Earlier this week, Rayarks free to play rhythm game, VOEZ, was confirmed as a €20.99 European launch title for the Nintendo Switch. According to an FAQ on the games site, it will not offer a TV mode, and can only be played with the Switches touch interface.
Until this point, we haven’t heard about any games utilizing the consoles touch screen. But by VOEZ being sold, it means Nintendo are okay with having portable, touch screen only games on the system. Although I’m for the prospect of some, I hope this type of game doesn’t become common practice. While the Switches portability is useful, traditional methods of console gaming are more attractive, and comfortable for me on a home console. If given the option, I’d choose to play on my TV.
If you remove TV mode, the Switch stops being the portable home console Nintendo has marketed it as and becomes more of a tablet. Maybe VOEZ is intended as an on the go game, but, if I want to play mobile games on the go, I have my phone or iPad. At least the Switch version of VOEZ is a fixed price, unlike its mobile counterpart.
Until the console releases, the Switches eShop interface is clouded in mystery; hopefully, games will be easy to discover, and the eShop doesn’t get dominated by hand held only mobile ports. Mobile games haven’t flooded onto the current systems, though, despite Nintendos uncharacteristic move of releasing mobile games, and I hope it stays that way.
What this revelation means, though, is 3DS and Wii U virtual console games are still a possibility for the Switch. As previous consoles offered touch control, until we see any evidence that the Switch can utilize both the TV and tablet together, a la Wii U, these games would have to be limited to tablet only mode.
It could also mean that first party games could utilise touch controls going forward. Game pad integration was the reason Super Mario Maker worked so well. I for one would love to see a Sequel, or port appear on the Switch. Due to its nature, level creation would have to be handheld only, unless the Switch can offer an alternative solution.
Whether you’re for or against games being in tablet only mode, it’s an exciting time for Nintendo fans. Knowing that some games will use the touch screen can only add to the consoles versatility. But please. Please, developers don’t make every game use the touch screen as a gimmick.
At the time of writing, Nintendo have sadly not confirmed any 3DS or Wii U virtual console titles, and may never do so.