Game Column: Nintendo to release new "Switch" in MarchBy Aaron Bonner | 01/17/2017 6:13pm
CW / Jake Stevens
Nintendo is a company known for thinking outside the box, designing consoles that feature innovative new ways to play games. On Thursday night, the company unveiled their newest creation – the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console, mixing both home console and portable gameplay in one system. The controllers are detachable, allowing players to remove them from a grip and reattach them to a tablet-like system to take anywhere.
While the system introduces a different way to play video games, it marks a step forward for Nintendo in online gaming. The company said that the system will have a paid service in the fall, much like Sony and Microsoft, with online voice chat and connectivity through a separate smartphone app. Much like Playstation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, the service will also provide one free retro game per month for users to try out.
At launch, the system will have five games available, with more coming later in the year. Two of the bigger releases at launch are “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “1-2 Switch,” both exclusives created by Nintendo.
“Breath of the Wild” is a new take on the Zelda franchise, letting players go off the beaten path further than they ever could before in a new open world environment. Though the game will also release on Nintendo’s previous system, the Wii U, the Switch allows the game to be played anywhere instead of in front of a TV.
“1-2 Switch” is a tech demo of sorts, much like Wii Sports showed off what the system was capable of. Part of the presentation Thursday focused on “HD Rumble,” a new vibration model within the controllers that helps immerse gamers further into the game - a feature “1-2 Switch” uses in its gameplay.
The game is a mini-game collection that makes use of the Joy-Con controllers to bring players together in head-to-head reaction based games. Some of the games featured in the collection are table tennis, quick draw shooting and even cow milking. At the presentation, the producer of “1-2 Switch,” Kouichi Kawamoto, said that the game was designed around looking into the eyes of an opponent rather than the screen itself.
Later in the year more exclusives will be released, such as Nintendo’s “ARMS,” a competitive brawler that uses the Joy-Con controllers to act as extendable arms. “ARMS” seems like an extension of the formula that “Wii Sports’” Boxing created back in 2006, but with more competitive aspects in mind. Much like Boxing, players punch to extend their robotic character’s fists forward, turn to the side to execute a curving jab and compete to take each other down.
Though many games aren’t present alongside the system’s release date, the Switch looks to have a promising stream of games further into its life. Third party developers such as Bethesda and EA are bringing games like “Skyrim” and “FIFA” to the console later this year. Nintendo themselves are releasing new entries in their popular series, such as “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Splatoon 2.”
The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3 for $299.99.