Nintendo tried to make the Wii U a hybrid console you could play at home but also have a portable tablet to take with you. The problem they faced was they created an underpowered device that couldn’t run modern games that even casual gamers wanted. The next generation system – the Nintendo Switch – looks like a refined version of the Wii U with a modern design, and a lengthy list of leading AAA game developers, all committed to the new system.
While we don’t know the specs, pricing, or battery life of the portable tablet, we do know the final version will ship in March 2017. While it’s a long way off and after the holiday season, Nintendo has teased a new console with better specs and games for a while now.
What we do know
Nintendo’s new console will have a Wii U style tablet, a TV connected docking station, detachable mobile controllers. The handheld, portable controllers, are called Joy-Con and the Joy-Con Grip, which are meant to snap onto the side of the tablet when you’re out and about. There is also a traditional style controller called the Pro that resembles a Xbox One controller.
The company is also doing a throwback to the days before discs were used exclusively for games. They’ll be using cartilages instead of the discs, which will likely have SSD storage to store not only the games files but also related data.
The console looks like it’ll have games like NBA 2k, but they did confirm a few games that’ll be launch titles. The console will get Splatoon, Mario, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and other third party games.
Nintendo has fallen behind in the past couple of years, with the Xbox and Playstation becoming the go-to platform even for casual gamers. They haven’t been able to recreate the hype and fun they manage to create for the original Wii, but the Nintendo Switch has fans drooling over the thought of a more modern and mobile game console. The problems I see the switch will have is how our phones are the go to gaming platform when we’re traveling. I’m not going to want another single serving device in my backpack. I also would love to use the tablet to game and still be able to watch Netflix or Hulu, but it appears all the heavy lifting is done on the tablet device. When it’s undocked, I’m unsure if the home station will do anything more than just sit there.
If Nintendo allows the docking station to act like a Chromecast style watching device, I’d be more willing to use the new console. If they also manage to add value beyond games to the tablet console when I’m moving about the town, I would be less bullish and more willing to purchase the device, until then, or until we see more information, I’m going to pass up on the Switch.
Tell us in the comments below if you think the Switch is the save all Nintendo is hoping for, or if there going down the same path as they were when they launched the Wii U.