Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the system that will be replacing the Wii U (and possibly the 3DS) as Nintendo’s main console. Meet the Nintendo Switch. It will launch on March 2017.
Introducing Nintendo Switch! In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles.
Rumors surrounding the NX have circulated the web for months now, with the prime one postulating that the NX would be some kind of handheld-console hybrid, perhaps with detachable controllers. Based on today’s three-minute reveal, it looks like those whispers were pretty much spot-on:
The system is designed to be played both at home and on-the-go. During the reveal trailer, we can see the Switch hooked up to a base station:
But the Switch is not limited to that. Nintendo explains how it works:
At home, Nintendo Switch rests in the Nintendo Switch Dock that connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room. By simply lifting Nintendo Switch from the dock, the system will instantly transition to portable mode, and the same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels with you. The portability of Nintendo Switch is enhanced by its bright high-definition display. It brings the full home gaming system experience with you to the park, on an airplane, in a car, or to a friend’s apartment.
Gaming springs into action by removing detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.
Here’s the main controller:
Here’s what the Joy-Con controllers look like:
The Switch uses cartridges:
The Switch even has a portable stand:
We already knew that that Nintendo plans on releasing a version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the NX, and we saw some of that in action during the teaser trailer. The footage released today also featured games like Mario, Splatoon, Skyrim (!), an NBA game, and Mario Kart. It’s unclear if some of these are entirely new games, or ports with some new additions.
Nintendo also released a list of publishers we can expect to see games from down the line:
While Nintendo remains mum on the price and specs of the new console, we do know that NVIDIA will be powering the Switch:
Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.
The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.
Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering.
The NX’s predecessor, the Wii U, was released in 2012. Like the Wii before it, the Wii U sought to provide an experience that focused on dual screens and classic Nintendo-brand fun rather than fancy tech.