Friday, October 21, 2016

Not-so-live-impressions: Emergency NX Reveal Edition


Well, maybe. With this being billed as a preview trailer, and a three minute one at that, I'm not really expecting a whole lot out of it. They'll show the console, or at least the main component of it. I think we'll get the final name here, at least a definitive release month, and a bunch of design philosophy / marketing spiel from Reggie. Ultimately, I think this is going to leave a lot of aspects of the machine up in the air until a later date. Not because there's any good reason for that. Because Nintendo. :D

Probably no new games popping up here either. If they need to show something in action, they already have Breath of the Wild. With such a short running time, I don't even think they'll be squeezing any kind sizzle reel in here.

Well, let's get into it:

  • 0:03 - Boy, YouTube, you really know how take the excitement out of these kind of things. :D So it's the Nintendo Switch, releasing in March 2017. It's a better name than Wii I think, even if it is kind of generic and probably has an very silly concept behind it - one I'm sure Reggie will relay to us in the not too distant future.
  • 0:08 - Boom! Breath of the Wild. Man, I'm good! :D Also, TV connectivity. Hooray! I'm guessing we're about to see this dude take the game on the go, thus blowing everyone's minds.
  • 0:13 - Controller confirmed. Looks kind of Gamecube-ish. Or am I crazy?
  • 0:18 - Yes! Do want.
  • 0:20 - "My god, it's full of moblins!"
  • 0:22 - "Dog problems? Try Nintendo Switch." Yeah, decent logo I think. Is it just me, or does the "Nintendo" here use a similar font to the "Nintendo" on the Gamecube logo. Man, I really have Gamecube on the brain tonight.
  • 0:26 - So, this is it: the dock. Well, it certainly won't be mistaken for a Wii peripheral. :D Eh, it's not the most elegant-looking thing, but it could certainty be worse. *cough*PS4 Pro*cough* Two USB ports on the front there, if I'm not mistaken.
  • 0:28 - A better look at the controller. Uh oh, that looks like a split d-pad on left. People aren't going to be happy.
  • 0:31 - So you slide the sides of the controller into the sides of the handheld to remove it? That's kind of wild, but kind of neat. That's definitely a split d-pad though, plus two analog sticks and four face buttons. Eh, I think we'll be okay. I see a button on the side as well, across from the left analog stick. Is that ZL or are there three bottons in the shoulder area of this?
  • 0:35 - Breath of the Wild! On a handheld! My mind is blooooooooown! If only there hadn't been so may leaks befooooooooorehaaaaaaaaand.
  • 0:45 - Sitting on the seat of a bench? Not for this guy. He's able to play big boy games on the go. He's an individual. He operates outside the restrictive conventions of society. Also, has this been filtered through the Wii U's NES emulator? Because it's really fuckin' dark? :D
  • 0:46 - If the footage here is to be believed, this looks like a real improvement over the quality of the Wii U pad's screen. Oh, just noticed the plus and minus buttons at the edges of the screen. Cute!
  • 0:55 - Cartridges confirmed. And is that a headphone jack? Uh! In your face, Apple! :D
  • 0:59 - Well here's a scenario that's never going to play out in real life. Side note: freakin' ripped jeans again? Why?! What's wrong with you people? :D
  • 1:16 - Man, that window seat guy is just staring into the abyss. :D So again, the leaks were true: you can detach the controller bits and play on the screen Wiimote and Nunchuck style. Why ever you'd want to, who knows - this guy's got to look like the biggest doufus on the plane right now.
  • 1:25 - Oh snap! A wild classic controller appears, d-pad in tact and looking very PS4-ish.
  • 1:26 - Huh? Is this still Zelda? Looks like Skyrim.
  • 1:43 - Mario Kart! Looks like MK8. So the side controller bits will work as horizontal controllers too? I could see that being neat at the likes of PAX, or for kids on long car journeys. Not so much for freakin' One Direction here.
  • 2:01 - And I guess you can link up two Switches for four player stuff. I'm sure that'll get a bit of use in Japan for Monster Hunter. (And nowhere else.)
  • 2:04 - Finally, the return of NBA Courtside! Speaking of the Gamecube. (Were those games any good? They seem to have been completely forgotten about.) Nah, I'm guessing this is NBA 2K17.
  • 2:14 - Whaaaaaaaaat!? That's a freakin' Mario game. A new Mario game, in a Samba de Amigo-ish town. Holy shit! (Edit: Got so excited here, I forgot to bring up the weird, numbered drawers underneath the TV. What on earth?)
  • 2:17 - Hot damn! I mean, we all knew one was coming, but I wasn't expecting to see it here. Looks great, and a return to, at least, a Mario Galaxy-style game. I was a bit worried the first Mario on this was going to be another iteration of 3D World, which was still great, but I wasn't that crazy about the isometric perspective, or the multiplayer focus. Could this new game even be a return to a 64/Sunshine-style Mario? On modern hardware, made by EAD Tokyo, that would be a super-exciting prospect.
  • 3:02 - eSports. Finally! Hey, I guess Splatoon might be coming over to the Switch though. And I think I spotted the classic controller being used as a controller for the screen there. Not that anyone's going to be doing that, but I'm sure someone would be complaining if it wasn't an option. :D
  • 3:12 - That classic controller looks really solid, and damn, those sticks look hella PS4-ish. I'll definitely have to throw down some cash for one of these.
  • 3:30 - Any word on price though?
  • 3:37 - Nope. Bethesda Softworks though; that was Skyrim. Looks like there'll be a bit of western third party support, at least to start off with. A port of a remaster being the only title of note here though doesn't inspire too much confidence in that department. If they had say, Mass Effect: Andromeda? Maybe. (Edit: Wait a second. There's was no 2K/Take 2 copyright on this screen. That basketball game must be a first party one. Hey, if Nintendo are back in the business of making sports games, might I humbly suggest another Wave Race?)

