Ben Vizy | Society Staff Writer | email@example.com
On March 3, 2017, Nintendo released the Switch, its first home console since the Wii U in 2012. Like the Wii and 3DS, the Nintendo Switch is yet another attempt at pushing the limits of what a console can be. In this case, the Switch can operate as a console, tablet and portable handheld, depending on the orientation of the JoyCon controllers and accompanying screen. The console is somewhat similar to a PSP, with buttons on either side and a large screen in the center. This setup can be customized and changed as well.
Many have had a positive initial experience with the system. Sophomore Nolan Quigley describes the console being “overall smooth,” specifically highlighting the user-friendly interface and ease of setting up.
2015 alumnus Haley Baker echoes these sentiments, saying the user interface is one of the consoles biggest strengths over previous Nintendo systems. She appreciates that, “It’s simplistic, and very unlike the clutter I’m familiar with on the WiiU, Wii, 3DS.” Others who used the console also highlighted this quality of being a smooth, user-friendly and easy-to-use platform.
In addition to the console itself, the Switch received praise from those interviewed in an area Nintendo is relatively infamous for: its controller. Though there have been problems with the left JoyCon’s connectivity, the overall impressions of the Switch controllers have been positive. Quigley feels no need to upgrade to a Pro Controller for upcoming releases, claiming the JoyCon “feels more comfortable than it looks.” Baker says that the controller’s size makes it one of the only controllers she has ever been comfortable using with her small hands. Compared to clunky controllers like those for the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube, that is a huge evolution.
As of today, no game for the Switch has gotten more press than release title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The first comment from anyone on this game is generally on the size of the game world. Quigley is amazed that “a console that small can play a game that big.” Senior engineering student Preston Reddell describes the game’s open map and armor collection: “It’s like they took all the best aspects of Skyrim and Dark Souls and put it into Hyrule.” Baker herself has spent over fifty hours on the game, and still feels she has barely scratched the surface. This level of expansiveness in a Nintendo game has never existed before, and points to exciting opportunities for the future of the system.
As the future quickly approaches, Quigley looks forward to the release of the new Mario Kart and Super Mario: Odyssey, a 3D Mario platformer like the classic Super Mario 64. Baker also looks forward to Mario, and is excited to move on to current titles like I Am SetSuna and Rime if she ever gets tired of Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo hopes the Switch will attain greater commercial success than the Wii U, however, Baker believes that it should go back to its roots. She says, “I don’t believe that consumers want another Mario Kart [or] Mario Party… They want new stories on long ignored characters.” Rather than wait for these increasingly tired franchise releases, Baker hopes for a new Metroid release or a re-release of Star Fox Zero, either of which she feels could greatly benefit the Switch’s sales and notoriety. Until then, however, Breath of the Wild is reason enough to seek out the console, and the next four years will show us what the Switch can do.