Making its console debut in 1986 with the Nintendo Entertainment System, or simply NES, a Japanese video game company under the name Nintendo entered the fray. As the years have progressed Nintendo seemed to have evolved from their initial offering, a console which offered audiences their first look at Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, and aimed towards producing innovative designs. As Nintendo’s ideas, have grown the company has sold over 4.4 billion video games across 693 million hardware units worldwide.
Nintendo’s current imprint on this console this generation takes the form of the Nintendo Wii U, whose predecessor was the motion centric Nintendo Wii. In 2012 the Wii U became Nintendo’s flagship console and features a dynamic game pad, which incorporated a second screen. This second screen allowed Nintendo to expand their multiplayer options and gamers were able to use the second screen as an additional gaming peripheral. This emphasis on innovation may be seen as part of the Nintendo brand as the company aims to push the boundaries of gameplay by offering new ways to play.
Recently, Nintendo has announced their newest console, the Nintendo Switch, which aims to be the successor to the Nintendo Wii U. The Nintendo Switch aims to be Nintendo’s newest home console device and one which aims to extend its reach beyond the living room. The Nintendo Switch aims to offer a more dynamic approach to video games and the concept surrounding this transforming console may take on many forms. Adapting a modular design, the core of the Nintendo Switch console is a portable screen which carries the appearance of some of today’s tablet devices. The primary console module comes equipped with a range of features which include the ability to transfer its display to a television via the Nintendo Dock easily.
While mobile gamers may remove the Nintendo Switch from its dock and simply continue their gameplay experience as the console fluidly transitions form a console to a mobile state; this feature allows the Nintendo Switch to embrace both the console and mobile gaming worlds. Attached to either side of the Nintendo Switch console are detachable left and right controller modules. While the controllers are attached to the sides of the Nintendo Switch device, the console behaves as a handheld games system which supports remote gaming. As the Nintendo Switch transforms its shape, the detachable controllers may also be used for local multiplayer gaming. When travelling, the console may also connect with other Nintendo Switch devices further expanding its multiplayer capabilities.
These modular aspects are what give the Nintendo Switch its name and enables the console to be used in variety of situations and locations. Whether on the bus, a plane or at a friend’s place, Nintendo aims to provide Nintendo Switch users with a flexible gaming experience. Further supporting this is Nintendo’s choice to revert to a cartridge gaming format. The Nintendo Switch aims to replace disc-based gaming in favour of a more traditional, and lightweight, cartridge experience; this might mean carrying games may be easier as a result of smaller cartridges being used. These cartridges aim to provide a high definition gaming experience to the Nintendo Switch and whether casting to a widescreen television or simply enjoying the portable screen, Nintendo have demonstrated titles like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario running smoothly in high definition.
The Nintendo Switch demonstrates a certain fidelity, which may allow the new console to capitalise on both the mobile and console gaming experience. After the reveal of the Nintendo Switch audiences got their first look at Nintendo’s hybrid console and were offered an idea of what the Japanese company aims to achieve. With the Nintendo Switch console, Nintendo may have once again demonstrated their drive to continually innovate and this latest release aims to tap into an age where the mobile device is a core part of modern society.
How does Nintendo aim to provide a hybrid gaming experience with the Nintendo Switch?