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Nintendo revealed the design, controller, and a few games for their new home-portable console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, earlier today.

The sides of the portable device are removable and can be used as two distinct controllers, called Joy Cons, that can be used for multiplayer in addition to normal play. When both sides are placed into a controller shell to play games at home, two lights in the center glow, seemingly to indicate they are connected, but could also be a charge indicator for when using them separated from the main device. The controller shell itself is a grip accessory for the JoyCons.

nintendo-switch-controller-and-base

Coming March 2017

The main body also features a headphone jack. It is unknown if the screen is also a touch pad (the trailer never show any interaction via touch) but if so this could indicate the console is backwards compatible. The rumors from Emily Rogers, which appear to be accurate so far, do state it is a touch screen. The controller also features tapered-off trigger buttons akin to the Xbox One’s triggers.  For ease of use in multiplayer, the Nintendo Switch also comes with a kickstand in the back.

Nintendo Switch Kickstand

The Nintendo Switch (previously only known as the Nintendo “NX”) is powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra processor, according to Nvidia’s Official Blog. It features a fully custom software and a revamped physics engine.

“The development encompassed 500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform: algorithms, computer architecture, system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals.” Nvidia said, “They all had to be rethought and redesigned for Nintendo to deliver the best experience for gamers, whether they’re in the living room or on the move.” Nvidia used similar technology in their Nvidia Shield, which eventually experienced a drought in support and was discontinued.

nintendo_switch_slyrim

“We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases,” says Nvidia. “This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency.”

How performance will be affected in the “non-docked” mode will remain to be seen, but glimpses in the trailer show some hampering of the frame-per-second performance. That being mentioned, the Nintendo Switch is no slouch on the go, running Skyrim while allowing for two separate controller inputs. In a later part of the trailer, the console seems to be paired with another Nintendo Switch, running a four-man multiplayer match of Basketball. Rather than connecting an extra two JoyCons to one tablet body, a separate Nintendo Switch seems to sync with the first, allowing for four players across two systems.

nintendo_switch_joycons_multiplayer

The reveal trailer also confirmed that the Nintendo Switch will use cartridges. This seems to indicate the console could potentially be backwards compatible with 3DS titles. The price of cartridges has come down in recent years, making this a more viable option. With the faster load times of cartridges, the Nintendo Switch will have something to use in competition with the potentially more powerful Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

nintendo_switch

The home-portable console hybrid may also play a new version of Splatoon (or possibly be backwards compatible with the Wii U as well.) Near the end of the video, Nintendo shows a group of Esports athletes setting up their strategies to defeat the other team in a game of Splatoon on the Nintendo Switch. The players all used the Pro Controller variant for the console, docking the main body in the hub.

nintendo-switch-controller

In addition, the trailer shows two men playing what looks to be either a new Mario Kart title or a port of Mario Kart 8. King Boo appears a new racer, and there are also two weapon slots (which was previously seen in Mario Kart Double Dash.) The course shown in the trailer comes from Mario Kart 8, but neither King Boo nor the double weapon slot are present in that game.

nintendo_switch_mario_kart

Another concern facing the Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s mixed history of 3rd party support. Sometimes it’s plentiful, sometimes not so much. The Wii U, in particular, saw almost nonexistent 3rd party support after its first two years, while Nintendo’s handhelds have almost always had extensive 3rd party support. Nintendo seems ready to combat this issue with a full roster of partners for the new console. Bethesda, Platinum, Konami, Capcom, Atlus and many more are listed. Though not shown below, Image & Form Games have also announced they are supporting the Nintendo Switch and are the first European developers.

nintendo-switch-partners

The Nintendo Switch is slated for release March 2017, with more information like price, launch titles and more to come.

Did the Nintendo Switch meet your expectations? What gaming opportunities do you see in the future for Nintendo? What challenges will we see this new device face against Microsoft and Sony, who both hold a three-year head start? Let us know what you think in the comments!


