This piece was put together to be a video style editorial. However, for the sake of providing options for consuming this piece, we are providing the full script text below for your reading:
1 year. It’s been 1 year since Nintendo Switch arrived in my hands. At midnight, March 3rd 2017, inside my local GameStop, Nintendo Switch came home and has seemingly forever changed my life. I’m not exagerrating either.
You see, I’ve been playing video games for over 25 years at this point. Everything from the NES and Gameboy days through PlayStation, Xbox, Dreamcast, Wii’s, DSs… and everything in-between. Heck, I was a pretty heavy PC gamer for large portions of my life. Many games and many game franchises have helped me through a lot of tough points in my life, but more than anything video games have always been a respit for me. The thing is, no generation of hardwaare itself has ever really had an overwhelming impact on me.
I grew up in the era of Gameboy, so portable gaming just sort of always existed, so I didn’t necessarily get that sense of amazement I am sure many did who grew up with Atari. I went through the transistion into 3D gaming, but since I was already gaming on PC this transistion with the N64 didn’t really hit me as hard as it might have with many other kids. I had already been ejoying 3D games on PC for years afterall.
Now look, when Nintendo announced the Switch back in October 2016, I thought the product looked nearly flawless for what Nintendo was trying to do. Portable console gaming with a simple dock? I was sold. But I have been playing Nintendo systems my entire life and yes, I owned a Wii U. So obviously I was going to get the system even if it didn’t look so hot. When the system launched in march last year, I was excited, but I didn’t really fully grasp the journey we were about to embark on together.
You see, like many “fond memories” a lot of us have of key moments of our life, we always remember the good stuff that helped us in a time of uncertainty and strife. We try hard not to think about what lead us to the bad places, but how we overcame it, and as I mentioned before… video games have always sort of been there helping me along.
But see, last year was a strange one. When Switch launched, Nintendo Prime was more of an idea than a reality. I was still editor-in-chief of Zelda Informer but really only in title alone. I hadn’t made a post on the site in over a month, I wasn’t running hiring sprees or helping out the news team, and despite a zillion plans i had for coverage of Breath of the Wild at launch -it didn’t matter anymore, because the owner of the site was giving me the boot on April 30th.
To many this may not mean much. But imagine for nearly a decade of your life you spent every day of it building up something you love. Something that honestly, felt akin to being your own child. Then, have that thing taken away from you knowing there is nothing you can do about it.
Of course, I have actual children and a great fiance and truth be told, there were far more important things going on in my life than my career at Zelda Informer, but my history with Zelda websites dated back to when I was 12. So 18 years later, it was emotionally devestating to realize how little any of it probably mattered.
As perfect as I felt the Switch was heading into launch, I was starting to enter a dark state of mind and while i Tried to act enthused about the platform, something felt a bit hollow. I’m playing the greatest Zelda game ever made on what may become my favorite platform ever made. And yet, I felt stuck.
Now, Nintendo Prime itself has existed in some form since February 2016. This is when Zelda Informer was sold and I was uncertain if I would be kept on, so I started my own website as one of those backup plans. That summer, I started the Nintendo Prime Podcast with Eric and Darrin, my right hand man at ZI. I ended up being kept on for a year a couple months more after being sold, but Nintendo Prime was never really meant to be anything. A podcast. A few fleeting posts on a site. Nothing but this little thing I do on the side fo ra few minutes a week just to give me a outlet that is entirely my own.
As my career running Zelda websites came to an abrubt close, I was at a crossroads in my life. Yes, I built up a little bit of a savings to float for a few months after leaving Zelda Informer, but what more could I hope for? I didn’t want to go back to working in factories, wearhouses, or retail. I didn’t want to even become a programmer, which is what I was in college for. No, I wanted to passionately talk about and cover Nintendo – but jobs like that are few and far between and moving wasn’t really an option.
