So that Nintendo Switch presentation was pretty amazing, but it left many questions unanswered. Is it backwards compatible? What’s going on with the Virtual Console, if there even is one? Most importantly, where the hell is Metroid!? The Switch has the potential to be a fantastic portable retro machine, something Nintendo has plenty of competition in. Companies like Hyperkin and Retro-bit are all too happy to re-release Nintendo’s systems. Their success proves NIntendo could do well in that area.
That Zelda trailer is seriously impressive. I can’t wait!
Zelda at launch was imperative
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks amazing, no doubt about it. I’m blown away by its gorgeous visuals, and surprisingly emotional story telling. It will be an incredible game, hands down. It coming out at launch is possibly the most important thing about it. The Wii U date wasn’t mentioned specifically, so it might have timed exclusivity on the Switch to promote interest. We’re still a little ways off, and I’m guessing Nintendo will host a Nintendo Direct sometime between now and launch to tell us about more launch games.
Is it backwards compatible?
Nintendo has only so far said that it will not be compatible with physical media from the Wii U and 3DS. However, they did not mention if it would play the older system’s games at all. There is still a chance they could play your downloaded titles. For me personally, being able to transfer my games on 3DS and Wii U is almost as important as what comes out on the Switch. At first, anyways, while the library is still small.
But what about the Virtual Console?
For me as a serious retro gamer, this is probably the most important thing. Interestingly, they didn’t seem to say anything about it. However, they did mention how their online service would be free until Fall, then would switch (get it?) to a paid subscription model. They did not mention prices. On their homepage, however, they say that in addition to online gaming and the like, you will be able to download one NES or SNES game (with added online play) for free for the month. While I’m not crazy about only getting to keep the game for a month, it’s a step in a less wrong direction than pretty much all their online efforts up until this point. Who’s up for co-op River City Ransom with me?
Retro Studios has been awfully quiet for the last few years. People have come and gone, but recently they seemed to go on a small hiring spree. Hopefully, this indicates a need for a lot of talent, and not a sign that employees are leaving en masse. Again, my prediction is that we will see another Nintendo Direct between now and launch that will detail more launch titles and more games to get stoked about in the coming months. I’m really hoping for a new Metroid game. I think a VR headset would compliment a new Metroid Prime game very well, and luckily, Nintendo has a patent out for a headset much like Samsung uses for their phones. Fingers crossed, guys!
Where does Nintendo go from here?
Sony has created an absolute titan with the PlayStation 4, and Nintendo will have to pull out all the stops to topple this giant. I’m not sure Nintendo has the business sense to do it, but here’s hoping. While I have never been in charge of a multi-billion dollar corporation like Tatsumi Kimishima has, I have watched Nintendo bury their head in the sand for the last several years about the situation around them.
If they run sales the way their competitors do, I think they could do well. Right now, they’re coming in late to the game, at the same price (or higher. Sony and Microsoft both offered amazing deals on their systems over the holidays), and with a very small game library. Being able to transfer your Wii U and 3DS titles, along with a strong Virtual Console much like their efforts on the Wii were would be a huge deal.
Obviously, they have other business ventures. The Universal Studios will be a big deal. Amiibos are slowing down in momentum, and the NES Classic edition is impossible to get. I personally hope that they release an SNES and N64 classic system as well. On top of that, rumors have been swirling for years about a movie or TV show deal. Miyamoto himself even directed some short Pikmin movies when the third game came out. Nintendo should consider the possibility of having a AAA studio such as Pixar/Disney or Studio Ghibli make a movie starring one of their characters. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is even openly inspired by the looks of Studio Ghibli movies, so that would be an obvious choice.
What do you think?
Where is Nintendo headed? To success? To failure? To mediocrity? Let us know what you think about the Switch and what you think it will need to succeed.