Nintendo Switch is More Exciting Than VR, and Here’s Whyon November 17, 2016 by Oscar TK
Nintendo kept the Switch (nee NX) on a pretty tight lockdown, and even the leaks that turned out to be somewhat correct were vague and uncorroborated enough to leave plenty of room for Nintendo to surprise us. Even now they’ve basically said that one trailer is all they’ll reveal until January.
But what a trailer it was. It doesn’t have narration or some guy explaining what it is. It doesn’t have to. Each scene perfectly and simply showcases the ideology of Switch, each building on top of another. It offers something fresh and exciting that is an actual, legitimate proposition for the future.
Meanwhile VR has just launched, and the enhanced consoles from Sony and Microsoft seem preoccupied with optimising that experience. The problem with VR is that while yes it’s beautiful and wondrous, it’s still in its infancy. It’s still at the stage in technology where it’s both cost prohibitive and not yet very refined. Paying through the nose to be tangled wires is just too much for most people, as cool as VR is the first few times you use it.
Until more people are in with VR it’s going to be harder to justify crafting full VR experiences (which may rest on the head of how Resident Evil VII performs). Sure it’s great tech and it’s massively fun watching people play the Kitchen tech demo, but even now the PlayStation VR is out commercially it’s not really offering any real propositions for the future of video games at this time.
Nintendo Switch is much more exciting as it offers an actual new and easy solution to something everyone would like. VR is cool and all, but in reality being able to take any game with you on the go is a much bigger step forward. Heck, it’s a concept everyone has been flirting with for a while, from Vita/PS4‘s relationship, to even the Wii U itself. All of these have had problems, however. If Nintendo Switch can truly deliver on its promise of seamlessly switching from couch gaming to portable gaming then it’s arguably the only truly revolutionary thing going on in gaming at the moment.
Everyone must have wished they could take their JRPG on the bus with them at some point. Being able to do so very simply, and as the core focus of this new hardware, won’t just be a cool gimmick — it could change our relationship with experiencing games on a fundamental level. Imagine having Persona 5 on Switch. Imagine it!
The trailer might have just been proof of concept to a degree. But it was a strong and a truly inspired one that just goes to show Nintendo have actually been listening to what people want from video games in the future. VR may be a bigger deal years down the line, but Switch is offering a more immediate and more cost effective path for your gaming future. It’s just another example of Nintendo picking up the ideas others attempted, taking it aside, and really whittling it down into a refined concept. Well, if it works like the trailer implies that is.
But for now I’ll just be rewatching the Switch trailer over and over again in my VR headset cinema.