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Goodbye NX, hello Switch

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/20/switch-is-nintendos-next-game-console/

* Codenamed NX; official name is Switch
* Releasing worldwide in March 2017
* Hybrid mobile and home console with a tablet element and detachable controllers

Based on the teaser trailer:

* The core unit is a tablet
* The tablet has a dock, which plugs into your TV
* The main controller is a left & a right wireless controller
*** The main controller can slide-dock onto a gamepad holster
*** The main controller can also slide-dock onto the tablet for mobile gameplay
*** The main controller can also be used wirelessly as left & right handheld controllers
*** The main controller can also be used sideways as a mini joystick controller
* There is also the option for a Wii U Pro-style gamepad
* It appears that it can do ad-hoc networking with multiple tablets

The tablet itself (which Nintendo calls "the Switch Console" is thin and pretty attractive. It looks to have a screen measuring around 7 inches, of unspecified resolution. At home, it'll plug into the "Switch Dock," which in turn plugs into your TV. In the trailer, a gamer plugs in what looks to be an SD Card-style cartridge, meaning games are likely to distributed both digitally and physically.

The controllers are just as we expected. Nintendo is calling them "Joy-Con." They can be attached to a central unit called the "Joy-Con Grip" to behave like a single game controller, but also slide onto the side of the tablet for a more Wii U-like experience. Oh and, as rumored, they can also be used independently like two miniature gamepads. If none of this sounds like your thing, Nintendo will once again offer a "Pro Controller" option laid out more traditionally.
First-look video:


Console dock:



Controller:





Mobile usage:



 
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purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
50,226
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Man oh man, seems Nintendo hasn't learned a damn thing. The Mario 64 clone looks awesome on that video but I highly doubt I'll get this console it just has too much crap I don't care about and if they are focusing on portability I'll pass. Graphics look like Wii-U (if that) so they aren't really stepping up there it seems.

So is the new Zelda game going to basically be just like Twilight Princess was and come out on both Wii-U and Switch? Or was it always only announced for this new console? Wii-U owners got completely boned on Zelda if so lol.

And man, those fake "real world" scenarios in the trailer are laughable.
 
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Zeze

Lifer
Mar 4, 2011
10,275
496
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As a grump 30 something year old, I'm warming up to it. But then I'm a PC gamer who never owned any consoles.

If I bought a console, it would be used 99% in front of TV. But then again, I'm not the target audience. The folks in the vid are millennials.

This will either be a massive success or a failure.

Also why are people so excited about getting Skyrim on Nintendo 7 years later- remastered or not.

They need new IP... Super Mario 8734 and Mario Kart for the 2400th time are seems dull.

What do I know, I never really played any of them past N64 days.
 
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ikachu

Senior member
Jan 19, 2011
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Interesting concept although it doesn't feel very "Nintendo" to me though (besides the 1st party games obviously). If this video didn't have any branding (and used 3rd party games) and a Google/Amazon/Nvidia or even Razor logo popped up at the end of the video I wouldn't have been shocked. It feels to me like Nintendo is putting itself in the unenviable position of being squeezed between the more powerful (?) PS4/X1 and smartphones/tablets that will probably exceed the Switch's specs in a year or two... and thus will be overly reliant (again) on their 1st party catalog to try to stay relevant.
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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It seems like both a relevant & a risky console. Relevant because everyone expects everyone to be mobile these days. I play way more games on my iPhone than I do on my consoles or computer at home. This will be huge for kids because they can throw it in their backpacks to play in the car ride to school, the bus trip home, etc. I can see it being huge in the divorced-family market, because you can put one dock at dad's house & one dock at mom's house. And because it's mobile & has what appear to be some sort of ad-hoc or mesh wireless networking capabilities, you can bring it along & play with friends.

The scary part is the mobility. If you scratch, damage, or lose the tablet, you're hosed. I'm curious about the durability of the sliding mechanism of the controllers - will the tracks wear down over time & not fit very well? The biggest red flat I saw was the sideways use of the left & right controller pads, they look so tiny that it seems like your hand would get cramped! On the flip side, my family & I are huge fans of Mario Kart, Smash, etc., and it would be pretty cool to go mobile, like if you want to play outside (maybe for an outdoor movie party with a projector) or go camping or if you're in a hotel or at grandma's house or whatever.

