Nintendo’s doubling down on the gamepad + screen combination, and their successor to the Wii U looks like they’ve finally got it right. Well, maybe not right — we don’t even know the specs or price yet — but the Switch seems far more functionally fascinating than it’s predecessor. I’m particularly intrigued with the two wireless slide-out controllers, which mirror button layouts to allow for two-player play.
My main concern relates to build quality, and whether the constant attaching / detaching of controllers and screen will feel like a premium experience. If the side slots for the controllers are a little loose or the screen doesn’t fit snuggly into its case, the whole device will feel cheap. Modularity aids in adaptability, but it also raises the risk that any one piece could condemn the whole.
I’m happy to see Nintendo continue pushing into the mobile space with their own hardware. Although I appreciate that I’ll be able to get games like Super Mario Run on my iPhone, I also want a thriving, competitive mobile gaming industry. iOS and Android dominate the casual gaming market, but there’s definitely room for a high quality, high performing, mobile gaming device.
We’ll have to wait for more details, but I’m optimistic. If I have one complaint, it’s how large and unsightly the “Nintendo Switch” logo looks on the console casing. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?