Thursday, 20 October 2016

Introducing the Nintendo Switch

After months and months of rumours, dodging and waiting we finally have seen what lay behind that NX shaped curtain. THE NX IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE SWITCH!

Ah its nice to see the classic red and white colours again. So lets have a look at the reveal trailer.

One moment.... Skyrim? on a Nintendo console? SKYRIM!

And we're back. Where was we? Ah yes the Switch (odd name but hey we lived with Wii/Wii U), as you can see it matches the NX leak from Eurogamer. As predicted the new device is an hybrid. Acting as a home console connected to your TV and a mobile system

So the device's detachable controllers can be used in a number of ways.

  • Independently for multiplayer. We saw Mario Kart Split screen and 2v2 Basketball.
  • Together in a controller (not very pretty) housing, 
  • Attached the to machine in handheld mode.
  • Used "wii-mote style" (which was pretty relaxing on MH Tri and Twilight Princess). 
On a personal note: I'm going to be upset when they don't have that 'click' noise featured in the trailer.

There was also shown an "proper" controller shown that looked like the offspring of the Day One Xbox One pad and the Wii U's Pro pad. Here's a snap from the trailer.

I'm sure you might of noticed some of the third party games in the trailer. Well it looks like Nintendo has locked in a good amount of third party support. Here is a handy image from Nintendo Japan.

Lots of nice names there and I can see some of those guy's games working well on the Switch, Capcom's Monster Hunter seems painfully obvious, I'm also oddly in thralled at the idea of playing Metal Gear Solid 5 in portable setting, and Bayonetta 3 should be a lock.

We also got to see what appears to be enhanced versions of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon running on the Switch and we even got a look at an all new 3D Mario game. The short clips for Mario in an day of the dead themed village appears to confirm its more like Mario 64/Sunshine than 3D world or Galaxy

The games shown whilst obviously not running in real time looked pretty great (not PS4 Pro, Scorpio levels). Nvidia has now confirmed that the Switch is powered by a custom built Tegra series chip.

Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.
The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.
Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering.
We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency.
NVIDIA gaming technology is integrated into all aspects of the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system, which promises to deliver a great experience to gamers.

Abe's Take
obviously we'll need more information from Nintendo and third parties but as it stands? I am excited about the Nintendo Switch. The ease of transferring from console to handheld appeals to me. As a father of three TV screen time is very limited. The Wii U had an obvious range issue and the Xbox One's solution is far from elegant. However my favourite aspect of merging the Handheld/Home idea is that Nintendo's studios are now free from their previous limits, no more need to have two Mario Karts.

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