Nintendo’s New Console: ‘Nintendo Switch’

Nintendo Switch Console

Nintendo announced their new console this morning! Previous codenamed “NX”, the ‘Nintendo Switch’ releases March 17, 2017.

As many of us predicted, the new system will be a combo handheld/traditional console. The Nintendo Switch features removable handles or “Joy-cons” which can connect to an optional Pro Controller (of sorts) for use during couch play.


When on the go, the handles of the Nintendo Switch disconnect and can slide onto to tablet resting in the “Nintendo Switch Dock”. This takes the entire system on the go.

Players can use the “joy-cons” in many different ways: Connected onto the tablet for mobile play, on a Pro Controller, one in each hand akin to the wiimote and nunchuck, or split them apart for even further multiplayer

Nintendo is once again going the route of “different” over simply sticking with what has traditionally been … well… successful and fun. Looking at the joy-cons, and the system as a hole, it almost looks cheap. I haven’t held the Switch in my hands, but I don’t get a sense of quality from all these moving parts. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

Nintendo's New Console: Nintendo Switch

The graphics capabilities in the Nintendo Switch are powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor.  “The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards,” said NVIDIA when they made the announcement. Just how “based on” we’re talking here, or what that truly means in terms of power, remains to be seen.

I noticed no mention of a touch screen. I’m betting there isn’t one. I’m okay with that, though, as I felt like it would be one gimmick too many.

I like the idea of taking my little tablet-console-thing on-the-go to Graev’s house and playing local multiplayer with both consoles. I think there’s opportunity for expanded software growth beyond the Wii and Wii U now that motion and touch are likely out of the picture. Good old fashion gaming… with a mobile twist? Maybe?

I confess myself slightly disappointed by their lack of traditional console, but will keep an open mind.

NES Classic Edition Releasing in November for $60

New Mini-NES Classic Edition

Now this is just plain awesome. Nintendo just announced a new mini version of the old NES: NES Classic Edition. Releasing November 11 for $60, the NES Classic comes with 30 pre-installed games, an HDMI cable (making it compatible with modern tvs), and a NES Classic Controller (Additional controllers sold separately for $9).

Here’s the list of 30 games that come in the NES Classic Edition:

  • “Balloon Fight”
  • “Bubble Bobble”
  • “Castlevania”
  • “Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest”
  • “Donkey Kong”
  • “Donkey Kong Jr.”
  • “Double Dragon II: The Revenge”
  • “Dr. Mario”
  • “Excitebike”
  • “Final Fantasy”
  • “Galaga”
  • “Ghosts ‘n Goblins”
  • “Gradius”
  • “Ice Climber”
  • “Kid Icarus”
  • “Kirby’s Adventure”
  • “Mario Bros.”
  • “Mega Man 2”
  • “Metroid”
  • “Ninja Gaiden”
  • “Pac-Man”
  • “Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream”
  • “StarTropics”
  • “Super C”
  • “Super Mario Bros.”
  • “Super Mario Bros. 2”
  • “Super Mario Bros. 3”
  • “Tecmo Bowl”
  • “The Legend of Zelda”
  • “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link”

NES Classic Edition with Controller

Here are a few facts that add even more value onto an already killer deal:

  • The NES Classic Controller can plug into the Wiimote which means you can use it to play classic NES games on the Wii U.
  • Wii U Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro work with the NES Classic.
  • There’s a RESUME feature so you can pause and come back later — a feature completely foreign to these older NES titles (part of what made them so dang difficult).

This will be a ton of fun to plug into my monitor and record footage. Should be lots of fun playing through some really great older titles that can be credited with starting many if not all of our contemporary blockbusters.

Maybe Nintendo Did Okay?

I was a little quick to judge Nintendo’s E3 portfolio, but their approach to E3 with the Nintendo Treehouse wasn’t the best approach either. As the day(s) went on, Nintendo showed several other games beyond just Zelda and Pokemon that really have me excited. There’s one in particular that I’ll kick things off with…

Ever Oasis

Ever Oasis is an action-adventure RPG for Nintendo 3DS family systems contains puzzle-filled dungeons, real-time battles, exploration and treasure hunting. Players use the oasis as their base, which they can expand as they play, and gain affinity with characters called Seedlings, who are themed after plant seeds, as well as a variety of other unique characters who live in the desert. Players can freely form strategic parties with any of their allied characters, using allies’ weapons to battle enemies and solve dungeon puzzles. Ever Oasis is scheduled to launch in 2017.

