I’ve been following Nintendo NX rumors for a very long time, basically as long as Nintendo NX rumors were a thing. I knew that the majority of them were going to turn out to be nonsense, but I needed to know what everyone was saying about the console. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Every day I would check Emily Rogers’ Twitter and blog, a Twitter account called “Iamsherlock1889”, and of course the Nintendo NX subreddit. It seemed like everyone had an idea of what the NX was and had a completely dependable but anonymous source. And then the Eurogamer NX leak happened.If you followed the subreddit, you know that a lot of people didn’t buy into the leak. Most of those people simply didn’t want a hybrid console and were doing everything they could to convince the world that it was impossible. Personally, I believed Eurogamer. My reasoning might not be the absolute best, after all their sources were just as “anonymous but dependable” as everyone else’s. But the thing that stuck out to me was the fact that this wasn’t some random blog or Twitter user. This was Eurogamer, a mainstream video game website. And they were completely confident. Their headline didn’t even include the word “rumor” in it. It was just, “Nintendo NX is a portable with detachable controllers” stated as a fact. When a random blog gets something like this wrong, it disappears into obscurity and no one ever thinks about them again. When you’re talking about a site as big as Eurogamer, the stakes are much higher. There was no way that they were going to say what they said if they weren’t 100% confident.
And what was it they said. You can read the article I linked earlier, but the bullet point version is that it’s a handheld that docks into a TV with detachable controllers that can be used for multiplayer. They also claimed it ran on a modified version of Nvidia’s Tegra chipset. Then, a couple days ago, Nintendo finally released a trailer for the NX, now called Nintendo Switch. And what was it? A handheld that docks into a TV with detachable controllers that can be used for multiplayer. Later the same day, Nvidia confirmed that the Switch would indeed run on a modified version of the Tegra chipset. Eurogamer couldn’t have been more correct.
As someone who really wanted the leak to be true, I couldn’t be happier, and based on the gaming community’s reaction to the system, I think every else couldn’t be happier either. It’s a really cool idea, and one that helps bring both of Nintendo’s markets, console and handheld, under a single device. The other thing that seems really cool, is that the Switch seems to, by default, play gimmick-free video games. There’s been no motion controllers confirmed as of yet, and you’ll only ever have one screen in play. This is Nintendo going back to the basics, while at the same time, changing where and when we’re able to play full console games.
The part of the trailer that really sold it to me was when we see just how seamlessly you can transition from console mode to handheld. At one point, we see a woman playing a new Mario game, when suddenly she hears friends on a rooftop next door calling her over. She walks up to the Switch, attaches the controllers to the sides, pulls the Switch out of the dock, and bam, it’s a handheld. No booting up in specific modes or long transitional loadtimes, you just keep playing. At another point, a man playing Skyrim in handheld mode puts the Switch into the dock and it immediately shows up on the TV screen. If the final product can do this, the Switch will be something truly special.
Before the trailer was shown, it was revealed that it would only be three minutes long. Upon hearing this, I was pretty sure that it would be almost entirely centered on the hardware. But, to my surprise, there was actually a fair amount of games shown too. I’ve already mentioned Mario and Skyrim, both of which were huge surprises. A brand new Mario game is a huge deal, and you’d think they’d give it it’s own time. But no, here’s that woman I mentioned playing a Mario game we’ve never heard of before. And then there was Skyrim, a game from Betheseda, a company that to my knowledge has never released a game on a Nintendo platform. I never could have guessed that we’d see Skyrim in the NX reveal trailer.
But those weren’t all they showed. There was also a version of NBA 2K16, another series that hasn’t been on Nintendo platforms. And then there was new versions of Mario Kart and Splatoon. Both of those are a little strange, however, since it’s unclear of those are new games or enhanced ports of the Wii U games. Mario Kart appears to be Mario Kart 8, but King Boo is a playable character and you can see two slots for holding weapons. Splatoon looked largely the same, but a close look at the characters reveals hairstyles that aren’t in the Wii U release.
Overall, I’m completely ecstatic about Nintendo Switch. It’s such a cool idea, and everyone seems to be really excited for it. I loved the Wii U, but Nintendo really dropped the ball as far as getting people to understand what the system is and why people would want it. In three short minutes, Nintendo communicated the Switch’s concept, introduced new games, and made it simple for everyone to understand. I really think that they’ve found a winning formula this time around. Now, we just have to sit back and wait until March when we can see if they deliver.