Now that I understand the setup better (dockable/wireless tablet + dockable/wireless left/right control pads), it does make a lot of sense. It seems like there would be some crossover with Android tablets for gaming, or even the iPad, but none of them have very convenient controllers, easy ad-hoc wireless networking for local multi-player gaming, etc. So it looks like they are banking on the convenience of the dock & no-hassle controller pairing to make this work.

What I'm really curious about is how the graphics will compete with iOS & Android tablets, because this seems like a design that will be easily cloned by Chinese KIRF's. They would only need to do 3 things, let's say for Android:

1. Release an HDMI dock. More specifically, one with plastic rails so you could just drop the tablet right into it, like the Switch dock. Although then you're limited by tablet design, so maybe just a breakout box with plugs for Micro-USB & HDMI. Or else redesign all future tablets to have a single integrated plug, like a USB-C, that can handle charging, HDMI, etc., and then have an adjustable HDMI dock to account for different thicknesses.

2. Release some sort of gamepad system. I see this going one of three ways:

a. Dedicated "Gamepad Manager" tab in settings, rather than just Bluetooth. Make it easier to sync & wake-up controllers. I have an iPega gamepad that works just great with my GearVR & Note 5 setup, it's just like an Xbox gamepad.
b. Add a custom RF system for far, far easier gamepad sync. License out Logitech's awesome Unify system. No hassles after you sync, unlike Bluetooth. This would be the best option, but would require a new chip in tablets, so old ones wouldn't work (at least, not without some sort of adapter).
c. Add some sort of case that has the sliding dock for wireless gamepads. The only problem with this is there are so many differently-shaped Android tablet designs on the market, it'd have to be more like a Samsung-exclusive feature or something. This would also make more sense on the iPad, since Apple controls the hardware.

3. Release some sort of local-multiplayer settings tab for easier ad-hoc networking. Or alternatively, license out something like The Serval Mesh, which already has that stuff integrated into the software:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.servalproject&hl=en

I say this because Android & iPad technology is rapidly growing. NVIDIA already sells a gaming tablet (Shield K1), as does Acer (Predator 8). I'd imagine that regular tablets will surpass whatever the Switch has for hardware in pretty short order, and there's already a huge list of games supported by gamepads:

http://androidgamepadgames.com/

So this seems like a pretty brave & risky move by Nintendo, because Apple could easily eat them up (especially since they announced a licensing deal to put Mario on iOS!) & I'm sure we'll see plenty of Chinese knockoffs coming out that have similar designs, but let you play all of the latest Android games.
 
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Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
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Man oh man, seems Nintendo hasn't learned a damn thing. The Mario 64 clone looks awesome on that video but I highly doubt I'll get this console it just has too much crap I don't care about and if they are focusing on portability I'll pass. Graphics look like Wii-U (if that) so they aren't really stepping up there it seems.

So is the new Zelda game going to basically be just like Windwaker was and come out on both Wii-U and Switch? Or was it always only announced for this new console? Wii-U owners got completely boned on Zelda if so lol.

And man, those fake "real world" scenarios in the trailer are laughable.
Basically this. Become a software company, Nintendo.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,844
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Interesting concept although it doesn't feel very "Nintendo" to me though (besides the 1st party games obviously). If this video didn't have any branding (and used 3rd party games) and a Google/Amazon/Nvidia or even Razor logo popped up at the end of the video I wouldn't have been shocked. It feels to me like Nintendo is putting itself in the unenviable position of being squeezed between the more powerful (?) PS4/X1 and smartphones/tablets that will probably exceed the Switch's specs in a year or two... and thus will be overly reliant (again) on their 1st party catalog to try to stay relevant.
Yes exactly, the very first thing that popped into my mind was that this looked like a Razer product.

