Amazing, isn’t it? We have two long-standing console players left within the home-console market, they being Nintendo and PlayStation. How history can pass us by with a flick of an eye. After all, we have seen SEGA fall victim, showing how a few bad decisions can really mean “Game Over” for a console manufacture. This article looks over which direction the Nintendo Switch could take. Let’s begin.
It’s now Nintendo’s turn to risk entering a market that is rather uncertain – certainly risky, and it could quite be make or break for the juggernaut Japanese based company. If it could happen before, as we have experienced with SEGA, then it would be naïve to consider the same cannot happen once again. Perhaps we should look towards Sony’s PS4 for inspiration, since it has become the obvious console of choice surpassing its closest rival, the XBOX One.
Nintendo has a simple message: it wants to be a very different alternative from the two current offerings. For me, this should be regarded as somewhat refreshing and welcomed. This makes sense, because if you already own a PS4, for example, then why would you run out and get an Xbox One? The incentive isn’t there. Some might argue that owning both the Xbox One and PS4 is a smart investment, yet I’d beg to differ. Not only would you have a duel monthly fee for online gaming, but you’d also own too very similar systems, one of which would be more powerful and entertain more exclusive titles (the PS4). Of course, the Nintendo Switch will also come with an online fee, creating an even greater reason for selecting just ownership of one or two consoles, opposed to three. Let’s move on.
Perhaps that is where Microsoft confuses things, they want to table the most powerful gaming console in the world – and it is coming very soon. Talk about a bold statement. Its name? The Scorpio. Microsoft is staying quiet on this front and we will have to wait and see just what they have planned. Maybe the big unveil will entertain something far more interesting than that of E3 2013? Only time will tell. However, Microsoft’s upcoming console should certainly be a worry for Nintendo.
Talking about a new resolution is usually a topic discussed drunkenly on New Year’s Eve, yet it is a hot subject within the world of gaming too. As we enter the age of 4K resolution, it’s an area of importance for both Microsoft and Sony. As Sony launched the first 4K compatible console – the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One S was able to play 4K movies, creating an even balanced attraction for any 4K TV owner. Rumour has it that Nintendo will open the door to this feature when ready, via an upgrade or update.
Back to Nintendo. Sony has utilised the highly powered PS4 with a quickly increasing exclusive catalogue. This is where the Xbox One has generally failed, and it has shown with sales. In other words, having power is certainly important, but it is only one of the few ingredients that form a successful home console at market.
Another message is loud and clear from the Nintendo camp; they take five of the top ten places within the ranks for the bestselling consoles. Impressive, indeed, seconded by Sony, currently standing proud with four. Going by those statistics, there should be no worries for Nintendo fans, right? Sadly, this isn’t the case. Much of Nintendo’s recent success came from the age of portable gaming, well before smartphones reached full maturity. The Wii U has struggled to attract the same attention as the original Wii.
For me, it really could be a pivotal moment for Nintendo. I really doubt that we will see the same success generated and seen from Sony’s PS4. However, those who already own a PS4 or XBOX One could be after something different, thus, the Nintendo Switch. Maybe this is the market Nintendo is aiming for, and it could certainly help cement Nintendo’s future.
Portability and exclusive titles are two strengths that we will see from Nintendo. That’s not to forget that we will finally be able to play new and exciting Mario titles in true 1080p – if you are playing via your TV, and this alone will be enough to warrant a purchase for loyal fans of Nintendo. In fact, the return of the cartridge, 1-inch tall, will be just another reminder as to how Nintendo can change the thinking of how we consider physical media. Remember back when it was the battle between disc vs. cartridge? You might consider that we are facing the same conundrum, even if it is 10 years onwards and under different conditions.
Here’s another headline you wouldn’t have expected to read ten years earlier: “Vinyl records having a renaissance with sales at their highest since the 1990s”. Just another example as to how unpredictable us humans can actually be. After all, the evolving digital age comes with many advantages, yet the current desire sees a trend towards a dated and nostalgic form of media return – vinyl.
Simply put, owning something different and very alternative can prove popular in this modern world we live. Let’s just hope that Nintendo garner the right recipe to create the right traction, helping to from a system that has a bright future.