This weekend my family and I were invited to check out the Nintendo Switch Playhouse in Toronto. The event was held at a 19th century mansion in the heart of the city. It was the perfect ghostly backdrop for the newly released Luigi’s Mansion 3. Not only did the venue offer spooky chills, but a ton of family thrills!
The Playhouse featured 3 floors packed with wall-to-wall Nintendo gaming experiences. I was able to explore the mansion and sit down with Nintendo Canada’s Heather Potter to talk all things Nintendo. Let’s jump into the warp pipe and take a tour of the Nintendo Switch Playhouse!
Exploring the house Mario (and Luigi!) built
We were greeted by an old school building with some fresh, but familiar Nintendo charm. The first floor featured a tournament room, a “my way to play” area and a Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield photo zone. The tournament room was home to some fierce Mario Kart 8 Deluxe races with none other than Mario making an appearance!
The “my way to play” room featured Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening letting players try out big titles on a massive Nintendo Switch screen! Pokémon Sword and Shield demos ran within their own walled garden area, providing some great photo ops.
The swanky solarium also was lined with the Nintendo Switch Lite in all versions of its colourful stripes. My son loved the tiny form factor of the unit, he put in clay pot smashing time with The Legend of Zelda.
The second floor featured my favorite room in the entire Playhouse. A spooky Luigi’s Mansion 3 themed space totally stole the show!
The atmosphere was incredible with a “scared selfie” wall, black lights and fog effects that created some seriously spooky vibes. It was the perfect place for fans to experience Luigi’s latest adventure. I definitely drew on some great inspiration for next Halloween!
The next area was a rainbow ball room! It featured a Mario Kart inspired rainbow road dance floor, the family could bust a move and play Mario Kart 8 or Super Mario Party!
Nintendo had a fun experience for everyone in the family, and we still had one more floor to see!
More games in the attic!
The 3rd and very top floor featured more fun with the Ring Fit Adventure, which really got the family moving! This was far and away my son’s favorite stop in the Playhouse. If you have any active gamers on your list, the Ring Fit is fun and will keep you moving!
Let’s talk Nintendo
At the end of our Playhouse exploration I was able to sit down with Heather Potter of Nintendo Canada. She had some great insights to share about the evolution of the console, games and plans for the future.
Matthew Rondina (MR): It’s been incredible to see the excitement around the Nintendo Switch continue to grow, what is a key factor you attribute to the strong momentum Nintendo has?
Heather Potter (HP): You can see it with things like the reinvigoration with this sort of Playhouse event. The energy that fans of all ages have now for the Nintendo Switch, it’s been in the key message for the Switch. The “play anywhere, anytime, it’s your system” really has resonated with everyone, and appeals to all ages.
Bring Nintendo home for the holidays
MR: What wholesome titles can parents choose from Nintendo’s lineup that feature fun for the entire family?
HP: I think the joy of Nintendo is the fact that there are so many options to choose from with that question. This holiday, the game I’m most excited to play with my friends and family is Luigi’s Mansion 3.
It’s the first iteration in the franchise where you’ve got multiplayer right out of the box with Luigi. So those two players can play the whole story mode together and we’ve also got ScareScraper and ScreamPark so you can play competitively and cooperatively in additional modes. The game is so charming, creative and challenging in the best possible way. I’m really looking forward to sharing Luigi’s adventure with friends and family.
MR: Everyone is trying to hit a homerun over the holidays with the perfect gaming gift. What would you say is the “it” game this holiday season?
HP: I think the Nintendo Switch Lite system and Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield make a great combination. If parents are looking for that gem of a gift to give to their child, I would go with that winning combo for sure!
Variety is the spice of life
MR: Nintendo has a very diverse lineup from indie games to 1st party titles and beyond. For the hardcore player, what game would you recommend this holiday season?
HP: We’re really lucky that our lineup has become so robust, like you just mentioned. Having over 2,500 games available on the Nintendo Switch is extremely exciting. We’ve gotten so many developers and 3rd party publishers that have come on board that’s just given such a range of options for that hardcore player. My top pick would have to be Overwatch, having it available on our system for the very first time is pretty huge. That’s a new title of the last few months, I’d say it’s a great choice.
MR: One of the hottest gifts under the tree this year looks to be the Nintendo Switch Lite, what new options do you feel it brings to gamers?
HP: Nintendo Switch is really well posited this holiday to bring a game for every player, but also a system for every player.
For the Nintendo Switch it’s always been you play however you want to play.
So, you can take that original system with you on the go, or you can play it at home in tabletop mode. But we’ve always known we have such a robust group of fans who just love their dedicated handheld system. We’ve had an incredible run with the 3DS and it’s really exciting now to have a system that plays all the same games either as a home console device or one that is also purely dedicated to handheld play.
MR: Looking ahead to the new year, what are some things Nintendo fans can look forward to?
I think Nintendo fans are very much looking forward to Animal Crossing New Horizons. I don’t have any new tidbits to share today, but I do know that on March 20th there’s a lot of fans that are going to be super pumped when that game launches!
A special thanks to Heather and the Nintendo Canada crew for taking the time chat!
The variety of gaming experiences found in the Nintendo Switch Playhouse had something for everyone. With all these experiences lined up for the 2019 holidays Nintendo fans have a lot to be excited about!