Can the Switch become your primary console?
We’re just days away from the launch of the Nintendo Switch and while the Wii U didn’t exactly set the world alight, have Nintendo positioned the Switch in such a way that it could become many people’s primary console?
With over 50 million units sold, the PlayStation 4 has established itself in many homes as the primary piece of equipment in the living room and in terms of pure sales figures the Switch won’t – if ever – make any real dent in terms of numbers. The PS4 has had too big of a head start over the Nintendo Switch for any type of comparison to be made there.
Its features outside of video games also makes it a core reason why most won’t be removing their PlayStation 4’s anytime soon. Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and even the PlayStation store’s ability to sell you digital movies direct to your living room are features that Nintendo’s new console just can’t do.
But what about games? Isn’t that the reason we buy consoles in the first place? Sure, it’s great to power through Stranger Things or House of Cards, but we’re here because of the games.
PlayStation has a fantastic line up in 2017; Horizon: Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Persona 5 are just a few of the reasons the PS4 will continue to dominate this year, but if we look a little further down the road is there any reason why gamers might find that their true home is with the Nintendo Switch?
Again, lets not talk numbers, as that argument is a lost cause, but for those who embrace the Switch and Nintendo’s first party output, the Switch provides a freedom to game from anywhere and with anyone. Pure gamers have already started thinking about where, when, and how they could play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the move; personally, my lengthy and regular journeys from the south of England back to my home in Scotland is the perfect folly for the Switch.
While I can’t see me busting out the Switch for a quick game of 1-2 Switch’s ‘milk the cow’ in my local Starbucks, I can foresee gamers choosing to play more lengthy titles on the Switch in favour of other platforms. Games like Sonic Mania, Stardew Valley and Yooka Laylee will feel at home on the Switch thanks to not only their pick-up-and-play nature, but also because of their hidden depth. They’re more than just the five minute hit that mobile games offer and like the 3DS and Game Boy before it, the Switch can fulfill that handheld need while also servicing the demand to play games on the TV at home.
The real issue for gamers wanting to play games primarily on the Switch is the third-party support. A title like Mass Effect: Andromeda would be wonderful to have on the go, visiting a remote planet and completing a mission while on your bus ride to work would be a great way to experience Bioware’s next title, but the lack of support so far has me doubting whether the third-parties will be there. Even the Wii U managed to get a Call of Duty title at launch, but its poor sales may have seen Activision not willing to take further risk on a Nintendo platform other than their Skylanders franchise.
The play-as-you-go nature of the Switch is a realisation of something many gamers growing up in the 90s wanted. We thought the PSP and then the PS Vita would be able to deliver console-quality graphics in a handheld form, ironically, it looks like its the graphically power-shy Nintendo who are going to deliver the first true version of an on-the-go console.
If the Switch can get off to a strong start and Nintendo can make sure the next ‘big’ titles like an Elder Scrolls is on the console, then gamers who primarily play on the PS4 or Xbox One will need to question where they play their most loved titles.
You can follow Craig on Twitter where he usually talks about sport and video games
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