Switch It Up

I’ve never liked seeing a console I love being replaced; it bothers me that the move may be little more than financially motivated. At least I feel that is true for the Xbox and the Playstation – each generation bringing little else than more horsepower.

Which is why I appreciate Nintendo. Sure, the lifespan of a Nintendo console is also determined by its commercial success – both the GameCube and the Wii U made that clear. But despite the realities of commerce, each new home console from Nintendo risked offering something delightfully different.

Chris Koelsch illustrates this with his handsome history of the Nintendo controllers created for each home console (if you want music with that, he also animated them):

For the complete history of all game controllers, you could check out this rather saturated flow chart available as a poster from Pop Chart Lab. It covers everything up to, but not including the Nintendo Switch.

Now that we know the basics of what the Nintendo Switch is, I think it’s a good time to publish my expectations for the system.

Not a Clam

I was a bit surprised that the Switch didn’t get a clamshell design, which makes sense for a portable system. The screens are protected and the size halfed while the console is transported.

However, I’ll gladly trade in the second screen for two removable controllers – each with their own battery – allowing two players to compete while on the go. And if the Switch reveal trailer is any indication, it seems like the Switch is able to connect to another Switch without an internet connection, for a four player outdoor extravaganza!

I’m not expecting the Switch to support peer to peer connections with more than one console, but it would fantastic if eight consoles could connect anywhere for a full game of Splatoon!

For the dock I expect cover plates, and maybe back plates for the console itself. Nintendo introduced this for the New 3DS, and I’m assume it makes financial sense to offer the same for the Switch.

I’m guessing the Joy-Cons will only charge while connected to either the grip (hopefully with its own battery) or to the console itself. The battery charge of the Wii U GamePad lasts about 3 hours, which was sufficient for me, but 5-6 hours would please a lot of gamers. And considering the nature of the Switch, a better battery would make perfect sense. I’m also expecting the battery of the console to support quick charging.

The Switch seems to be supporting Micro SD cards up to 128 GB. I’m expecting this to work much like the New 3DS.

I’m nervous about the ergonomics of the Joy-Cons: the shoulder buttons seems a bit ackward. But with a good shape, they’ll work just fine. Other than that, I think they make a lot of sense. The (almost) mirrored design means there are no excuse when loosing in a Mario Kart duel.

I’m eagerly awaiting the live Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 event in Tokyo, where the launch date, price and game lineup will be revealed. I think this new Home and About Game Console will deliver a really exciting package.