Performance and Features
Many of the Switch’s features were detailed, and more were provided online following the presentation. While the primary focus of the console is the seamless shift between docked and handheld modes, Nintendo had more tricks to show off. The Switch can be set up to be played multiple different ways, and even is capable of locally connecting up to eight units for local multiplayer. Most of these functions exist for convenience and don’t really come off as too complicated.
Nintendo did not detail the chipset powering the Switch, but filing documents suggest the console is running a modified version of Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chip. While in portable mode the battery life will vary, according to Nintendo. Right now, the battery is expected to run anywhere from 2 ½ hours to 6 ½ hours, depending on what is being played. On their site, Nintendo indicates that Breath of the Wild will reduce the battery time to 3 ½ hours as an example. Storage is a little bit tricky as well. Switch will come with a 32 GB micro SD card, but memory can be expanded to 128 GB; which is still much smaller than the lowest tier memory option for the Xbox One or Playstation 4. There are two USB 2.0 ports on the Switch dock, but the Switch itself charges using USB C.
According to Nintendo, the real star are the Joy-Con controllers. Each unit has all buttons necessary to be a fully functional controller for multiplayer; and do look bigger in action than in the original reveal. Each one has different functions when not playing multiplayer in this way. The right Joy-Con has an NFC reader for amiibo compatibility and an IR sensor capable of detecting objects. The left Joy-Con has a new button, meant for capturing. At launch, players will only be able to capture screenshots, but Nintendo has indicated that video capture will be added later. The Joy-Con also have new rumble technology intended to create specific haptic feedback to add depth and detail to an experience.