Monday, October 24, 2016

The Switch up.

Author's Note:
I had planned to actually make a video using this article, but due to there being heavy construction happening outside of my residence, that'll have to wait a while, so enjoy the article, and the video will be coming soon. Thanks  - [Spiracy]

On October 20th Nintendo had posted a three minute video of their new console, formerly code-named NX and revealed to public as the Nintendo Switch. The initial impressions so far have ranged from excitement, to the usual group of people, shouting “meh”, and dismissing the console as another “gimmick”. Which is fine, your opinion is your own, but if you're going to pull out the gimmick card, please be so fair as to point out the other three gimmicks from the competition as well. Please and thank you.

I'm not here to “Throw shade”, as the kids say. I'm here merely to talk about some things that I'm actually excited about, and do a bit of positive speculation.

Now, I've said this before, but Wayyyy back when I did the “Was the Gamecube really a failure” article, I had found a post by someone on the Nintendo Life forum who had posed an interesting theory on the progression of Nintendo consoles. The post, sadly enough is faded into the aether of history, but I'm still going to pose this theory just the same. If you know of the person , or you are the person who made that post, send me a line and I'll be sure to give you proper credit.

Nintendo has an interesting progressive cycle. One Console establishes something innovative while the second console follows up with building on that particular innovation. So the SNES was a continuation of the values instilled by the NES, the Gamecube had additionally built on the innovations that the N64 brought to the table in terms of expanding on polygonal 3D, and elaborating on the control scheme proposed in the previous generation.”

Say what you will about the Wii U, but that console also played it's part in this theory as well. The innovations that had been established by the Wii had been expanded on; The motion controls were still there, the plentiful controller choices were there, but then we also got the innovation of asymmetrical gameplay via the second screen. The Wii U pad had added another layer on how games were being played on the Wii U, and the controller proved invaluable for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Splatoon, Nintendoland, Black Ops 2 , Zombie U , Mario Kart 8, and a host of other games. Sure, a few of those games clearly shown in ports that the pad wasn't needed, but even with that being said, taking my game off the television because my wife is on her Murder She Wrote marathon, makes things easier for the both of us.

And that leads us to where we are now.

To not be limited to just playing your game in the living room, is a huge innovation in gaming. It's something that Sony has often tried to do with cross play between the Vita and the PS3 and 4, but never seemed to get anywhere with, due to Sony's lack of confidence in the Vita itself. Of course now Sony's latest push is for VR, and I, myself have never been too keen on the idea of VR since they were peddling the VR machines in malls back in the late 90's. Your mileage may vary. Microsoft wants this same thing with the Holo lens; a One part – Augmented reality, one part Virtual reality solution. As far as we know, the Verdict is too far away on whether this is going to be the “future of gaming”, but the website is jam packed with “think of the possibilities” imagery, and optimistic futurism, which is fine, of course.

However, what Nintendo is proposing, actually has both feet firmly planted in reality. A console that you play on the go with a slender tablet, that has two controllers that can be slid onto either side, or slid into a hub controller currently known as the “Joy Con”.

Yes, There have been statements that if you have the Nvidia Shield, then you already have the proto NX, however we've only seen Nvidia's talk about the specs and hardware, and nothing really about Nintendo's OS architecture, or what features are coming. I'm completely sure that Amiibos, The Virtual Console, E-shop and Nintendo Network services will remain intact, but Nintendo is going to keep tight lipped about everything until a formal Nintendo Direct surfaces, which I'm imagining will be soon, due to the March release.

One other thing before I take my leave...

While Nintendo is being rather grounded with this console, there is still a lingering suspicion that when the time is right, they too will eventually throw their hat into the VR ring. And with a setup like this, it's very possible that this will pan out rather well. Think about it, VR and motion controls go hand-in-hand, now. And the company that has benefited most from that has actually been, Nintendo themselves. So even without the hints they've been dropping about VR tech, it's very possible that when The Nintendo Switch hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious shit.

- I'll See you Next Bossfight!

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