Nintendo Announces Nintendo Switch, New Hybrid Console
After months of speculation about what Nintendo’s next console will be, the company has finally announced the Nintendo Switch.
The new system, as the rumors had said before this announcement, is a hybrid console, being both a standard console that hooks up to a TV, and a handheld portable console. In the trailer above, you can see that while there is a brick that connects to a TV, the console itself is actually a tablet. The brick is just a dock. The trailer shows that when playing a game on the TV with the system in the dock, you can just pop it right out and it will switch (ba-dum tish) over the screen. With the new Joy-Con controllers attached to either side, it essentially turns into a gaming tablet.
These new controllers are essentially the controller parts of the Wii U Gamepad broken off. One controller has an analog stick and a d-pad, and the other has an analog stick and the face buttons. Though the stick on that controller is lower than the other, like how it is on the Xbox controller. The Joy-Cons can attach to this shell that, while a bit square, looks close to a standard controller.
The Joy-Cons can also function independent of the shell or the Switch. You can use the Joy-Cons when they’re just free, like a controller that was snapped in half. You can also turn them onto their sides and use them as two separate controllers, having the d-pad function like the face buttons. The Joy-Cons look incredibly small, though, so if you have big hands it could be a bit awkward. The system will have a more standard looking Pro controller, as well.
The Switch, instead of using discs, has opted to go with carts for its games. And judging by the one second or so we saw the cart in the trailer, they are some bulky carts. Because of this, the Switch will not be able to play any Wii U or 3DS games on it. Nintendo has stated that the Switch is not meant to be a successor to either of the company’s other systems.
It also has local wireless play between multiple consoles. The trailer shows four people playing some version of NBA 2K, with two people playing on one Switch tablet, each with one Joy-Con, and the other two on a different Switch with their own Joy-Cons. No word on online play, though with Splatoon being a part of the trailer it’s a pretty safe bet it will be there.
Specs on the Switch have not been released, but after the official announcement NVIDIA posted on their blog that they are providing the hardware for the Switch. While they didn’t go too deep into specifics, they did say that the Switch is running a custom Tegra processor and will have an NVIDIA GPU. We will be getting more info at a later date, but it seems like it will be a much later date. Takashi Mochizuki, a tech reporter for The Wall Street Journal, tweeted that Nintendo will not be making any announcements about the Switch’s specs, including region locking, or any games this year. So we’ll have to wait until 2017 to get official announcements about the important stuff for the Switch.
The Nintendo Switch will be coming out in March 2017.