So here we all sit, at the precipice of one of the happiest moments in my recent gaming history: the arrival of a new Nintendo console. I haven’t been swept up in this much joy regarding gaming since World of Final Fantasy came out.
It’s the eve of a new nerd Christmas. The Nintendo Switch livestream event. It’s something that’s been on my mind recently, of course, and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on what I’m hoping to see out of this broadcast.
The Switch hardware is tertiary to me, if I’m completely honest. A lot of the portability of the system is neat enough, but none of it really appeals to my life circumstances, especially the part where I live in some city loft and go to a rooftop party in order to partake in some gaming with controllers the size of Fig Newtons. Sure, the guts of the thing are what make the system run games, but as a person who still loves his Wii U and a lot of its games, I could care less.
It’s all about the games.
While the Wii and the Wii U had a generally forgettable lineup in the broad-stroke scheme of things, they also had a lot of unique titles that make them standout. So I’m hoping that things like Super Mario Maker, Splatoon and any number of Mario or Yoshi games will be part of the broadcast. It’s almost a given that Mario’s going to be in there somewhere, but Nintendo has very clearly much more than a plumber to lean on.
Even beyond the Old Standbys, I’d love to see some other titles take the lead. A Switch version of Kirby, Kid Icarus, Punch Out or Mega Man would be even more welcome than a Mario or Zelda. Especially what could be considered the “new guard” like Splatoon or even a new Sonic game.
Though really, all of those can take a backseat if I see a new Metroid game. You will see a fat man cry.
What I’m also hoping for is that the “gimmick” of the Switch is understated. The reveal video was all about the variety of configurations the Switch is capable of, but that was more style than substance to me, and I’m hoping that the myriad ways people can play the system are going to be the only ways. I think we need to see the end of game-specific peripherals or titles that shoehorn some aspect of the system’s function in to the entire gameplay.
I’m also desperately hoping that Nintendo have remembered what eon they’re living in and provide some unified multiplayer functionality. The Amiibo idea had a few interesting thoughts, but ultimately ended up being a dressed up memory card that you used to see in the PS1 days; a really pretty skin covering overall cheap innards.
Nintendo need to burst their own design bubble and take a long, hard look at what the PlayStation 4 is doing here. Without peer, the sharing and social functions of the PS4 are above what I’ve experienced out of console gaming, especially with the integrated streaming and social media tools. The Amiibo Plaza is the Myspace of the online gaming universe, and Nintendo needs to come to terms with that reality.
I would also love to see some affirmation that the 3DS lineup and its portability aren’t being shoved by the wayside in order to force Switch’s portable functions. The unique interface and control scheme of the 3DS alone seem to make this a guarantee, but they’ve shoved aside prior editions of the Game Boy before. I’m not saying that it should be all-or-nothing in terms of which system should go in to your luggage, but I’m also hoping that there’ll be a nod that they’re not ignoring the handheld.
Beyond these hopes, anything else that will be revealed during tonight’s broadcast will be icing on the cake. So here’s hoping that some of these dreams come true, and here’s hoping as well that anyone watching the stream will see some of their own wishes come true as well.
If you’ve mind to, you’re welcome to follow my open thoughts on the whole thing on Twitter…though if your personal feed is already guaranteed to drown in Switch, then I can understand not adding another drop to the bucket. ❤