Nintendo is set to launch its next generation gaming console, the “Switch”, in the coming weeks. Many are already excited for the up-coming Zelda game and the chance to buy a sort of “home-portable” hybrid console that will allow for gaming both in the living room and on the run. However, the Switch could also be Nintendo’s last stand as far as gaming consoles go.
While Nintendo has long been viewed as a thought leader in the video gaming industry, the company’s market share has been on a steady decline as smartphones become the game console of choice for many consumers. If Nintendo doesn’t score a hit with the Switch, many suspect that the company could exit the console market.
Video game console rivals, such as Sony and its PlayStation, or even Microsoft and its X-Box, have put pressure on Nintendo from one side. From the other side, smartphones have greatly reduced the need for gaming consoles in general. Simply put, you can now play games right on your smartphone, why bother with buying a console?
King of Gaming? Consoles vs. Smartphones
There are some advantages that gaming consoles offer compared to smartphones. Dedicated hardware can be more powerful, and dedicated controllers are better than anything smartphones can offer.
Further, since gaming consoles are focused on one thing, gaming, they are actually cheaper to build. A premium smartphone can easily cost 500 pounds. Add in a quality screen protector, a good smartphone case, and other accessories and the bill can quickly rise. A gaming console can be bought for 300 pounds or less.
On the other hand, nearly everyone already owns a smartphone. We make smartphone screen protectors and other accessories precisely because smartphones are so ubiquitous and important. Sure, we’ve considered making accessories for other devices, and who knows maybe we’ll make screen protectors for the Nintendo Switch, but for now smartphones and tablets appear to be the future.
Nintendo Switch: Portable Powerhouse but Not Powerful Enough?
The Nintendo Switch will be released on March 3rd in the United Kingdom. Initial launch games include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Bomberman R, and several other titles. However, drumming up 3rd party software developer support has been difficult for Nintendo in recent years.
What’s in the box?
- Docking Station
- Left and Right Joycon + connector
- Wrist straps
- HDMI cable
- AC adapter
The gaming system will cost 279.99 pounds. Already, some are complaining that’s simply too expensive. You can buy a Sony PS4 for roughly the same price. But the Nintendo Switch is new technology, right? Yes, but it turns out that the Switch is actually not as powerful as the PS4!
There are important reasons why this is the case. The Ps4 resembles a small desktop PC. It is compact, and requires a monitor and separate control devices. The Switch, on the other hand, resembles a small 6.2 inch 1080p tablet (hence why we may produce screen protectors for it, if the demand is there). There’s simply less space.
- Battery for 3 hours of gaming
- Headphone jack
- 1080p video output
At home, you can plug the Switch into a dock and play your games on the big screen. On the go, you can use your Switch sort of like a tablet. However, you can also attach little controllers, called Joycons, to the sides of the Switch, making it resemble a Gameboy or other old school portable video game machine. Although we doubt it will give us the same nostalgia!
There are a lot of drawback with this approach. The Switch is meant to be a next generation device, and yet its graphics power actually lags behind the Sony PS4 Microsoft Xbox One. Space wise, the Switch only about 32GB internal memory, which is less than most modern smartphones. However, there is a Micro SD slot, so you can expand memory. Further, games may not be as advanced as the PS4’s, but they will blow smartphone games away.
Conclusion: Tough Sell but Don’t Count Nintendo Out
Nintendo games won’t be as graphically powerful as the Sony PS4, and it appears that it will be very difficult to port games from last generation systems to the Switch. Further, while the Switch will be more powerful than most smartphones, as far as gaming is concerned, will that really be enough? The video game industry is, quite simply, a cut throat industry.
Nintendo does have a trick up its sleeve. The company produces games that are a heck of a lot of fun. Nintendo owns Mario, Zelda, and many other popular gaming assets, so you won’t find these characters on other consoles. We expect that these proprietary games will give the Switch some short-term momentum. As far as long-term goes, we’re adopting a wait-and-see approach.