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Alto leaps the chasm onto Nintendo Switch, along with PlayStation, Xbox and PC

The hit mobile game is jumping onto more screens -- now it's landing on Nintendo's family-friendly handheld console as well.

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Snowman

Alto's Odyssey and its precursor Alto's Adventure -- two of the most popular and meditative mobile games around -- made the leap from casual gaming to consoles and PCs in August when they arrived on PlayStation 4Xbox One and the Epic Games Store. Now, the version for Nintendo Switch is arriving on Nov. 26, with preorders starting Thursday. 

The two Alto games, which feature snowboarding and sandboarding across exotic landscapes to a hypnotic soundtrack, are bundled for consoles into one game called The Alto Collection and made available for download. The bundle costs the same across all platforms at $10 (£8), but during preorder and launch for the Switch it will be available for 25% off.

"Dating back all the way to February 2015 when Alto's Adventure first came out, we had people asking for the game on basically every platform," said Ryan Cash, executive producer of The Alto Collection. "For us, we had never planned for the game to be anywhere else but the iPhone and the iPad when we were originally making it."

But once Alto turned into an international hit, the team eventually brought the Alto games to Android, Apple TV and the Mac. Even though the Alto games use simple two-button controls that make it easy to learn but difficult to master, it adapted well to the Apple TV when Apple introduced apps and games to the platform in 2015. Alto's Adventure quickly became one of the best-selling games on Apple TV as the graphics looked great on the big screen and the gameplay worked well with both Apple's Siri Remote and game controllers like the ones from SteelSeries.

Alto lets you fly through beautiful scenes while being lulled into relaxation by a hypnotic soundtrack.

Snowman

The success on Apple TV opened the door to considering Alto on the big screen. But the launch of the Nintendo Switch in 2017 also opened up new possibilities, as it quickly became clear that Alto would be great on the handheld console -- and potentially on other platforms as well.

"I think there has been a shift in the perception of this distinction between mobile games and PC and console games," said Harry Nesbitt, lead artist and programmer of both Alto games. "It's kind of signified by the arrival of the Switch, which is sort of in between those two spaces -- and it kind of bridges the gap in a lot of ways."

Cash, who's also the CEO of Snowman, said that as the team grew and expanded its capabilities, they inevitably decided that "if people want to play this game on Nintendo Switch or [another platform], it'd be great for us to make the game available for people to play on whatever their favorite device is."

Mobile gaming leapfrogged the combination of PCs and consoles in 2016, in terms of revenue, and has continued to stretch its lead over traditional games. But both PC and console gaming continue to grow their audience as well, and 2020 has witnessed more people playing games during COVID-19 lockdown, along with renewed energy in consoles with the launches of Sony's PS5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X.

With the Alto games known for their relaxing, meditative gameplay, they are generally a healthy diversion to people looking for peace of mind during a global pandemic