Nintendo launched the Switch it’s console-handheld hybrid earlier this week and the media has been abuzz with speculation about how it will change gaming. Is the Switch the elusive part of the puzzle that can deliver console experiences on the move or is it just another gimmick to cash into to the mobile gaming pie.
The Switch is scheduled for launch in March 2017. Nintendo has maintained a characteristic radio silence on cost, specs, battery performance and internal storage. They did, however, clarify that they will be working with a huge list of developers to create games for the Switch including biggies like Activision, Bethesda, EA, and Ubisoft.
The question that begs to be asked is that whether in the age of cutting-edge smartphones that can support increasingly complex gameplay experiences why would anyone choose the Switch. The Mobile gaming market has already surpassed PC and Console gaming capturing up to 37% of gaming revenue. The availability of premium free to play games and the massive variety of games on the Play store and iOS makes it a difficult trend to reverse.
First look at the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo really has to get its pricing right if it is looking to convert at least a few of these mobile gamers to their platform. However, the convenience and access offered by next-gen smartphones make it an uphill battle for Nintendo. The poor sales of the Vita and the 3DS which are the existing portable options out on the market dictate that beating smartphones is going to require major innovation.
The sales of its last console the Wii U were dismal and Nintendo cannot afford another flop. Nintendo’s shares were down about 5.7 % post the announcement of the Switch giving the company a market value of $35 billion. The jury is still out on whether the Switch can get users to switch back to console from mobile but our bets are on mobile.