Updated – Jan. 13, 2017:
During a Nintendo press conference broadcasted yesterday at 8 p.m. (Pacific time), it was revealed that Nintendo Switch will launch in Canada on March 3, 2017.
Confirmed games coming to Nintendo Switch include Super Mario Odyssey, 1, 2, Switch, ARMS, Splatoon 2, FIFA, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Dragon Quest X and XI, Project Octopath Traveler, and a new Shin Megami Tensei game. Bethesda also announced that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is in development for Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo made the big reveal that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is coming March 3rd. Yes, the new Zelda will be releasing the same time as the console!
In all, Nintendo stated that over eighty games are in development for the console.
Today, Nintendo made the huge announcement we’ve been waiting for: their next video game console is a 2-in-1 home/portable hybrid, and it’s called Nintendo Switch. This revolutionary new device will connect to your TV for a powerful home console experience, and can instantly turn into a fully portable game system by connecting two controllers to the unit’s body. Nintendo Switch gives you the freedom to play wherever you like, be it at home, at your friend’s house, or anywhere in-between.
What is Nintendo Switch?
Nintendo’s new gaming console is essentially a high-performance gaming tablet with two grey removable game controllers (called Joy-Con controllers) on either end. After “clicking” the controllers into place, Nintendo Switch becomes a fully portable game console that you can take on-the-go anywhere you’d like—much like Nintendo’s line-up of DS and 3DS hardware.
At home, by sliding Nintendo Switch into the Nintendo Switch Dock, it becomes a powerful gaming console that connects to your TV. When playing in this configuration, you’ll slide out the two Joy-Con controllers and they can be inserted into the Joy-Con Grip attachment to mimic a standard controller feel. Images of the Joy-Con controllers, Grip, and Dock are below:
Pictured above: Left – two Joy-Con controllers slotted into the Joy-Con Grip controller accessory. Right – Nintendo Switch console inside the Nintendo Switch Dock.
How many ways does it configure?
Many. During a 3-minute introductory video released by Nintendo today, we got our first look at how this innovative console can transform to fit numerous play scenarios. Here are some of the ways Nintendo Switch can be used:
- Nintendo Switch Dock – At home, Nintendo Switch can connect to your living room TV using the Nintendo Switch Dock for a traditional home console experience. In this set-up, a single player can use the Joy-Con Grip for dual-analog control, or two players can game, each using one Joy-Con controller. It’s worth noting that the Dock serves three main purposes: (1) provided connection to your TV, (2) powers the unit, and (3) recharges the battery.
- Portable game console – Attaching the two Joy-Con controllers on either end of the Nintendo Switch body converts it into a portable console with complete freedom to game wherever you’d like.
- Portable with kickstand – At the back of Nintendo Switch there’s a kickstand that enables the device to stand upright as you game. In this configuration, you can remove the two Joy-Con controllers, holding one in each hand as you play.
- Split-screen multiplayer – Nintendo Switch has the ability to run split-screen multiplayer, with each player using one Joy-Con controller. This can be done in portable mode, such as two people gaming together from the backseat of a car. In the introductory video, Nintendo showed a car seat attachment for Nintendo Switch, though no information on whether it’s an actual product has been announced yet.
- Local multiplayer – Two Nintendo Switch consoles have the ability to wirelessly exchange data for local multiplayer sessions. In the video, four gamers were playing simultaneously, two on each Nintendo Switch console, and each using a Joy-Con controller.
What game publishers have pledged support?
So far, 48 different partners have announced they are working on Nintendo Switch software. Notable AAA publishers on the list include Activision, Atlus, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, From Software, Koei Tecmo, Konami, Sega, Square Enix, Take-Two Interactive, Telltale Games, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
What technology powers Nintendo Switch?
Nintendo is usually not one to immediately get into the guts of what powers their gaming consoles, but they’re being much more upfront with Nintendo Switch. As stated in Nvidia’s blog post today, Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom Tegra processor “based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.” That’s huge. In order to create Nintendo Switch, fully customized software had to be created, including new game tools, a revamped physics engine, new libraries, and more. Essentially, Nintendo Switch will run on cutting-edge, fully customized technology built specifically for high performance video gaming.
What games are coming to Nintendo Switch?
Officially, only a handful of games have been announced for Nintendo Switch. Many months ago Nintendo confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is coming to their new platform, and today, for the first time, we got to see the game running on Nintendo Switch hardware. Also in the introductory video was a brand new 3D Super Mario game (name is currently unknown), and versions of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon—though it’s not clear at this time if these are Wii U ports, or completely new versions.
As for third-party support, the video shows what looks to be a version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda is listed as participating in the trailer), as well as an NBA game that could be from Take-Two and is part of their NBA 2K series. Prior to today’s video, Ubisoft also confirmed that their Just Dance franchise is coming to Nintendo Switch, and Square Enix is releasing both Dragon Quest X and Dragon Quest XI. More information on the console’s launch window line-up is expected to come before it releases in March 2017.
Any other interesting tidbits of information?
Yep, for one thing, Nintendo Switch games will come on small game cartridges, similar to Nintendo DS and 3DS. The cartridges will go inside a game slot, and the game cartridge in the trailer appears to be black (as opposed to Nintendo 3DS’ grey coloured cartridges.) Another interesting moment in the trailer comes near the end when we can see a good shot of what looks to be a “Pro” version of the Nintendo Switch controller. This controller resembles the Wii U Pro Controller, and is ideal for serious gamers and eSports athletes. Another interesting segment in the video shows amiibo figures, and Nintendo subsequently confirmed to IGN that Nintendo Switch will support amiibos.
Nintendo Switch is coming in March 2017, are you excited? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!