Bryan Heraghty

Staff Writer

Avid shooter and platformer fan. Coffee is the only power up I need. In the spare time I have I will listen to more podcasts than has scientifically been deemed healthy. Hit me up on Twitter if you ever want to chat with me about games, tech, or whatever.



  • TheIronFistOfDeath

    I dig it. Can’t wait to get my hands on one. I’m concerned about mobile performance though.

  • DreamlessWindow

    Performance on the go is an issue, but my real concerns are backward compatibility and region locks. The idea of the system ius interesting, and seems to be well executed, so those will be the selling points for me.

  • Bryan Jiménez

    I liked the reveal. I think Nintendo will have a winner so long as they deliver with the 3rd party games and market the console correctly. The only thing I’d have to get used to is having a half of a controller in each hand, seems like something that would take a little bit of getting used too.

  • eltonBorges

    Everything here looks so absurd. One controller that is in fact two, that looks like a wiimote, and there is another controller too, and you have only one screen as the wii u, but now two players can play on it. But there is more, the games are cartridges, so it will probably limit the size of games, and since the games run on the screen, it probably means that the memory card will be on it too, so, probably we will have to use micro sds. Frankly, if sony made possible to run vita games better when it was connected to a PS4, it would be kind of this too.

    I think most fans just wanted a console that could compete with Xones and PS4s, but I don’t see it happen with this. Again.

  • Nope Naw

    Flash memory cards can potentially hold vastly larger data than BluRays. The figure for SD cards potential upper levels is around 164GB (the DS systems all use a proprietary format of SD cards). Add to that that there’s no need for moving parts any more, meaning less power consumption and heat production, coupled with flash cards being much faster to read and write to than a spinning disc; the cart based medium is actually one of the system’s strongest points.

    I do agree that it’s not likely going to be able to compete with Sony or Microsoft at all.

    Edit: Scratch the “potential” there. I did a rudimentary check on my tech store of choice and the microSD cards there goes all the way from 8GB cards to 256GB cards. Granted the 256GB card is super expensive, but the 64GB cards are affordable enough (and now we’re talking about cards that are meant to be bought by consumers to use as storage, meaning this is markup prices, not production cost prices). To put it into perspective, the regular Bluray game disc is 25GB, or 50GB for double layer (not that many games on the PS3 used double layer, only a handful ever did and one was MGS4. Not sure about the PS4 on that).

  • Nope Naw

    … Imagine if they put the stupid friend code system on this thing…

  • Yosharian

    I had hoped for a mobile console, but I’m not a fan of the big emphasis they’re putting on multiplayer.

    Everything else looks great, but as usual, the question is: will it deliver on third-party content? That’s what’ll make or break the console in the long run.

  • phagette

    If it doesn’t have gyro it can fuck off.

    I’m not buying a second Splatoon machine that plays worse than its predecessor.

  • Slo

    So, the new gimmick is Skyrim.
    That’s a good gimmick, I approve.

  • eltonBorges

    Let’s see, we could put that, in general, most new AAA games run around 20gb. I can add a 1TB hdd to my PS3, so, it means that I could add to it around 50 games of that size. Let’s be generous and say we can use 256gb, something that is very expensive if compared to a HDD, and now you can only add around 12 games. So, you need to pay more for less in this case.
    Now, what’s the size of the biggest 3DS cartridge? The biggest I’ve seen is around 4GB, so, they will need to go at least four times that size to have a reasonable space for current gen games. And that will be more expensive.
    One other thing I noticed is the fact that you can’t play with the screen even when you are close to the base. It probably will guarantee that no retro-compatibility will be available for the Wii U.
    And, they, for some weird reason, didn’t how local play with the base on, or with the pro controllers. A weird thing to not show at all. This console looks like another Wii U situation. Nintendo only needed to go simple, and yet, they did not.

  • Nope Naw

    The size of the biggest 3DS cartridge is effectively irrelevant, since it’s a different system with different specs.

