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Is Nintendo Switch Console the Game Changer for Japanese Game Giant?

by Chirag Upadhyay | Jan 17, 2017

After a short console-concept teaser trailer back in October 2016, Nintendo revealed more information on its new ‘Nintendo Switch’ gaming device at a press conference on 13th January 2017. The Switch console certainly appears to have more innovative spark than its previous effort, the Nintendo Wii U by offering three playing modes:

  • TV mode - a classic TV gaming experience by inserting the main console into a docking station.
  • Handheld mode – a portable gaming experience by attaching the Joy-Con controllers to the main console.
  • Tabletop mode – a semi-portable experience in which gamers detach the 6.2-inch display from the Joy-Con controllers.

The Nintendo Switch offers a 1280 x 720 6.2-inch multi-touch display, 2.5 to 6 hrs battery life (depending on the game), 32 GB of internal memory and expandable storage via microSDXC card, two built-in speakers, and an audio jack. The Switch can also link up to eight other Switch consoles over Wi-Fi for multiplayer experiences.

The console doesn’t have the high-end specs found in the latest PS4 and Xbox One consoles but that should not stop it from being snapped up by Nintendo fanboys. A true measure of its success however will be whether the Switch can appeal to PlayStation and Xbox gamers as a secondary console much like the original Wii did.     

The main console comes with Switch dock, Joy-Con controllers, Joy-Con grip, Joy-Con wrist strap, HDMI cable and AC adapter (USB Type-C). Nintendo will start shipping the Switch console from March 03, 2017 for $299/£279/Yen 29980.

The detachable Joy-Con controllers play a key role in the better gaming experience. The detachable controllers have many new features but one important capability that stands out is a haptic feedback system called HD Rumble This new HR Rumble feature provides haptic feedback to help give gamers a greater sense of immersion.

Nintendo also unveiled a new online subscription service that will be available for free for a limited trial period when it launches in the Summer with the fully featured paid service being available in the Fall.

Nintendo had a very difficult time with their latest generation home and handheld gaming hardware as they could not continue to drive the success of their previous generation hardware.  However, Nintendo has a strong history of success in the console market. The Switch console offers both home and handheld gaming experience which will attract both home and portable gamers. Overall the Switch console will perform better than Wii-U and should appeal to those consumers who still haven’t upgraded from ‘Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS’. In 2017, we predict that Nintendo’s overall Game Console market share will increase as Switch shipments exceedf4 million units globally during its first year of launch.

The high launch price ($299) will be one of the biggest obstacles for the company as the Switch will cost the same as the current PlayStation 4 Slim and Xbox OneS. The Nintendo Switch specs and price might not attract many hardcore PlayStation and Xbox gamers but Nintendo’s new approach of ‘Try before buy’ help get the device into more hands. Starting from January 15th, 2017, Nintendo will be running preview events in Japan, and North America so that fans and gamers can get their hands on the device.  The company also mentioned that currently, more than 80 games are in development for the new console and that Switch software will not be region locked. The support of classic game collections such as The Legend of Zelda, and Mario Kart and also the support for third party developers such as EA Sports FIFA, Minecraft, etc.  could be the game changer this time for Nintendo.

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