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Nintendo is the first company to build a modern games console

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People may chase pixels and framerates, but Nintendo is actually chasing YOU.

We’ve been chasing the highest resolutions, the best graphics and fastest framerates for what feels like forever. Both Sony and Microsoft have doubled down on hardcore gamers’ desire to have the cutting edge in visual fidelity, with new consoles in the form of the Xbox One S, the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio. The desperate desire for prettier pictures is clearly something many gamers crave, especially as the inevitable PC vs console debate rages on, boring everyone to tears.

However, as always, it takes Nintendo to come along and flip the script. The company has always kept the gameplay experience at its core, and in doing so has built the first truly modern gaming console in the form of the Nintendo Switch.

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If you’re currently fighting the Sony vs Microsoft battle (stop that, by the way, nobody cares), then the debate is always the same: how good the games look, online services, exclusives and all that usual talk. The Nintendo Switch has come along and offered something that its competition doesn’t: portability and convenience.

I travel a lot for my job, so the idea of being able to take a high-end games console on the go with me is incredibly appealing. Knowing I don’t have to try and play 15 games in the one or two hours of free time I have at home but in any spare moment offered by the Switch is excellent.

I’m also about to become a dad for the first time, and what I’ve consistently been told is “say goodbye to sleep, your free time and emotional stability!”. As terrifying as all that is, one realistic thing I’ve accepted is I’ll never have time to sit in front of the TV and watch stuff anymore, that’ll be reserved for Teletubbies, He-Man, Street Sharks or whatever infants watch these days (I’m already becoming an uncool parent and the poor child isn’t even here yet).

But with the Switch I’ll be able to play all my games on the equivalent of an iPad, sliding those incredibly slick-looking controllers either side and avoiding terrible touch controls in the process.

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nintendo switch

Oh and then there’s multiplayer. I don’t need to spend £50 on an additional controller (it was outrageous two years ago and is still outrageous now), but I can literally break my controller in half and give it to my partner, my friend who’s visiting or even the kid. Yes there’s only one analogue stick as a consequence, but let’s see how that one plays out, because right now it’s a really cool concept that I’m fully on board with.

What the debut trailer showed is that this console is very much a jack-of-all-trades piece of kit. A single dude in an unfairly large home and an enormous dog? This will work for you. Athlete who likes playing both real and digital sport with pals? All good. One of the two competitive Splatoon players in this world? Yup, you’re covered too.

Right now, I’m more excited than I ever expected to be for Nintendo Switch. To have triple-A gaming on the go is incredible. This feels like the Switch – ironically – is finally fulfilling the promise offered by the PlayStation Vita many moons ago. The simple fact that the console offers convenience in being able to play the latest games whenever I get a spare moment, wherever I am, means I see myself playing this for many more hours than anything on PlayStation of Microsoft consoles purely because of where I find my spare time.

The games are very unlikely to look as pretty as its rivals, but I don’t care, because gameplay is king, and Nintendo is the king of gameplay. I just hope there are a slew of carry cases to come for it, because there’s no way I’m willing to stick that screen in my bag without protection.

WATCH — Nintendo Switch: First Look

njevans

October 20, 2016, 4:30 pm

He-man? Dream on. Paw Patrol and PJ Masks more like it :P

I love this idea, design, and execution. Sure I may not take advantage of some of the multiplayer aspects, but the fact that I can just take this thing with me everywhere I go and put in some gaming whenever I get a spare moment is incredible.

Gareth Burleigh

October 20, 2016, 4:32 pm

This looks fantastic, now lets hope Nintendo have learned from the Wii U and do a good job of marketing this properly so non gamers/parents understand what it is all about.

After years of Playstation I got reacquainted with Nintendo when my Daughter wanted a 3DS from Santa a few years back and I/we have been hooked since. Will be a day one purchase for us

BoBoBolinski

October 21, 2016, 8:30 am

If you want decent gameplay, it's hard to beat Nintendo. Lets hope it's as successful as the Wii, and not another Wii U.

Joycey

October 21, 2016, 9:20 am

I remember bottle feeding my 2 month old in my arms with bottle placed strategically under my chin whilst playing Black Ops at 4am, needless to say...I didnt do that well. Don't get too excited about being able to play the Switch whilst your little'un is watching Peppa Pig on TV either...they want the bright flashing thing in your hands, usually a Phone but the Switch will look even more enticing.

jimmy

October 21, 2016, 11:06 am

the format looks like a huge step in the right direction. key issues will be if it can compete with the raw grunt of the PS4 and XB1, be easy for developers to program for and gain back the support of majors software houses lost under the Wii U. the battery life will be key too, if it only lasts 2 hours on the go then a lot of people will dismiss it.
More details will help decide how it may fill different uses. Does it have an SD card slot of some sort - can you use it for example to view movies on the go when you are bored of playing a game? Could it double up as a tablet replacement, or will it be fully locked down to purely games.
hope the potential is fully realised, as it's certainly more tempting than a PS4 at present.

