It appears all of the rumors for the NX were true, as the hybrid home console-slash-portable handheld was officially unveiled today as the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s upcoming play-anywhere device seems all set to release in March 2017.
As shown in the trailer, the core of the Nintendo Switch is the cartridge supported tablet-like display screen, not the docking port. The docking port acts as a display transfer from the Switch to your television, but also pulls double duty as a charging station for the console itself.
With the core of the Switch being so small, how powerful is it? The reveal trailer didn’t go in to specifics, but to give you an idea the official Unreal Engine Twitter account did confirm that they’re working with Switch developers to help bring their Unreal Engine 4 games to the new hybrid console.
Where things get really interesting is in the controller design, where there are a few different options at your disposal.
The opening moments of the trailer show what appears to be a “block” of sorts with both sides of its controller being detachable. Once removed, these two pieces can slip over each side of the Switch’s core unit, thus transforming it in to a portable console.
Not only that, but each removable side of the controller can be used independently, essentially allowing one controller to be broken in to two smaller ones for multi-player games — Mario Kart and what appears to be either NBA 2K or NBA Live briefly demonstrated this feature.
For those looking for a more traditional experience, fear not. There will also be a standard controller option, which seems to mimic the Xbox’s diagonal analog layout (left thumb stick in the upper-left, with the right being on the lower-right side). The Xbox One, in my opinion, has the most comfortable controller in modern gaming, and having never cared for Wii U’s analog placement on their Pro controller, this is a most welcome adaptation.
Games shown in the trailer include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a new 3D Mario, along with classics like Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and, oddly enough, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — though Bethesda did confirm they will be supporting the Nintendo Switch as a publishing partner, they simply stated Skyrim was used in collaboration with Nintendo for the purpose of the trailer.
Nintendo did, however, post the following image on their official Twitter account, which shows a list of developers and publishers already confirmed to support Switch from the jump. I’m definitely excited to see Japanese names like Arc, Atlus, Bandai Namco, Capcom, From Software, Spike Chunsoft, Platinum, Marvelous, Level 5, Koei Tecmo, and Suda 51’s Grasshopper Manufacture in there.
Third-party support is crucial to Nintendo’s success, as proven both by the abysmal sales of the Wii U and cross-platform games typically holding the top spots each month during the NPD reveals.
Like I mentioned above, Nintendo Switch will be reverting back to cartridges. As odd as this may sound to some, this is actually a smart move. A single layer Blu Ray disc can only hold 25gb, while a double layer maxes out at 50gb. A 64gb SD card costs less than $20 and data can be read significantly faster. Funny how the roles have reversed, right?
But what about amiibo support? Nintendo doesn’t appear to be giving up on their delightful new creation that blends both toy and game alike (he says in his best Griffin McElroy voice), as amiibo are clearly shown in the trailer and have since been officially confirmed to be supported by the Switch console.
My overall excitement for the Switch is currently at a neutral stance, considering I already have a Vita and 3DS with their vast libraries of incredible portable games (along with many I’ve yet to play), and already struggle to find time for my Xbox One and PS4 backlog at home. As someone that owes their entire passion for gaming to Nintendo, I’m thrilled to see what they come up with but I’m just not entirely sold yet.
It was definitely smart of them to use familiar games to sell the experience and functionality of the Switch, whereas potential consumers can watch the trailer and think about how much fun they’d have playing NBA 2K or Splatoon on the go, as opposed to deciphering the ins and outs of something they’ve yet to experience. The moment I saw Skyrim, for instance, I thought back to the 400+ hours I’ve spent across numerous playthroughs and it was that familiarity that really let me put the Switch’s functionality in to perspective.
So what do you think of the Nintendo Switch reveal? Have any concerns? What do you think the potential price point will be? (My guess is no more than $300, by the way)
Sound off down in the comments!
12 thoughts on “NX is Officially the Nintendo Switch. Thoughts?”
I only have one or two issues with the Switch.
1. The Name
2. How long is the battery life.
I’ve already put this on my to buy list.
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I look forward to a more detailed rundown of the hardware power, battery life, controller, etc., but battery life is my primary concern. My Vita seems to last forever, as does my 3DS. If I’m only getting 2 or 3 hours of the Switch on the go, its portability is no longer a selling point.
I don’t mind the name. It’s much better than Wii or Wii U, in my opinion, plus that little “click!” sound with the logo is a great thing to add at the end of commercials.
I’m truly excited for the Switch, and plan to get it when it comes out. The Joy-Con is very intriguing, and the concept of bringing console games on-the-go is awesome. I had obviously heard rumors before the fact, but the reveal trailer was what finally sold me on this thing. Of course, I would like to know more about the price first, but as long as it’s reasonable (like your guess of $300), I will certainly be getting it. I’m also very excited for the third party support bringing diversity to the system, which was much needed after the Wii U’s elongated game droughts. Great article!
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The Wii U’s elongated game drought (as you say) was primarily why mine hasn’t been played very often since launch. There’s some great stuff on the console, but by the time anything came out I was already buried underneath games on Xbox One, PS4, 3DS, and Vita that I just couldn’t make time for it. I still have yet to finish Xenoblade Chronicles X and the last Wii U game I managed to complete was Bayonetta 2. Two years ago.
Having standard third party support to bring over stuff like Madden, Call of Duty, Fifa, Red Dead 2 *and then* offering people a chance to play these massive releases on the go, would be a huge incentive.
