Our Nintendo Event TL;DR
As many avid gamers already know, Nintendo held a live event tonight (Thursday, January 12). They discussed and revealed some of the big things coming and unveiled some of the mystery behind their new console: Switch. When it comes to Nintendo and innovation, they haven’t had a great track record. That could all change on March 3rd when the Switch launches!
The Joy-Con Controller
With a pleasant mash-up of “joystick” and “controller,” the aptly named Joy-Con for the Switch has some serious versatility! The Joy-Con comes as two pieces that function both together and separately, allowing for single or multi-player games right out of the box. With the famed Nintendo button-cramming technology finally boiled down to a science, both halves of the Joy-Con can function as a stand-alone control pad. Built into the slide-in side of each wafer-sized wonder-stick is its own set of L and R triggers! This allows for each player to not only have four buttons and a joy stick, but two added triggers as well. These buttons disappear when the Joy-Con is connected to the Switch console, however. They hide neatly within the recess of the console.
Did we mention, it also functions as a motion controller? Motion controls of the past, such as the Wiimote and PlayStation Move didn’t even come with both halves of the controller. Gamers would have to buy the “nunchuck” attachment, which ended up attached to the main controller via digital umbilical cord, restricting movement or just feeling like a jump-rope. The Joy-Con allows for completely wireless, joint operation of the two halves, allowing for a more fluid range of motion without the trip hazard!
Oh, and that tiny square button on the Left Joy-Con? Yeah, that’s the Capture/Share button that Nintendo consoles have long been missing in this new generation of social gaming! Sure, the Wii U and 3DS allowed players to share screen shots with the Miiverse, but Nintendo has confirmed that this tiny square savior will allow sharing directly to social media! As of this writing, Nintendo has said that it will only be able to screenshot at first, but that full recording will be available soon. Could this mean the ability to live-broadcast from the Switch as well?
Got butter fingers? Fear not! The Switch also has a Joy-Con wrist strap for each of the halves! Not only will they come in a variety of colors, but they offer a smooth enhancement of each Joy-Con’s independent trigger buttons!
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Rumble packs have been in game controllers for nearly 20 years now and we’ve come a long way since the old days of the N64 Rumble Pack. Companies have been able to design rumble feedback with varying degrees of sensitivity to help enhance game-play. Think of lock-picking in Fallout or Skyrim for example.
Now Nintendo is working to bring the next generation of the rumble controller into our hands. They are calling their new innovation HD Rumble! The tech demo that was shown during their live broadcast claims that the rumble is so precise that a player can experience the FEEL of ice in a cup. Not only the feeling of it moving around, but also how many pieces of ice. Many companies have been working to bring virtual sight and sound to games, but Nintendo has decided to focus on touch. If this tech can do what it claims to do with as much detail as Nintendo says, it will successfully bring a third human sense into the virtual space.
With a multitude of third-party developers already slated to develop for the Nintendo Switch, there’s no doubt that this console has some serious power behind it! Of course, Nintendo will be releasing its own titles for the console, such as Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and Arms.
Here’s a quick list of what was debuted during the event tonight:
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Fire Emblem Warriors
- Dragon Quest 10, 11, and Heroes
- A New Shin Megami Tensei title
- Project Octopath Traveler (From Square Enix)
- The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (confirmed by Bethesda)
- EA’s FIFA
No doubt, this is just the beginning for the platform. With titles this big slated even before launch, our hopes are set high for the Switch.
Switch offers a few more noteworthy edges over their opponents. With most games being played online these days, many players socialize and play with each other from the comfort of their own home, something that is still possible with the Switch. Switch offers not only Network play, however, but also Local Network play. Like the ability to connect with your friend’s 3DS system when you’re nearby each other, the Switch will allow players to bring their console to a friend’s home and play locally with multiple consoles.
The portability of a hand-held system with the power of a stationary console puts Switch on the cutting edge of the future of gaming. Imagine going to eSports events as a competitor, only having to bring your tablet-sized console instead of a massive PC rig! Imagine being able to have multiple docking stations around your home with the ability to pick up the entire system and move it almost effortlessly from room to room!
Truly, the Switch is something we’ve never seen before in an age of gaming where hardware innovations will help shape the future. Like any product, the success or failure of the Switch will depend entirely on us, the gamers of the world. With a launch price of about $300, it’s clear that Nintendo aims to be as affordable as possible.
What about you?
What features or games are you most excited to see from Nintendo’s Switch? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more gaming content!
For more information or to watch trailers for any of the games or features mentioned in this article, check out the Switch website HERE.