Find out what we thought of the Nintendo Switch Presentation from Japan. January 13th
So, the weekend saw the big unveiling of the Nintendo Switch. While we had seen sneak peaks, and heard the rumours, this was our chance to see the console in Nintendo's hands and see how they view their own product.
For those that have watched it, I will get this out of the way first. It was weird. There was a strange mix of presenters from incredibly lifeless businessman, to the wacky 'nerd type'. It seemed to flick
(I didn’t want to use the word Switch) from screen to stage erratically, and there didn’t seem to be any real cohesion. Nintendo had a real problem with marketing last time when they confused everyone about what the Wii U actually was. It may be a cultural barrier, but even some presenters noticed the awkward nature of the presentation after his excitement was not reciprocated, “well that didn’t go down well” said one representative from Grasshopper studios.
But presentation aside, Nintendo seemed to get across what they had was better than the Wii U. They started by explaining the various elements of the console including modes of play and the equipment on offer, before moving on to explain what games we can expect. So lets take a look.
The first notable announcement told us there would be three main ways to play the Switch. A TV mode would act similar to regular consoles, allowing the player to play with a controller while the console is plugged in. Then there is the table top mode. This turns the console into a tablet screen and allows players to use the Joy Con controllers either in their nun-chuk style, or both separately by two players. This mode in complimented with add on straps which also provide bulk and more accessible buttons on what would be an awkwardly small controller.
Completing the hat-trick is the most exciting, handheld mode. This turns the console into a handheld device with the Joy Con’s sliding onto the screen. Battery life was suggested to be between 3 and 6 hours depending on the game. This is the most exciting element especially when it comes to games that require many hours to play. You will be able to take the game anywhere and be able to utilise the Switch when travelling. Something the rival PS4 or XBOX One can only dream of being able to achieve.
,The Joy Cons are the biggest selling point of this console and were at the heart of everything in the presentation. While Nintendo seemed to prioritise the colours you can have, I was more interested in how they work. There was a demonstration of the motion sensors that allow the Joy Cons to be used in a nun-chuk style. A camera is at the top which can recognise different shapes and also the distance of your hand for instance in front of it.
The most unique part which seems to have been glossed over by mainstream media is the rumble ability. Nintendo claimed the Joy Con’s contained a new ‘HD Reumble Pack’ that is able to get across minute differences about what is in your hand. The example they used in the presentation was a glass of water with ice cubes in it. They claimed the various rumbles can feel like either a single, two or even three ice cubes in the make believe glass. It can also mimic the feeling of water being poured in. How this will be utilised in games will be left to your imagination for now, but I think it was an interesting concept and could certainly enhance gaming if it is as good as they claim.
There was little talk on the graphics ability or power of the machine, but that has never been a priority for Nintendo. What we do know is that the dock is there to simply boost the image to 1080p, rather than the 720p you will get on the tablet.
Hoping to show off the flexibility of the Switch, Nintendo unveiled two different games which will be offered early on. A game called 1,2, Switch was a simple duelling game which will allow the players to take the place of two cowboys in the wild west. They draw a Joy Con controller each in a gun duel and the first player to point and pull the trigger will obviously win. Nintendo have a knack of making very simple but addictive games and this could be one of them.
The other game was 'Arms' which is a new boxing title that uses the Joy Con Nun-Chuk motion sensors. Players use spring like boxing gloves to fire at opponents from afar. The motion sensors can be twisted to bend punches.
Where the presentation began to fall down was the unveiling of new games which turned out to be not ready for release on 3rd March. Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 were just a few, though they did have tasty trailers.
Third party developers joined in too. EA arrived to tell us that FIFA would be coming to the switch and Bethesda game confirmed the rumours about Skyrim being able to be played on the new Nintendo Switch. This is especially exciting when you consider the ability to play handheld.
Unfourtunately that was about it for the third party developers, except some Japanese games that will unlikely make it to the west.
The Nintendo Switch will come with a lot as standard. Along with the console will be the Switch tablet, two Joy Con’s, two straps for the controllers, a TV dock, a controller holder and a charging cord. A pro controller will be available but sold separately.
The presentation was a bit of an anti-climax to what many had hoped, but the reality is that the Switch is fundamentally a good product. Nintendo will be hoping they won’t have to rely on marketing too much and the console will sell itself. The unveiling on the 13th of January certainly did one thing, and that is to confirm Nintendo is being back in the console game in a big way.