Nintendo recently announced their much-awaited foray into the current generation’s gaming market with their new console, the Nintendo Switch. The console was first debuted in an announcement trailer back in October, but was just recently given a release date and a price, as well as a full line-up of games to be released alongside it. The console is set to hit the shelves as early as March 3rd, with a reasonable and rather affordable price of $299.99, considering the cost of both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One was $399.99 and $499 upon their respective releases.
The Switch has many new, exciting and innovative features. The console not only plugs into a TV, but is a portable console in itself. That is to say, one minute you could be enjoying the newest installment of the Super Mario franchise, “Super Mario Odyssey,” in the comfort of your living room or dorm, but then, if you need to leave, you can take part of the console with you and resume right where you left off. There is a part of the console that detaches and has a 6.2 inch screen of its own that displays 1280 x 720 resolution, allowing for portable gaming. Unfortunately, at this time, the specs of the console state that it can only run for three hours on a single charge while playing a game and six hours without a game, which dampers some of the excitement. The hype is misleading, because much of the footage from the release trailer seems to imply versatility and freedom, but with that in mind, perhaps it is not as versatile as it may seem. If it will need to be recharged so frequently, playing it on a long car ride or while lounging at the beach will not be feasible for more than a few hours.
In a more positive light, the system is practically designed for same-console co-op, which most consoles discourage nowadays, instead favoring online multiplayer. The console comes with two “joy-con” controllers, which are another new creation from Nintendo. The tagline provided by Nintendo states “One controller or two, vertical or sideways, motion controls or buttons…Joy‑Con and Nintendo Switch give you total gameplay flexibility.” They can be used together, one in each hand for playing on a TV, or can be clipped to the sides of the portable screen to create a tablet-like gaming device. Alternatively, you can give one of the two to a friend and use them as controllers on their own, akin to a Wii Remote, and play co-op.
The versatility of this device is unrivaled and it is being marketed as the device of the future for Nintendo. With an array of new games like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Arms,” as well as remastered fan-favorites like “Mario Kart 8” and “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim,” the Nintendo Switch looks to be an entertaining and innovative console that will further advance the way we play video games.