Humour me if you will, a theory of mine that I have, one that can’t really be rationalised by conventional means of psychiatric evaluation. A notion I believe to be a reasonable assertion that has been compiled through hours of diligent testing, with examinations performed with the utmost sensitivity and keen scientific analysis. You see through the aforementioned research I’ve conducted, I believe that the survival of console gaming, or perhaps the consolidation of them hinges on not only popularity, but accessibility, convenience, portability and (this where we take a sharp left!) the ability to access hardware on the toilet. A startling observation I’m sure you’ll agree but hear me out.
Gaming has never been cheap, with the current range of hardware available perpetuating this tradition. As a child you are left relying on the generosity of your parents to furnish you with the latest console or games. As annoying as this maybe to your liberty you are afforded the luxury of juvenile endeavours such as school holidays and weekends to play them. As you get older and begin earning your own wages you can save and purchase new consoles without having to consult parental authority to validate their acquisition, usually through forced behavioural initiatives invoked by parents who want you to behave to obtain the desired product. But as a result of financial obligations, relationships or even your own parental responsibilities you aren’t permitted the time to play them. With a hybrid console like the Switch though, you can.
The biggest hindrance I face when it comes to gaming is life in general. Time allocated to recreation is limited primarily to family oriented jaunts such as going to farms, parks and swimming pools to assuage the boredom my rambunctious infant daughter feels from being at home for too long. There are periods in the day when my daughter collapses in exhaustion face down in the wreckage of her building blocks and my girlfriend has a quick nap on the sofa, delegating me a small window of opportunity to engage in some console comfort. The trouble there though is that you’re afforded a tenuous allocation of time to familiarise and immerse yourself, with much of it feeling rather awkward. You know that at any moment your child will wake from their lenient slumber and come bounding over to you trying to wrestle the controller from your hand, just so she can gnaw on the analogue sticks or toss it into the washing machine. With a composite console like the Switch I can simply detach the joy cons, attach them to the tablet and continue again at my earliest convenience. Whether that’s for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or if I’m lucky when I’m using the toilet.
The tranquil serenity facilitated by this draughty bastion can not be understated. The last remaining sanctuary from the tyranny of washing up and other arbitrary duties. A place of quite contemplation and meditative reflection, where one can find solace in the confines of a room that can’t be breached by the insolent violations of a two foot high wrecking ball! With the Switches adaptable hardware catering to this temporary state of sensory sedation, the capability to both game and poop is compelling. Take Skyrim for instance, a cash cow that certainly has some substantially resilient udders to withstand 6 years worth suckling, has been released again! You’d think that repetition and interminable exposure would breed contempt, but actually the Switch is where this game makes the most sense.
Sure it lacks the superior graphical fidelity of a PC or even its Sony/Microsoft counterparts, but that’s missing the point. Skyrim utilises the platforms most distinguishing assets, most notably its portability. The fact that this compartmentalized “console”, not handheld or phone can be played, paused, taken with you to the toilet, resumed from where you left off while you hatch that brown egg with comfort is a technical marvel! You don’t know the simple pleasures of nailing a 30 yard headshot with a quiver while defecating lasts nights steak and ale pie. It’s gloriously cathartic and frankly, about time.
To me this is where the future of the gaming consoles lies: in portable functionality, in the adaptable versatility of the platform and modest simplicity of the content. But most importantly it’s in allowing me the latitude to game and poop at the same damn time. The future trajectory of the industry has been determined and its swirling down the toilet. What a time to be alive!