Pg

October 21, 2016, 1:25 pm

But it's not a console. It's a hand held device with a Tv dock.
And for those wondering if it will compete with Xbox and ps on power. Size of the device tells you it won't. I was hoping Nintendo would come out with a proper console, which could compete at a good price too, but that's not the route they've gone.
So really looking for Nintendo to come up with the goods in terms of their own IP for this to really shine.

Alex Walsh

October 21, 2016, 1:26 pm

I think it takes a tech person but not a specific game writer to hit the nail on the head and you've done that. The last innovation in trad consoles was probably online, so the seamless movement from mobile to TV is an interesting step!

There will be hardware issues to overcome: battery life, grunt, durability etc, but you only have to look at the number of racing games on PS4 or Xbox 1 (or fighting games for that matter), to realise that those two consoles are rapidly becoming first person shooter enablers, with the odd game outside that genre that's worth having. Power isn't everything but ease of porting, ease of programming and use of use are all things that will see the Switch win or lose.

david charles

October 21, 2016, 2:27 pm

its a console, one that is just portable as well. You could just leave it in the dock and never take it out if you so wish.....choice is yours

Pg

October 21, 2016, 4:20 pm

It's not a console, it's a tablet. With a Tv dock. They have said the dock doesn't provide any extra computing power, otherwise I would have called it a hybrid tablet/console.
If I were to hook a tablet to my TV it doesn't make it a console.

Noble Alfred

October 22, 2016, 4:04 pm

Everything I've seen so far leaves me quite impressed. As a PC gamer, so far Switch looks like the console which I most want.

DarkHalf

October 22, 2016, 4:09 pm

I was curious and certainly a little nervous about what the NX would turn out to be. I love Nintendo I'll admit, I always buy their consoles because I always need my Zelda, Mario and many more fix.

But now that they've finally shown the Switch I'm actually excited for it, can't wait to get my hands on one. I don't care if it's as graphically impressive as the PS4/Pro Xbox One/Scorpio. Neither was the Wii U and I loved that. It had a lot of good games, just weak third party support. I loved being able to play on the game pad while the wife watched her nonsense on TV.

This looks like a great evolution of the Wii U idea and I want one. I don't think it'll be too underpowered. With a custom Nvidia chip it should be capable of good enough visuals. But most importantly it'll have the stunning Nintendo games playability. I just hope they do a good job of marketing this one and keep third parties on board.

What I'm most pleased with is that they have so far avoided the traditional Nintendo gimmicks and instead made something different, interesting and dare I say useful. It's certainly more interesting to me than my PS4.

cheese king

October 22, 2016, 4:35 pm

yeah cos a nobody has gamed on a tablet before have they. what junk

Darren McCoy

October 22, 2016, 8:06 pm

They should have called it sWIItch

Gamehead

October 22, 2016, 9:27 pm

"portability and convenience" Because Sony and MS dont offer streaming services for their consoles on mobile and pc...

Indigo

October 23, 2016, 6:26 am

Congrats on parent-hood to you and yours. Hope it goes well on the day, and after. Oh, and the console looks excellent. It will be good for many situations, but the travel is the thing that will make parenting hard.

HollowGrapeJ

October 23, 2016, 7:17 am

Dude, it is a console.

MontyMole

October 23, 2016, 4:20 pm

I've been a huge Nintendo fan since the days of Game & Watch. I've owned all their consoles but although i'm looking forward to the Switch i have one big annoyance. Why oh why have Nintendo teamed up with Nvidia (great move btw) and decided to use a custom Maxwell chip instead of the phenomenal (and new) Pascal architecture? Pascal would run the Switch much cooler, increase power hugely and give a big boost to battery performance. The use of Maxwell makes no sense for a 2017 device to me. I'm flummoxed on this issue. Yeah i know Nintendo now have a habit of under-powering their consoles but this seems like a huge opportunity missed.

RaminNoodles86

October 24, 2016, 9:27 am

I can only assume it's because the architecture of the console was all finalised well in advance - possibly late 2015/early 2016.

And I agree - very frustrating

mode11

October 25, 2016, 3:41 pm

Sony and Microsoft actually aren't chasing raw power - this generation, they've concentrated on making affordable platforms with a merely decent amount of power, based on a familiar, easy-to-port-to PC architecture; i.e. they've put software first. There's nothing about these platforms that dictates the types of games you can play - Mario would work just as well on a PS4 (and in fact, would probably be incredible).

True, the Pro and Scorpio will up the ante, but not so much they need to be sold at a loss to be affordable.

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