We no longer need to call it the NX.
This morning, Nintendo has revealed its new home console to replace the Wii U, called Nintendo Switch. The Switch was shown off in a three minute video highlighting how we can expect to be using the new hardware. Particularly interesting is that this console will be utilizing a modular controller scheme. This setup allows for controllers to be attached to the sides of the console, itself with a screen and removed from a docking station and taken around on the go.
The controllers, called ‘Joy-Con,’ can remain on the sides like a classic handheld console or be used via wireless (there’s also a built-in kickstand for this) and can even be used as a player one and two control scheme allowing for local wireless at any time. Nintendo also appears to be making available a more traditional controller that can be used in any mode the Switch is in. This controller appears more similar in design to the Xbox One controller. Most importantly, it appears all Switch games will be run via cartridges and utilize a solid state memory installed to the console.
No new games were officially announced during this video, but we do know that the next editions of Just Dance, Dragon Quest, Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Legend of Zelda are slated for release on placeholder. Nintendo released a partner list including developers unseen before on Nintendo hardware, such as Bethesda and From Software. Some games were featured in the video as well. We glimpsed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyrim Special Edition, NBA 2k17, and new Super Mario, Mario Kart and Splatoon titles are teased in scenes. Additionally, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild received three new preview videos alongside the hardware announcement.
Now, this was only a brief look at the Nintendo Switch. While it was enough to get a pretty clear idea of the goal of the device, things like specifications are still being kept close to the vest. It was revealed shortly after the video that the console was powered by a custom processor provided by NVIDIA, suggesting more power than found in previous Nintendo consoles. More importantly, the battery life of the hardware and controllers is not indicated at all. Other questions remain regarding software, such as how digital downloads will work going forward and whether or not Wii U owners will be able to shift purchases to the new console, much less physical disc purchases.The appearance of online multiplayer titles Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon indicate some sort of backwards compatibility support. Further details are expected to be released before the end of the month regarding specifics. More developers should be announcing titles that can be found on the Switch now that the name is official also.
The Nintendo Switch is expected to be released in March 2017.