Pre-order

I do it every time a new console gets announced. PS4, Xbox, New (new) Nintendo 3DS, whatever… Head straight to Amazon and slap the pre-order in, get in quick to ensure the allocation and then head off and forget about it. That way I get to stay in my nice warm house and don’t have to queue up in the cold…

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Because this doesn’t look like fun…

Half the time, of course, I end up cancelling before the launch – sensibility rears its ugly head, life gets in the way, the kids need new shoes, the car blows up, whatever. Something happens and that £300 that I had earmarked for the new shiny thing gets used somewhere else.

It doesn’t matter, I’m still in the game. Quite often these days, what with kids and cars and life and work and love, the anticipation phase is the only time I really get involved with a new console – for those few weeks, whether I eventually buy in or not, I’m in the same boat as everyone else. I can read the reviews, look at the preview videos, dream about the possibilities and no-one can take that away from me.

So, of course, this is a roundabout way of talking about the Nintendo Switch.

At the time of writing, the pre-order is still in, albeit having reduced down to a single game (no prizes for guessing which one). Yes, Splatoon 2 looks like a shoo-in later on this year, and yes I’ll probably stump up for Mario Kart (again) next month, but right now, 1-2 Switch just looks like the pack in game that never was and nothing else really grabs my attention. Maybe that will change.

But one thing strikes me about the Switch and it’s the reason why that pre-order is hanging in there, with one week to go…

VR.

The switch could be the Trojan Horse that finally makes VR mainstream.

It’s as simple as that in my mind, I really want a VR system that actually works, but existing systems are all tethered by wires, need ridiculously expensive hardware (even the PS4/VR solution would come in at close to a grand from a standing start) or just make too many compromises with controls.

A Google Cardboard style headmount for the Switch could be The One. The console itself is already wireless and standalone, the Joy Grips would be perfect for VR (motion controlled, haptic feedback, independent left and right, small enough to hold in a fist) and the only thing missing would be a positional sensor (like, for instance, the original Wii/Wii-U motion bar). Nintendo have form and they have 90% of the hardware solution in place…

So, yes, all conjecture at the moment, but in the mean time the base proposition of seamless movement from home to handheld is a good fit for my current gaming.

So my pre-order stays in.

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