When the Nintendo Switch has first revealed three months ago, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said he was impressed with Nintendo’s bold vision and the company’s ability to build a product to deliver that vision. Now, just days after Nintendo’s Treehouse event that detailed their new console even further, Phil Spencer has once again weighed in on what he thinks about the Nintendo Switch and a few of its big games.
These positive comments from Spencer are not much of a surprise. He has a history of complimenting the competition, and he hasn’t been shy to share his disdain for the idea of the console wars. His comments also come just two days after another Xbox executive, Mike Ybarra, publicly congratulated Nintendo on its Nintendo Switch event and full reveal, calling the announcement “fun and exciting.”
Spencer said Super Mario Odyssey looked “new” and “fresh.” Super Mario Odyssey is being touted by Nintendo as the next Super Mario 64. It is an open-world sandbox game that takes Mario from a real-world city setting to more cartoony towns one might expect to populate the world of a Super Mario game. Shigeru Miyamoto recently said Super Mario Odyssey is being designed for the “core” gamer, differing from the most accessible games like Super Mario 3D World. Super Mario Odyssey won’t be a launch title; instead, it is set for a holiday release this year. But fans can expect to see more of the game at this year’s E3.
One game that will be a launch title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, also got attention from Phil Spencer. He said that “Zelda should be great.” At this point, Breath of the Wild has been one of the most shown games for the Switch and is expected to be the killer app at the Switch’s launch. It launches the Legend of Zelda formula into a massive open world, includes beautiful art, and adds voice acting, so Spencer’s comments seem to echo that of most gamers who are expecting Breath of the Wild to knock it out of the park come March.
Lastly, Spencer says the hybrid nature of the Switch between it being a handheld and a home console will make it “fun to see what new game ideas come from that.” Ever since the Wii, Nintendo has introduced new ways to play, which has resulted from amazingly fresh and fun experiences like Wii Sports to “shovelware” that ends up being more gimmicky than fun. The switch will give developers another chance to take a whack at creating interesting experiences based on the unique features of the console.
Overall, Spencer’s comments are encouraging, and best echoes the idea that new consoles and games are an exciting time for anyone interested in video games.
The Nintendo Switch launches March 3, 2017.