Nintendo Reveal New Switch Console
Months of rumors and speculation about Nintendo’s next move have been put to an end, with the company releasing a video reveal of their new console online this morning.
Branded the Nintendo Switch, it looks to be building on the design of the Wii-U and unifying the company’s efforts in both the home console and handheld gaming spaces.
It features a tablet-like screen with two detachable controller tabs, called “Joy-Cons”, on either side. Like the Wii-U, it can be plugged into a base-station for charging and video output to a larger display but unlike its predecessor, all the processing power of the console is contained in the tablet – which means you have the same mobility you’d get with a Nintendo handheld.
The video is quite to highlight the versatility of the Switch, showing off both the many places it can be used and the many controller configurations that can be used to play with it.
According to Nintendo, “One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con controllers can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options.”
There’s also a Pro Controller available, similar in form to the Wii-U’s and a Grip accessory that can be used to hold two Joy Cons together in a form similar to a traditional controller.
Six games were shown in the video including Nintendo’s highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart, NBA 2K17 and an untitled Mario game developed exclusively for the Switch.
Bethesda’s hugely popular fantasy roleplaying game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was also seen running on the Switch in the video, suggesting a greater degree of graphical capability than previous Nintendo systems – even if it still lags behind Nintendo’s competitors in that regard.
Nvidia have confirmed that the Switch runs on a modified version of their Tegra X2 processor, previously used in the Nvidia Shield devices.
Also confirmed by the video is the system’s use of cartridges to store game data, rather than the Blu-rays and CDs used by the PS4 and Xbox One.
While a lot was revealed here, there’s still plenty of unknowns: from the launch lineup to the battery life. Nintendo has also yet to confirm the sizing of the device and whether or not the built-in display is touch sensitive.
You can watch the full reveal video below:
“I hope this first glimpse at Nintendo Switch has made our fans as excited as we are, and has captured their imagination with the possibilities and freedom of play it offers,” said Kamon Yoshimura, Managing Director of Nintendo Australia.
Responses and reactions to the reveal online have been generally positive, with users expressing excitement over the Switch’s design and form-factor while poking fun at Nintendo’s lifestyle-driven video teaser.
Finally, a console I can integrate into my life as a dog-walking, jet-setting, basketball-playing, rooftop-party-having pro gamer!
— Carolyn Petit (@carolynmichelle) October 20, 2016
PushSquare remains cautiously optimistic, citing the mixed success that Sony’s Playstation Vita had when it came to hybridizing home and handheld gaming experiences.
“In many ways, the Vita made us realise that we don’t necessarily want home console experiences on-the-go, and it was the more bitesized titles that really worked. The House of Mario’s new hardware will become the natural home for these types of experiences as well, but is the market really there?,” they said
No pricing details were announced but Nintendo have slated the Switch for a March 2017 release.