You may have thought the Nintendo Switch was the ultimate portable console, but you ain't seen nothin' yet. Nintendo's Starlight Gaming Station - not a new console, per se, but a special version of the Switch designed for hospitals and healthcare centres - comes equipped with 25 games, and can be rolled around to different rooms.
The Gaming Station, which is the latest collaboration between Nintendo and Starlight, was announced last year at the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital located in Tacoma, Washington. The same hospital was the first to receive the console, which comes in four designs (Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong) and was designed specifically to be easy to disinfect and clean. The 25 games pre-loaded onto the Gaming Station include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Maker 2, Super Mario Party, Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu, Super Mario Odyssey, Stardew Valley, Cuphead, and Minecraft. What a haul!
We'll finish up with this heartwarming quote from Starlight themselves, who say it better than we ever could:
"Gaming delivers happiness to kids stuck in the hospital by providing entertainment and much-needed distraction from stressful situations. It can even provide emotional support, resulting in reduced anxiety and improved mood."
Yup, we'll just be over here weeping into our joy-cons, then.
It’s a lovely gesture. Shame that it’s in the US however, will you only get a Switch if your child is on the Super Platinum Special Health Plan +?
It's almost like it's worth it to be sick. =>)
So here it is... a docked only switch. I knew you could do it nintendo. I had faith in you.
Ahh, the ignorant comments started early on this one.
This is an awesome and inexpensive way to brighten up a hospital stay. There was a similar article over on Pure Xbox with some Series S carts being made up. Good to see.
Beautiful gesture. I wish those became avaible in many more hospitals worldwide
That brings a huge smile on my face. Awesome to see.
Nintendo may somtimes treat there fanbase like crap cough cough*Mario 3d all stars* but other times there sweet and caring and they put that money to a good cause. Puts a big smile on my fase.
Beautiful thanks for sharing
This is awesome! Kids should have first priority, though I hope this extends to hospitalized kids at heart too.
They'd all have to share their Animal Crossing island though.
Hope they let them have their own save file so they don't need to restart Mario Odyssey or BotW each time the doctors bring the machine in their room.
B..but twitter and youtube said that Nintendo is bad!
Sarcasm aside this is wholesome.
Finally! My old children's hospital hadn't had any hospital-made consoles since Gamecube. (There was like, a single non-official homebrewed Wii.) Hopefully they'll make a lot for many different hospitals. It really made a difference for whenever I was admitted for weeks, and I kept hoping there would be new ones, since most were broken or on the cusp of breaking when I was last in a Peds hospital.
@sabaki08 Nah, stuff like that is just meant for the kid for the few days they had it in their room. I've probably played the intro to Mario Galaxy five times because of these.
@nessisonett More like they'll have them in the ward and you can just grab one that no one is using or ask for it. I don't know how other places did it, but mine just had an area they stored them that anyone could grab them from. Kids staying fir a long time or ones that didn't have any other way to entertain themselves sometimes got more priority, but there really wasn't a formal system.
@Kieroni the only reason I go to my dentist is because of the gamecube set up in their waiting room.
What’s the catch nintendo
The last place anyone wants to be is the hospital, so this is definitely a pretty cool thing to have, for kids that happen to be staying at one.
@sixrings Both my dentist and my orthodontist had arcade machines in the waiting room. My favorite was Fly-Boy
Wow, how can you play Mario Party in the hospital
That's pretty neat of them! Good on you Nintendo.
This is not new for Nintendo, I remember seeing articles about them doing this during the SNES days. Good to see they're still involved with hospitals.
@Kieroni Is this in America? It seems weird for a hospital to have a homebrewed console. Since wii homebrew doesn’t seem like a very government thing to do.
Great to see the kids able to enjoy themselves where many would be bored or otherwise fearful of the hospital environment as opposed to staying at home. But uh, wouldn't it be better for the kids to have their own Switch and bring it with? I know there's a risk of having it stolen or damaged, etc, but it IS portable for a reason.
So yeah, looks like Nintendo Life is becoming the site of blatant and rampant transphobia. The level of downright nasty and malicious comments is rising every week.
Do they get to take home one of the games? That will be nice
@Timtomclap Yup. It was a donation from some volunteer or charity company, it had a custom built case like the one in the picture above. It's not like the hospitals themselves are making these.
One of the reasons I loved the GameCube was the portability. Our Cait was often in CHoPittsburgh for weeks at a time. I could just grab the cube and take it with us. There were like 2 consoles for the cancer floors and the chances of getting one were slim.
She'd play during the day and I'd play at nite. It was a huge help in getting thru scary, seemingly endless days.
Nothing new, to be honest. I've seen Nintendo consoles (N64 and GameCube) at hospitals before, and there was even going to be a peripheral (called the PediSedate, or something like that) for the Game Boy that would administer sleeping gas to kids while playing the Game Boy before they went under for a medical procedure.
We routinely visited my daughter’s friend at the hospital before all the COVID lockdowns (she has cystic fibrosis). They only had Xbox One’s in the rooms always. I think the only “kid friendly” games they had were Angry Birds Star Wars and Football (soccer). Good to see Nintendo getting their tax write off.
When I was a kid I got very sick in 1995 and spent lots of time in the hospital which was a couple hours from where I lived.The SNES the hospital had was my only distraction during month and sometimes couple month hospital stays this is a great thing.
