The Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s new hybrid console, was unveiled via a trailer on Wednesday. The 3-minute showcase featured really attractive and trendy millennials using the new console everywhere from expertly furnished living rooms, on airplanes, and even basketball courts. It is clear that Nintendo is trying to target an older crowd.
People are generally on board with the concept of a home console that doubles as a handheld gaming platform. However, every gamer knows that a console’s true strength lies in its library of games. The Nintendo Switch trailer shows off gameplay from the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which is confirmed to appear on both the Switch and the Wii U.
However, every other game shown may never actually hit store shelves. We saw glimpses of what appears to be altered versions of Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, a new 3D Mario game, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and a basketball game. I would love it if all of these games were coming to the Nintendo Switch, but I’m not holding my breath. In fact, Bethesda studios confirmed that the Skyrim-esque footage shown in the video was just a mockup of sorts and they are not yet announcing any games for the Switch. The Wii U reveal trailer was full of gameplay footage that never found their way onto actual retail discs and I have a feeling the Switch won’t be any different. Let’s take a look back at what the original Wii U trailer promised and compare it to what act we actually got.
1. A new Super Mario Bros. game
New Super Mario Bros. U was a Wii U launch title and, like the Zelda footage in the Switch trailer, is the first game shown off in the Wii U trailer.
2. Some drawing application
This one’s a bit iffy. Art Academy: Sketchpad, which gives the player an assortment of digital art supplies to draw on the gamepad with, eventually released on Wii U in 2015, after many already considered the console to be dead in the water. It’s a promise that Nintendo delivered on, but a little bit too late in my opinion.
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3. This two-player Go game
Imagine getting to play strategic board game classics like Go or Chess on your Wii U gamepad. Now keep imagining, because nothing like this ever came out.
4. New Wii Sports with gamepad features
The sequel to the immensely popular Wii Sports graced the Wii U in 2013. Wii Sports Club had both the gamepad gimmicks shown off in the trailer.
5. New Wii Fit game with gamepad features
Okay, so I’m doing a terrible job of proving my point. Wii Fit U came out and did, in fact, have some gamepad exclusive features, although very rudimentary.
6. A hide and seek game with a clunky looking peripheral
So this and #7 are interesting ones because these concepts were both used in the Wii U minigame collections. The concept of using the gamepad to zoom in on characters that are difficult to see on the TV is used in the minigame Camera from Game & Wario. What was shown in the trailer is not what we actually got, so it doesn’t pass the test.
7. This shuriken flinging game
As I mentioned before, this ninja star flinging idea is used in a minigame collection. You can find a more fleshed out version of this game in Nintendoland. This further supports my point that just because we see gameplay footage in the console launch trailer, it isn’t indicative of what will actually be released.
8. Video chat
While this feature eventually found its way on Wii U, there was never an instance in history where two friends both owned a Wii U, so it might as well have not even existed.
9. Internet Browsing
Of course the Wii U is capable of browsing the internet, but most of the features, like being able to reorientate the gamepad simply by twisting it, is not actually included.
10. Photo and video sharing
If this feature exists, I haven’t seen it.
11. An HD realistic Zelda game
This is perhaps the best example of what I mean. Everybody saw this footage and went crazy, but the Zelda game featured in this trailer was nothing more than a tech demo. In fact, the only mainline Zelda game to hit the Wii U will look drastically different and is the last 1st party title that will put the Wii U out to pasture.
The Wii U, for all its great ideas, didn’t even meet its own expectations. At one point Nintendo even promised that two gamepads would be able to sync up to a single Wii U console, which never happened. It is important to understand that a Nintendo launch trailer shows us what could be, not what will be. I am excited for the Nintendo Switch but my expectations are reasonably tempered. We have good reason to believe that some versions of the games shown will show up on the Nintendo Switch, but I’m focusing on the games we know for sure are coming like the new Zelda and Sonic games. I’m also looking forward to bringing my Switch with me to rooftop parties.