    You seem to misunderstand the point of the switch (hah) back to cartridge format for the Switch. Yeah, 256GB can only hold 12 games, >on one single card<. I like that you used the 3DS for one part of the comparison, and ignored it for the other, which is that the games will run off of these cards. Meaning that we can potentially have games using hundreds of GB's for a single game (not that I think we've hit a point where that's necessary). Also, you ignored what I said about cost. The cost for these cards that we pay as consumers are markup prices. The production cost for them is a fraction of that.

    As for not being able to play with the screen on. You call it fact, I call it speculation. We weren't shown that you could do that. We were also not shown that you couldn't do that. We simply saw the console being used in one particular way, which doesn't imply that the other isn't possible. Without confirmation, we can't call any of it "fact".

    I'm also very skeptical of the viability of the Switch, and believe it would likely have been better to go with a more traditional console instead of Nintendo competing against itself with the Switch and 3DS, but you're kinda taking it to tin-foil hat territory.

  • Leighton

    Are you a Nintendo fan? I suspect not, as you clearly have them figured wrong. Nintendo fans aren’t looking for a console to compete against Xbox and Playstation. Xbox and Playstation fans are looking for that so they have more options for what they like. Nintendo fans generally enjoy the risky innovation. I love my Wii U. I love the separate screen play-ability. I also know it’s less interesting to the mainstream console gamer, but more so for the poor 3rd party support. Nintendo looks to be rectifying that with the Switch. I’m quite excited for the Switch. I don’t care if it competes benchmark for benchmark with Xbox and Playstation. If I want great graphics I play on my PC. The Switch is looking solid and if it lands strong 3rd party support it’s going to be very promising.

  • Nope Naw

    Oh please just stop with that elitist nonsense. There’s nothing that precludes you from appreciating off beat concepts just because you value power of performance. The fact of the matter (and I’m comfortable calling this fact) is that the Wii’s and WiiU’s lower powered specs played a big part in the lack of third party support.

    The off beat, “risky innovations” doesn’t mean squat when the system they’re on >isn’t selling<. Yeah, the Wii sold like hot cakes, because it was a fad. A good year and half into its life cycle and it was already stagnating. The WiiU didn't even get past the 6 month mark before the same sort of issues with third party support cropped up.

    Nintendo fans aren't looking for a console to compete against Xbox and Playstation? Funny, did you decide what my opinion is and what I want?

    "… if it lands strong 3rd party support…" I guess third time would be the charm then.

  • eltonBorges

    I didn’t ignored anything. I said right now, Nintendo biggest cartridge/card available for games is 4gb. But you have game on disc for the Wii U that surpass 10gb. They will need new tech for the cartridges. Let’s believe that part with the guy playing Skyrim on the screen was a cartridge, if you look at the size of the most recent version of that game, it’s around 22,75gb. so, even more than what I expected. Now, this is a game that could be installed on your micro sd too, so, let’s say they can keep it in the 20gb territory. The cartridges will be more expensive than the ones on the 3DS, and they might want to add this price to the consumer’s bill.
    But, let’s look at other situation: You have a game with a huge installation, like the latest COD. That thing will take 130 gb of a HDD, probably to read less from the disc. How could you implement that in a console without a HDD? Hell, cut it in half and you still would have some huge problems.

    What you could not see from what I said before is the fact that, once again, big companies will have to make sacrifices here that they don’t need to do in other places.
    Unless not all games allow you to play on the screen, so you could add an external drive, as we already can with the Wii U, but, in that case, the whole idea of the screen fails. You would not be able to play anything anywhere.

