Nintendo Switch: One system, two functions


Nintendo announced its new console last week. It's called the Nintendo Switch — and let's hope it is a lot better than its name. The release date for the console is March 31, 2017.

My personal opinion is Nintendo should have stuck to the codename (the NX). That said, give me a legitimate console and I honestly don't care what you call it. It looks very promising, and seems like Nintendo is ready to enter the realm of high-definition graphics and real gaming. Welcome to the big-boy table. Let's just hope you brought more than a side dish.

They haven't created a console that hardcore gamers could leave at the center of their living room without being mocked and laughed at in about a decade. Maybe two. The last one I could recall was the Nintendo Gamecube. and that is borderline, because there were still better options out there. 

Having played video games since I was 5 years old, it really does bring pain to my heart not to own a new, or at least recent, Nintendo console. I don't have children, so my last two consoles from Nintendo were a complete miss. 

The Switch is considered a hybrid console because it can be "docked" to play conventionally, with a television and a controller, or detached to take anywhere. It looks like a "modular" (similar to a Moto Z smartphone) approach to gaming. 

The main console, which looks like a tablet, fits inside a dock that houses the connections to a television or projector. When it is off the dock, you slide the control stick and buttons off the controller and slide them onto the respective sides of the "tablet" and carry on gaming.

If that didn't make it modular enough, you can also take the control stick and buttons off the sides of the tablet, stick them together to make a smaller controller, and use the tablet as a portable screen to play cooperatively and competitively with friends. 

Specifications and price have not been announced, and published reports say the information most likely won't be available this year. Estimates are swirling around the Internet that price of the console may hover around $300 at launch.

Microsoft and Sony have already refreshed their console offerings with the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro. Both tout 4K graphics, larger capacity hard drives, and virtual reality or augmented reality capabilities. Specs for the Switch may not be that comprehensive, but should rival the initial offerings by the two gaming giants.

A short list of games has been announced or teased in the Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer including the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, some iteration of NBA 2k, Mario Kart, a new Super Mario, and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. A list of confirmed developers, publishers, and other partners — along with the most general of information — are available on Nintendo's website.

Despite Nintendo's lack of appeal to hardcore gamers with their recent console releases, they may finally have a puncher's chance in the current console war. The Wii and Wii U were essentially Nerf guns during a zombie apocalypse, but the Switch might actually be Negan's "Lucille," that changes the narrative from here on out.

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