Nintendo’s highly-anticipated new console is finally official. As expected, the Nintendo Switch (originally referred to by its code-name, the Nintendo NX), is a hybrid mobile/ console gaming device. The trailer for it shows what looks to be an incredible piece of technology that fulfills what the company is perhaps best known for: making unique gaming devices.
Nintendo announced the new gaming device on Twitter and posted a press release and trailer showcasing it on its website.
Nintendo Switch offers utility
By far the most interesting thing about the Nintendo Switch is its hybrid nature. The official teaser video (posted above) showcases the ease of disconnecting it from the docking station that connects it to the TV and taking it on the go. Two controllers called “Joy Con” controllers detach from the sides of the display. One person can use both of the Joy Con controllers at the same time, or two people can each use one controller. There is also a Joy-Con Grip accessory to turn it into more of a traditional controller.
The device also works with a more traditional wireless controller called the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller so that the player isn’t locked into just using the small controllers. This is particularly handy while at home, although the wireless controller also works while out and about. It sounds like the Pro controller may be sold for an added charge.
In addition to the two small controllers, display and docking station, there is also a mobile stand for the display so that gamers can set it up like a tiny TV set and play by detaching the controllers from its sides. To switch the device from console to portable mode, all the player has to do is remove it from its dock.
Nintendo Switch like a traditional mobile gaming device
Other than using the stand and detaching the Joy Con controllers, the other option to play the Nintendo Switch like a mobile device is to keep the controllers attached to the sides of the display. This makes it more like a traditional mobile gaming device such as the Nintendo 3DS, which the company has had a lot of success with. It is much larger than the 3DS or other mobile gaming devices, however, although people have gotten used to playing games on iPads, which are nearly 10 inches in size. As a result, the Nintendo Switch’s large size is unlikely to put people off in terms of it being a mobile gaming device.
The Nintendo Switch will also work in multiplayer mode, with multiple people being able to bring their devices together for head-to-head multiplayer action.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime said in a statement. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
Developers already on board with the Nintendo Switch
The same games that work on the console while it is at home in the docking station hooked up to the TV also work while the user is playing it as a mobile device. Here are some of the game developers Nintendo has lined up to create games for the Nintendo Switch so far (the full list is quite long):
- Electronic Arts
- 505 Games
- Konami Digital
- SQUARE ENIX
- Take-Two Interactive
- Telltale Games
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
So far the most-anticipated launch title is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, although we can pretty much expect a new Mario game and some other goodies for Nintendo fans, such as a Pokemon title.
Nintendo Switch to ship starting in March
This is the same device Nintendo executives have been referencing for more than a year, building up anticipation for it. Although Nintendo was tight-lighted on details other than showing off the hardware, it has said multiple times previously that it will start shipping in March 2017, and the trailer indicates that they’re still on track for this deadline.
The exact specs of the Nintendo Switch haven’t been released, although the company did say that the screen is high definition. It also promised to release more details, including a list of launch titles, an exact date, price, product configuration and full specs before the launch in March. A price of around $300 to $350 is being rumored, and some believe this is too much to attract buyers. However, this rumored price has not been confirmed. Nintendo will be offering full game demonstrations before then as well.
Investors seem cheered with what the company has come up with in the Nintendo Switch. U.S.-listed shares of Nintendo stock jumped by as much as 2% to $32.76, while Japan-listed shares rose by as much as 3.34% to ¥26,950.