Way back in September, when the Nintendo Switch was still known as the NX and we had no idea what Nintendo was plotting, I wrote that the company should call it quits when it comes to consoles. I remembered this article when I was standing in line on the morning of March 3, waiting to pick up my Switch, which had been pre-ordered and paid off since January. The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on me, but now that I’ve got the Switch and I’ve been playing it constantly for the better part of a week, can it change my mind about Nintendo and its console business?
The short answer to that question is “yes,” while the somewhat longer answer begins with “yes, but…” My initial thoughts on the Switch are largely unchanged since January. I think that if Nintendo isn’t interested in competing with Sony and Microsoft in terms of power, this is one of the coolest things it could have done.
The Wii U tried to combine aspects of mobile and console gaming, but it went down in flames. In 20 years, the Wii U will only be a blip in Nintendo’s long and storied history – a console that was merely okay, with half baked ideas that even Nintendo started to move away from in the end.
The Switch, on the other hand, feels like the full realization of what Nintendo set out to do with the Wii U. It immediately feels bigger than the Wii U ever was, as if Nintendo is really onto something here. It doesn’t matter to me that the Switch is underpowered compared to the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One, because honestly, I have a gaming PC if I want power. The fact that I’m not tethered to my TV when I want to play a console-quality Nintendo game is, quite frankly, wonderful.
However, I recognize that I need to be careful here, because I’ve been playing a lot of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I’ve been having a truly incredible time making my way through Hyrule. I’ll get into this more in a full review that’s coming down the pipeline, but Breath of the Wild is one of the best games I’ve played in a long while, and the fondness I’ve developed for it has the potential to color my opinion of the Switch.
Ultimately, I need to spend more time with the Switch before I’ll be able to formulate a solid opinion on the hardware itself. There are flaws and quirks that can’t be ignored with the Switch, but the same is true for any console. At the moment, it certainly feels like Nintendo is on the right track, but it’s hard to make a call because we’ve never really had a console like the Switch before.
I’ll have full reviews of both the Switch hardware and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild coming up soon. For now, I feel I’ve played enough to say that the Switch has made me reconsider my former stance. Nintendo still has a lot to do if I’m going to retract it entirely, because at the end of the day, console launches are an exciting time and I’m definitely getting caught up in the hype.
The proof that Nintendo has learned from the Wii U won’t come until later, when the hype has died down and Nintendo has to sell the console to mainstream consumers. If it can do that and turn the Switch into a success where the Wii U failed, then Nintendo will prove me wrong. I hope it does, because at this early stage, I’m absolutely on board with the Switch.
What about you? Has the Switch convinced you that Nintendo can turn it around after the Wii U? Head down to the comments section and let us know!