Hype for the new Nintendo “Switch” is extremely high; based on pre-order numbers, and the selling out of pre-order supplies, it’s safe to say the initial launch of the console will be successful — and why wouldn’t it? Nintendo consistently achieves solid launches fueled largely by their nostalgia-laden stable of franchises. So then the question becomes: will the Switch be available to play at 42 Ale House? Yes! Well, maybe. Or, maybe not as you would expect.
We have not pre-ordered a Switch, we won’t have one on launch day (probably); quite frankly, we aren’t sure how to use it just yet. We focus largely on “couch co-op” video games, and tabletop — these make the most sense in our setting — allowing people to come together to play games in meatspace while slugging down a few beers and splitting a pizza. While the Switch certainly focuses on multiplayer, especially same room multiplayer, the portable nature of the device (beyond the “portability” of the WiiU tablet) has us wondering what the actual workflow for the device will be.
Will people want to come in and play OUR switch? Will people bring their own in with them and play with others at their table? Should we just have docks so that people can connect the switch they bring in, up to our TVs? Is Nintendo finally getting serious about online presence and how does that affect being at home vs at the bar vs having your device with you at all times?
While the press releases and videos do a pretty good job of demonstrating how the technology will work, sometimes in practical application people use devices differently than envisioned. Or, features that users were hyped about function differently in practice than potential. We see a lot of room for a scenario where we support the use of devices in the building in a substantial way while still allowing users to be tied into their personal device — such as providing docks, controllers, and games, rather than a slew of bar-owned consoles.
Bottom line is that we at 42 Ale House are extremely excited about the release of the Nintendo Switch and are committed to bringing the device into the building in some capacity; however, as is often the case with a device that attempts to shift boundaries, we want to make sure that the experience we give you is both of the quality you expect, and fits in best with practical, everyday, use of the device.
There will certainly be more to this conversation as we near launch day.