The Nintendo Switch is a very exciting console for me, as consoles had stagnated for a while. The decision-makers at Sony and Microsoft seem to be designing their consoles to fulfill more of the purposes of a PC, while not offering the original advantages of owning a console. Effectively, there were fewer and fewer reasons to get a console over a PC, besides price (which I admit is a major factor.) However, the Switch caught my eye for one reason alone: it was a handheld with the power of a normal console. Granted, it doesn’t run at a 4k resolution like the Xbox One X, but being able to play games that I’d normally play at my set-up is nothing to scoff at.
However, that doesn’t get to why I think it’ll be revolutionary for consoles. The main reason is that consoles have removed their advantages. Does anyone remember the day where you could place a game’s disc into your console and be able to play it right away? That era is long gone due to the increase in a game’s size, and console makers have tried to make up for it by making their platforms like PC. However, the PC still has numerous advantages over consoles, such as not needing to pay for a service such as XBox Live or Playstation Plus to play multiplayer games on top of an internet bill, not to mention things like Always-Online or console-enforced DRM. The Switch has closed this selling-point gap with its portability (and the fact their online service is only $20 a year as opposed to $60 a year, and the fact that you don’t need to have an online connection to use it.)
This doesn’t mean console makers may be willing to make this change, though. Sony didn’t see much success with their own handheld, the PS Vita, and Microsoft has never dabbled in handheld consoles while Nintendo had a large amount of experience with devices such as the GameBoy, Nintendo DS, and 3DS. These two companies would have to put their engineers into a whole new field of down-sizing and would have to get rid of the hype they’ve built up for technologies such as PS VR and being able to use a console to run a game at a 4k resolution. The likelihood of these companies producing handhelds like the Switch is minimal at best. Despite what I say about advantages being ruined, console fans will still buy their company no matter how green the grass is on the other side of the fence.
But that’s enough of my cynicism, what do you think console makers will do? Do you think I’m entirely wrong? Leave your opinion down below.