If you haven’t heard about Nintendo’s newest gaming system, allow me to introduce you to the Nintendo Switch. Take a look at the first bit of this video and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Ambitious? Yes. But I gotta say, Nintendo did a pretty solid job with this one, and the “gimmicky” functionality of the console (being able to play at home like an Xbox and then on the go like a tablet) is perhaps the coolest part, and it works amazingly well. With a retail price of $299, the console is also a whole lot cheaper than most, and well worth the price.
The announcement for the Switch came only about six months ago, which isn’t that strange for the Japanese gaming giant, who always seems to downplay the releases of new consoles. Despite this, the Nintendo Switch is about as elusive as a President Obama since he left office, and finding one is nearly impossible (both online and locally) … well apart from the scammers/scalpers currently selling the consoles for about $500+ on eBay, Craigslist or Amazon.
So, the console has a cool feature where you can take it with you on the go, but perhaps my favorite thing about it is the return of local multiplayer, or “couch co-op” though your couch can technically be anywhere now.
One thing that I, and tons of other people, even people who don’t consider themselves “gamers,” miss about games is playing with your friends in person. In the age of Xbox and Playstation, you almost always need two whole consoles and an online connection to play anything, and many people don’t want to fork up the cost to do so. With the Switch, you can just take off the controllers from the sides (called Joycons) and use each of them as a single controller for many of the games.
Most people who grew up with older gaming consoles like the N64 or PS1 played games in this manner, so it’s cool to see this return to splitscreen formats, though there are games without this functionality on the Switch. One of the more interesting multiplayer titles out now is 1-2-Switch, which uses the motion-tracking tech from the Wii.
Despite the very lackluster lineup for the new Nintendo console at launch (except for the new Zelda of course), the Switch seems like it’s off to a great start. If you have a friend with one, try it out for yourself and see what it’s all about, just don’t count on finding one for purchase very easily, as demand is high … and supply is very low.