This warmed my heart. I had a friend in the hospital for ~3 months in the spring and the whole time she was there, she basically kept herself sane by playing her PSP (which had custom firmware and was loaded with SNES roms). Even my girlfriend wishes she had her Switch a few weeks ago, when she was in the hospital. I could imagine something like Stardew being very comforting in a hospital
When I was in a hospital for a day towards the beginning of the year, there was a ps4 on a cart outside. Think it was for kids though, and I really had other things on my mind at the moment.
I did have a TV in my ward though, Shazam's a decent movie.
It's been a while since I last heard about Nintendo providing games to hospitals. However, this impresses me the most because of the Switch's versatility compared to consoles like the Wii and GameCube.
I couldn't find any info on the games installed on the Switch Starlight console. I only know about 21 out of the 25+ games.
01. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo)
02. Kirby: Star Allies (Nintendo)
03. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo)
04. Mario Tennis Aces (Nintendo)
05. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! (Nintendo)
06. Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo)
07. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
08. Super Mario Party (Nintendo)
09. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo)
10. Sushi Striker: Way of Sushido (Nintendo)
11. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
12. Yoshi's Crafted World (Nintendo)
13. Puyo Puyo Tetris (SEGA)
14. Minecraft (Mojang)
15. Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
16. FIFA 2020 (Electronic Arts)
17. Unravel Two (Electronic Arts)
18. NBA Playgrounds 2 (Take-Two Interactive)
19. Crash Bandicoot N'Sane Trilogy (Activision)
20. Stardew Valley (Chucklefish)
21. Yooka-Laylee (Playtonic)
It's a pretty amazing deal already, with flagship titles such as Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, well-known classics like Tetris, Pokémon, FIFA, and Minecraft, and modern indie highlights like Stardew Valley and Cuphead. I just wonder what the other pre-installed games in this console are.
@ThatNyteDaez"Gaming delivers happiness to kids stuck in the hospital by providing entertainment and much-needed distraction from stressful situations. It can even provide emotional support, resulting in reduced anxiety and improved mood." Maybe Nintendo realized the result of playing portable is increased anxiety and stressful mood resulting from drift.
I still remember the Wii and Wii U ones.
Cuphead seems like an awful choice for hospital children.
They have the Wii / WiiU ones in the UK. Hopefully we’ll get the Switch ones too.
It would probably introduce a ton of kids/families to Nintendo’s own games too: Because although a load of kids have Switches, lots of them only play FIFA, Fortnite, Minecraft + Rocket league. Mario Kart seems like the only one that has really broken through in my experience (I work on a Children’s Ward). But that’s a lot down to the UK’s love of driving games I think.
You can forget about Zelda - I get weird looks when I encourage them to try it (few exceptions over the years but not many). 😂 Even Smash is a rare one to find someone with knowledge of - never mind enjoy playing it!?!?
Something curious about the UK - it just hasn’t seemed to embrace the whole of Nintendo. 🤷♂️
It’s nice to hear some positive news about Nintendo for a change
@tendonerd Some people go to children's hospitals until they're 20
A great effort by Nintendo and people just need to let it be what it is and not try inject maliciousness and PC talking points into the comments.
@nessisonett how is that a shame? Sounds like you’re spending too much time reading gossip magazines. What an immature comment on your part. Grow up kiddo.
@tendonerd I'm sure lots of kids and even more teenagers would still like Cuphead. It's also not like they had a hard upper limit of games and Cuphead prevented something else from getting in. No reason to deny them choice. Also, even little kids can like Cuphead. Some are actually good at games but even if they're not.. being bad at a games doesn't mean it isn't fun. My 6 year old nephew loves Cuphead.
@nessisonett Where's the transphobia on this article?
As someone who spent three months in the hospital when I was a kid after a terrible car accident, this is something that can make a big difference. For me, it was many decades ago and something like this wasn't really possible, but the hospital I was in did have three arcade machines with the coin slots set to infinite and it helped a lot being able to just play and get my mind off things.
@Deltath Looks like the comments have been removed. It was pretty gross stuff.
It's a nice gesture. I remember using the Wii version of these back when I was getting a nasogastric tube for Crohn's. I hope this ends up getting rolled out to canada, I'm sure kids would be overjoyed to have this sort of distraction in hospitals!
Wonderful, this is a great story/article. I often say" I love the 3ds so much because it saved my life once". But I usually never elaborate and ppl think I'm just being silly or jhoking. But it's actually extremely true. At one point i had back spinal surgery and afterwards I developed a spinal fluid leak and spinal infection. This leads to massive migraine level headaches if you don't lay completely flat. I was on hospital for months and my sanity and my life by extension was saved by my newly acquired 3ds. It gave me quality games and a drastically needed distraction/escape from one of the worst times of my life. It made such a huge difference in my attitude/mood/well being and recovery that I will ALWAYS have a special appreciation for the 3ds. I can EASILY imagine the semi portable switch currently serving the exact same purpose for these patients. This article mostly focuses on children, but I highly recommend this for ANYONE bedbound or stuck in the hospital. It can literally save your life and that's no exaggeration. If you think that sounds bit dramatic I wish you knew me because I'm the least dramatic person in existence. Just look to the sales and popularity of Switch during pandemic quarinetine shutdowns. It's a very similar example. Whoever thought of this idea for these patients deserves much thanks.
I approve of this. I remember they had something like this with the N64 back in the 90s and early 2000s. I know because I have been in the hospital countless times.
Some McDonald's here in Los Angeles had N64s but I think they removed them because of COVID.
It's a nice gesture, but I personally don't share my consoles.
Crap, now my joy cons aren't working. There are too many tears!
My heart is can’t handle this
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