In video-gaming history, Japanese company Nintendo is known for two achievements. First, their Family Computer/NES console significantly restored the reputation of home gaming computers following the 1981 “Videogame Crash.” Next, Nintendo showed resilience and determination to remain relevant and innovative even when showed up by their competitors. Against Sega’s Genesis, they countered with the SNES. When Sony’s PS2 and 3, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, were the market leaders, Nintendo answered with the revolutionary Wii. And in 2017 they made up for their dismal Wii U follow-up by releasing the hybrid console-portable system the Switch. Two years later, the company is hinting at variants of it.
The Verge reports that as early as summer of this year, Nintendo will be introducing two alternate versions of their runaway hit Switch game system. According to the product announcement, the new Switches will function as sort of varied-capability variants of the basic Switch that hit the market March 2017. One is said to be a more affordable model with some features cropped, while the other is a high-end alternative that ups the basic system performance. In a way, this is a method similar to the latest smartphone releases of certain manufacturers, which come with a basic unit, a high-performance unit and an entry-level unit, all with appropriate pricing ranges.
Specific differences of the planned upcoming Switch models are scant at the moment, particularly in what they Nintendo has chosen to add or subtract from the basic. What has been shared is that the economy-version Switch might have its Joy-con vibration features removed, as an example of cost-cutting measures to justify a lowered price. The other variant’s hardware/software improvements are vaguer, with the word only that it packs “enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.”
These low-end and high-end variations on the normal Nintendo Switch is part of the company strategy laid out by Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, the better to entice more gamers to try the celebrated hybrid game system. “Going forward, we aim to generate such demand among consumers as they feel like ‘I want to have my own Nintendo Switch console’ through measures such as software offerings,” Furukawa had said in February. “Not necessarily so that each person will have one, but so that each household will have multiple Nintendo Switch consoles.”
For gamers wondering when in 2019 the other Nintendo Switches might be unveiled, the likeliest occasion has been pegged as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year, which will be held from June 11 to 13. The new variants will presumably hit the market a few months after their introduction.
Image from The Daily Star