Before, a little history. I’ve always loved laptops. I was thrilled to be able to play Tetris in the classic Game Boy of my friends, even with that black and green look with extremely limited vision. Sometime later I won the Game Boy Pocket, a leaner version that featured black and white colors. My first game was Wario Blast, a crossover between Nintendo’s “anti-hero” and Bomberman. Far from being the best platform game but, man, how I played and had fun with it. Then I went through the Nintendo DS, PSP, Nintendo 3DS and, of course, the smartphones.
We here know of the expertise of Nintendo in the field of laptops. She has always led the market in a basically absolute way. The PSP was its biggest opponent in history but far from overcoming it, although it has received absolutely fantastic games.
With the WiiU, the company tried to create its first hybrid console thanks to the screen of its control. However, there were several limitations, especially how far you could be from the console, causing frequent signal loss.
The Nintendo Switch, however, is another story. You can see that it is the natural evolution of the idea I mentioned earlier, but executed in the way it should be done. It is the first truly portable video game, that is, that can be taken anywhere, even because the hardware comes down to the “tablet” itself.
One of the big balconies of the Switch is to play on the TV, connected to the dock, or simply remove it, fit the controls (joycons) and ready, the experience continues in the palm of your hand. No extra loadings, strange interruptions or something: everything happens on the spot, no gagging. The transition is perfect.
Ok, I can not say that it’s easy to carry like a Nintendo 3DS, which you can still put in your pocket, let alone a smartphone, but just store it in a case and carry it back and forth. Another asset is its control that is, in a way, modular. The word here is flexibility.
By default, every switch already comes with 2 controls, as each joycon can operate individually. Not the best way to try it, even because they are small, but it breaks a tremendous branch. In other words, without spending any extra penny, I can play multiplayer with someone who does not have the console. The first time I did this with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe made me realize that the Switch is, in fact, special. The console even has a back support to make the game more comfortable. You can see that Nintendo has thought of everything. If other people also have a Switch, you have the option of nesting the joycons on the console to turn it into a more traditional laptop, or take the grip, forming a closer control than we’re used to. Again, it all boils down to options.
At the time of playing, it is amazing to be able to see games like Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda Doom, Mario Kart 8 and others running in portable mode. It is a level far above what we were accustomed to. The fact that games are stored on cards results in super-fast loading, which is essential in portable experiences.
Of course this comes at the cost of a short battery life, and this is the big negative point. Okay, you can not get dozens of hours of gameplay on a smartphone – games are the type of app that most uses the battery – but only 3 or 4 hours, depending on the game … it’s just a little bit.
Luckily, Nintendo has added a USB-C port instead of some random proprietary input, so you will not have trouble reloading it. Already the battery of the joycons impress. Remember that the console can also be loaded by keeping it plugged into the dock.
In short, there is still no way to know if Nintendo will really concentrate all its games production on the Switch and end its line of laptops, currently led by 3DS. I believe this is the future. Only in the first year have we had masterpieces like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and many famous series are yet to make their debut – especially the Pokémon phenomenon. In short, the future of the console is the best possible, and I’m glad the idea has worked so well. Already more than 15 million units sold. And you, did you like the premise? Have you tried the Switch?
In the next article, I’ll talk about a series of games that have been ported from smartphones to Nintendo Switch and are finding a new opportunity for success. Until then!
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