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Versatile “Switch” breathes life into Nintendo

Photo/Leah Fick

Photo/Leah Fick

By: CHRISTINE GIVER
Columnist

It has been over a decade since a video game console was as highly anticipated as the Nintendo Switch. But as anticipation built, Nintendo had released only small portions of gameplay on the new console, featuring such games as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, but much information was missing until now.

The Nintendo announced Switch, along with games “Breath of the Wild” and “1, 2, Switch” will be released for sale in the U.S. on March 3, 2017. The price of the console will be slightly higher than expected at $299.99, though some Nintendo fans would say it seems to be worth every penny to gain access to the innovative gaming technology that comes along with it.

Imagine playing tennis in a game and feeling the sensation of a ball bouncing off of your racket as you serve. The Switch’s Joy Con controllers are not equipped with your run of the mill rumble feature, long available on other console controllers. They provide a sensation as close to what you are actually doing in the game as you can get. In the presentation, the example shown was shaking a glass of ice and feeling each individual ice cube rattle.

Not only is the motion and rumble technology superior to any previous device out there, so too are the gaming options. Picture hanging out in your dorm, playing your favorite game on the Switch when your friend is in the Grille and wants to play a game with you. No problem! You can pull the mobile part of the console out, grab your controllers and either play a multiplayer game with that person on your device or play together through wi-fi on up to eight devices.

I was particularly excited about a couple of the games Nintendo is putting out as well. Yes, everyone has been salivating for a chance to play “Breath of the Wild” for a long time, but that was not the most exciting thing for me personally. We got a glimpse of the sequel to the paintball/squid hybrid game “Splatoon,” as well as “Super Mario Odyssey,” which looks absolutely amazing.

Picture Mario, Bowser and the Princess in the real world blended with parts of the normal cartoony worlds we are used to seeing. Of course, “Odyssey” is not coming out until the 2017 holiday season, so I will have to be patient.

After the reveal, I noticed quite a bit of negative feedback that this is a niche console and that it isn’t what gamers want. Do gamers not want to be able to play anywhere, anytime? Do they not want to be able to game with their friends and have access to many multiplayer options? The last time I checked, you can’t easily pick up your Xbox or PlayStation and take it anywhere. Nintendo has even launched a try-before-you-buy campaign and will have the Switch available to try in public places across the country.

We will soon find out if this is the future of gaming, or if we will be taken in a completely different direction. If the Switch performs like the Wii U did, it could be the beginning of the end for Nintendo. If it performs well, it could be just the beginning.

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