The Eagle Angle

Nintendo Switches it Up

Christian Hinton, Staff writer

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On Oct. 20, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo announced its highly anticipated new console, the Nintendo Switch. Prior to the announcement, not much was officially known about this new console, which was codenamed “Nintendo NX.” The features of the new console were showcased in a video released online. The features in the video, plus other information confirmed by Nintendo, show that the Nintendo Switch should be a very interesting gaming console.

One of the main features of the Nintendo Switch is the ability to seamlessly “switch” between a stationary console and a portable one. The video starts out by showing the Switch as a traditional home console, hooked up to a TV, until the player detaches it and continues playing it as a portable device.

Another new feature of the Nintendo Switch is the way the game is controlled. The controls follow typical Nintendo format, but the “Joy-Con” control sticks can be removed from the side and used to play the game wirelessly, with one or two players. Nintendo has also confirmed things not featured in the trailer: the Switch will have a small screen, but it will not be touch-screen. The games will be in cartridge form, like Nintendo DS and 3DS games, but Nintendo games from previous consoles such as the 3DS and Wii U will not be playable on it.

To me, the Nintendo Switch seems to be Nintendo’s attempt to make up for the Wii U’s shortcomings. Ditching the Wii U’s two screens and touchscreen streamlines game development and console porting, allowing more third-party developers to bring their games to the console. The Switch needs third-party developers if it’s going to be more successful than the Wii U. Nintendo seems to acknowledge this. The video showed third-party such as NBA and Skyrim being played alongside popular Nintendo games such as Splatoon and Mario Kart. I believe that the success of the Nintendo Switch will depend the most on the games available.

Portability seems to be the main highlight of the Nintendo Switch, but the released video brings up concerns with the direction that Nintendo is planning to take. By making the console small and portable, it also reduces the power and capabilities of the console. A fully portable console that doubles as a home console has its novelty, but the Switch seems to be too focused on mobility. It may be fully portable, but why would someone carry a Nintendo Switch around when they could just play a game on their smartphone?

The Nintendo Switch has a lot of potential, but if it’s going to be successful, it needs to emphasize duality and processing capability. If it can do that and still have a variety of high-quality games, the Nintendo Switch might be another hit.

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About the Writer
Christian Hinton, News editor

Senior Christian Hinton likes Twitter, comics and outer space. He plans to be the first person of Mars, but if that doesn't work out, he'll settle for...

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