With the game console market in a state of unprecedented flux as Sony and Microsoft both plan to release upgraded versions of their Xbox One and Playstation 4 devices sooner than anyone had expected, the industry’s eyes are currently also fixed on Nintendo and their still largely-mysterious new device, Nintendo Switch. A modular console that converts from a home TV-based machine to a handheld portable, it’s being seen as a potential game-changer and a sink-or-swim moment for the veteran Japanese gaming giant.
Now, a new rumor from a highly-placed industry figure suggests there may yet be revelations to come about The Switch’s control scheme.
Thus far, Nintendo has made the fact that the Switch has multiple controller variations a key aspect of its early marketing. The console’s debut trailer features a player converting his traditional controller to interface with the system’s touchpad to form a handheld by attaching and detaching the “Joy-Con” control sticks, but also the use of individual Joy-Cons for on-the-go gaming and multiples for impromptu local-multiplayer sessions. However, one question that has yet to be answered is whether or not the system will also allow for motion-based controls like those featured on the company’s last two home consoles, the mega-selling Wii and troubled Wii U follow-up.
Now, Paul Raines (the CEO of dominant U.S. video game retail chain Gamestop) has been quoted as indicating that this is indeed the case. Offered Raines:
“The Switch is a very interesting device…. A movement-related game is more fun for kids, you know, taking those [Joy-con controllers off] and then the master controller, you can really do a lot of interesting things with that in gameplay. I think it has tremendous potential as a game-changer. We’ll have to wait and see. Like everything else in this industry, the consumers will vote with their dollars.”
While this is far for an official confirmation of motion control for The Switch, many industry watchers would be surprised if some variation on the concept was not carried over to Nintendo’s newest console. While the Wii U did not deliver sufficient sales, the original Wii’s then-groundbreaking gesture-based controls gave the company one of their biggest sellers of all time in terms of the console itself and the various Wii Sports titles. In addition, many of the well-reviewed Wii U titles reportedly being considered for re-release on the new console featured motion as part of their core design; suggesting that Nintendo would likely carry the technology over.
The Nintendo Switch is due for release in March of 2017, with Nintendo expected to provide further details on the new console in January.