The Nintendo Switch has been a point of controversy for the better of a month. Since its preview event January 12th, the sides are clear you are either for or against it. That evening a mist all of the talk of low graphics, battery life, and not enough launch lineups; I did it, I preordered.
When it comes to new tech, I am the whale. I am the person who doesn’t mind being the tip of the sword on these things, because I enjoy having the newest and latest. As an owner of Xbox 1 and PS4 Pro, my justification was simple, neither of these has Mario or Zelda and those games were my childhood.
Nintendo has something that its competitors lack in both volume and spirit: nostalgia. It’s a call back to the 8/16 bit era that has more recently been copied, but not duplicated. It’s like a little kid having the first memories of going to a Yankee Stadium, you always remember your first.
Throughout all of Nintendo’s faults it still hold sentimental value to me. After taking some time off and skipping the WIIU there was no time like the present.
The thing about nostalgia is that it is great, but even Peter Pan grows up, has bills, and a family. After weeks of struggling with my heart tug of war, I decided that my justification for the Switch just wasn’t there. In the month of March not only was I purchasing Horizon: Zero Dawn, but Mass Effect: Andromeda. These two open world RPG style games werw certainly going to take up my time, and I would be a fool to think that I would have time for anything else.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the only reason (up until Splatoon 2) that I would be purchasing the console, and another open world RPG just was to much. At least, that is the mantra I kept telling myself as I would explain this to everyone who would listen.
I attended Pax South last week, there were tons of developers on the show floor but none like the presence of Nintendo. The thought was to at least get a glimpse of the Switch. I was curious about the size and the feel of the system. Walking up to the Nintendo booth was exciting, however once I got closer it was obvious that playing the Switch, wouldn’t be in the card. The line was 45 min long, and that was just with media. I knew as the day progressed this was going to get longer and longer, but I had interviews set up. I saw a Switch in a glass case and shot a few photos when I head one of the Nintendo crew members ask “are you here to play the Switch?” I stated that I was however the line was to long so I was just going to take a few pics. She replied back “No, I mean there are a few free ones over here, do you want to play?” I don’t think the words go out of her mouth as fast as I was over towards the airplane-like set up that had a Switch connected up.
The Switch has me! pic.twitter.com/z724b2FJnn
— Chris Nunes (@TopherNunes) January 27, 2017
The console was in handheld mode and has Super Mario Kart 8: Deluxe attached. It was small and thin, but I compared it to a PS Vita on steroids. The 720p picture looked amazing, and the machine felt very comfortable in your hands. My only hesitance with it, is that the Joy-Con controls on the side cheap and plastic. Turning on the game was quick an easy and within seconds I was playing. I had a fifteen minute play session, which gave me enough time for two games and sometime to look the machine over. When I was done I received my pic and was on my way.
The whole experience with Nintendo that day was happenstance. The line for both the front of Nintendo’s booth and back for the rest of my days were lined up with fans three people deep. Without that morning and sheer luck, any opportunity to play it would have been gone. After my time with the Switch two things became very clear. I made a huge mistake revoking my preorder and secondly how was I going to find another one. I came to the realization that it didn’t matter the power, the graphics, or the battery life. I spent fifteen minutes with this machine and had the most fun I have had gaming in quite a bit. Nintendo made me Switch twice from believer to nonbeliever and back again. It had done the one thing that I hadn’t counted on in my hands on, remembering why gaming was fun.