Nintendo has finally announced that the long awaited Nintendo NX console is actually called the Nintendo Switch. We have watched the trailer countless of times to scrap every bit of information from it, so here's all you need to know about the Nintendo Switch!
21-10-2016 - by Thijs Kaagman
The Nintendo Switch console is essentially a tablet that you play games on, although it probably won't feature a touch-screen. The bulk of the hardware is supposedly inside this tablet and it comes with a 3.5mm jack plug for your headphones, plus a slot to place the game cartridges (called GameCards) in. But when you're playing at home, you place the whole thing in a docking station to play games on your television. So it's sort of a tablet, but also a home console and also a handheld. Wait, handheld?
Yes, because the controller is actually a vital part of the console. By default (when playing at home, with the Switch in its docking station) the Joy-Con is a normal controller with two analog sticks, shoulder buttons, A-B-X-Y buttons, etcetera. But you can take the controller apart and place both halves on the sides of the tablet, which you then take out of its docking station. The Switch then works completely on its own, without the need of plugging in controllers or a television screen.
Sounds weird? It gets weirder. You can also take the Joy-Con controllers off the tablet, put them back together as one and use the tablet as a wireless screen. Or you can leave two Joy-Con halves apart, give one to your friend and play Mario Kart in split-screen on the tablet. And it doesn't end there, because there's also a new Pro Controller, shown below.
During the trailer, Nintendo shows off a couple of games. First and foremost is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is confirmed as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. You can also see short glimpses of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K17, but neither Bethesda nor 2K will confirm these are games that will actually be available on the console. What we do know however, is this list of official Nintendo Switch partners which includes other big companies like Activision, Ubisoft and Take-Two.
There was also some Splatoon footage in the trailer, but it's unclear if this is a new game. Fans mentioned the hairstyles of the characters was different from the original game on the Wii U, but Nintendo has made no comments about the game. Then there's Mario Kart, which features King Boo. You can't currently play King Boo in the latest Mario Kart, so this is most likely a new title.
Last but not least, we also catch a few seconds of what seems to be a new Super Mario game. We see everybody's favourite plumber jumping around on some castle wall(?) and something that looks a lot like a Mexican town in the desert.
So, is the Nintendo Switch a console or a handheld? Nintendo has said that the Switch is primarily a home console. “Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost,” the company told Polygon. They also stated that they have no announcements regarding the future of the Nintendo 3DS. "[...] there’s still a huge hunger for new games, such as Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. There are many more games in the pipeline", they said. So it seems like the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS will happily co-exist in the foreseeable future.
Information about the hardware specs for the Nintendo Switch was not provided in yesterday's trailer. However, Nvidia announced that the console is powered by their TEGRA technology. “The high-efficiency scalable processor includes a NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards", the company writes on their blog.
Nintendo has made no announcements to the exact release date or the price of the new console. In fact, the company has said they have no further announcements this year, so we'll have to wait for some of the more juicy details until at least this January. All we know for now, is that the console is set to release in March 2017.