Next for Nintendo, Switch

Next for Nintendo, Switch

Mike McQueen, Multimedia Manager

Has Nintendo recaptured the fervor of the original Wii gaming system with their newly announced Switch game console?  It is difficult to remember just how excited everyone was when the Wii was launched in November of 2006.

wii-console The Wii was not the most powerful console, with only a slight performance boost over its competitors’ previous models. Many believed the vastly more powerful consoles being put out by Sony and Microsoft would for sure render the Wii irrelevant. Eventually, the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 overtook the Wii, but Nintendo’s innovations with the Wii’s motion controllers kept it in the public consciousness for much longer in spite of the lackluster graphic capability. Some contribute the success to ‘casual’ gamers, who are less interested in ultra immersive graphics, but rather a more physically immersive experience. In fact, both the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 added motion capabilities to compete directly with the Wii.


Nintendo followed up their wildly successful Wii with the Wii U, another slightly underpowered console with another unique controller interface. It included a main controller that had a touch screen, which served as an extension of control as well as a viewer for continuing to play even while the twii_u_console_and_gamepadv was not accessible. This console was not met with the same acclaim as the original Wii, but Nintendo was not dissuaded and the Wii U sold well enough.

The console giant is now poised to reinvent the gaming console, much how they have done many times in the past with the original Nintendo Entertainment System and later the Gameboy before the Wii. Their latest attempt is called Nintendo Switch, scheduled for a launch in March. Again, Nintendo is not focused on being the most powerful gaming console, because why try to fight in an already cluttered market? Rather, they wish to innovate what we think a console should be able to do.
Nintendo’s focus with the Switch is how and where the console can be played. It sports a dock which is where the console usually rests to recharge and connect to the home entertainment system for game play.  game-boy-originalOnce a gamer is looking to get out of their living room, the Switch is ready to go with them, by simply getting pulled out of the dock and placed into the controller it is now a portable system which does not have to be in proximity to its dock. This is a big change from the Wii U, which gave the freedom from the living room, but not very far, because it needed to keep a connection with the base system.
In addition to the mobility the system is housed in a larger screen than was present on the Wii U controller, and the Switch’s controllers, known as Joy-Con, are versatile as well.  They resemble the original wii controller and nunchuk set up as the can be used with the Switch between them as a single controller or separated to be used one for each player.

It is yet to be seen if these new innovations will be enough to gain back the excitement that the Wii enjoyed, but Nintendo has made a compelling new console while Microsoft and Sony are in the midst of mild upgrades to their current game systems.

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