Nintendo has finally revealed its next video game console, the Nintendo Switch. It’s a slick piece of hardware that you can play plugged into a TV like a traditional home console, or by itself when you’re on the go. It’s slated for a March 2017 release, so it’s just around the corner.
When it comes to hardware, Nintendo needs a hit right now. While the original Wii sold in record numbers, its successor, the Wii U, was among the worst failures in the company’s history. But based on what we’ve seen of the Switch, it looks like a shrewd move on Nintendo’s part. Here’s why.
It plays to Nintendo’s strengths
Ever since the launch of the Game Boy in 1989, Nintendo has maintained two distinct product lines: handheld gaming devices and home consoles.
On the console side of things, the company has delivered a number of killer systems, including the NES, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64. But its most recent ones, the GameCube, Wii, and Wii U, have been shakier. The Wii skyrocketed with popularity, but its motion-based controls left many longtime Nintendo fans wishing for something more traditional. The GameCube and Wii U both failed to catch on with gamers and sold poorly.
On the handheld side, it’s a different story. Essentially, Nintendo has ruled the dedicated handheld gaming market since 1989, eclipsing the sales of all competitors that cropped up.
Looking at it from this angle, it’s not surprising Nintendo is effectively merging the two product lines into one handheld device you can plug into a TV when you’re at home. The Nintendo Switch offers the best of both worlds.