The Switch represents the best and worst of gaming.

The biggest advances for Nintendo are coming this next year as they get ready to release their newest gaming console: The Nintendo Switch. The Switch represents the best and the worst of gaming in a single console.

Oh sure, Nintendo recently made news by selling nearly 200,000 units of their throwback entertainment system, The NES Classic, in a single month. Nintendo has long made their standard the family-friendly, graphics-light, casual gamer category. But the Switch is hoping to take that to the next level.

The Best and the Worse: Watch this first.

To fully understand what I’m about to say, you’ll probably have to watch their promo trailer first.


The Nintendo Switch: The Best of Gaming

The switch is amazing. Let’s just go over some highlights. The Switch is:

To put it simply: The Nintendo Switch takes the perks of mobile gaming systems and merges the benefits of a full console.

  • You can play it anywhere
  • you’re games are simply tied to a console in your living room
  • you don’t have to quit playing awesome games just because you’re on a road trip.

This is every gamer’s dream.

The Nintendo Switch: The Worst of Gaming

However, there are some low-points. Go back to that trailer and watch :30 – :45 again: I’ve quick-linked it here.

Notice anything? Let’s take a moment to reflect:

  • Guy’s dog walks up to him asking for attention.
  • Guy dutifully stands, pulls his gaming device from it’s holder, and saunters out into the free air.
  • Guy sits on a bench and willingly chains his mind to his game still.
  • Guy completely misses the sunset, needy dog, and opportunity for connection with reality. (seriously, you can see the dog running around in the distance by itself)

And this is Nintendo’s selling point. And not just once. Don’t miss such excellent selling points like: “You can game instead of…”

It seems we may have come too far when a gaming company is selling the idea of gaming over other forms of interaction as a good thing.

Serious gaming – Serious questions

The Nintendo Switch is an incredible idea that promises to overcome many of the obstacles of mobile and console gaming:

  • it’s versatile
  • it has an excellent game heritage
  • is graphically advanced enough to appeal to casual and core gamers
  • it isn’t held down by the wires and internet of other systems.

Yet the promises of the Switch also raise serious questions about where our gaming habits seem to be going.

  • Why don’t we want to walking away from our games every now and then?
  • Why do we feel we’d want to drop a few hundred bucks for the opportunity to never be away from our favorite game?
  • Does this system say more about gaming companies, or more about us as gamers?

The Verdict

The Nintendo Switch isn’t a statement just about the best and worst in gaming. It reflects the best and worst in us. We need to make sure that, whatever we do for fun, we remain able to walk away and engage in the relationships and opportunities that can make powerful changes in the real world.