And you're right about them being too reliant on their 1st-party catalog. imo that's what killed the original Wii...the first-gen Wii could have been HUGE, but after the first, I dunno, 6 months or so, nobody released any fun games for it. Mario Kart was way fun, bowling & the other sports were super fun, and a few other games, but then it just kind of died out. Same with the Wii U...they have enormous opportunities for great games with the motion controllers & just don't continue doing anything with them, so they get left in the dust. Which is a pity because I really like both platforms!
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,601
471
126
I watched the video, and it seems almost like they were trying to take some cues from Apple with a sort of "don't talk, show" montage. My only complaint? Some of them were a bit... strange. Mostly the one with the people playing basketball, and stopping to play basketball on two Nintendo Switches. :confused:

Honestly, at this point, I'm really not that into mobile gaming outside of my cellphone. I don't travel much, and since I'm home more often, why play a game on a tiny screen when I can play it on a large TV? Now, unlike the 3DS, this console does have the ability to be played on a TV, which is nice, but given that its processing occurs in a tablet with a fairly small form factor, I wonder if it will have the graphical prowess to handle more? Maybe it raises the clock speed while plugged in? Maybe that dock also has a fan in it? (I'm assuming the thermal load would go up.) The only problem with being in a tablet means that it's most likely using a low-power (lithography) process, which means that you can only raise the clockspeeds so high before it starts becoming too leaky.

As for the video itself, I thought the coolest part was using the controllers sideways to have two people play Mario Kart.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,844
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As a grump 30 something year old, I'm warming up to it. But then I'm a PC gamer who never owned any consoles.

If I bought a console, it would be used 99% in front of TV. But then again, I'm not the target audience. The folks in the vid are millennials.

This will either be a massive success or a failure.

Also why are people so excited about getting Skyrim on Nintendo 7 years later- remastered or not.

They need new IP... Super Mario 8734 and Mario Kart for the 2400th time are seems dull.

What do I know, I never really played any of them past N64 days.
I think this will be a success because of the portability of much-loved games such as Smash & Kart, the question is, will it be a success beyond the initial release? Like you said...playing the same games over & over is kinda dull. What killed the Wii & the Wii U was the lack of games. They need to shepard developers & have a new game release rollout schedule so there's like one AAA game coming out every month for the next 2 years to keep it relevant. It's not rocket science, but they simply don't do it. I think the Wii platform with motion controls is a massively under-utilized platform. It has so much potential & they just squander it!

The thing they have going for them is fun games & multi-player party games. Combined with how easy it looks to tote the tablet & dock the controllers, I think that will be huge because people are all about convenience...sure you can do gamepads on Android tablets, but the Switch has a kickstand, a slide-in dock, a gamepad that can be used 4 different ways, and an optional dedicated Pro gamepad. No one wants a hassle when gaming, like it is with Android controller games right now. Google could come in & kill this market if they really wanted to, as could Apple. I'm actually kind of surprised Apple didn't simply buy Nintendo & integrate this as an iPad-AppleTV hybrid.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
50,226
3,169
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I think this will be a success because of the portability of much-loved games such as Smash & Kart, the question is, will it be a success beyond the initial release? Like you said...playing the same games over & over is kinda dull. What killed the Wii & the Wii U was the lack of games. They need to shepard developers & have a new game release rollout schedule so there's like one AAA game coming out every month for the next 2 years to keep it relevant. It's not rocket science, but they simply don't do it. I think the Wii platform with motion controls is a massively under-utilized platform. It has so much potential & they just squander it!

The thing they have going for them is fun games & multi-player party games. Combined with how easy it looks to tote the tablet & dock the controllers, I think that will be huge because people are all about convenience...sure you can do gamepads on Android tablets, but the Switch has a kickstand, a slide-in dock, a gamepad that can be used 4 different ways, and an optional dedicated Pro gamepad. No one wants a hassle when gaming, like it is with Android controller games right now. Google could come in & kill this market if they really wanted to, as could Apple. I'm actually kind of surprised Apple didn't simply buy Nintendo & integrate this as an iPad-AppleTV hybrid.
Anyone who thinks Nintendo is going to change their strategy at this point just hasn't been paying attention for a very long time. Nintendo has not changed their strategy at all since the Wii was released and the third party support has gotten worse. I'm not saying it can't change, but as of now history has shown us that this is going to be just another Nintendo game only machine.

