Following its reveal trailer, Nintendo has remained fairly tight-lipped about the Nintendo Switch, its innovative new console that it hopes will make up for the sales failure that was the Wii U. More details on the console, like its exact release date, price, and launch lineup, are expected to come during a special January 12th event. In the meantime, fans have been looking for any additional insight on the console to help tide them over until Nintendo is ready to share more information, so some may be interested in learning exactly how the console got its name.
A Nintendo spokesperson recently elaborated on how the Nintendo Switch got its name in an article published in the Japan-only magazine Nintendo Dream. As translated by Nintendo Everything, the Nintendo spokesperson claimed that Nintendo Switch actually has two meanings – one of which may be obvious for most gamers, and a second, deeper meaning.
As expected, one reason why Nintendo Switch got its name is because of its main feature, the ability to switch gameplay from the TV to the Switch handheld screen. Since switching gameplay between the handheld device and a television is the console’s defining characteristic, it makes sense for Nintendo to give it a name that reflects that functionality.
Another reason Nintendo chose to name its new console Switch is because the company hopes it will represent a shift in how people experience entertainment. The spokesperson likened the Nintendo Switch to the idea of a “switch that will flip,” causing people to change the way they experience entertainment “on a daily basis.” It’s clear how Nintendo Switch will change the way people play video games, as it will allow them to take blockbuster titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario with them on the go, but the spokesperson’s comments seem to suggest that other forms of entertainment will also be enhanced by the Switch.
One likely way Switch will enhance other forms of entertainment will be with the way people use streaming services like Netflix. Presumably, the console will allow people to stop watching a show on the TV, transfer it to the handheld device, and as long as they’re within the range of their wi-fi, continue watching it elsewhere. However, Nintendo will need to make an argument as to why people should use the Switch handheld to watch apps like Netflix and Hulu instead of their smartphones and tablets, which likely have higher resolutions than the Switch is said to have.
Besides a launch lineup, a possible announcement of GameCube virtual console support, a price, and release date, the Nintendo Switch January 12th event should bring with it news on its multimedia capabilities as well. Once the event concludes, fans should have a better idea of what Nintendo means when it says the Nintendo Switch will “change the way people experience entertainment in their daily lives.”
Nintendo Switch will be available in March of 2017.