My entire life there has been at least one video game console in my home. Before I was born, my parents bought my older brother an Atari. Sometime after I was born, but before I can remember details, they purchased their first Nintendo Console. It would not be the last one, however, as my parents bought both the Super Nintendo and a Nintendo 64. While I loved all of those consoles and have fond feelings for the: PS2, XBOX 360 and the XBOX One that I’ve had since then, it will be the memories associated with the Super Nintendo that will always make me hope that the next Nintendo console will recapture the magic and be on par with the industry leaders. My father was never much of a game player, but it was during this stretch, when I was 9-12 or so, that we played the most games we would ever play together. There were three games we always played: Roger Clemons MVP Baseball, NFL Quarterback Club and Kyle Petty Racing. As I am sure you can guess, my dad would have rather spent his free time watching one sport or another instead of playing games, so these were a great compromise. We owned the baseball and football games, but for some reason we never bought the racing game. Instead, we rented it enough to purchase it at least twice over. I don’t know why we did that, but it had a benefit of guaranteeing a weekend of time together, which was worth the money. I know the time was worth it to me, but to be fair, I wasn’t the one paying to rent the game. My dad was a bit of a sore loser, so once I got too good at the games, he and I stopped playing together as much. Beat a guy by 30 points in baseball or 70 in football and suddenly he doesn’t want to play anymore, but we still had the racing game that we were pretty much equals at. Because of the nostalgia I associate with it, if all things were equal between the console companies, I would choose to buy a Nintendo. I will never own more than one console from a given generation, they are just too expensive and my game playing habits are too sporadic to justify multiple purchases.
This past week Nintendo made a presentation about their newest console, the Switch. It has left a large portion of their fans underwhelmed in many areas. The release date has been announced as March 3rd, with preorders already being accepted. By releasing early in the year, it means that there will be fewer titles available than their recent consoles which they released in November. Most noticeably there will not be a Super Mario title available day one. Fans will have to wait until the next holiday season, up to nine months after the release of the console to play as the company’s flagship character. The new Mario game looks interesting because it shows Mario in his world and ours. Who knew he was actually only 3 feet tall. People are also upset about the amount of storage space built into the Switch. The new Zelda game alone will take up 40% of its storage capacity. They will allow memory expansion through micro SDXC cards, adding up to 2 TB, which is great, but in an effort to keep the switch portable they have greatly increased the loading times for games. That is a bad sign, when combined with recent reports that the Switch will run 40% slower when it is undocked, making load times that much slower. If you want more details on how this compares with the rest of the current generation of consoles look here. One big plus for me is that they seem to be moving away from the chibi style of animation for their games, which I personally find unappealing. Overall, I am disappointed with the recent developments with Nintendo, but hopefully this console will be more successful than the Wii U, and they will have one more shot at building a top tier console to compete with Sony and Microsoft.