What We Still Don’t Know About Nintendo Switch

What We Still Don’t Know About Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has finally lifted the veil and shown off its new home console, the Nintendo Switch. The Switch seems like the perfect solution for Nintendo right now. With the Wii being a mind-boggling exception, every home console from Nintendo since the NES has sold worse than the one before it. Nintendo’s handhelds, on the other hand, have continued to dominate the market and render the competition irrelevant. Handheld and mobile gaming is the future in Japan, but in the West, consumers have proven that they’re still interested in powerful home consoles capable of playing AAA games in HD.

The Switch represents Nintendo’s attempt to tackle both markets in a unique way. The reveal video was only three minutes long, but it communicated so much about the console. I think Nintendo is going to hit a home run with the Switch, but there are still many things that we need to know. Let’s go over all of the questions left unanswered, in order of importance.

Launch lineup

What kind of games can we expect at launch? We know Breath of the Wild will be there, but that’s all we can say for sure. The new Mario game looked really interesting, and it was surreal seeing Skyrim run on a portable Nintendo device, but will those games be available in March? A strong lineup of first-party and third-party games is absolutely key to the Switch getting a strong start, and Nintendo will need get us excited about playing games on the Switch in order to bolster pre-orders.

Battery Life and Price

There’s no getting around the battery life issue. Power, battery life, affordability: pick two. We know the Switch will be playing curren-gen AAA games in HD, so that covers power. A report from MCV stated that the Switch would be priced cheaper than most expect, and the general consensus is that Nintendo wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) go north of $300-350 USD. So that covers price.

I think we’re going to have to face the fact that, when undocked, we’ll be lucky to get 4+ hours of juice out of the Switch. That may sound absurd, but it really isn’t. My 3DS XL lasts about 4-5 hours, and it’s playing games at 240p. We’re dealing with a larger, brighter screen, playing console-quality games in HD. In other words, don’t expect to be playing Skyrim for the entirety of an eight hour flight. Let’s just hope that Nintendo makes it easy to plug the Switch into external charging bricks.

What We Still Don’t Know About Nintendo Switch

Will console games fit on cartridges? What about memory?

The fact that Nintendo’s Switch will be using cartridges has been the source of a lot of hype and a lot of debate. We love carts! They’re so old-school, but so nifty. Flash memory is speedy and won’t necessitate any moving parts inside of the Switch, but can a cartridge really contain an entire AAA game? Memory in general might be an issue, here. DOOM , for example, after patches, takes up over 60GB of space on my PS4. Flash memory has come a long way, but we’ll still need plenty of internal or expanded storage for the Switch to make sense in the digital age.

Modular / replacement controllers?

Will we be able to swap out the original Joy-Cons for different controllers? How about replacements? People are going to lose and drop those little things, and Nintendo will need to make sure that they can be replaced easily and affordably. I’m also not sure that I can stand the local multiplayer sessions using such a tiny controller, so larger Joy-Cons will be a must for me.

That’s my list of pressing questions that need answers. What’s yours? After watching the reveal video, what did you find yourself wondering about? Maybe the OS is a big concern for you. Perhaps you’re dying to know if it has a touch screen. Maybe you’re wondering if Nintendo will simply iterate upon Miiverse or come up with a different online interface altogether? Let us know in the comments.

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