The Switch is a console sandwiched between a bar of success lowered by the disaster of the Wii U and the considerable ground Nintendo must make up.
Compared to the Wii U on its merits, the Switch is a slam dunk. It takes the basic concept of the Wii U, of a tablet-based console, and fulfills the promise of it in a way Nintendo simply wasn’t capable of realizing in 2012. It’s launching with a piece of software that, more than anything in the Wii U’s first year, demonstrates its inherent capability of delivering what Nintendo says is one of the Switch’s primary missions: a big-budget, AAA game that exists across a handheld device and a television-connected portable. The hardware lives up to its name in how easily and smoothly it moves between those two worlds, in how dead simple it all is to make something pretty magical happen.
I am genuinely excited by the Switch, and the prospects it brings to the table. I’m worried about the lineup of games – or lack thereof, really – so I’m not going to jump in straight away. The reviews of the device and its launch Zelda title are positive, though, so I’m looking forward to what Nintendo has in store for the Switch.