Close to the Metal Ep. 26: Nintendo Switch fills a gap in PC gaming

Love it or hate it, Nintendo is back with another console, and a loyal army of enthusiasts is once again clamoring for hands-on time with the form factor-shifting Switch. Among that crowd are PC gaming enthusiasts, and for good reason — Nintendo consoles have always filled a role that other consoles couldn’t, with a raft of exclusive titles across every genre, unmatched portability, and an intuitive design that encourages sharing and couch multiplayer.

The Mario franchise alone starts with platformers, and spreads out to everything from go-kart racing to the Olympic games, plus a number of successful RPG sagas that stretch back to the early days of Nintendo’s video game era. Add to that the incredibly successful Legend of Zelda titles and a library of Pokemon games, and you have a selection of exclusive titles that aren’t available anywhere else. On the other hand, Nintendo’s titles are divisive — either you love them, or you don’t care.

Hardware is another story. Nintendo’s mobile devices have always packed in top-notch battery life and unique form factors for on-the-go play. Having enough power while on the go is one of the toughest pieces of designing and manufacturing a gaming laptop, and few get it quite right. Sure, you can stream games in your own home, but on a long plane ride, a 3DS is the right choice.

Nintendo’s systems also fill a gap in the living room that computers are only beginning to explore. Games like Mario Kart and Wii Sports were so easy to pick up and play, they require almost no explanation, but their skill cap is higher than you’d imagine for such a simple game.

On this episode of Close to the Metal, we’ll talk all things Nintendo and PC gaming, from console exclusives to classic emulation, and everything in between.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Tuesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.