I was working today, and seeing Nintendo's presentation in the bathroom represents perfectly what has happened with the company in the recent months.
Nintendo Switch is a good choiche in terms of names, it refers to Nintendo Co., Ltd (NCL) recognizing the Nintendo brand and it contains the main mechanism behind the system.
Nintendo did not only switched the colours of its logo from the past, it has changed its target. During those 3 and a half minutes trailer we can see what Nintendo would like to become and will appeal to.
We do not see children, we can see people from 25 to 30 years old. Nintendo has in the end realized that its fanbase is composed by gamers who have children that will be Nintendo gamers. Nintendo is a family entertainment company, that is why we can see this type of target and audience in its presentation.
The concept is well presented, we can clearly see every possibility and mechanic in terms of what Nintendo Switch can do, something we definitely missed from Wii U's first appereance.
This is a presentation trailer, we have seen glimpse of products, remastered, something in development, a lot of stuff I have mentioned in September 2015, thanks to my sources, but most of all, we did not see specifications, setup or enough full screen gameplay, from the New Mario game I mentioned a long time ago or the refreshed IPs, to theorize what the machine can do, but not because the machine is not acceptable, but because Nintendo was aiming to someone and something else: a message.
Nintendo is switching target audience, is switching is development times, cost & knowledge; Nintendo is switching to a new connected and modern market abandoning the portable one, meaning what the Game Boy created in terms of portable and handheld machines.
Nintendo is abandoning the D-Pad. As a fellow platformer, viewing Nintendo's D-Pad as the most perfect directional controller on Earth, giving the fact that 2D platformers are only meant to be played with a D-Pad, is depressing seeing Nintendo going away from one of its distinctive creatures. Surely in terms of design I can accept the decision they took, so to have detachable controllers for each side, but a 2D platformer will not be the same on Nintendo Switch, unless with the third iteration of the Classic/Pro Controller.
Nintendo Switch left the portability at home, but is going to make possible a lot of things in terms of asynchronous gameplay, interaction and merge from two detached world. Third parties need to support Nintendo Switch to carry the torch for innovation and new ideas, despite not being the perfect machine for power, design and capabilities. Nintendo is bringing something new to the table, gifting big publisher of its portable market, paradoxically leaving it for a portable-tablet one, which is hugely different. We will not carry our handheld in our school bag, we will have it in our work/running/trekking/sport/whatever bag, as adults who have families, friends and affections.
Nintendo's marketing perspective and choices are clearly defined, and as said in my previous article, waiting is the best choice if you can deliver something like this. We can expect another presentation in a couple of weeks, with full extended details on Nintendo Switch. Today we have seen the future of Nintendo: brave like early 2000's, strategically accurate like 2004. Nintendo Switch might not be for everyone, and its price tag will have to on point considering PS4Pro, but Nintendo's target is 20 million of Nintendo Gamecube fans who grew up with an NES and would like to gift their children with a Switch childhood.