I posted the formal announcement earlier. I think I’ve earned the right to do a discussion surrounding the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t a standard console, as it’s showing some striking similarities to a few major market shifting machines.
We’ve been discussing for almost a decade now, a growing market for mobile games and the impact that smartphones have had on the gaming industry. While a lot of preconceived notions about these impacts are flawed, in the past several years the line between standard gaming experiences and mobile games have been blurred significantly. This is to the point where even a titan of industry such as Nintendo has invested in the mobile market through titles like Miitomo and the upcoming Super Mario Run.
It should come as no surprise that they would seek to create a hybrid of the handheld gaming market, and full gaming experiences that could only be found on a home console previously. Nintendo Switch seems to do just that.
Does this console spell the death of the handheld gaming market? That’s a good question. It would be weird to see the nail in the coffin be hammered in by a company that has been the definitive answer to all handheld gaming questions. I would argue that this console doesn’t destroy the market. It simply changes it in an irreversible way.
Nintendo Switch will now usher in an era of us as gamers expecting the types of full experiences that could previously only be found on home consoles (PC included). We started to see signs of this shift with the New Nintendo 3DS, in which development centered around games like Majora’s Mask and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, which were literally ports of home console games. Now we see it more with the likes of Yoshi’s Wooly World and Super Mario Maker. Nintendo is taking the stance of making everything “on-the-go” so it’s no surprise to see their home console make the same shift.
Even if you look back to the announcement of the Wii U, while there were many advertised features, none took center stage quite as much as TV-free gameplay.
This is a new direction for Nintendo, and a new direction for the future of games. Our minds will only continue to be opened as more details arise!