We’re only a few hours away from Nintendo fully revealing and detailing its next console, Nintendo Switch. It was first announced in March 2015 by then-president Satoru Iwata as the Nintendo NX, a new console with a “brand-new concept.” In October 2016, Nintendo posted a reveal trailer that clocked in at just over three minutes, naming the console the Nintendo Switch and showcasing the basic idea of the console. Nintendo Switch is a home console that can be removed from its docking station and carried on the go, becoming a portable console.
Tonight, Nintendo is hosting an event in Tokyo that will be broadcast live around the world. The company is set to announce launch date, price, accessories, and the initial lineup of games. To date, Nintendo has confirmed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a Switch title. In the reveal trailer, versions of Mario Kart, Splatoon, and Super Mario were shown, in addition to NBA2K and Skyrim. It is unknown if any of these titles will premiere this evening.
As I sit here, waiting to see what is set to release, I have a few thoughts running through my head. We already made predictions for the event and what we expect out of the Nintendo Switch on The Free Cheese Episode 179, but here’s a few things we didn’t talk about.
Nintendo launched Miiverse on the Wii U and later extended it to the 3DS. Miiverse is a social platform built around the games that users of either console are playing. There are communities for every game released on either console, and users are able to post achievements or ask questions, or at times just draw a picture or start a conversation.
I found that in my experience scrolling through different communities, there was generally a positive attitude and mindset amidst the Miiverse user base. Where other forums or platforms are rife with users eager to rip apart anyone or use inappropriate language in any circumstance, Miiverse is this haven of helpful individuals not intending to ruin anyone’s day. There is of course the occasional kid who is just looking for a quiet space to chat with his girlfriend, but what’s the internet without that?
I really want to see Miiverse continue onto the Nintendo Switch. I think that its presence as something good is a breath of fresh air when compared to some of the hostility that lives everywhere else, and I think that Nintendo has done an effective job moderating each community to keep them a useful place.
I don’t think that the Virtual Console can be ignored at this point. First introduced on the Nintendo Wii in 2006, this platform gives the opportunity to play emulated versions of Nintendo and other platform’s games. It has since existed on every platform following the Wii, and it is likely to come to Switch.
My wish for Virtual Console on the Switch is everything. I want Nintendo to release everything that they have. The company has over thirty years of history ready to be consumed and across the last decade of Virtual Console that history is not represented fully. Each iteration of the service has included a different number of platforms and a different library of games. Switch should become the home to them all.
I’d like to see everything from Famicom to Wii, home and portable consoles, all on the Switch Virtual Console. Obviously, a steady rollout of games would allow for a constant stream of updates and I wouldn’t expect a massive dump on day one, but I expect every platform to be represented on the Switch.
With how well the GUI on the NES Classic Edition looks and feels, I’d like to see Nintendo implement it as the Virtual Console on Switch. As you purchase more games, the interface would expand and grow to reflect your digital library. Take what looks great for the NES and expound it to the SNES, N64, and beyond.
The most important part is that this company’s history is represented to the fullest this time around.
I talked about my wish for a Nintendo operating system on this week’s podcast, and how I want the Switch to be the first in a line of platforms for Nintendo that use the same underlying OS. As we begin to see more and more of our personal lives and work pushed to cloud-based storage systems, the hardware that we own and use means less and less. We are used to our computers and phones and tablets which all carry the same operating system and architecture with varying degrees of power. Our content is everywhere that we are, regardless of platform.
I want this to be the next step for Nintendo and its hardware. Yes, I’m eager to purchase a Switch in March. But I’m excited to see what the next thing is too. Where will Nintendo go from Switch? Wherever that may be, starting a foundation here is crucial. The Switch should begin my journey with Nintendo into the next world and regardless of which new Nintendo hardware I purchase, I should have access to everything I’ve done before.
In a way, this should be the last platform to have Virtual Console. Everything moving forward just is the Virtual Console. There should be a common architecture and language between Nintendo hardware that means that anything I do on the Switch can be done on the next and the next and the next, with hardware power only growing and functionality only becoming better.
I feel really optimistic going into this event and incredibly optimistic for the next stages of Nintendo. The company and its products have been a part of my entire life and it’s been fun to grow and evolve with them. Whatever happens in a few hours, I trust that I’ll be pretty stoked come this March.