(and I'm not saying that you think they are going to change, just quoting you because you mention similar topics)
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,844
2,364
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Man oh man, seems Nintendo hasn't learned a thing. The Mario 64 clone looks awesome on that video but I highly doubt I'll get this console it just has too much crap I don't care about and if they are focusing on portability I'll pass. Graphics look like Wii-U (if that) so they aren't really stepping up there it seems.

So is the new Zelda game going to basically be just like Twilight Princess was and come out on both Wii-U and Switch? Or was it always only announced for this new console? Wii-U owners got completely boned on Zelda if so lol.

And man, those fake "real world" scenarios in the trailer are laughable.
Yes, some parts of the trailer made me cringe. Playing video games courtside after playing actual basketball? Or the girl playing games on her TV & seeing her friends on the roof, so instead of, you know, talking to them, she just brings over her video game system? They're stealing our nerd rights with wireless LAN parties! lol. I understand what they're going after & sure, I would probably use it the same way, but the first guy who was so addicted to his tablet that he couldn't put it down during his whole trip made me LOL. It's obviously marketed towards kids who don't want to be disconnected for more than ten seconds at a time, no matter what their location is.

I'm not overly concerned with graphics because that's never what Nintendo has been about...it's more of cartoony graphics with really fun gameplay. I do think they will be passed by Android in no time, GPU-wise, but if they can keep the AAA titles rolling out, they'll survive. They at least look like they have an awful lot of partners based on the graphical chart posted earlier in this thread. But again, they need to keep the gravy flowing...finance developers & create a release schedule so there's one huge, awesome, new, must-have game that comes out every single month for the next two years, one that keeps everyone talking about it & the system itself.
 

zerocool84

Lifer
Nov 11, 2004
36,049
468
126


So they expect us to play like this? Sorry but this console shows they haven't learned a thing from the WiiU.
 

ikachu

Senior member
Jan 19, 2011
274
2
81
Another random thought, I think having a successful launch is going to be very important to get critical mass to keep 3rd party developers on board. March doesn't seem like a great time to launch a game console.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,844
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Anyone who thinks Nintendo is going to change their strategy at this point just hasn't been paying attention for a very long time. Nintendo has not changed their strategy at all since the Wii was released and the third party support has gotten worse. I'm not saying it can't change, but as of now history has shown us that this is going to be just another Nintendo game only machine.

(and I'm not saying that you think they are going to change, just quoting you because you mention similar topics)
I hope that things change because this release has the power to kill them, I think. And I don't want to see that! They have so much competition right now...mobile games on iOS & Android, mobile VR, PC & PS VR, Xbox & PS consoles, gaming computers...their only hope is to keep on releasing awesome new games all the time. That's what made the original Nintendo & SNES work...you'd buy the console & year after year, fun new games were being released to keep the system relevant. They dropped the ball with the Wii & didn't learn from that mistake with the Wii U. I'm hoping they have changed their strategy, and based on the fact that they have a zillion partners for the system & have gone with a radically different hardware design...maaaaaaaaybe they have. Maybe not. Time will tell!

I want them to be successful, I really do. I can already see a couple scenarios where the Switch will be huge. First, local multiplayer gaming. That is just great. Your buddy can bring over his Switch & you can each play on your own screen. Especially for kids on the playground or hanging out at their friend's houses, that would be really useful. Second, being able to be truly mobile is great. The Wii U's touchscreen controller doesn't work very far away from the TV, so if you want to watch TV & push the game over to your kid's tablet for single-player, they have to stay in the same room. So if they want to go loaf on their bed & play Mario Maker, no dice, but with the Switch, they can...that's really what the Wii U should have been.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,844
2,364
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So they expect us to play like this? Sorry but this console shows they haven't learned a thing from the WiiU.
The tiny remotes are really bugging me. Seems cramped & also like they would be hard to hold when pushing the pushbuttons or manipulating the joystick excessively.

