The Verge: The Gameboy Paved The Way For Nintendo Switch

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In this way, the Game Boy is emblematic of Nintendo as a whole. The company has rarely chased cutting-edge technology for the sake of it. Instead, Nintendo typically uses new technology only when it improves the play experience. It doesn’t always work, to be sure, but the same thinking that made the Game Boy such a hit is now responsible for the Switch’s breakout success.

That brings us to the Switch. Compared to the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo’s latest hardware isn’t very powerful. Many of us still marvel when a modern blockbuster game is crammed onto it, or when it’s capable of offering fun virtual reality experiences. But that’s because the Switch isn’t a traditional home console. By those standards, it’s low-fi. But for a device you can take anywhere, it’s at the high-end. The Switch’s innovation isn’t specs. It’s flexibility.
The Verge

Pretty cool article about the Gameboy and its legacy, and how it, more than any other thing Nintendo did, would go on to define them and their whole philosophy, culminating in the Switch. With the Gameboy 30 years old this week, I think it’s a great time to reflect on how much it ended up shaping things to come.
 

KatUSG

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I feel like this is obvious, but I suppose The Verge writes for more a generalized audience.
 

Manmademan

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I feel like this is obvious, but I suppose The Verge writes for more a generalized audience.
I'm not sure it's accurate. the switch is/was using the most advanced mobile chipset possible when Nintendo released it. It is a complete 180 from the philosophy behind the gameboy, which was vastly outclassed by competitors soon after release.

it was nintendo's market position thanks to the dominance of the NES and some anticompetitive practices that let them get away with the gameboy strategy...at all.
 
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I'm not sure it's accurate. the switch is/was using the most advanced mobile chipset possible when Nintendo released it. It is a complete 180 from the philosophy behind the gameboy, which was vastly outclassed by competitors soon after release.

it was nintendo's market position thanks to the dominance of the NES and some anticompetitive practices that let them get away with the gameboy strategy...at all.
This position would have merit, except Nintendo proceeded to repeat this exact same strategy with every single handheld they ever put out, long after their dominance with the NES had faded, as well as the Wii.
 

Tbm24

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I feel like Nintendo’s history with the game it is kind of at odds with what the switch is trying to be. Nintendo for once went out of their way for the switch to be pretty modern. The gameboy all the way until the gba sp was taking the piss with no backlog screens for fucking ever despite revisions all the revisions of the gameboy.
 

SimpleCRIPPLE

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Well the Switch has ideas honed from the Gameboy, DS, Wii, and Wii U. So basically, the last 30 years of Nintendo have paved the way for the Switch.

And Iwata. Rest his soul.
 

funky

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I'm not sure it's accurate. the switch is/was using the most advanced mobile chipset possible when Nintendo released it. It is a complete 180 from the philosophy behind the gameboy, which was vastly outclassed by competitors soon after release.

it was nintendo's market position thanks to the dominance of the NES and some anticompetitive practices that let them get away with the gameboy strategy...at all.
Not to be that guy but there was nothing cutting edge about the Switch chipsit. It is a off the shelf Nivida X1 which was already more then 2 years old when the Switch shipped.
 

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Yes flexibility and convenience are big factors with the Switch and much like Game Boy Nintendo managed to create a charm around it, but you shouldn't forget where Nintendo came from.

They relied for a decade on incredibly old hardware: Wii, 3DS and Wii U had incredibly outdated hardware, last gen in particular felt like it was at least 4 years old already at launch.

Compared to the those, Switch is for the most part a modern hardware, and in 2017 Nvidia Tegra X1 had arguagbly one of the most powerful GPU for a portable device and still today isn't far away from flagship smartphones.

I don't think this console would have been as successful if the hardware was again a slightly more powerful 3DS with the old resistive touchscreen and an incredibly low res display.
 

requiem

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What? No it didn't. The Switch is a pretty left-turn from their general handheld philosophy.
 

Nilaul

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I feel like the switch is more of a successor to GB then the NDS ever was. I imagined having splittable mini controllers on a GBA2 when I was a little kid where it would be possible to play simple games together.
 

Manmademan

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This position would have merit, except Nintendo proceeded to repeat this exact same strategy with every single handheld they ever put out, long after their dominance with the NES had faded, as well as the Wii.
they were pretty much the only viable option once the GB stomped the lynx, turboexpress, and nomad into the dirt. Some of that was cost, or battery life, but there was significant pressure by nintendo on retailers to only carry nintendo stuff. It wasn't a minor issue.

