The Nintendo Switch has been unveiled to the world now after a long wait. This portable handheld console with detachable controllers is the successor to the Wii U and 3DS and was known by its code-name, Nintendo NX. It comes with the option of connecting it to a TV, and Nvidia Tegra technology powers it.
What makes the Nintendo Switch special?
A lot of information about the Nintendo Switch is available regarding its system, the media it will use, technical specs, form factor, games and more, thanks to third-party reports and Nintendo’s official announcement.
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The handheld system has a screen that’s book-ended by two controllers called Joy Cons. There is a built-in stand that makes it possible for the screen of the device to stand upright, making it easy for players to use the controllers to play games, notes Eurogamer.
Players will be able to play on the move and connect the switch to a base unit or docking station to play games on a TV screen at home. The console is essentially the reverse of the Wii U. Such a move from Nintendo allows it to develop and release games for a single system to suit the needs of both audiences who prefer portable games and those who would rather play home-based games. In 2013, Nintendo decided to merge its handheld and hardware divisions under one roof to allow the two teams to collaborate on its next system.
Some confirmed and unconfirmed specs
Nintendo hasn’t given its confirmation as yet, but it is believed that the detachable controllers will feature Wii-style motion sensors and high-tech vibration, making multiple levels of feedback possible, notes Eurogamer. Nintendo is yet to give clarification regarding touchscreen controls and how the system will work when it is docked.
The detachable controllers can be used individually and can be attached to a central module (known as the Joy-Con Grip) as well while connected to a television. The controllers could be used by a dedicated, Xbox-style controller called the Switch Pro Controller. A kickstand comes with the system, allowing it to act as a television screen while on the go.
A blog post from NVIDIA also confirms a few details. The post states that the console uses a fully custom software system that includes “a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries.”
“We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency,” NVIDIA said.
More detailed specs are still awaited from the company, but a Reddit leak hints at 4K support, likely for video playback like Netflix. Gaming will reportedly be 1080p and 60fps.
Release date and price
The release date for the Nintendo Switch has already been confirmed by Nintendo for March 2017. Gamestop is offering a pre-order for £399 or €499, thus revealing the price of the console. Only the basic information about the console is mentioned in the listing, which states a release date of “TBC.”
For the official price, we will have to wait for some time as the launch date is still quite far off, and Nintendo will reveal the price closer to that time. However, it seems Tesco may have accidentally revealed the price of the Switch on the landing page, on which it listed the NX at £349. The page was taken down quickly after.
The price is no doubt reasonably high, Ben Parfitt of MCV writes:
“This is a machine that is targeting the mass market, and Nintendo certainly plans for it to have a mass market price. Price is one Wii U mistake Nintendo is determined not to repeat. This could be NX’s single biggest win.”
Parfitt said this before the Switch preview trailer, but now he says that it would cost around £300 as “that kit won’t come cheap.”
The games that we know for sure will be on the Nintendo Switch are: Project Sonic 2017, The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest XI and Just Dance 2017. Some games have not been confirmed but will likely be on it, like NBA 2K17, a new Mario Kart game, Splatoon, a new Super Mario game and Skyrim Remastered, according to Eurogamer.
According to a large retail partner, posters of the Switch have the phrase “Interact with your game on the go.” It’s expected that there will be four games “on the deck” (which we can assume means pre-installed) at least, states PC Advisor.