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Nintendo Switch discussion thread (It's out. It's good. Even the chump who started this thread finally bought one. Deal with it.)

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This passage from MCV's piece on the NX news caught my interest:

 

Early online speculation about pricing for the NX expects it to be cheaper than current consoles, but from what we’ve heard it’s going to be cheaper than even the vast majority expect. This is a machine that is targeting the mass market, and Nintendo certainly plans for it to have a mass market price. Price is one Wii U mistake Nintendo is determined not to repeat. This could be NX's single biggest win.

 

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/nintendo-nx-the-pros-and-cons-of-a-transforming-portable/0170297

 

 

I also like the speculation that since middle-tier Japanese devs can't really do much with PS4 because of costs and the Vita's on its last legs that a bunch of them might migrate to the lower power NX as a consequence. That's speculation, obviously, but there's been enough solid Vita that I missed that I could get behind such a development.

That's an interesting thought, yes. If that were to occur, and Nintendo were to finally join the modern age and abandon region coding, a lot of people could benefit form being able to sell and play games that that many in the west find difficult to access. I like all the things I am hearing to be honest as, in concept at least, everything points to it being the right path for Nintendo and to provide gamers with a unique platform in addition to the PC, PS4 or XB1 they may already own. I just fear Nintendo botching it in some extraordinary way.

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As someone who is finding it harder to sit in one specific location to play games, who bought two 360s so I could move between TVs more easily, and who wishes he could afford a second PS4 to do the same, but who has all but resigned himself to just not playing games much anymore besides ones that are on my phone, this appeals to me greatly.

 

Having the ability to play Breath of the Wild (for example) in any location I wish, including on the TV when I can, is a huge win.

 

The offscreen play was a great feature of the WiiU, but the distance it could travel from the system was a big issue. If I could have taken my WiiU controller anywhere in the house, or on the bus, or on a trip, I would have loved that.

 

IF Nintendo can get the Virtual Console to a place where it should be in 2016 (and that's a huge if), then I could really see myself falling in love with this thing.

 

Especially if the price is right.

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I'm probably the weirdo here, but I'm more curious to see what direction the software takes.  I'm sure a lot of us grew up with the Nintendo, but I really need Mario and Zelda to do something different.  No cool hardware concept is going to get me to bite this time.... says me every time before I buy a Nintendo system.....

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Eurogamer's think piece on why the design choice was the only logical route for Nintendo shares the thoughts of several of us and is worth a read:
 

The fantasies of Nintendo fans of a certain inclination - and, probably by this point, a certain age - are dashed. Third-party publishers are not going to flock to this console; with its atypical specs and design and demographic, it's just too much effort to tailor to. Mario's makers are not going to slug it out with rival businesses in the toe-to-toe, gladiatorial manner that the gaming community (and press, it's fair to say) has had an obsession with ever since Nintendo's myth-making clash with Sega in the 1990s. And we are not going to see Nintendo's brilliant software rendered by the latest and greatest graphics technology. That last one is a genuinely poignant loss, especially to those who remember the last time Nintendo spent any time on the technological cutting edge - the Nintendo 64 era - and the eye-popping, mind-expanding games that resulted.

But let's not fool ourselves. The notion that Nintendo would, could or should try to compete with Microsoft and Sony in the 'traditional' games console market is deluded. It doesn't have the motivation those two conglomerates do to push their operating systems, online stores and content portfolios into people's homes. It doesn't have the stomach for the technological arms race they are initiating right now, with their cycle-breaking mid-generational updates. On a more fundamental level, its management doesn't see value in making the same product the others do. They think it would fail by the standards of the market (because it wouldn't take big chunks out of PlayStation and Xbox's businesses) and by their own standards (because it would be boring), and they're quite right.

 

Necessity is the mother of invention, and for all its apparent wackiness, NX is a child of necessity. It sounds disruptive, but it's actually cautiously strategic: a rearguard action on two fronts. Taking a historical view, Nintendo's success in home consoles is unpredictable, while its success in handheld consoles is dependable, but on the wane. As the firm strives to keep its hardware offering alive, it makes perfect sense to roll these two parts of the business into one, leaning heavily on its cast-iron grip on the portable market. The appeal to customers is there - our sources say that "your games on the go" is the straightforward marketing pitch - but it's NX's appeal to the business itself that really stands out. Imagine the efficiency savings! Imagine what Nintendo's justly famed studios can do when they only one have console to support! (Although Nintendo's simultaneous entry into the wilds of smartphone gaming pops this argument's balloon somewhat: one out, one in.)

 

Still, NX is hardly a slam dunk. It could easily end up outflanked by consoles on one side, and phones and tablets on the other, with no meaningful argument to make for its existence in the middle. (Won't kids just want an iPad Mini for Christmas, really?) A great deal depends on how good the experience is when playing on a TV. On the other hand, the sheer differentness of NX could be its secret weapon at a time when there is hardly any difference between a console and a PC, never mind between a PlayStation and an Xbox.

 

More below, including some attractive mock ups of the NX by a GAF member:

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-07-28-nx-is-different-and-different-is-nintendos-best-option

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I'd buy that mock up today.  I do hope they don't put a cheap gimmicky screen in the unit and put in something that is iPhone quality covered by glass and not plastic.

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I won't get my hopes up, but yes I agree. It would be nice if the device is like a VITA 2000 with a five inch LCD. With detachable controllers and kids messing with it though, it could perhaps be dropped quite easily which I could see being Nintendo's excuse to cut costs.

 

I'll be interested to know what the screen resolution is actually. 720p would be nice, but I suppose it is probably fair to expect 960x544 like the VITA? That would presumably allow less stress on the gpu in mobile mode, only for the dock to perhaps unlock its full performance at 1080p.

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The last mock-up that makes it look like a 360 controller with a screen, extra stick, and decent d-pad is gorgeous. I'd buy that right now.

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Drab cell phone like colour aside, this is another nice mock up by a GAF member:

 

Lnyc6Io.jpg

 

8LPfzjc.jpg

 

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=211732242&postcount=8907

 

 

Pity no part of me believes Nintendo could design something that sleek. Also, none of these mock up designers are really taking into account how the controllers would attach. There would surely have to be little latches that stick out on the sides of the screen (you wouldn't want the latches on the controllers for obvious reasons, unless there is some kind of bridging piece of plastic that they both clip into to turn it into a proper single controller? Perhaps even more than a piece of plastic in fact. Perhaps a bridging piece to clip the controllers into when the NX itself is docked could in fact house a lithium battery and have a usb connection for charging).

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It would be too thin without some some peripheral to sit between both controllers (like a charger I theorised above) I think. Could cause hand cramp without a bit more space between them.

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I was on a trip recently with my niece and nephew who are big iPad mini users, like I'm sure many kids are. I noticed they exclusively used it for two things: 1) Youtube and 2) Games. If the NX has a better games experience (Im sure it will), a YouTube app, and it's cheaper than an iPad, plus the other benefits and features of the NX, I think this thing will be successful. 

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Latest GAF scuttlebutt supposedly citing a reliable source (the tweet below they seem to trust) is that the final spec of the NX will indeed see it powered by a more recent NVIDIA chip based on the more powerful and efficient pascal architecture. Might that explain why the X1 in the dev kits is, according to Eurogamer, fan cooled, and perhaps suggest it's being overclocked in the early units?

 

 

 

Bear in mind Nintendo fans on GAF always struck me as gluttons for setting themselves up for severe disappointment. The more I've read up on the X1 chip though, the less practical it sounds for a handheld unless they're going to seriously underclock it.

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It would be too thin without some some peripheral to sit between both controllers (like a charger I theorised above) I think. Could cause hand cramp without a bit more space between them.

Easily resolved by including a spacer attachment. I'd prefer a single, proper controller over the Wii-like two units.

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Easily resolved by including a spacer attachment. 

 

 

Right, which was my initial suggestion. I just thought it could go one better if that attachment were also a charger (and the transmitter for the pads to work wirelessly, contain the gyroscope and whatever else). I'm with you all the way that a proper controller would be a step back in the right direction, or at least the means to use the two as a proper controller. At the very least I think with both the Wii and the Wii U Nintendo did acknowledge people wanted classic pads and provided them, but it's be preferable to have that choice out of the box here and, unless they want to stick batteries wireless and gyroscopic tech in each controller piece for the NX (which would add weight to the device in handheld mode), the logical approach as to be the kind of bridging device we're theorising. 

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I still don't understand why they think it's a good idea to take the controllers off. Is it just so you don't have a HDMI cable hanging off the back of your controller while you're playing on the telly?

 

If so, you don't need a bridging thing, but a slot you plug the screen and brains into, leaving the gap between the two halves the same, surely?

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The general assumption right now is that the dock to connect it to the tv is needed to give it some extra grunt as it's too much to expect the chipset in the handheld, even if it's an X1, to be firing on all cylinders unless we're happy with 2hrs of battery life. The theory is the dock might provide slight gpu and ram boosts. We don't need the handheld to be 1080p. 540 would be ok by me.

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I hope they are able to sell extra docks at a reasonable price. I would love to have a dock for all (both) my TVs.

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Separate processing and RAM in the dock sounds far fetched to me.  It adds cost and significant complexity.  It's also not needed as even the Tegra X1 has proven its ability to output 1080p.  I see the dock as a charger and HDMI output device.

 

Though I do wonder...what if the dock has the removable controllers and not the actual portable device?  

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Separate processing and RAM in the dock sounds far fetched to me. It adds cost and significant complexity. It's also not needed as even the Tegra X1 has proven its ability to output 1080p. I see the dock as a charger and HDMI output device.

 

 

I don't disagree on the dock in all honesty. It's an interesting theory, but I am not sure how necessary it may be, and given the point of the system Nintendo would surely be looking for as much parity as possible with the playing experience whether it be at home or one the move. So yes, I think it's a little bit of wishful thinking and Eurogamer never specified that would be an advanced feature of the dock itself. I do, however, think the X1 would be a surprise given that it just doesn't sound like an efficient choice and it's supposedly fan cooled for some reason in the dev kits, suggesting that they might indeed be pushing it in the kits to get it closer to whatever the final chipset is once it is available. The more one reads of the X1, the more it feels that the final system will run an X2 or (perhaps even more likely), a specific chip that lands somewhere between the X1 and X2. Whether X1 or something more recent though, at least it's a decent advance over the Wii U.

 

Eurogamer had an interesting video showing Dolphin emulation running nicely on the Nvidia Shield (X1 powered);

 

 

 

It would certainly be nice to see Cube and Wii games hit the VC if Nintendo are to ever seize the damn potential of their catalogue.

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NX Devkits running the X1 clocked up to levels that require fan cooling and plenty of power suggest that either we're getting an X2 in the eventual thing, or we're all barking up the wrong path with this being a handheld (at least until they do roll out an X2-powered handheld that's compatible). That latter doesn't sound very likely, though.

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There's definitely little reason not to think it is precisely what Eurogamer, and others since, have said it is. Given how attractive many first party Wii U titles were, and how much more powerful the X1 is, I'm certainly not too concerned about how good Nintendo's own games will look on this thing and it ought be a superb handheld if the battery life and screen quality isn't rubbish (which, next to how they price this, are really the sticking points for me).

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Some alleged software rumblings:
 

Nintendo is putting together a triple-A software lineup to ensure NX flies out of the gate next year.

Developer Game Freak will bring Pokemon to the platform, while Nintendo's first-party titles include the previously announced Zelda game - Breath of the Wild - and a new Mario game. All three products are scheduled to appear within the first six months of the machine's life.

The firm has also been busy securing third-party support with Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision and Warner Bros already onboard.

 

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/pok-mon-mario-and-zelda-headline-nx-dream-line-up/0170678

 

I don't think there's anything surprising there that might not have already been assumed, outside of Square supposedly supporting the system perhaps. 

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