Any seasoned gamer knows Nintendo has been responsible for many of the most significant advancement of gaming. But while we Nintendo fans have liked to snicker and claim
first! Whenever a competitor copies one of its innovations, I hope Sony and Microsoft clone the Nintendo Switch as soon as possible. The Switch is the reason I still have time to be a gamer.
Sure, I still read Kotaku, IGN, and Polygon regularly. I keep up with all the announcements and E3, GDC, and TGS. I care about gaming and its advancement as an entertainment medium and art form. But in the last few years, I just haven’t found the time to play videogames I once had. I hate that.
The Switch changed everything. I know I’m far from the first to write about this, but it means I can easily take a full console experience on family trips, and that I always have a two controllers with me. It means I can play a flagship Zelda while sitting in a crowded subway. It even means I’m more motivated to do cardio, because I get to play Mario when I’d otherwise be bored on a stationary cycle.
Who says videogames have to make you fat?
Flexibility is the Switch’s greatest strength. Videogames are arguably a bigger time commitment than any other medium, while usually forcing you to stay planted at home if you want to play the very best titles. Somewhat ironically, it’s this knowledge that I can continue playing almost anywhere I go that constantly makes me reach for the Switch even when I’m at home. It’s like the comfort of reading a good book and knowing it can travel with me everywhere.
On the flip side It’s taken me forever to finish great games Horizon Zero Dawn and Halo 5 because I struggle to find the time within my current reponsibilites. Sure I could make more time – I hope to do so soon – but it’s nice to have a console that fits into my desired lifestyle, and doesn’t force me to schedule in play time.
To be clear, this isn’t to say I want Sony and Microsoft to just push out more portable consoles; we’ve had them since the GameBoy. The key aspect to the Switch is that you can play the best games a company has to offer on the go. That means, whatever Microsoft and Sony come up with, you’d have to be able to play the same flagship games on the pooper as you could in your living room.
You might wonder: what about performance? Sony and Microsoft are constantly trying to one-up each other’s specs so it seems unlikely they’d give that race up to create a portable flagship console. I think there are ways around this.
One idea is to maintain home consoles for maximum performance, but create a portable system that is still capable of playing the same titles. After all, we already have the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X that can play the same games with improved graphics over their low-tier brethren.
Why not go the other way and create a system that can play the same titles but sacrifice a polygon or two? The system could even take advantage of cloud sync to maintain save states between your home and portable consoles.
Or they could just go the Switch route and forget about trying to win the graphics race in the first place.
In any case, you can bet people at Microsoft and Sony are thinking about how to reclaim some of Nintendo’s newly expanded market. I can’t wait to see them try.