back to article Nintendo's new console-tab

Nintendo's announced its new “Switch”, a console that's also a tablet. As depicted in the video below, the Switch will offer a dock that connects to your tellie and puts games on the big screen. The dock conceals the device's own screen, but if you take it out of the dock, you can carry on playing the very same game. Switch's …

  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Looks ok

    Trailer vids for new devices always make the product look exciting and trendy and above all social.

    My experience with the 3DS has not lived up to any of these. Which is fine, I only bought it for Ocarina and the promise of Majora (which was fulfilled - eventually). I only have a handful of games for it - but I've never had a huge catalogue for any Nintendo device - apart from the Gamecube.

    I rarely buy into consoles at launch, preferring a wait and see attitude - last console I did buy into at launch was the Dreamcast - maybe I'm just unlucky - my first foray into mobile gaming was the NeoGeo pocket color - which also got withdrawn a few months from purchase.

    Whether it'll be another Wii or a Wii-U I wouldn't like to say at this stage.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Looks ok

      Plus one for mentioning the social aspect. Too many games for XBox and Playstation only do multiplayer over LAN or internet, overlooking the idea that people might want to play with the people they are actually in the same room with. Even the new version of Halo, which traditionally offered split-screen multiplayer, has abandoned it.

      Early reports suggest games for this new Nintendo console will buck this trend.

  2. TRT Silver badge

    I really only...

    bother with consoles if they're backwards compatible. Games are an expensive investment.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I really only...

      This one can't be. It's a completely different architecture so a game will have to be emulated or remade and made available again in digital form (and probably charging you extra for it even though you own the previous version as it's Nintendo).

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I really only...

        Backwards compatibility is 'nice to have', but not a deal breaker - people with a collection of older games will generally still have the correct hardware to play them on, and if the hardware fails then a replacement can be had for next to nothing from eBay or (eventually) a charity shop.

        I've got two GameCubes I've bought for a tenner - both working. I only want a few choice games - but even second hand they still command good money.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I really only...

          Well, you have a point. But I can't just keep shoving consoles under the TV indefinitely. I didn't replace my failing PS2 with a PS4 - I got a second hand PS2 instead. As for the Switch, it looks pretty good. What's wrong with putting a DVD drive in the base unit and imaging the game disks into an emulator?

          There are older games which are really very playable indeed still. Enjoyable even. Retro gaming is a huge thing. A helping hand from the manufacturers might make their new offerings more palatable - owners with an existing collection of games may consider upgrading hardware if their investment in software isn't written off.

          Mind you, it didn't work that well for the Wii-U. Perhaps they should have made a bigger thing of that compatibility.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I really only...

            "What's wrong with putting a DVD drive in the base unit and imaging the game disks into an emulator?"

            Cost.

  3. Phil Dalbeck

    Is it still a tab if....

    There's no indication that it is touch enabled? The video makes no suggestion that this is the case (or of motion controls for that matter).

    Both plus points in my opinion - less gimmicks for developers to worry about, when they could be focussed on the core game content, rather than trying to find a way to utilise a niche input mechanism (as far as console games go).

  4. elaar

    So it's a tablet with TV out, and attachable stuff on the side?

    I know Nintendo games are colourful and fun and don't rely on fast CPU/GFX, but for once can they release a console that doesn't have 5 year old core hardware out of the box?

  5. Jim84

    Underpowered + missed trick

    It is a good replacement for the DS, but it doesn't have the power to compete with PS4 and Xbox One, let alone PS4 plus and Xbox Scorpio.

    I was imagining they would stick another chip in the dock so that the "home console" configuration is more powerful, much like Microsoft's surface book has another nVidia GPU in the keyboard base.

    They probably couldn't do that and hit a decent price point. As for forcing developers to make games for two different configurations, well Sony and Microsoft are already going down that path too (so I think it was just purely cost that prevented Nintendo putting an extra GPU in the base).

    One thing I was surprised that they omitted - if your friend brings his switch over to your place, surely they could have stuck an HDMI in port on the back of the base to plug the second switch into so that you could play split screen Splatoon and Mario Kart without a graphics downgrade in each window. Just have each console handle half the screen.

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