Finally, after months of hype, anticipation and speculation, the Nintendo Switch is available in shops to buy, released on the 3rd of March. There have been so many talking points around the new console, which adopts a hybrid model so players can play on a TV or while on the move.
One of the biggest has been related to its price. Analysis by Voucherbox found that Nintendo traditionally prices its new hardware at the £159 mark, so the £279 pre-order price of the Switch has raised some eyebrows and even forced the company to come out and defend its position.
But now that the Switch is out in the big wide world, how has the gaming community reacted to the new console?
While more cynical members of the gaming community probably like to think that major gaming giants such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have a bitter rivalry, things appear to be rather different. So much so that the brains behind the PlayStation and Xbox were among the first to congratulate Nintendo on the release of the Switch, with the official Xbox Twitter account even sharing a graphic combining Xbox and Nintendo graphics. A nice friendly touch indeed, even though it is likely that the rivals will be watching and analysing the performance of the Switch very closely indeed.
Source: Twitter via @xboxuk
Taking it apart
The first thought in most gamers’ minds when they get a new console is to get it plugged in and fired up straight away, with the ultimate aim of getting to know the hardware. However, the more technically minded chaps at iFixit had a different idea entirely when they got hold of it, choosing to grab a screwdriver and have a look inside. They have only shared an initial preview so far although apparently their engineers are completing a full analysis of what is in there, so it will be interesting to see what conclusions are drawn on the technical aspects of the console.
Sadly for Nintendo, the course of releasing new console release does not always run smoothly. While many got their hands on pre-orders as expected, a few issues were identified with some retailers including Amazon. Furthermore, while many initial reviews have been positive, there has been occasional criticism as some users find it hard to understand the extent of its capabilities. Among the issues raised has been concerns that the storage on the console is more locked down than other rival systems. Many will be hoping that as more feedback comes in, Nintendo may respond to the issues and make changes accordingly.
A standard launch
So when all is taken into account, it seems that the Switch had a fairly standard launch experience with many positives and a few negatives too. It will be interesting to see how the console’s performance develops across the rest of the year, particularly as to whether it is going to be able to meet sales predictions of five million units sold which were forecast by SuperData Research. The launch has been a big moment for Nintendo, but it is clear there are many other trials and tribulations to come. Stay tuned!