Nintendo couldn’t have asked for better momentum leading up to the Jan 12th reveal. The 3 minute reveal trailer (filmed here, in Vancouver) had very positive reception. The NES Classic seemed to sell out before release and is still waiting for re-stock. Super Mario Run was their first real entry into the mobile gaming market, heavily promoted by Apple and wildly successful. Most people have already put their Wii U’s away and are eagerly anticipating the next thing from Nintendo.
After eager anticipation and coming home late, I watched the awkwardly translated Nintendo presentation from Tokyo. I came away thinking, “Okay, cool. Some weird stuff and disappointing stuff, but definitely some interesting stuff too. I know I’ll eventually pick one up, but I don’t need to pre-order one. Zelda looks amazing, but I have it pre-ordered for Wii U already.” Even with the extra info online regarding Micro SD and online service details, I felt they didn’t convey enough information to warrant pre-ordering. Vague descriptions that chat is somehow handled through a phone app?? The graphics hardware looks like it’s probably based on the aging Nvidia Tegra X1, and not the upcoming Tegra X2, which is unfortunate if not surprising. Third party support feels apprehensive. And no unbiased impressions about the hardware yet… I figured I should at least wait for those: how comfortable and responsive are the controllers?
I waffled a bit, but obviously, I changed my mind. Here’s why:
Japan. Console gaming has long been on its way out, in Japan. Handheld gaming is where Japan does most of its gaming, and if the presentation from Tokyo is any indication (Square Enix and Atlus providing great initial support), I think Switch will be quite popular, and possibly the next bastion for Japanese games. On top of that, the Switch will not be region-locked, so we don’t even need those games to be published by a North American publisher. Bonus.