Indie Making the Switch?

By Anthony Riley

On the morning of October 20th, 2016, the world was greeted with a reveal of Nintendo’s next big thing. A video that detailed so much, while giving away so little information, about their newest product- Switch- couldn’t be called anything but a teaser. While many focused on what they like and don’t like about the new console’s design and features, I focused on the impact it would have on the industry. Within my thought, I came to a conclusion: the Nintendo Switch the perfect system for Indies.

The Switch is not your standard home console. It acts as a 2-in-1-hybrid console that gives the user the ability to play it traditionally or portably meaning that you can play triple-A games on the go or at home like a regular console. This new portability gives indie developers a new approach to optimizing their games for portable use. This would in-turn draw the attention of people who want a full game experience but don’t get the chance to sit down at home and play.

The reveal trailer for the Switch showcased the new Joy-Con controller. These controllers are little add-ons that have the unique feature of separating from the system itself while still being able to play. Along with the capability of being detached, the Joy-Cons can be separated and played as individual controllers. This offers players the choice of playing multiplayer games with the controllers. Indie devs should jump on this quickly. This new controller technology could change the very way we play multiplayer games and influence devs to find interesting new ways to play. How cool would it be if an Indie game consisted of two people using the Joy-Cons to control one character?

After the reveal trailer, Nintendo posted a picture showing all the companies that Nintendo is now working with for the Switch. Nintendo has always fallen behind its competitors when it comes to third-party support. So, when I saw companies like Sega, Konami, and Bethesda, I became excited. What this list shows is that Nintendo is making the effort to work with other companies to broaden the range of their games. This is a great plus for indie developers. The list shows us that Nintendo is willing to work with other companies to make the Switch a success. This should be a prompt to Indie developers to start working with Nintendo. The fact that they are working with such a big company could lead to high exposure for their projects and benefit the Indie scene.

I cannot wait for the Nintendo Switch. The fact that we were finally able to hear information about the console after so much speculation is unbelievable and its impact on the future for indie games could be immense. Can’t wait to get my hands on one during March 2017.