The historic game company has always marched to the beat of its own drum, and that iconoclastic attitude has long served it well, from the DS and 3DS to the Wii. And while Nintendo continues to sit on a Scrooge McDuck-like silo filled with metaphorical gold, the pile isn’t quite as high as it once was. The Wii fell off a cliff after its incredible run out of the gate. In recent years, the Wii U has struggled in all respects, and the company is no longer immune to market forces.
The Wii U’s failings have been well-documented. Third-party support is nearly non-existent, and while the console does have some great first party games, we’ve had far fewer of them than we’re used to on a major Nintendo platform. No Metroid, no Zelda, and just one entry each for Mario, Smash, and Mario Kart. Meanwhile, the 3DS has been highly successful, though its once-impenetrable beachhead of market dominance has been eroded by smartphones, which continue to progress in power, ubiquity, and affordability.
And though the future of Nintendo’s portable-only business has yet to be determined, for now the Switch seems to be the Big N’s one-stop shop for both its living room and portable markets. In essence, it’s putting all of its eggs in a single Switch basket. Perhaps that’s why Nintendo wasted no time and immediately showcased three of its biggest guns for Switch: Zelda, a new and seemingly mainline 3D Mario, and Mario Kart. That’s in addition to more adult-skewing third-party franchises like Skyrim and NBA 2K.
Though rumors about Switch’s specs suggest that it will again leave Nintendo with the least-powerful console on the market, those same rumors also put it approximately on-par with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If that holds true, it gives Nintendo a much better chance of having a consistent level of third-party support for at least a few years, given Sony and Microsoft’s respective pledges to continue supporting their 2013 consoles for the foreseeable future.
The Nintendo Switch could be one of the most revolutionary consoles ever released. At its core it's a hybrid between a traditional console and a handheld, meaning that you can use it while out and about like you would a Nintendo 3DS or a PS Vita and then 'dock' it while in your home to play games on the big screen.
This means you'll easily be able to seamlessly continue your gaming when you leave the house, and should also make it much easier to play in person with friends.
Everything we officially know about the console so far has come from its announcement trailer which you can watch below.