Previous rumors about the console have bloomed. The Nintendo Switch is a mix between a standard home console that can be hooked up to a TV and a handheld console for on-the-go use.
“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.”
The main body of the Nintendo Switch is similar to an enlarged lower half of the Nintendo DS or the Wii U Control Pad. The gaming screen dominates the middle while it is flanked by a thumbstick and d-pad on the left plus a second thumbstick and face buttons on the right. It is small enough to carry around and appears to pack a significant punch for a handheld.
The hook comes with the ability to mount the Nintendo Switch to a docking station plugged into home TVs. Users can then detach the Joy-Con controllers mounted on either side of the console to use as wireless controllers as they play games. Each controller piece can be used as a separate controller or combined together to form a single controller. Multiple Wii U Pro Controllers can also be wirelessly connected to the console host multiplayer games on a single screen or to play multiplayer across multiple devices.
The Nintendo Switch also makes use of game cartridges, as previously rumored. This is necessary for the portable nature of the device, but details on the storage space of the cartridges and how much local storage space it comes with have not been announced yet.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO, Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
Nintendo made no announcement concerning the hardware used in the Nintendo Switch or a price. The company is not expected to attempt to compete with Microsoft or Sony in terms of raw gaming power and the Switch is rumored to utilize the latest Nvidia Tegra chipset to power the graphics. This provides a huge boost to over the Wii U’s capabilities, but likely falls short of the PS4 and Xbox One and even shorter than the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio.
Nintendo hasn’t attempted to go toe to toe with either Microsoft or Sony in more than a decade, however. They continue to pursue a “blue ocean” strategy by targeting consumers that fall outside of the traditional console wars.
Details on the hardware, launch titles, launch date, and other specifics will be announced prior to the March 2017 release.
Third-party publisher support will be an important piece of the Nintendo Switch, as it is part of the reason for the underperformance of the Wii U. Some of the games shown playing on the console in the preview video include Nintendo-published titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon, a new Mario Kart, and a new 3D Mario. However, it also showed third-party games The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition from Bethesda Softworks and NBA 2K from 2K Games.
The announced third-party partner list for the Nintendo Switch is an excellent start. It includes mega-publishers like Activision, Electronic Arts, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Take-Two Interactive along with key publishers such as Bethesda Softworks, From Software, Atlus, Capcom, WB Games, and more. It will also have critical game engine support from Epic Games, Unity, CriWare, Havok, and other game tool makers.
What do you think of the Nintendo Switch announcement? Is it a step up from Nintendo’s previous efforts with the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]