Earlier today, Nintendo provided the first glimpse of its new gaming system the Nintendo Switch, which is to be released in March 2017, and looks to be the first serious gaming machine (outside of a laptop/ mobile) that will double as a gaming travel companion.
From the teaser trailer, the console looks to be something of a hybrid gaming machine, one half portable tablet and half traditional console, but seemingly more flexible than either. The device can be docked with the TV to play at home, or more intriguingly for long-term travellers like myself, be used as a fully portable console that fits easily into a bag. Better still, it ships with two detachable “Joy-Con” controllers (fixed to the side of the tablet) – to use for split game gaming – perfect for lengthy train journeys, flights or layovers.
The Switch has everything that one expects from a contemporary console – which you can see by watching the above video. But for me it’s really all about the portability. There’s a docking system that can be left at home or even connected to your TV in your hotel or AirBnB, that connects the system to a TV for big screen gaming. Then, when you’re heading out, you simply lift the Nintendo Switch from the dock, and the system instantly transitions to portable mode, complete with exactly the same gaming experience found on the TV. Furthermore, it’s possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.
So far, the information available is a little sparse. Nothing on specs or battery life for the tablet just yet, but the video shows an impressive roster of games with hints of a new Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros., Skyrim and a new Zelda, and a list of nearly 50 publishers, developers and others supporting the console, was distributed along with the press release.
But my greatest hope comes from Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO, Nintendo of America who said, “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
Now what that means in its entirety is yet to be discussed openly by Nintendo. Will we see an emphasis on location based gaming like the recent Pokemon Go (or the wonderful failure that was The Gizmondo back in 2005!!) or will developers see a potential in hitting the untapped travelling gamer market? Whatever Nintendo has in store for us, it’s going to be interesting and I think a huge boost for travellers who like to keep a hand on the comforts of home while enjoying the world….and it’s already more popular than the Wii U.
Would you take a gaming console on the road with you? Or perhaps you do already? Let me know in the comments!