Will The Switch’s Rumored Specs Hurt Nintendo?

The console race is on again. This time, Nintendo intends to join in on the action with a brand new console. Sony has released their PSVR set up alongside the PS4 Pro. Microsoft announced the next console in the Xbox family the, Project Scorpio. Lastly, Nintendo is intent to top them all with a hybrid handheld, home console, called The Switch.

A New Direction

While Sony and Microsoft have decided to focus on 4K technology and virtual reality, Nintendo is once again looking in another direction. Nintendo focused on motion detection with the Wii and included a screen on the controller for the Wii U. This time around, they’re driving toward making a portable fully functioning console.

Nintendo Switch Console and Dock. Photo Credit: Nintendo
Nintendo Switch Console and Dock. Photo Credit: Nintendo

Nintendo has been a company of dreamers ever since they were founded in 1889 on card games. Always thinking outside the box, this time around the box is miles away. The Switch will be fully portable as well as ready for home use.

As far as we know, there won’t be any focus on 4K technology or other advancements that the Pro and Scorpio are moving toward. Nintendo is intent on marrying the console with the handheld, and the handheld is where they have always excelled.

Power Woes

There are problems among the rumor mill, though. Nintendo is playing very close to the chest with the specs of The Switch. Despite this, some specs of the dev kit have been released. The Switch will be under-powered and struggle when off of the docking station, according to these specs.

Nintendo Switch on the go. Photo Credit: Nintendo
Nintendo Switch on the go. Photo Credit: Nintendo

The Switch’s un-docked battery life is estimated at three hours. In addition to that, the power may drop by 40% when in portable mode, causing some to advise that the unit always should stay plugged in. Traditional consoles are to stay plugged in.The Switch is anything but traditional.

New Frontiers

One can’t fault Nintendo for trying to succeed on something new. If they never tried anything new, we may have never reached the level of gaming that we are at now. At the same time, though, ideas without boundaries can run into problems. This may be the case with The Nintendo Switch.

Most gamers will buy The Switch as it is a Nintendo product and promises us a new Legend of Zelda open world title. The console being used as intended, both at home and on the go, is unlikely with current skepticism. If the console doesn’t have the processing power to keep up with the game demands while un-docked, then why un-dock it?

Take me with you. Photo Credit: Nintendo
Take me with you. Photo Credit: Nintendo

The idea to take your games with you goes back to Sony’s Remote Play feature with the PS Vita. Microsoft is also intent on providing the same with the implementation of Windows 10 across computers, the Xbox One, and Windows phones. Like VR, portable console gaming is still in the starting stages.  Perhaps it will need to wait for technology to meet it so that power and battery life won’t struggle.

Gamer Concerns

With these issues in the minds of gamers, some are wondering if The Switch needs to be as powerful as the PS4 Pro or as Scorpio to succeed.The Wii stood out because it was drastically different and provided us with our favorite franchises from when we were children. To this day, Nintendo is the only place to play a Mario and Zelda titles.

Nintendo intends to release the full specs of The Switch come January 12th, 2017 on a Livestream announcement. We will get our answers then. The release date for the console is set for March 2017. Hopefully, Nintendo has been listening to fan concerns and making improvements to their upcoming console. As gamers, we all want to see Nintendo succeed, and we all want a new system to play on. We just hope it’s not a big waste of time.

Elisabeth Sills
Lifelong gamer and writer starting with the Commadore 64 all the way to the XBox One.

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