Although playing Mario Kart is the car would be dope.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,844
2,364
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Another random thought, I think having a successful launch is going to be very important to get critical mass to keep 3rd party developers on board. March doesn't seem like a great time to launch a game console.
Even moreso, the Wii was a failure & the Wii U was a failure. Maybe not technically, but in the eyes of consumers, they released the consoles & then no one ever made any great games for either one ever again. As a developer, I would not sink my time, effort, and money into that. I hate to say that because I really want the Switch to be successful, but based on past performance, we are going to see (1) Nintendo IP rehashed on the new platform, and (2) a handful of fun lauch games, with progress stalling after that. I hope that is not the case, but the past two Nintendo console launches have been like that, so hopefully third time's the charm!
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
22,921
1,136
126
It looks like Nintendo basically gave up with competing with Sony and Microsoft on improving console performance and doubled down on the portable market. Bummer.
 

zerocool84

Lifer
Nov 11, 2004
36,049
468
126
It looks like Nintendo basically gave up with competing with Sony and Microsoft on improving console performance and doubled down on the portable market. Bummer.
Yup, it means it's not going to be powerful so rumors of it being around as powerful as the Xbox One are probably true. Battery life on the portable unit can't be good either.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
50,226
3,169
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I hope that things change because this release has the power to kill them, I think. And I don't want to see that! They have so much competition right now...mobile games on iOS & Android, mobile VR, PC & PS VR, Xbox & PS consoles, gaming computers...their only hope is to keep on releasing awesome new games all the time. That's what made the original Nintendo & SNES work...you'd buy the console & year after year, fun new games were being released to keep the system relevant. They dropped the ball with the Wii & didn't learn from that mistake with the Wii U. I'm hoping they have changed their strategy, and based on the fact that they have a zillion partners for the system & have gone with a radically different hardware design...maaaaaaaaybe they have. Maybe not. Time will tell!

I want them to be successful, I really do. I can already see a couple scenarios where the Switch will be huge. First, local multiplayer gaming. That is just great. Your buddy can bring over his Switch & you can each play on your own screen. Especially for kids on the playground or hanging out at their friend's houses, that would be really useful. Second, being able to be truly mobile is great. The Wii U's touchscreen controller doesn't work very far away from the TV, so if you want to watch TV & push the game over to your kid's tablet for single-player, they have to stay in the same room. So if they want to go loaf on their bed & play Mario Maker, no dice, but with the Switch, they can...that's really what the Wii U should have been.
I hope this console flops harder than the Wii-U does and Nintendo finally jumps ship to being a software only company. Well if they keep the DS I don't care, but screw the home consoles. They are terrible at it and have been for over a decade. This shows they have not learned a damn thing from their previous failures.

The fact they have a Mario deal with Apple and iOS right now gives me a glimmer of hope that they may be starting to think the way a lot of us are - just become a software company already and start putting games out on better consoles than their own outdated pieces of crap. Them putting out a Mario game on iOS is a pretty huge milestone for Nintendo if you think about it.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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Them putting out a Mario game on iOS is a pretty huge milestone for Nintendo if you think about it.
Truthfully I was shocked when they made that announcement. That shows some real internal change going on at Nintendo HQ...
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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I am not a big fan of the cartridges. The Wii U gives you the option of either using a disc or downloading the game, so if the game is available as an electronic download, you never have to touch a disc, which I love - nothing to scratch or lose! At least a cartridge is better than an optical disc, I suppose. I'd imagine the driving reason for that is the form factor...you probably don't get a lot of storage on the Switch since it's a tablet (even though you can buy, right now, a 200gb MicroSD card off Amazon for $74). I wonder if the cartridges have onboard memory to hold game saves, so if you plug your cartridge into a friend's Switch, you'll have all of your saved progress available.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
50,226
3,169
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The controller looks ridiculous in the hands of those guys playing Mario Kart in the car.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
126
I'm not going to knock what they are going for..it's an interesting approach, however I imagine none of those controllers, connecters, etc are goign to be very durable if used as intended over long periods of time.

I also think that the people they are marketing for....aren't going to be interested because they are just going to play on their phones.
 

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