As I continue my 2017 highlights, I thought it would be good to take a step away from specific software and focus on a shiny new piece of hardware that I’ve fell in love with this year. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Nintendo Switch. Another obvious choice maybe – and I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes at the fanboy – but believe me I bought the Wii U, I know what it’s like to be burnt by Nintendo recently.
But the Switch isn’t just a new piece of kit to fawn over because its new, it’s the definitive game-changer for me. Nintendo have given me a socially-accepted reason to game under the duvet. And I challenge anybody to find a better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning than staring into this console before you’ve even considered reaching for the dressing gown. In fact my New Year’s Day morning was spent in bed with the Switch, so I started off 2018 right.
I regret nothing.
Once you get past the fact that the Switch is actually a handheld, that just happens to come with a HDMI docking station to upscale to a TV, and you embrace that fact you never look back. Sure, its not as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One, and pales even more so into comparison with the Pro and S iterations respectively, but to compare them directly is missing the point.
The point being I can play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the toilet if I want – and not just because it’s conveniently within 5 metres of the console like with the Wii U. I mean any toilet I want in the house, even the en-suite if it takes my fancy (and of course as long as I have the express permission from my wife!)
It may sound like a small trivial thing, but the idea of a gaming system that is so flexible so as to work around what limited time you have to game in whatever location you wish is the very essence of Midnight Gamer – the idea that gaming isn’t regular and regimented for most. That we have to take what opportunities we can to game as we juggle other priorities in life, and the Switch fits that calling perfectly.
And what has amazed me the most throughout the year is that its not been the pick-up-and-play games such as Mario Kart or Snipperclips that I have found myself enjoying on-the-go, but the bigger sprawling adventures in Breath of the Wild or Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The fact that inconsiderate bodily functions don’t stop me from being engrossed in my adventure, or I don’t have to give way to the latest episode of The Great British Bake Off means I can stay hooked for longer than if I was confined to the main TV.
It’s no wonder the Switch has captured the imagination of so many, having had as strong an opening year as this generation’s benchmark the PS4. It’s a triumph of a concept that has been executed so well, that it genuinely sets itself apart from the competition. And with a steady stream of high-quality first-party titles and other developers watching with interest after being burned with the Wii U, the Switch looks set to have an equally stellar 2018.
Here’s to more lazy Sundays in bed!