The more I see of 1-2 Switch, the more it reminds me of Nintendo’s hugely successful Wii Sports game for the Nintendo Wii. It’s a game that will get players off the couch and engaged with each other. But it remains to be seen if it will have the magic of Wii Sports.
1-2 Switch is a social dueling game that takes advantage of the unique sensors in the Nintendo Switch game console, which goes on sale worldwide for $300 on March 3. Nintendo demonstrated the game on its Nintendo Treehouse Live broadcast.
You could argue that it’s more like Nintendoland (which was included in the Wii U) with a wider variety of games, and it might not be as fun as Wii Sports.
But this collection of mini games for the Nintendo Switch is an attempt to get people off the couch and engaged with each other in a social duel. As such, it has the potential to become a party game that gets people talking about the Switch, which is important for reaching the mass market.
Wii Sports was able to bring a lot of non-gamers into gaming because it also made people laugh and want to join in the fun, with activities like swinging a baseball bat or bowling by using the physical motion of rolling a ball with your arm.
Nintendo is trying to recapture some of that magic with the controllers for the Nintendo Switch. Those games used the accelerometer and gyro in the Wii controller. The Switch’s Joy-Con controller also has those sensors, as well as an infrared camera that can capture images within a short range.
1-2 Switch has mini games such as a gunslinger dueling game. Instead of facing the TV, you face another person holding a mini Joy-Con controller. You look them in the eye and wait for the signal to draw your weapon. You hold the Joy-Con at your side. Then you bring it up fast and pull the trigger. If you are the first one to draw, and if you have raised your gun to the right elevation, then you win the duel.
At the end of the duel, you wait for the TV images to show you who won and who lost, and how many seconds it took for each person to draw, down to the 1/100th of a second. That seems like it’s pretty accurate motion capture.
You can also engage in other kinds of duels. In a ping pong game, you have to get the timing of your swing just right to send the ball back to the other side. A cow milking minigame has you pulling down on the Joy-Con to simulate pulling on a cow’s udder. Whoever milks the most milk from the cow wins.
And then you can fight with samurai swords fighting game or engage in an eating contest. In the eating contest, you point the controller with the infrared camera at your mouth. Then you perform eating motions as fast as you can to win the eating contest.