I’m definitely curious about the possibilities of Switch, but I also feel like we (the internet gamers) are filling the blanks in our heads with our own expectations and ideals, though Nintendo has shown year after year that they’re out of touch. Fingers crossed though. I want a reason to buy one, but right now I have plenty to stay occupied with between the 4 current consoles/handhelds.
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I think there’s one place the switch can potentially crush it, and that is low to mid tier tablets.
Think about how many people use a tablet to fart around on the internet, or shop from their couch, or play the occasional game. Then look at what games are available. A lot of them are F2P games that suffer from P2W schemes.
Enter the Switch. Now you have something better than the entry level tablets. Probably better than the mid tier tablets (Fire, Galaxy, lower grade ipads) too. Maybe not on the level of a Surface, or top tier ipad. But good. But it plays Nintendo games, probably has a browser, apps for YouTube, etc. And it hooks up to your TV very easily with the docking station. Plus the snap off controllers work a lot better for traditional experiences. Boom. It doesn’t have to convince as many people to stop playing PC/PS4/XB1 games.
That said the list of companies on board could mean we see the CoD’s, BF’s, Maddens, Fifas, Creeds, etc. return to Nintendo consoles for the first time in awhile. Sure they said the same thing about the U, but this time it could go more the way it has for their handhelds. So there may very well be those previously missing franchises coming back.
But all we have is a trailer. If nothing else at least the communication is on point this time. Nobody is confusing this for a peripheral. If nothing else I know I’ll end up with one because I like the Marios, Kongs, Metroids, Smashes, Splatoons, and other Nintendo games. We’ll see what happens.
Yeah, and the trailer didn’t show any form of touch functionality for the Switch’s portable screen, so that may not even be a real thing. I don’t honestly see a home or portable console ever competing with mobile gaming via cell phones or tablets, because those things offer a lot more functionality than something Nintendo can or will ever come up with. If someone couldn’t migrate their music, books, or files from their iPad to the Switch, why bother just for deeper mobile gaming experiences?
However, I think Nintendo knows that they’ll never compete with Xbox or PlayStation in terms of power, and they don’t need to if the Switch’s ability to successfully blend home console gaming and their on-the-go library they’ve thrived on for a while now. At that point it no longer matters that the Switch isn’t as powerful, since people can play their Madden, NBA 2K, or even Destiny on the go.
Yeah if it does have touch functionality (and I don’t see why it wouldn’t when the DS family, and Wii U Gamepad all did) I think it could capture a chunk of the tablet market. Though I’ll admit if people can’t move stuff over some may not make the switch (pun intended).
But the Kindle app, Nook app, and Google play app have appeared on many competing digital stores, and devices. So if Nintendo gets their apps on the switch, well then it’s just a matter of logging in through the switch, and running the movies, music, books you bought through those digital services off of the cloud. Which would again, be a boon on the low to mid not Apple tablets.
Again, a hypothetical, but I could see it happening. The Wii U got apps for a lot of other media services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crunchyroll, etc. So it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But, we’ll see what’s up in March.
The only reason they’d avoid touch functionality is to keep costs down, really. They know the Wii’s price had a lot to do with its success and they could be planning a similar approach with Switch at the $200-$250 range.
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Their marketing worked. I need it. I absolutely loved the cleverness of the advertising with the literal click of the “switch.” I’m sure the logistics will be detailed later. This is definitely on my to buy list.
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I was telling someone on Twitter yesterday that the “switch” sound would be perfect at the end of every single commercial, haha.
I’m intrigued, but cautiously optimistic until we get more information. A console I can play at home AND on the go is rad, but I already have a 3DS and Vita with vast libraries (including many, many games I’ve yet to play) for to-go gaming, and can barely keep up with the PS4 and Xbox One’s games. Even if it works as intended, I’m just not sure where it fits with my free time.
However, the idea of playing something like Final Fantasy XV at home, then taking it with me on the go, or even a co-op shooter like Destiny, sounds really, really cool.
At that point, my primary concerns lie in battery life and functionality. Those two slide-over controller sections look really bad, and the fact that they slide DOWN instead of UP has me worried that it’ll get worn down quickly and possible slip down out of the control pieces and on to the floor.
At least there’s a standard control option at home. However, if Nintendo’s third party support takes a dump again (and again and again, as it has historically), I don’t think I can wait months and months for new, interesting games. It didn’t work for me with Wii U, since by the time something new came out I was already buried under the backlog of the four consoles mentioned earlier.
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I’m wondering how good the battery life will be, too, buuuut since I have an iPhone I’m used to carrying around chargers on the go. So long as I have a place to plug in, I’ll be fine.
I can see the concerns with the slide-on controller section. Let’s hope they make it sturdy enough to last or the replacements are overly expensive.
I still don’t own a Wii U hehe. The negative publicity turned me away and at this point I don’t see a, um, point. I’m far more interesting in a Vita if I’m going to buy an older system.
Wii U has a fun library of games if you’re in to typical Nintendo stuff, especially both remasters of Zelda games and Super Mario 3D World. If competitive stuff like Mario Kart, Splatoon, and Smash Bros is unappealing, your mileage will vary. The only games on Wii U that I spent a lot of time with are Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, and Xenoblade Chronicles X, and I can’t fathom buying any console for three games. I love Nintendo, I just think I’m kind of falling out of love with their home console experiences. I do love my 3DS though.