It’s like Zelda meets Animal Crossing meets Monster Hunter meets Pokemon Mystery dungeon; Some are even thinking Runefactory is in there somewhere. The video above really showcases a lot of that. This is exactly the type of game that I enjoy playing on a 3DS. I’m super excited, and would love to hear about the possibility of co-op.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past

This Nintendo 3DS remake of the classic turn-based game involves a young boy who sets off with his friends on a journey to restore the world to its former glory and save the present by mending lands that were sealed in the past. In addition to updated graphics and an entirely new localization, the game does away with random enemy encounters to bring the player deeper into the game world. Players can also collect and share Traveller’s Tablets via the StreetPass feature, granting access to special dungeons offering unique rewards.

I’ll freely admit here that i haven’t played a single Dragon Quest game. That’s like a gaming sin, I know. So I don’t know if this is a remake of a game that ever released in the US on another console, or just a remake of the Japanese version. I think it looks fun, though. Again, the perfect kind of game on the 3DS. Am I going to be able to jump right in and enjoy the series having never played previous installments in the series?

Monster Hunter Generations

I haven’t decided yet whether or not I will pick up Generations. I played Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and enjoyed it online with Graev, but I think the series is incredibly templated. They all play so much the same that the next one simply feels like the previous one. They’re great — really great — but is that enough to jump in and play another? Once again, a perfect game for the 3DS. Handheld really is where Nintendo shines.

Additional honorable mentions:

  • Mario Party Star Rush – Still no online multiplayer, but a new mode that removes turns and enables free movement. Biggest shock: It’s a 3DS title.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash – Looks good. I like to watch these be played but haven’t actually played one myself. Graev loves them.

Ever Oasis all by itself is enough for me to boost Nintendo’s E3 score. That looks ridiculously fun.  Bringing updates to a few staples, and showcasing more of their titles already announced doesn’t hurt either.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild – Beautiful art style. I loved when Link had that full suit of armor on. All of the various interactive parts of the world like chopping trees, raising ice out of the water, etc. “Hyrule will be a resource,” hopefully means that we’ll be able to utilize more of the world for things like crafting [Pure speculation]. Supposedly the world is huge. I’m hyped.

Pokemon Sun & Moon – Looks like the usual Pokemon (which is great), and by usual I mean the new pseudo-3D world. Alola looks like a great region, Formes appear to be a nice way to upgrade Pokemon, and Battle Royals should ad a new fun element to the battles. Looks fun. Their presentation was pretty boring, though. I don’t think Pokemon warrants a sit-down dev discussion. The Pokemon chat lasted 45+ minutes and was absolutely dull. We could have had one nice video with these details in under 3 minutes.

Breath of the Wild

More of Breath of the Wild

[Presented in a live blogging style]

Really bizarre start to the game where Link has “technology” (looks like an iPad or a Wii U Gamepad). Extremely odd juxtaposition between the typical Fantasy setting to now introduce Scifi elements. It’s like Link has been reincarnated to save the world again or something.

Link can jump! There’s also Itemization — link can now collect gear!

Wow, that world is gorgeous. It looks so open and inviting to explore — so much character. I truly hope we have an Elder Scrolls style world at our disposal.

They’re showcasing Link chopping trees and collecting wood! Graev is like “This doesn’t feel like Zelda,” but I think this is exactly everything Zelda should become. Zelda needs to evolve into a deeper RPG experience because Nintendo NEEDS that deeper RPG experience for their IP.

Gear BREAKS! Holy smokes. Graev interjects, “Why is Link right handed?”

To refill health Link now has to EAT rather than find hearts in the grass. Link eats items that have the heart icons on them. That’s great. The creator (whose name escapes me) is saying it plays a lot like a survival game where you have to collect gear. Interesting.

I’m going to stop there as they’ve dragged this on a bit and will continue to showcase Zelda throughout the day. If Nintendo announces anything big, I’ll update this post with snippets of other games.

Zelda Breath of the Wild is probably my #2 most anticipated game out of E3. This looks like a great departure from the current Zelda formula. For Graev it seems weird and foreign, but for me it’s what I want and what I need to embrace the IP more fully.

Overall, Nintendo’s E3 presence was kinda sad. Compared to what the other big names brought to the show, Nintendo looks like they’re off in their own land where the conventional rules of having a strategy, direction, or plan (or even a clue), do not exist. They’re doing their own thing, but that’s starting to become their mantra.

As E3 wraps up this year, here’s now I’ll rank the big presentations:

Microsoft: A
Sony: B+
Nintendo: B-
Bethesda: C+

The Legend of Zelda Main Theme Piano Cover (Arranged by My Wife!)

My wife arranged more video game music! I suggested she give Zelda a try and she decided to go with the original theme as it’s now the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. She put her own twist on it that I think has an interesting feel, both dark and then brighter like there’s the hope of a hero. She’s never played a Zelda game in her life, either. I think I’ll have her check out and watch me play Twilight Princess on the Wii U which arrives tomorrow.

Next up: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind theme.