Well, that's it. The NX is exactly what we were told it would be: a combination of handheld and console. For someone who doesn't like extended gaming sessions on a handheld, this is kind of a dream come true. The prospect of getting the likes of Level 5's games, Square-Enix's smaller titles and a host of other traditionally handheld franchises, alongside Nintendo's usual console fare makes me much excited for this than I was for the Wii U and its slate of third-party ports. Not that any of that any of that Switch support has been confirmed (at the time of writing), but I think that combo is a pretty safe bet as to what'll form the backbone of its software library. Sure, we'll get a few big third-party games to begin with. As usual though, I wouldn't get my hopes up for any meaningful long-term support. I don't know; at this point, turning things around to the point where your average gamer is willing to play major third-party releases on a Nintendo console would be extremely difficult, I think; maybe impossible. Even if it could be done, neither Nintendo, nor the major third-party publishers seem to have any real willingness to make it happen. I don't think the handheld aspect of the Switch will do much to improve support from said publishers either. Maybe if Nintendo had made the Switch instead of the 3DS; not now when most of those publishers have abandoned the handheld arena in favour of mobile.

With that being the state of things, I think Nintendo have made a sensible move here by folding their handheld and console into one. They might not be able to count on EA and Activision's presence on a home console, but by doing this, they can bring the third-party support the have on their handhelds home, as well as focusing all their own development on one platform, ensuring a robust first-party line-up. If Nintendo are to continue to maintain a presence in the home console space, this was the only way to do it, at least the only way without spending big on major developers and exclusives, or compromising their autonomy as a console maker. The Switch as a Steam machine, anyone?

Moving away from business talk, holy crap, that Mario footage! The last thing I was expecting, and it looks awesome. I need to know more! I need to be playing that game right now. Having said that, I won't be too surprised if it isn't a launch title, much like Sunshine, Galaxy and 3D World weren't. Man, what if it is though? March might be pretty expensive for me. (You know, that probably will be the deciding factor in whether I'll fork out for a Switch immediately or not. I'm planning to get Breath of the Wild on the plain old Wii U, mostly because I suspect that'll be the rarer version in time to come. And I still have a ton to play on that console, improbable as that may seem. :D I kid, I kid; I still love my Wii U. Just got a copy of Tokyo Mirage Sessions the other day. Bloody hell, I still haven't even gotten around to Splatoon!)

All in all, a decent first showing I think - one that covered a lot more ground than I was expecting it to. I guess the biggest blanks left to fill in at this stage are the exact launch line-up and the price. Of course, there are lot of smaller questions that need answering too: what the online set-up looks like; backwards compatibility, or lack thereof; region locking; how accounts are going to work on this; and probably more I'm forgetting. I expect a lot of tidbits will be trickling out in the next couple of months, but I suspect the big Nintendo Direct blow-out will probably be January-ish. Oh, not forgetting the upcoming Animal Crossing one. Think I'll be giving that one a miss though. :)

No comments: