Nintendo has formally announced its plans to enter the world of eSports, among other exciting news with the anticipated reveal of its NX console—now formerly called the Nintendo Switch. The new gaming platform is a hybrid console, tablet and hand held device that allows seamless transition from the TV to wherever users want to go. Although battery life and other specs were not revealed, memory-heavy games featured in the reveal trailer include Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyrim and NBA 2K17. Perhaps the most significant section of the trailer, however, was Nintendo’s entry into eSports with Splatoon, a first-person (ink) shooter that was featured in a tournament during Gamescom thanks to a strategic partnership with ESL.
Among a sea of next-gen consoles and virtual reality, Nintendo’s innovation takes a different approach by expanding on the many ways video games can be integrated into daily life. Rather than tethering oneself to a console or being limited with the type of games playable on a handheld device, Nintendo has combined the two, favoring functionality and user interface over shiny new graphics—although the Nintendo Switch features a large, HD display on which gamers can enjoy some very pretty games.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and COO of Nintendo of America in a statement. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
The new console docks as part of a user’s entertainment system and can be removed for a variety of play styles either alone or with friends. The unique versatility of the Nintendo Switch and its many controller options will translate over to developers and marketing teams to reach a more diverse range of audiences. Over 40 confirmed development partners include Telltale Games, Sega, Capcom, Square Enix, Epic Games and even Niantic of Pokémon GO fame. Although a camera was not featured in the console’s reveal trailer, the idea of augmented reality on Nintendo Switch would further add to its appeal.
Between Nintendo Switch and the company’s partnership with Apple, the company is taking a marketing approach that’s rather the opposite of virtual reality. Rather than ask what worlds Nintendo can transport you to, the Nintendo Switch allows consumers to integrate gaming into their everyday lives—free to make their own memories that lead to brand loyalty.