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Nintendo is Switch-ing things up

Collin Cochran

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After months of tantalizing consumers with small fragments of information, Nintendo finally gave a lengthy presentation showing off all of the juicy details about their newest gaming console, the Nintendo Switch.

For those not familiar with the console, the Nintendo Switch, previously known by codename NX, is a handheld-home console hybrid that can be carried around like a tablet or Gameboy and also connected to a television and used like a PlayStation or Wii.

The Switch is set to launch on March 3 of this year at a suggested retail price of $300. The price doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as $300 is roughly the median price of all recent gaming consoles, and where the Switch is lacking in power, it makes up for it with portability and a multitude of functionalities.

The primary feature that sets the Nintendo Switch apart from the Xbox One and PS4 is its portability and the surplus of ways in which it can be used. While the PS4 and Xbox One are mainly meant to be played on a television with a controller or motion controls, the Switch can be played on a television with a classic controller or motion controls a-la Wiimote and nunchaku, on the go as a handheld device or you can detach the controllers (Joy Cons) from the display and play multiplayer games virtually anywhere.

Whether or not portability and an array of control schemes makes the Switch a worthwhile purchase depends on your needs as a consumer, but many fans and critics have lambasted Nintendo for the additional prices and costs associated with the console.

For an additional pair of Joy Con controllers Nintendo is charging $80, and for a Pro-Controller they are charging $70. For a system that is being advertised as perfect for social gatherings and multiplayer gaming, it seems insane that one would need to spend an additional $80-$280 dollars just for the ability to play Mario Kart with three other friends.

In addition to the outlandish accessory prices, Nintendo also announced that they will begin charging for use of their online service similar to Sony and Microsoft. While charging for online play has become a standard in the video-game industry, Nintendo has a track record for unstable servers and very non-user friendly online services. As if fans weren’t weary enough, the marketing behind the service is very unclear, and it appears that a mobile phone must be used to manage your account, meaning that a 4G cellphone connection may be required.

Some have also criticized the Switch for only having 32 gigs of built in storage, which is barely enough to hold two games. The Switch does support regular non-proprietary SD cards, meaning an extra 128 gigs of storage will only run you about $35. The Nintendo Switch presentation wasn’t entirely mired by pricing faux pas, as despite the relatively weak launch line-up of games, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” being the only standout, it does appear that there will be a medley of games for Switch owners in the months following the release.

Nintendo will be releasing “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” just a month after the Switch comes out, and “Splatoon 2” will be released in summer of this year. While follow-ups to Wii U favorites may be exciting for Nintendo fans, a Nintendo title more likely to garner the interest of many consumers is “Super Mario Odyssey.” “Super Mario Odyssey” won’t be released until next winter, but the first fully-fledged new Mario title since “Super Mario Galaxy” in 2007 will surely entice many gamers to pick up a Switch.

While a new Zelda and Mario game appeals to the mainstream, the Switch presentation also let gamers know that more niche, or hardcore, games are also coming to the Switch, including a new Shin Megami Tensei game, “Xenoblade Chronicles 2” and a new entry in the “No More Heroes” series.

The Nintendo Switch is set to release March 3 of this year, and while it remains to be seen just how much the world wants a console/handheld hybrid, the launch of a new Nintendo console is always an exciting event in the world of entertainment and gaming alike

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Nintendo is Switch-ing things up