Tonight, we’ll learn more details about Nintendo’s home console/portable hybrid, the Switch.
We’re expecting information like launch date and price, but Nintendo could show off unknown features and new games during its two streams. The first is happening tonight at 8 p.m. Pacific, with a second stream focusing on games coming up Friday at 6:30 a.m. Pacific. You can watch them at Nintendo’s site, and they’ll also stream on YouTube and Twitch.
In some ways, this anticipation is just as (maybe even more fun) than the actual reveal. We’re all letting our imaginations go wild, wondering what Nintendo will tell us. And we’re not all wishing for the same things.
Below, each member of our staff talks about what they’re hoping to see from Nintendo’s upcoming Switch events.
Lead writer Dean Takahashi
I would like to see full details on the hardware, in terms of its specifications, the type of chips, and other hardware in the box. I don’t expect to get this. Nintendo is notoriously vague about its hardware specs, as if it doesn’t really matter to gamers. But a lot of people care about them, and it helps us all understand the connection between gaming and technology better.
I’d love to know if Nintendo will embrace cloud gaming, as the Nvidia Shield tablet and set-top box (upon which the Switch is based) both take advantage of cloud gaming features. I’d also like to know more details about engaging in and watching esports, as teased in the trailer.
I would love to know what launch games are arriving at the time of launch and the extent of third-party support. Clearly this is more attractive than the previous console, but these details would help fill in the picture.
Writer Jeff Grubb
I want Nintendo to reassure me that it won’t try to make any more half-ass attempts at crucial elements of a modern gaming system. We all know that the Switch will work fine as a Nintendo-game machine. But if I’m going to buy a new console in 2017, Nintendo can’t just pay lip service to third-party support, app support, and internet capabilities.
Nintendo must come out and give me confidence that it has built a system that developers and publishers want to support. The Switch is using hardware that is very similar to an Android device, and Nintendo should take advantage of that by welcoming app developers. The Switch doesn’t need to have a dozen fart apps, but I would love to have a podcast app so I can play Zelda and listen to the Filmcast at the same time. And, of course, give us a connected internet environment where we can easily find our friends, create parties, and communicate without friend codes.
Community manager Mike Minotti
I want a dozen fart apps.
OK, seriously, the portable aspect of the Switch is what I find most exciting about the system, and the rumors that GameCube games could be downloaded on the console via a new Virtual Console store thrill me. The GameCube is one of my favorite systems ever, Nintendo or otherwise. Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Sunshine … I could keep naming its classics.
Having those games available on a portable system would be incredible. It’s time to get the GameCube on the Virtual Console. Since Nintendo introduced the digital store in 2006 with the Wii, the Nintendo 64 has been the latest platform to have some of its library represented. Back in 2006, the GameCube wasn’t that old of a system (it debuted in 2001). But it’s been more than 10 years since 2006. It’s time to get a new generation in the Virtual Console.
Managing editor Jason Wilson
My needs are different from my colleagues. I don’t care so much about app support — if I want to listen to music or a podcast, I’ll use my phone to do so. I don’t need to know the details of the chips. Playing online isn’t as important as playing with my kids on the couch (though I do hope it’ll have strong online capabilities for those who will enjoy and use those services). I’ll dig playing it while I’m in bed or commuting to the office, but hell, we’ve been playing games-on-the-go for decades, so this isn’t all that new.
But I do care about three things:
- How it connects to networks on-the-go.
- How long its battery lasts.
- Indie support.
- Enough supply that buying one won’t be a pain in the ass in the first few weeks after launch.
Nintendo’s marketing showed people playing the Switch all over town. But was it online? And if so, what sort of network was it using? Would we need to pay a monthly fee to access it? Or is it just straight Wi-Fi, with no 4G or LTE connectivity? And how strong is this battery going to be? I remember my DS battery lasting much longer than the 3DS’s, and I bet this little gadget is going to require more power than Nintendo’s last handheld uses.
For years, gamers have complained about the lack of third-party publishers making their big games for Nintendo consoles. Frankly, I don’t care — I don’t need EA games on the Switch. But I would love to see indies publish on the system. Lots of great PC games would work well on a portable console — as we’ve seen, the likes of Shovel Knight and Spelunky work just fine on a portable as well as the PC. I’d like Nintendo to reach out to indies, in the way that Sony has for the PlayStation 4, and bring more variety to its ecosystem.
But my major concern is supply. As we saw with the NES Classic in late 2016, Nintendo clings to its conservative sales projections at launch. I hope all the hubbub about the Switch — its YouTube trailer has more than 23.2 million views on YouTube, and it was a hit during its late-night TV stint — shows the stalwart gaming company that it’s already done a good job of building demand.