I decided after April to focus on YouTube. I had been making youtube content on and off for awhile and our podcast was hosted on YouTube already. A large component of my decisions to go to YouTube was because of Switch.
You see, in just over two months of ownership, I had already sunk hundreds of hours into playing games on Switch – something that use to take me at least a year on prior platforms as I became a father. I owned 6+ games, something that typically never happens that soon on the platform for me.
You see, if Switch wasn’t in my life this past year, we would never be in yours.
Nintendo Switch has become more than just another platform I play games on. It’s flawed, and issues with the system are an ever ongoing ordeal. But more than that, Switch has become my inspiration. The deeper and deeper I have dove into creating YouTube content, the more and more Switch continues to inspire me. Out of ideas for today? Why, turn on that Switch and watch the inspiration flow.
Over the past year I have logged 676 hours of gaming on my Switch. I checked on my Wii U and 3DS: That’s more hours spent on Switch than 3DS and Wii U combined… over the past 3 years. Over the 3 years prior to Switch coming out, it became apparent I had fallen out of love with gaming. Sure I owned a lot of games for those platforms, but my hours played was dismal.
Heck, for some of you, 676 hours in a year is nothing. But as a parent of 3, that number to me is impressive. It’s a sign of my gaming passion coming back alive. Switch has come at the perfect time.
As an avide tech enthusiast, I care greatly about frame rates, resolution, tesselations, anti-aliasing, physics, the dang witcher 3 hairworks, and everything else about pushing the absolute boundaries of visual presentation in games. I have a 4k, 60fps capable gaming PC and this year I am planning on buying an xbox one x and taking advantage of their games as a service ordeal with game pass.
But the thing is, none of that matters without my switch.
Yes, my switch. Just like many of you have your Switch, this is the first time in my life that I feel a personal connection to a platform – not just a game. Sure, Breath of the Wild turned a year old at the same time as Switch did and Breath of the Wild means a lot to me too, but the Switch means more.
It has transformed my life. Once a simple hobby, Switch has reignited a passion in me that burns every day. Whether I am playing in my office, on the big 4k TV in the man cave, on the toilet, bus, uber, or wherever my heart desires. Playing quick multiplayer games with my kids or immerssing myself in hours long live streams with all of you. I have never felt more alive as a gamer than I do with Switch.
If you ask me what about the Switch makes it special, I am not sure I can come up with any exact words other than convenience. The Switch has done something for me that I didn’t realize I cared about. It has made home console gaming convenient. Bought a physical game? FOr the most part, you can just pop it in and play. Updates to most games are optional. It takes seconds, yes mere seconds, to boot the Switch from a dead cold powered down mode to being inside another game. Seconds more to quickly switch games and take screenshots and short video clips, and seconds more to get that stuff up on social media outlets like facebook and twitter. Just like it takes a split second to undock the switch itself from my tv and continue gaming in one smooth transistion.
I’m on the go and one of my kids is bored? Take out the Switch and we can instantly play two player mario kart. The Switch is many things, but at the center the Switch is home console gaming that’s convenient. As it turns out, convenience matters more to me than the latest visual upgrades, resolution, and even frame rate.
Of course, in an ideal world something like the Xbox One X is just as convenient – but it’s not possible. Technology doesn’t advance in ways like that. But I find myself just not caring.
Switch started as code name NX, as unveiled by the late and great Satoru Iwata. Years later it’s being advertised during the Super Bowl, and now today it sits in front me on the daily, calling to me for just one more sessions. One more game.
In a world where there is so much pressure on my to raise my kids right, make my fiance as happy as possible, make enough money to support my family and pay the bills, plan vacations and special trips, make time for my parents and grandparents, and everything inbetween. As an adult in my 30’s where so much is demanded of me – there is my Switch, centering me when I feel completely overwhelmed and off balance.
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo Prime, and Nintendo Prime is Nintendo Switch, and I am Nintendo Prime.
We need each other. Hopefully you need us too.