It was 1988 when I was given the original Nintendo system for Christmas. 7 years old and the memories from the Nintendo catalogs still ring true today. From Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Star Fox, the Gameboy, to other Nintendo specific titles like Mega Man, Pokemon, and all their consoles along the way. Nintendo has had a huge impact on my life as well as the gaming scene all together. With the evolution of more sophisticated consoles like the Playstation and Xbox, Nintendo’s catalog is still just as powerful as ever. Who doesn’t instantly recognize “ITSAAAA MEEEEE MARIO!!!!!”? My years back in the states after being in Germany were spent at my friend’s house down the street or at my house playing things like Startropics, Double Dragon, BattleToads, Tetris, and so much more. I’ve owned every console since!
Today, Nintendo unveiled its next console dubbed “Switch”. The evolution of the name we all love has focused it’s next product at gaming in a modern world. It also targets some serious weaknesses in the console segments. Many of you will spit out #PCMASTERRACE and that’s fine too as I am too a PC Gamer, but nothing quite says simplicity in gaming like a console. Being able to slap a console to the TV, connect it to your network, and be done has a wonderful ease of use to it. Especially in contrast to having to pick a video card, build a computer, and then configure all of it. A console is what can bring friends and family together for some entertainment really fast. How many of you have spent hours with friends playing Goldeneye back in the day? Or Halo? or Mario Kart? Whatever your preference, know that Nintendo’s continued push to drive innovation in entertainment is important. It’s very important! Think about all the Nintendo responsible pop culture, parody videos, and sheer memories associated with it. I often refer to 8-bit music and gaming soundtracks as my generation’s classical music, and seriously some of the compositions in gaming are just amazingly powerful and memorable. Here is an acapella version of the Overworld Level 1 song from Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES by my Oklahoma neighbor Smooth McGroove. Check out his channel! I bet you’ll find a song that speaks to you as well:
If you search further, you’ll find all sorts of parody videos and Nintendo themed videos all over the internet. Here is one by the awesome Freddie Wong of Rocket Jump featuring the extremely talented violinist Lindsey Stirling dressed for the role of Link in a wonderfully light-hearted video of smashing pots. A love hate element of the entire Nintendo Zelda catalog of games:
This morning Nintendo released their first look at the console and it’s capabilities which you can watch below. One of the things I personally like about this is the mobility. An easy cradle for TV/living room gaming and then pick it up and go. In a day and age where mobile devices have a big impact in how we enjoy gaming, it’s good to see Nintendo sticking to something they’ve done very well within their experiences with the Gameboy. According to a report on Statista.com mobile gaming generated 24.4 billion in revenue in the U.S in 2014. They are forecasting that industry to almost double to 44.2 billion in 2018. Nintendo has had one constant through all of their struggles in providing hardware against their competition. That has been the Gameboy line. So let’s take the power of a home console and couple it with the portability and versatility of taking that show on the road. Before I let you watch the trailer, let me take you down memory lane to the marketing that consumed my life in the 80s. ONE OF THE ORIGINAL NES COMMERCIALS!
Below you will find the officially released Nintendo First Look video of the Switch. We all have questions like battery life, graphics capabilities, how easy is it to use the small controllers, what are the release titles, and more. Look closely at the SD card cartridges, kickstand, the Joy-Con controllers, and all it’s various use cases shown in the video.
One thing is for sure. Zelda looks amazing, Super Mario 64 Remake looks amazing, Skyrim looks amazing, Mario Kart 8 looks amazing, Splatoon looks fun, and the basketball game all look like current tier graphics. This is a huge win on top of the portability of the new Switch. Multiplayer on the go and you can literally have a party without tons of accessories along the way. Assuming the Switch will also include all the media hub features we have come to expect on flagship consoles like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, etc. this may become your extremely portable media hub on top of your gaming console.
I personally always buy every console as an old habit and to also have an opinion on everything versus just reading and spitting back out someone else’s perspective verbatim. So as this develops and I get my hands on one I’ll be sure to highlight some more of the evolution from the Wii U/3DS chapter of Nintendo’s history and how it feels sitting next to my PS4 and XB1. One thing I’ve absolutely loved about Nintendo since the 3DS and the Wii is they are willing to gamble and try new things. While their game catalog stays mostly true to it’s roots, it’s hardware has been drastically different versus its competition. Good luck Nintendo! I’ll be supporting you with the Switch!
I LOVE NINTENDO!