#Nintendo has unveiled its new console called #Switch, to be released in March 2017, and the internet has gone insane. With the gaming juggernaut somewhat quiet over the past few years, the console reveal was met with great fanfare, even garnering early comparisons to the extremely successful Wii.
As we start building a new hype train for the Switch, one big question remains: Will this new device make Nintendo an active competitor in the console wars once more?
There is no denying that Nintendo did not see the results it expected with the Wii U, both in terms of software and hardware sales. Released in 2012 — a year before Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One hit the market — the console failed to live up to expectations, only shifting an estimated 13 million units; a completely dismal figure when compared to that of the Wii, which moved nearly eight times that amount.
The Switch Will Have Third-Party Support
Despite the Wii U having a strong list of available first-party titles, it lacked third-party developer support, which did affect consumers' decision to purchase the console. Indeed, many of the popular games that are available on PS 4, Xbox One and PC are not available on the #Wii U.
Supposedly, one of the contributing factors for the lack of third-party support was the console's hardware, which was already outdated when it was released to market. Some may argue that this is true of all consoles, but the Wii U was purportedly on the same level as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in terms of hardware, despite having been released five years later.
Despite the fact that we've been told the Switch will not be released with the aims of competing with the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox Project Scorpio, several third-party developers have pledged their support for the console, which is already a good sign the console will have appeal.
Nintendo: Master Of Innovation
It's also important to note that the focus of Nintendo's products has always been innovation rather than competition. Within the gaming industry, it's been frequently claimed that Nintendo is a company that does its own thing without really paying attention to what its competitors are up to. This has resulted in several instances of hit or miss, best illustrated with the Wii and the Wii U.
The Wii was the first console to make extensive use of motion-sensor gameplay; something that both Sony and Microsoft originally didn't focus on with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Although the Wii was not as powerful as the PS3 or Xbox 360, the motion-sensor gameplay ensured the console's appeal to a large demographic, which helped it become the most popular console of that generation.
The Wii U also did not attempt to compete with the other consoles within its generation in terms of power, and was the first to introduce a gamepad as a significant part of gameplay. As previously stated, this console was not as successful as Nintendo had hoped it would be.
From our first glimpse of the Switch, it's easy to see that it Nintendo is again attempting something that has not been done before. Switch is a gaming console that doubles as a home-based and portable device; it's controller, the Joy-Con, is a small adaptable controller that will use DS-like cartridges instead of discs.
Is Different A Bad Thing?
It isn't uncommon knowledge that Nintendo is in trouble, financial and otherwise, particularly after the failure of the Wii U. Some might suggest that if a company is in trouble, it would be important to look at what its competitors are doing. But is this really the best course of action?
In an interview regarding the conception of the Wii, legendary Nintendo video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto said:
"Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction."
Miyamoto is suggesting that consumers don't always want to see several iterations of the same product, and that this practice isn't healthy for the industry.
It seems that as long as Nintendo has skin in the game, it will keep marching to the beat of its own drum, which is exactly what consumers expect (along with many different Mario and Zelda titles).
Whether the Switch will bring Nintendo back as a worthy competitor in the console wars is yet to be determined. The bottom line is that this new console will not be another PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, and it doesn't aim to be.
Check out the Switch's reveal trailer:
Nintendo Switch will be released in March 2017? Are you excited? Please share in the comments down below.