GAME ON

With its lat­est system, Nin­tendo wants to put both hard­core gamers and hip mil­len­ni­als un­der its spell. If you’re nei­ther of those, you’re in luck, too

Sharp - - EDITOR’S LETTER - – ALEX NINO GHECIU

Nin­tendo’s new con­sole, the Switch, prom­ises to make gam­ing fun again.

THE AV­ER­AGE GAMER IS NOW 35 YEARS OLD — a de­mo­graphic with jammed sched­ules and short bursts of free time. It’s no co­in­ci­dence mo­bile gam­ing rev­enues sur­passed those of con­soles for the first time last year. The gen­er­a­tion that grew up with the Nin­tendo En­ter­tain­ment System never stopped play­ing — we just got older, busier, and more im­pa­tient. Nin­tendo un­der­stands. After the firm’s lus­ter­less Wiiu con­sole failed to com­pete with the Playsta­tion 4 and Xbox One, they hit pay­dirt last year with their first smart­phone game: Su­per Mario Run, the fastest-sell­ing IOS ti­tle ever. It was a hit with ca­sual users, but left Nin­tendo’s vet­eran fan­base un­ful­filled — they want full, epic experiences you just can’t have on an iphone. Hence, the Switch: con­sole-qual­ity gam­ing you can take on a five-hour flight.

Tuck the Switch’s tablet-like body into its dock, and the game­play au­to­mat­i­cally jumps to your TV; re­move it, and it flits back to the 720p touch­screen. Slide the two con­trollers onto its edges, and it’s ready for the road. Slide them off, and they can be used as Wii-like mo­tion-sens­ing re­motes. For the diehards, it’s got plenty of nos­tal­gia-bait­ing, fan ser­vice-y ti­tles (Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2). For the rest of us, it of­fers wacky party games (1,2 Switch), in­clud­ing one that lets you milk a vir­tual cow. (Re­ally.) Graph­ics-wise, the Switch is weaker than the PS4 or Xbox One, but its games are in­fin­itely more ex­pan­sive than Candy Crush Saga.

So should you — a grown, adult man — buy one? Ac­tu­ally, yes.

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