Growing up, we were primarily a Nintendo household — though we did have the occasional Sega or Sony machine too. My formative gaming experiences were with Link, Mario, Samus, et al. Fast forward three decades, and while I haven’t had as much time with it as I’d like, the new Nintendo Switch is a nigh-ideal machine for me at this point in my life.
I couldn’t care less about tech specs; I play games for a story, and/or distraction. What the Switch has is both portability and the option to use it with a TV, each as first-class experiences. A choice of control schemes that includes both the traditional supplicant-pose, wrist-kinking joypad, or the (much more comfortable) Wii-style split input — with even smaller and lighter controllers.
It has a touchscreen for fast menu navigation, but not as a compulsory, slippery, imprecise input mechanism. A trimmed-down UI that’s meant for gaming, not being a media centre. And lastly, it’s a handheld with a big screen, to suit my broken and rapidly ageing eyes.
It’s a synthesis of compromises that nevertheless feels like a cohesive and intentional design, and I find that damned compelling.