There was no viable competition in the portable area after that until you get to the PSP several generations later- and that sold 70 odd million units- not as much as the DS by far but so far past any other competitor that none of them even count as "competition."

And I'm not sure what the Wii has to do with anything. that's a cautionary tale of what NOT to do with a platform more than anything else.

What? No it didn't. The Switch is a pretty left-turn from their general handheld philosophy.
this is what I was saying. Nintendo's handheld philosophy has always been super cheap, super low powered, and a generation behind their closest competitor in handheld land.

The switch is ABSOLUTELY not this.
 

kittens

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I feel like this is obvious, but I suppose The Verge writes for more a generalized audience.
Yeah I was kinda just nodding my head while reading, thinking "this analysis was fresh in October 2016" but given the lack of clarity around the Switch on here and many other corners of the internet I guess the point is worth making again.
 

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Not to be that guy but there was nothing cutting edge about the Switch chipsit. It is a off the shelf Nivida X1 which was already more then 2 years old when the Switch shipped.
But it was still one of the best option on the market in 2017 GPU wise, arguargbly the best one for a 200-300 dollars device.

Most importantly it is good enough to allow a decent step forward for games to look good on a portable screen in these days.
 

Manmademan

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Not to be that guy but there was nothing cutting edge about the Switch chipsit. It is a off the shelf Nivida X1 which was already more then 2 years old when the Switch shipped.
its important to keep in mind that the switch is basically a tablet with detachable controllers. How many tablets were running something as capable as the X1 when the Switch released in 2017? The Pixel C was but that was $500.
 

Hace

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its important to keep in mind that the switch is basically a tablet with detachable controllers. How many tablets were running something as capable as the X1 when the Switch released in 2017? The Pixel C was but that was $500.
It's also technically deficient in several ways. Lower res/quality screen, terrible speakers, short battery life, a worse wifi chip, and massive bezel, on top of weighing a lot more. Comparing it to other tablets is kind of a disservice.
 

Aztechnology

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I feel like this is obvious, but I suppose The Verge writes for more a generalized audience.
I'm just sitting here going... Extremely successful handheld console that ushered in multiple other successful handheld consoles by Nintendo in a largely mobile country paved the way for switch?

 

AtomicShroom

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It's also technically deficient in several ways. Lower res/quality screen, terrible speakers, short battery life, a worse wifi chip, and massive bezel, on top of weighing a lot more. Comparing it to other tablets is kind of a disservice.
Soooo... you wanted the Switch to cost upwards of $500 is what you’re saying.
 

Manmademan

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It's also technically deficient in several ways. Lower res/quality screen, terrible speakers, short battery life, a worse wifi chip, and massive bezel, on top of weighing a lot more. Comparing it to other tablets is kind of a disservice.
none of which is all that relevant because nintendo gave you the option to output to a TV/Surround system with the included dock and detachable controllers (could you do USB-C to HDMI on a tablet? sure- but good luck playing games that way with no controllers). The processor in the switch- which is what I'm talking about when speaking of "cutting edge hardware" vastly outclassed most tablets on the market at the time- ESPECIALLY at that pricepoint. You MIGHT have gotten past it with a pixel c or Ipad pro, but you would have spent a lot more money.

The gameboy, GBA, and DS weren't in this class. you could easily have spent the same or less money within a year and got something that was double the power (plus a color screen in the GB's case.)

the switch from a design philosophy perspective was nothing like nintendo's prior handhelds. Hell, the 3DS released with a resistive touchscreen in *2011*
 

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It's also technically deficient in several ways. Lower res/quality screen, terrible speakers, short battery life, a worse wifi chip, and massive bezel, on top of weighing a lot more. Comparing it to other tablets is kind of a disservice.
Weight and thickness are obviously not comparable with tablets since the Switch has an actual fan inside.

About the bezels, i mean Apple has just released the 2019 version of the iPad Mini and it's almost worse.
 
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Jarmusch

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I'm saying it's not cutting edge, read up further.
try harder, in terms of mobile real life performance it still is a powerful chip. 2 years ago there was no tablet or phone capable of doing breath of the wild. Hell, even now, it would melt some phones and drain their battery in a whim