The recent handheld console market hasn’t been the most successful. Sony’s PSVita was a failure because it lacked the power to deliver on the “home console in your hand” promise. Nintendo’s own WiiU failed because, well, it just wasn’t that great either, offering slightly better graphics than the original Wii, but with the clunky WiiU controller. The outstanding 3DS is an outlier, but mainly because it plays Pokemon and Mario really well, and offers graphics akin to the Super Nintendo, which isn’t exactly stressing the hardware – we don’t expect it to look like a next-gen console.
So when Nintendo finally announced its new home console – the Nintendo Switch – on Thursday, we finally got to see what it was all about.
Turns out it’s an interesting hybrid of home console and handheld that allows gamers to easily transition from at home to on the go. My first thought was that Nintendo would deliver a product – split between two markets – that would deliver a lacklustre performance in both.
The commercial makes allusions to a number of really awesome features though. It seems as though the transition from TV to handheld is seamless. It also looks like the systems can connect to each other making LAN gameplay possible in really small spaces. But the question still remains – how powerful will this be, and if the console is truly “next-gen”, can it emulate that console quality gaming experience on the go?
The Switch is rumored to be powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra GPU refined and tweaked to get the most out of its performance. It’s a mobile based processor, but with the Pascal architecture in the recent 1060/70/80 cards making HUGE advancements in the graphics space, that isn’t as disappointing as one may think. No resolution for the Switch has been confirmed, but Nintendo has stated that it will be “HD”.
What will make or break this console is whether or not it can deliver on that true next-gen console-in-your-hands experience that so many have failed to. If we’re simply getting an up-scaled WiiU with portable capabilities, I think this could spell the end of Nintendo as we know it. If we, however, get a great experience with real next-gen graphics, simple portability and some really good first party games (we’ve seen the new Zelda, which looks great, but is still cell-shaded), this could be the leap into the PS4/XBOne party that Nintendo has been waiting for.
What do you think of the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments.