A big day in gaming history indeed. On par with the launches of the NES or Xbox Live? Maybe not. But two huge gaming announcements in the course of a couple hours: what a time to be alive.
First up was Nintendo’s big NX announcement.
Their next console is called Nintendo Switch and it’s a home/mobile hybrid console. Years ago, Nintendo merged its handheld hardware team with their home console division after poor Wii U sales, leading people to speculate what Nintendo could be cooking up next. Today we got our answer and it doesn’t look half bad.
Disclaimer before I go on: I’m a total Nintendo fanboy. Since the day I was born I had a Nintendo controller in my hand. I was one of those saps who waited in line over night to buy the Wii U on day one because it looked like “the future of gaming”, so if it seems like I’m gushing, take everything you read with a grain of salt.
The Switch looks AMAZING! A sleek new Game Pad, a dock to easily switch from mobile to home console (hence the name) and a great new controller with offset analog sticks for comfortably, taking a page from Microsoft’s playbook.
If console-quality games on the go is what you’re after, the Switch looks like the closest handheld we’ve ever seen to achieving that. The Game Pad looks comfortable in the hands with its detachable side analog sticks and buttons, and you can play huge games like Skyrim where ever you want, even on a plane.
For me, I’m just happy to have another competent home Zelda machine. Gaming on the go isn’t really my thing, nor do I think it’s anyone else’s thing. As we’ve seen with technically awesome handhelds like the Vita, smart phones have taken over the handheld gaming space and I can’t imagine Nintendo’s new offering is going to change that.
Second most important news from the first, short look at the Switch is… NEW 3D MARIO GAME! It looks fantastic, as colorful as I’d like a next-generation Italian plumber’s world to be. With its rounded, cartoon art style, it doesn’t take a 4K monitor to make a Mario game look beautiful. This long awaited new entry into the Mushroom Kingdom will look great at home or on the go.
Of course there’s still loads of speculation to this new thing, we’ve only seen three and a half minutes of it in use. We don’t know any technical specs, we don’t know how it achieves console-quality on the go, we don’t know how much on board storage it’ll have and we don’t know the most important aspect of the Switch – its price.
The Switch has to be a hit for Nintendo. They can’t endure another financial failure like the Wii U. This first look is a great one, but you’re not crazy to be immediately skeptical.
The Nintendo Switch launches March 2017 along with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’ll give my opinions and guidance as more info becomes available.
Red Dead Redemption 2
As soon as gamers finished the 2010 classic Red Dead Redemption, the speculation was on as to when Rockstar Games would create a sequel to one of the most beloved games of all time. We hoped and wondered and pleaded with Rockstar as years went by without any solid word about Red Dead’s revival or even about its existence.
We now know for certain that we’ll be returning to Rockstar’s western world with Red Dead Redemption 2, set to release Fall 2017.
Today we got a trailer that gave us a whole lot of nothing…
But it sure looks pretty. The world looks absolutely massive with vistas scenes ranging from dense towns to wide open fields; from lively forests to enormous, snowy mountains. The harsh world and environment is comparable to 2007’s There Will Be Blood. This will without a doubt be the most beautiful game Rockstar has ever published when it launches a year from now.
Much about the story is still uncertain yet. The seven characters riding to and away from the camera in the trailer look fairly dastardly. If this is a normal single player, open world game, I hope those seven are villains because I’d hate the idea of switching between seven main protagonists.
Could be that Red Dead 2 is a prequel, and the characters we see are the infamous hombres in Dutch’s Gang that John Marston used to ride with.
As with the Switch, I’ll keep my opinions on Red Dead Redemption 2 loud and clear as we find out more information.