[Updated] Just What the Heck Is Nintendo Revealing Tonight in Their Surprise Announcement?
Cue rampant speculation.
[Update: Watch above! This is bonkers, and I love it. It’s Google Cardboard on steroids.]
Nintendo is easily the most secretive of the three main video game console companies, and they also tend to make a lot of weird decisions—some of which pay off, and some of which do not. That leads to a lot of speculation when they’re set to reveal something new, as they are today with a surprise announcement. The Switch paid off in a big way, and now that the holidays are over, the company is looking ahead and announcing new products on the horizon.
They recently held a Nintendo Direct stream to show off some exciting new upcoming games, including Switch versions of The World Ends With You, Hyrule Warriors, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Dark Souls Remastered, but they’ve certainly got more than that to keep the Switch going strong throughout 2018. Today’s announcement looks to expand on that, but no one’s quite sure what to expect from it.
Expert puppet masters that they are, Nintendo’s tweet referencing “a new way to play” on the Switch got everyone’s minds racing:
Check out “A New Way to Play” on Nintendo Switch at 7am on 1/18 Japan time. https://t.co/HHto43c1D2
— Kyle McLain (@FarmboyinJapan) January 17, 2018
明日18日（木）の朝7時より、Nintendo Switchを活用した「新しいあそび」を、こちらのページで紹介いたします。 https://t.co/RmTNznX0mj
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) January 17, 2018
Then, Nintendo’s Facebook page sent out a post reading, “Tune in here on Facebook or at youtube.com/nintendo at 2 p.m. PT/ 5 p.m. ET to discover a new interactive experience for Nintendo Switch that’s specially crafted for kids and those who are kids-at-heart.”
The Switch already features several different ways to play, not only with its console and portable modes, but with its multi-functional “Joy-Con” controllers and touch screen. That has a lot of people assuming that this reveal will be a new peripheral that adds even more functionality to the system—whether it’s another alternate control scheme or something else entirely.
Personally, because I can’t resist the “what if?” train, I’d like to see the ability to use the Switch screen and a TV screen for a single game—albeit one that would certainly have to be graphically scaled back—like the Wii U and that system’s controller, but that’s pretty much out of the question, since it’d require substantial new hardware.
The specific reference to kids has dampened expectations for some fans, but the speculation has been going predictably wild all the same. Over on Polygon, theories are flying that it will have to do with the assistance features Nintendo has been adding to games to aid younger players. Across the internet, everyone is theorizing everything from a reveal from their favorite franchises to virtual reality capabilities, with various levels of seriousness.
Their reference to a “new interactive experience” has me thinking it’s a software announcement rather than hardware. That could mean it’s just another straightforward software announcement, a new game that makes use of the Switch’s capabilities in an unorthodox way, like 1-2-Switch, or a non-game function in the way the now-defunct Miiverse was an “interactive experience.” Remember all those weird channels on the original Wii, like “Everybody Votes”? The Switch’s non-game offerings have been light compared to past consoles, so an expansion on that would make sense.
Whatever the case, the one thing that’s certain is that we’ll know for sure in a little over an hour (and that some especially ardent fans will wind up very disappointed that they were wrong).
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