Saturday, March 4, 2017

System Saturdays: Welcome to Generation 9 - An Outsiders View of the Nintendo Switch

Yesterday March 3rd, 2017 Nintendo launched the Switch, a next generation version of its WiiU, but with the portability of a 3DS. I wasnt' lucky enough to get into the pre-order for this system, and feel ever so slightly left out. It’s not a complete downer though, since I heard a podcaster make a good point yesterday that it may be best to just wait and let the early system overcome it’s growing pains. In a way I can see the logic in that since the WiiU had a lot of battery issues with its display system after coming out. At the same time though I can’t but hope to run into a Neon Switch this weekend.

Anyway, as I posted on Twitter a little while ago this weekend, while everyone else is opening a Switch, I’m opening a PS4. And while everyone else is playing Breath of the Wild I’m playing Halo Wars 2. Please keep your smart ass comments to yourself about “just getting a Gen 8 system now” or “how a XBox One game won't work on a PS4”, I’ve had a XBox One going on two years now, and a WiiU a few months longer than that.

With that said the question that needs to be asked is if the Nintendo Switch is the first entry in the ninth generation of home consoles? The Wii and WiiU for instance heralded the start of their respective gaming generations, even though in both instances Microsoft and Sony would put out superior systems within a year or so of the launches of the respective Nintendo systems. So are we expecting the same out of Microsoft and Sony within the next year or two now? It’s hard to say but I have a feeling we will get a hint of things to come for both manufactures at the 2017 G4, and/or CES. Considering that Sony launched it’s VR add-on for the PS4, and Microsoft it’s XBox One S in the last half of 2016 one has to question if either is ready to move into the next generation yet. Microsoft's Project Scorpio, which has a projected launch near the end of 2017, may provide us with clues as to when we will see the rise of Gen 9. So far the Scorpio is just said to be a highly powerful full 4k XBox One, but could the success or failure of the Switch change the course of the Scorpio before it’s released? By that I mean to say would a modicum of success on the part of gen 9’s first system, the Nintendo Switch, cause Microsoft to turn the Scorpio into it’s ninth generation entry. So far the Scorpio only promises to be an overpowered XBox One, which in a way seems almost pointless and begs for next generation gameplay.

As long as I’m talking about power, there is something else I’m a bit curious about. Before the Switch was formally announced, and before it’s true nature was leaked to the general game playing public Nintendo hit us with something different called the NX. I don’t know if you remember this or not but the NX was suppose to be Nintendo’s, XBox One, and PS4 slayer. Like Ford with its F1 “Ferrari Slayer”, Nintendo was going to return to its powerhouse SNES days and give languishing Nintendo fans a serious system to shut down Microsoft and Sony fans with. When I first heard the stories on the NX I too was excited to see what Nintendo would do, since Nintendo hasn’t really been taken seriously by hard core gamers since the SNES. So when the NX project turned out to be the Switch it was a bit of a let down, since the Switch just turned out to be a minor evolution of the WiiU.  

Of course I still wouldn’t mind getting a Nintendo Switch with all that said, and the more I read and watch about the Switch the more intriguing I find the thinking behind its development. I myself believe the Switch is the vanguard of ninth generation consoles, however I don’t expect Sony or Microsoft to take any lead from it since they haven’t with regards to past systems.

If you got a Switch yesterday or today, I hope your having fun with it, and I also hope you provide the rest of us with your honest opinions on the system.


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