Nintendo took its time to reveal its latest console. The company held off from unveiling the rumored “Nintendo NX” at E3 2016, the largest video game conference in the country, to make sure everything was just right.
So when the curtains were pulled back and the Nintendo Switch was finally revealed in a short but poignant three-minute video on Thursday, the future of Nintendo became brighter than it has been in years.
When the Wii was released in 2006, it brought with it a new way of playing and a strong lineup of games. Casual and hardcore gamers backed the system and brought the popularity of Nintendo to new heights.
However, that popularity was squandered with the Wii’s successor, the Nintendo Wii U. The system failed to capture the casual gamers the way the original Wii did, and a weak launch lineup didn’t keep hardcore gamers playing. A lack of third-party software support and an awkward control interface kept more “serious” players away for the duration of the Wii U’s lifecycle.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Nintendo Switch. The reveal trailer wasn’t meant to dive into the console’s hardware specs, but it did remind the gaming community that Nintendo still has some tricks up its sleeve.
For better or worse, the gaming community still needs Nintendo to succeed. It needs Nintendo, with its library of beloved IPs, to flourish and fill a market with games for casual players while tugging at the nostalgia heartstrings of hardcore gamers who may want to put down that 40-hour AAA game for a short but enjoyable experience. It needs a company that is not afraid to fail and innovate to push the landscape further.
The Nintendo Switch trailer showed Nintendo has learned from the mistakes of the past and is giving up its stubborn streak that doomed the Wii U while also maintaining its penchant for innovation.
“What we see is that Nintendo has learned from the Wii U. All publishers learn from what they do, and then come with something new and more attractive, which I think is the case here,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said back in September.
The longstanding rumors and reports about a hybrid system have proven to be true. The Nintendo Switch will be the first system to have its home system games available for play on-the-go, that includes its massive franchises like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and its core party titles like Mario Kart .
The aforementioned Zelda and other titles shown in the trailer will likely be available when the Switch releases in March 2017, giving the console a hefty list of launch titles to help it succeed, including a Pokemon game to bring in those who strictly play Nintendo on its successful handheld systems.
The Nintendo Switch is poised to have massive third-party support, which has been the downfall of Nintendo systems for years. The list of third-party companies working on games for the Switch is impressive. Bethesda, EA, Warner Bros., Capcom are just a few of the names that will back the console when it launches and in the future.
Perhaps all of those 40-plus hour AAA games will be made available for the Switch, allowing for gamers to take their progress on their way to work or school.
Some skeptics may hold off on praising the Nintendo Switch, and I don’t blame them. After years of refusing to adapt to what gamers want, being skeptical of Nintendo’s new attempt at regaining its foothold in the console gaming market is justified.
The Nintendo Switch reveal trailer may not have given gamers all the information they wanted, but it only took three minutes for the world to stop and pay attention to what Nintendo is doing again. That is something Nintendo, and the gaming community at large, can only benefit from.