There was a lot of positive buzz from this past weekend over Sony’s PlayStation Experience. A lot of people have been suggesting that Nintendo should do something similar as an annual event. Years ago Nintendo had Spaceworld which was a show where they showed off new software and hardware. They may indeed look into that. In the meantime, it’s been over a month since the reveal of the Nintendo Switch. We know that it will be shown fully in action on January 12th, 2017. For some people that feels very far away. In actuality it isn’t, but in today’s culture attentions-spans are shorter than an inchworm. It’s easy it’s become yesterday’s news real quick. Looks like Nintendo is serious about changing marketing strategy and media perception.
In a surprising move, Nintendo decided to make a visit to the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Reggie Fils-Aime has made several appearances on the Tonight Show to show off new hardware and software from Nintendo, but this felt a little different. They first decided to show off Super Mario Run which is available now for iOS. Reggie let Jimmy play the game first, but he let him know that a special guest would be watching him in the audience which was none other than Shigeru Miyamoto (sitting next to Bill Trinen.) So the whole crew was there. I’m not sure if Miyamoto has been on the Tonight Show before, but it seemed very odd, but a pleasant surprise to see him there and the audience seemed to really eat it up.
Then, the real shocker was when Reggie pulled up a Question-mark block to reveal the Nintendo Switch. I did not expect to see the device on a live-TV show before the January 12th event. Considering all the secrecy surrounding the Switch even still after the October reveal this was a shocker.
The console looked wider than I thought (not quiet the size of teh Wii U GamePad but not too far off,) but more narrow than I thought. This thing is literally cellphone-thick. I hope this won’t be a problem for people with big grizzly-bear hands and sausage fingers, or people who are just heavy-handed. The game Jimmy and Reggie played was Zelda: Breath of The Wild. I have to tell you, the Switch version of this game looks WAY better. The lighting looked better, the textures looked better, the physics looked better, and it was running at a buttery smooth 60fps and when undocked the frame rate remained CONSTANT. I don’t know if it was 60fps or 30fps because it was hard to tell due to the light in the studio. To me it didn’t look like the frame rate changed at all.
I find it extremely unlikely that they would be able to get this game to run at 60fps while in portable-mode but if it does then this thing has more juice than we thought. Regardless to that, it ran beautifully.
This was a good counter to Sony’s event this past weekend. Obviously this appearance was planned well in advance, but it isn’t to much of a stretch to say that when sitting up this appearance that they did it around that same time so that Nintendo Switch buzz doesn’t die down and can stay hot until January 12th. I’m sure they knew when Sony was planning their event. Perhaps that is was Shuhei Yoshida spoke so glowingly of Nintendo when asked about them this weekend. Maybe Nintendo is finally ready to take the kid gloves off and get serious here.
Nintendo still has a lot of work to do to right a lot of wrongs they have committed, but this was another step in the right direction. As of late Nintendo seems to be making better decisions and I hope it continues.