Nintendo Switch: Gimmicks Aren't All That Bad And Superior Hardware Isn't Necessary
Ever since the Big N dropped the "Nintendo Switch"-bomb earlier this morning, the internet has been buzzing. The sentiment is mixed with fans excited about the innovative console itself...
NINTENDO SWITCH... take ALL my money! 😵🙌🏻— Yousef Saleh Erakat (@fouseyTUBE) October 20, 2016
...it's third-party support...
...lots poked fun...
...while others weren't so optimistic:
Regarding the first point of that last comment, Nintendo is notorious for leading the innovation side of the console wars, and as much as one can call the motion controls of the Nintendo Wii a "gimmick", it's hard to justify it as a bad thing when you look at the sales figures.
Unfortunately for Nintendo, the same didn't hold true for the Nintendo Wii U. The Wii U's poorly chosen moniker caused lots of confusion with consumers due to the nearly identical name to the Nintendo Wii. Consumers were left asking themselves questions like, "Don't I already have this? Is it an upgrade? Why can't I just buy the new controller?" Furthermore, there was a limited selection of AAA titles from the launch window due to lack of third-party support, and first-party franchises arrived too little, too late to the party. The final nail in the coffin was the rapidly expanding tablet market, which undermined the Wii U's gamepad (it's core differentiating factor or gimmick), rendering it nearly obsolete.
However, moving on to the second part of the comment regarding the implied necessity to have hardware on par with the competitors, Nintendo has proven this point wrong on several occasions. The Wii wasn't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but the "gimmick" of the Wii Remote that won the hearts of casual gamers around the world.
Nintendo actually has a great track record with taking on over-powered hardware competitors, especially in regards to handheld devices. Both the Sega Game Gear and PlayStation Portable boasted better hardware than Nintendo's GameBoy and Nintendo DS respectively, yet the numbers show that there's no comparison:
This point is substantiated further if you add the other competitors that have tried and failed to dominate the handheld market:
Now you can say that the comment was exclusively comparing home consoles, but that's the beauty of Nintendo's latest gimmick. It's has the potential to be the best of both worlds, creating a universal platform for developers to create games that gamers can enjoy at home and on-the-go. Microsoft made a similar move to a universal platform when Windows 10 launched last year allowing developers to code and have their programs/apps scale across any Windows 10 device (PC, Xbox, Phone, HoloLens). It did seem silly that in the past, you had to buy both mobile and PC versions of apps/games, similar to how gamers would have to buy DLC characters or stages for both versions of Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U.
One thing that's for sure is that the Nintendo Switch has a gimmick I believe in, with enough hardware horsepower and configurations to keep me happy. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below.