Understanding the adaptive Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is redefining gaming by adapting to the players environment. Unfortunately, it is widely misunderstood. It provides fun when used alone, with others, or with other Switch owners; in the living room, on the bus, at a desk. It an adaptive console, not a portable one. Any game that can be played like this is going to be a liberating experience, being optimised for how we live and can be played whenever we feel like.

So far, it seems the Nintendo Switch is widely misunderstood, even by game developers, reviewers and gamers alike. This is not surprising because Nintendo attempts to achieve something that no other gaming device has ever tried: gaming anywhere.

The moment everything fell in place for me was when I stopped thinking about Nintendo Switch as a portable console, but as an adaptive console.This explains why it does not become loads more powerful when docked, because that would favour playing on the TV over all the other ways. Nintendo has gone through amazing lengths to let you play together with other Switch owners even without a WiFi network, because it wants gaming everywhere.

A game that is not fun on the TV or playing with others on the same switch is limiting the switch experience and I think we will see a lot of games that are compromised in some way as game developers are getting to grips with the platforms adaptability.

The Switch is a careful balance between offline and online play, individual versus group play, and a study about where gaming can fit in our lives.

Jun 11, 2017