Make it All About the Gimmick
If you haven’t seen the first reveal of the Nintendo Switch you should probably check it out (you can watch it right here). While watching that, you may have noticed that a lot of the focus is on the console’s ability to be taken on the go and for the controller to be split to allow for multiplayer. It was a cool trick that really grabbed the attention of millions around the world, and there’s good reason for that. Being able to take a full console experience on the go hasn’t really been possible with modern games. The closest we ever got to living that dream was with the Sega Game Gear back in ’97 at the cost of millions upon millions of batteries.
While it is a cool feature that is sure to attract buyers, it does have its shortcomings. For one, developers would have to figure out how to make a game work on both a full controller and half of a controller on the Nintendo Switch. Another issue would be the graphical disparity between rendering on the Switch’s screen, as opposed to your own HDTV in your house. This means developing multiple formats for a single game to run on and that can become expensive and rather time consuming for developers to pull off.
The Wii U had great ideas as well, ideas that ended up spoiling many of the experiences on Nintendo’s last platform. Having to utilize that second screen didn’t meld well with every game, and the fact that Nintendo kept pushing it didn’t help them. While it’s cool that the Switch can do what it does, please don’t force developers to make it do so.