SWITCH

Hyper - - LOUNGEROOM -

The ad­ver­tis­ing in the lead up to the Switch’s re­lease fo­cused heav­ily on the idea of gam­ing to­gether in the same space. Your friends in­vite you to a rooftop party? Take the Switch with you, An­ti­so­cial Karen, and show it o to ev­ery­one. Head­ing out to shoot hoops with some friends? Shoot vir­tual hoops af­ter­wards, which maybe you se­cretly wanted to do the whole time any­way. The Switch wants to pro­vide a liv­ing room gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that you can take with you any­where.

Even with the con­sole now in our hands, it’s hard to say whether or not the Switch is a per­fect re­al­i­sa­tion of Nintendo’s grand plans to bring peo­ple to­gether or not, but the signs are there that it has a shot. The ma­chine launched with five ti­tles that work best as shared ex­pe­ri­ences: 1-2 Switch, Snip­per­clips, Su­per Bomber­man R, Just Dance 2017, and Sky­lan­ders Imag­i­na­tors – of which only Bomber­man (which sup­ports up to 8 play­ers on one con­sole) is playable on­line. Throw in Fast RMX, and the post-launch re­leases of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and a huge se­lec­tion of in­die games, and you’ve got a con­sole that seems to be fully em­brac­ing the spirit of same-room mul­ti­player even as it goes por­ta­ble.

The Switch is the first Nintendo con­sole – in­deed, the only ma­jor con­sole in me­mory – to launch with two con­trollers by de­fault. The Joy Cons can be used to­gether for com­plex games, or can be split apart and used as sep­a­rate con­trollers for var­i­ous ti­tles, com­plete with ex­tra shoul­der but­tons that slot into place on their sides.

These tiny con­trollers are much more com­fort­able than we had an­tic­i­pated – not quite a re­place­ment for the Pro Con­troller, but more than fine for a quick round of Bomber­man.

The Switch’s nar­ra­tive isn’t over yet, but what’s clear is that it rep­re­sents the con­tin­u­a­tion of a long-term goal to get peo­ple play­ing to­gether, in-per­son. Nintendo may re­lease the most ad­vanced con­soles, or oer the most gen­er­ous li­braries, but the com­pany never seems to lose track of how much fun it is to stay up as late as you can, with your friends, play­ing games.

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