As an unapologetic Nintendo fanboy who has bought every console the big N has released (Virtual Boy excluded), I've been anticipating the reveal of their next console since it was first "teased" over a year ago. All of the most common speculation about the device (being a portable console with a dock, physical cards for games) appears to have been true. I like the look of the device, as well as the accessories they have shown, and of course seeing new games being teased is always exciting. However, seeing the system in "action" did leave me with just as many questions as answers.
First, will this device be an actual tablet device, meaning it's an actual touchscreen (as this wasn't shown in the trailer) and will it only be able to play games, or can it run apps as well? Second, just how powerful is the console, as they showed what appeared to be the Skyrim remaster playing on the device, which is being powered by an NVIDIA chipset, but it would be nice to get a sense of where this falls on the "power spectrum" vs. a dedicated console. Third, how good will the battery life on this thing be when being used as a portable? This will make or break the portability of the device, and has been the downfall of many a superior portable device (I'm looking at you Game Gear). Finally, will Nintendo have an actual online strategy for this device? As someone who has an Xbox Live Gamertag, PSN login, Steam ID, Battle.net name, etc. I'm hoping that they can at least make SOME kind of inroads when it comes to an actual online community.
There are a few other smaller questions (Virtual Console plans...) that I'm still mulling over too, but honestly I'm still super excited for a unified Nintendo platform for them to develop games for going forward.
*Nintendo Fanboi glasses, active*
I was always going to buy this system so long as a full fledged Zelda title landed on it, and that has been taken care of. It's the dual role home/portable console that has me really excited - with just a couple caveats: It had better have decent battery life, and performance had better not take a beating when it's not docked (assuming the dock helps increase performance somehow). The video focuses a bit on local multiplayer which is nice, and it would be a really easy sell if this had 50% of any other tablet's capabilities; web browser, netflix, hulu, ESPN, etc. (a boy can wish).
Do I worry they botch this? Of course. The WiiU was an absolute disaster for me, as I kept waiting and waiting for the games to come out that I really wanted, and I'm still waiting. It had some fine games, but not enough to justify the retail purchase IMO (I may get one on the second hand market in the future to try some of the first party and really interesting titles that were released). I also have my reservations about the handling of their (currently) horrid online social ecosystem (which may deter some, but not me), and their always disappointing virtual console which never has the games I want (or I don't have the 3DS "compatible" with what is available). The mismanagement of legacy games always amazes me.
In the end, my stance is that Nintendo is primarily about 1st party titles; they're coming, and as long as they don't somehow botch all of their own IP, this is a slam dunk for me. The 3rd party partnerships they've announced are just some sweet, sweet frosting on the cake.
Well, I suppose someone has to play the heavy in this discussion.
My big questions all revolve around how Nintendo is going to make this better than the disappointment of the Wii U. Now, I say that as someone that really thought the Wii U had some really intriguing possibilities and (at least at the onset) third-party support. Nintendo has shipped an absolutely anemic 13 million Wii U by June 2016. While there were great games on the system, they were few and far between. This might sound like a common refrain because the same could be said about every Nintendo home console since the N64: few games, but there were some classics. I know that both of you have barely touched your Nintendo systems for months, and that isn't a dig at anyone. You just simply didn't have anything to play.
The big tent-pole Wii U release was going to be the next Zelda game, and, like Twilight Princess, it will be bridging the gap between the outgoing system and the new iteration. This makes the release of the Switch feel vastly under-powered, and the Wii U gamepad screen is left for dead. It seems any semblance of a second screen will be absent moving forward. I know, keeping up with graphics technology isn't Nintendo's forte and graphics don't make a system or a game. But I wonder how is this any different from the approach from the last system.
Of course, the portability and the ability for a combine platform that replaces the handheld and home console with one device is certainly enticing. Hopefully, all the online capabilities and Virtual Console stuff really aligns since they have had almost a decade to figure it out. But I am honestly really skeptical.
I worry that the battery life is going to be poor and I really hope it isn't. Having a home console that doubles as a handheld that makes compromises on power, online capability, and third party support (possibly) totally bearable. You would assume a portable console won't compete against a PS4 Pro or Scorpio, but if the battery life is poor, it could really be the death knell to a really great idea.
The trailer is slick and awesome. I'm glad we are moving on from Wii remotes and motion controls. I'm excited to play a new Mario or Zelda with a controller, but at the end of the day, it comes down to games. The Wii had nothing to offer me, and the Wii U slowly became a ghost town for new releases. Despite my apprehensions and skepticism, I'm hoping the Switch proves me wrong. I want Nintendo to come storming back. I want great games.