The Switch has finally arrived! Gamers and gaming publications alike have spent a good majority of the week dissecting just about every part of Nintendo’s newest creation. Everything from its visual output to the battery life and button configuration has been meticulously inspected like a precious artifact. However, the gaming community hasn’t seen or talked much about perhaps the Switch’s most intriguing aspect of all: local multiplayer.
Unfortunately, the days of cramming all of your buddies together into one house with multiple TV’s and game consoles have quickly faded into distant memories. The days of epic Halo and Halo 2 local multiplayer sessions are long behind us, as most players have taken their friendly battles to the internet while alone in secluded basements or living rooms. The evolution of multiplayer gaming has taken us down this road, regardless if we all intended that to happen. However, the Nintendo Switch is about to change all of that and reverse the hands of time with its eight player local multiplayer option.
With the Switch’s ability to essentially move from console to handheld with the simple dock and undocking mechanic allows players to take their newest gaming piece on the road. Bringing the Switch onto public transit and over to a friend’s house is much easier than packing up your PlayStation 4 and hauling it across town. Just the thought of getting the unit, controller, and all those wires into a bag makes me exhausted. Ease of use is certainly going to drive this local multiplayer regeneration forward, and Nintendo is squarely at the forefront of resurrecting a key component of our favorite past time.
The beautiful thing about this seemingly overlooked aspect of the Switch is that it’s going to bring us back to good old-fashioned days of competitive local multiplayer. I don't know about you, but playing multiplayer on other current generation consoles with three or more people is difficult and sometimes cumbersome. Sure, it’s still enjoyable, to an extent, but there’s something so awesome about having your own unit, battling seven dudes simultaneously, all while in the same room. It’s the most perfect form of organized chaos you’ll find.
No longer will you be at the mercy of your buddy’s cruddy third-party controllers or sticky and worn out thumb sticks. (I’m looking at you, my close high school friend who I won’t publicly shame on the internet!) Nor will you have the dreaded merry-go-round of playing, then sitting out two or three rounds so everyone to have a chance to play. The Nintendo Switch solves all of those previous issues with its carefully thought through platform, while also reinjecting life back into the local multiplayer scene. I just hope Nintendo provides the titles we need to take advantage of epic multiplayer fun.