There’s a certain magic in the air ahead of a console launch. Unlike with phones and other gadgets, we don’t see new game systems very often, so each new release feels momentous. That’s particularly true for Nintendo, a company that’s been striving to differentiate itself from its rivals. While Sony and Microsoft are pushing their consoles to be more like gaming PCs, Nintendo has focused on creating unique experiences that you can get only by buying one of its systems.
The Switch has a lot riding on it. Nintendo has to make up for the missteps it made with the Wii U, and it has to convince gamers that a portable system can also be a decent home console. And of course, the company is under pressure from Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft’s upcoming Scorpio. But while those systems are focused on offering powerful specs for 4K gaming and VR, Nintendo is once again selling something completely different.