There are still a lot of questions about Nintendo’s Switch, and the Kyoto gaming giant has everything to prove. But after spending a few hours in the hybrid console’s company this afternoon in Tokyo, I think Nintendo might be onto something. At the very least, there’s evidence that the Switch is a more credible effort than its predecessor, the Wii U, which was Nintendo’s biggest home console failure to date.
I say that because of product decisions that cut to the core of how each system is used. With the Wii U and its tablet-style GamePad controller, developers essentially had two options — beam the same image from the TV to the portable screen, or display different content on each. Few found much use for the latter scenario, so the vast majority of games ended up employing the former, relegating the GamePad to a clunky, low-res portable that couldn’t even be taken outside of the house. Most of the Wii U’s best games ended up being perfectly playable without the GamePad at all.