The Switch is the most intriguing console to come around in a long time. It appears that Nintendo might have perfectly straddled the line of gimmick/utility with the portability of their new console. Battery length and third-party support remain to be seen of course, but so far so good.
So what flaw am I talking about?
My knowledge begins with the NES, so let’s start there. Every console since the NES has come with a pack-in controller that you could bring to a friend’s house and use on their system. The N64-era for me meant always packing a controller or two to a sleepover for Goldeneye, WCW/NWO Revenge, and Mario Kart.
The Wii U is the first console I can remember that required an additional purchase in this situation. If you and a friend each buy a Wii U, you would need to buy a Pro controller or Wiimote to play on on each other’s system. This may seem like a whiny nitpick, especially if you have a drawer full of old Wiimotes, but new converts to the Wii U (of which there were VERY few) would be out of luck.
The Wii U supporting Wiimotes was a smart move and considering how underpowered both consoles were it would have been insulting to not include that feature. The Pro controllers are still fantastic, but that amount of money could be put into another game. The Wiimotes are cheap but lack inputs and playability.
I also understand that the Wii U had to dedicate processing power to rendering images on the gamepad, but couldn’t the second gamepad display simply be disabled?
The Switch appears to fix this
Seeing four dudes sit around a basketball court with two Nintendo Switches caught my eye (what a bunch of hunks :|)
No cable required, and all the controllers are attached and ready to use. Whether two switches can support 8 players remains to be seen. The lack of screen space would make that an understandable omission (although a quarter of an old CRT screen enough for N64 fans). I would hope that a docked switch can support 8, and the port of Smash Bros U would lead me to believe that’s the case.
With so much speculation, I’m glad to know that even one Switch is enough for two friends to enjoy a round of Mario Kart.