just like the Gameboy.
As for price, it will run $299 in the states for the main unit, dock, and two Joy-Con controllers. The PS4 and Xbox One-style larger controller Switch pro Controller will run you $69, which appears to be a must if you plan on some marathon gaming sessions at home. Extra Joy-Con controllers will set you back $49 for one or $79 for a pair.
But what about the games? When The Switch launches in March, it won’t come bundled with any games unlike the Wii. In addition, the launch lineup is a bit meager: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch (a Wii Sports-like mini-game title), Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators and Super Bomberman R. In short, if you’re a huge Zelda fan and don’t already have a WiiU (the game will release for that platform at the same time), The Switch might be a good call on launch day. A new Mario title, Super Mario Odyssey, will launch in time for the 2017 holidays, which is when we bet The Switch will see its biggest successes.
So why should you care? If you’re a Nintendo fan, and you know who you are, The Switch could be the perfect marriage of Gameboy and home console. It’s not as powerful as the PS4 or Xbox One and the game lineup isn’t nearly as diverse, and for $299 plus accessories and games it could be a stretch. That said, this is Nintendo we’re talking about here, and you won’t get your Zelda and Mario fix anywhere else.