This past weekend marked the first time the public got their hands on the newest console coming from Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch. Long anticipated as the Nintendo NX, the Nintendo Switch was celebrated at an event in New York City, where Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and Super Mario designer Shigeru Miyamoto showed off the new console and its game lineup.
The Switch’s first look and other imagery has shown what looks like an older target audience than kids and families, a switch (no pun intended) from Nintendo’s other consoles. So will it make a good family console, like the Wii U?
I had a chance to get my hands on it and I’m convinced the Switch will be our next must-have console for the entire family. “Nintendo Switch is for everyone,” Cindy Gordon, Nintendo’s VP of Corporate Affairs told me. Here are a few reasons why you should consider picking it up this March for your family.
The game line-up is as great as you’d expect—and more.
There are some things you can anticipate when a new Nintendo console is announced — a new Legend of Zelda, a new Mario adventure, and memorable party games are just a few of Nintendo’s area of expertise that gamers have come to expect, and the Switch will deliver on all of those. (Super Mario Odyssey is such a big adventure, however, that it won’t be available until later in the year.)
But the Nintendo Switch is also branching out into new games and franchises that have never been on a Nintendo system before. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, FIFA, and NBA 2K are also headed to the Switch, and Nintendo is committed to working with third-party developers for an even more diverse offering of games.
The Switch is incredibly portable.
Easily the most appealing part of the Nintendo Switch is the hassle-free portability. The screen quickly and simply undocks from the console, the Joy-Con controllers attach to the side, and you instantly have a portable game with high-quality graphics that look just as good as they do on the TV.
If you’ve ever dreamed about playing Skyrim during a long flight or the kids having Splatoon battles in the backseat on the way to Grandma’s, the Switch is about to make that a reality–without any cords or mess, said Gordon. Battery life ranges from two-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours, depending on the game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will last about three hours before needing to recharge, estimated Gordon.
The controllers are made for hands of all sizes.
The Switch’s controllers, known as Joy-Con, are surprisingly small and can fit hands of all sizes and ages. “Joy-Con are little technological feats of innovation that pack a powerful punch,” Gordon said.
The innovative design allows different ways to play depending on the game you’re playing. Attach it to the sides of the screen for gaming on the go, use it as a traditional controller, or pull the two pieces apart and use them similar to Wiimotes. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the flexibility.
When separated, you can also turn the Joy-Con horizontally and use it in a style similar to the original NES controller. I had the chance to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with it in that manner, however, and even my small hands started to cramp a little due to the tiny controller. Parents may want to pick up the Pro Controller if they’ll be doing just as much gaming as the kids.
Parental controls are built in.
Nintendo has developed a free companion app to help parents out when it comes to managing screen time. “You can set the restrictions for [game] ratings and online communication for voice chat or social media,” said Gordon. “You can manage parental controls from anywhere.”
The Switch even has an option to give kids a gentle reminder that their time is up rather than just shutting down the system to give kids the opportunity to demonstrate responsibility on their own, not to mention giving them a chance to cross the finish line or get to a save point.
The Nintendo Switch will be released March 3, 2017, and pre-orders are available now in some locations.
GeekMom attended a preview event at the invitation of Nintendo.
All Photos: Kelly Knox
Other Images © Nintendo