  • eltonBorges

    Both PS4 and Xbone were released in November of 2013. You really think it’s not important that Nintendo could be on par with consoles that are three years older than theirs? Really?
    By the way, there were 3rd party support from plenty of those companies when the Wii U launched. You had WB, Capcom, Ubisoft, Namco Bandai… But later on, they were gone.
    But to make it simple: The best consoles Nintendo ever delivered were more to the point. Since the Wii, everything must have a “thing” going. Motion controls, a pad with motion controls, two screens, two screens with 3D. Some were really successful, others not. But, one thing I can say for sure. Back when I was younger, you would find a Nintendo console pretty much everywhere in my country. Nowadays, it’s rare. And Sony took this space by, to a certain point, playing by the rules Nintendo created, but now disregard.

  • oldirtybaron

    Ignoring the gimmicks, the thing that interests me is the return to cartridges. I want to see how those perform with a game with like Witcher 3. If it can get load times close to nil and performance maintains a high standard, I think the NX might beat out the other consoles by default.

    Loading times have been the greatest issue for games this console cycle. If Nintendo found a way to squash that…

  • Performance concerns aside, I love the idea of this thing. Here’s to hoping they finally knock it off with the region locking.

  • you know that class 10 and class UHS 3 sd cards at 10 MB/s-30 MB/s (3DS card are approx 6-8 MB/s ps vita is about the same)are cheaper than the HDD sata 2 at 3GB/s(approx 400-500MB/s for mechanical drives at best) that the ps4 and xbone use and more customized connectors have reached an easy 10+ GB/s using solid state the age of disks and mechanical drives are dying being replaced by flash and solid state drives with even sata 3 at 6GB/s being phased out and newer standards being created. So Cartridge+download to solid state is the natural direction we are taking. Note that if the cartridge slot is designed with efficiency in mind installing games are not needed what so ever. Fun Fact Blu-rays read at 4.5 MB/s-max theoretical of 18MB/s which cost 22$ to manufacture per disk 100GB 5$ per disk with 25GB.

  • Leighton

    As someone who has owned every Nintendo system, console or handheld, since the 64 and the Gameboy Color I certainly speaks as A Nintendo fan but true, I don’t speak for all including you. My response to @eltonBorges:disqus was primarily since he claimed that most fans wanted one thing which didn’t fit with me and my circle of Nintendo fans want.

    As for comparatively weak hardware playing a role in weak 3rd party support, that maybe the case. Maybe sales struggled because the masses want more graphical power. I’m not claiming otherwise. I’m only saying that Nintendo’s strategy so far delivers what this fan wants. Never meant it to sound elitist, either. I don’t think any console is better than the other, so much of it is a matter of personal taste. Personally, I love primarily gaming on PC and playing Nintendo’s 1st party games.

  • jaygerbomb

    Nintendo’s cartridge chip partner, Macronix, has been experimenting with 32GB cards for a while now. https://gamerant.com/nintendo-nx-cartridge-rumor/

  • Travis

    “I said right now, Nintendo biggest cartridge/card available for games is 4gb. But you have game on disc for the Wii U that surpass 10gb. They will need new tech for the cartridges.”

    What! You mean Nintendo’s new system will need to use a more advanced storage method than their five year old handheld? No way!

    Really. Did you just realize that? Is that some kind of new revelation for you? If so, welcome to the same page as the rest of us.

  • Ace

    Yeah, I’d love to see what games are actually on this. Most people are saying that they announced new games in this trailer. When I first watched it, my initial reaction was that most of these were either old or Wii U games; I instinctively thought it had some sort of backwards compatibility. I wonder how much 3rd party support this system will get.

  • Sanic

    *sight* …yet another luckluster shitpost from the people that love to complain just to complain.

    What complexity? You either play it like you would any other console at home, or if you want to play outside you take the fucking tablet and play it outside. What is even remotely complex about this? Because the controller has more utility than normal? They shown a completely normal looking xbox-like controller for playing at home. Did you watch the video?

    Where’s the gimmick here? This is literally the same experience as remote play but finally excecuted in the right way so you can actually play it anywhere instead of just 5ft from your console/PC. Is remote play which as been around and established for years on a number of systems a gimmick now too? Do you know what the term gimmick even means?

    As for your Skyrim comment, that was the remastered version that has about the same graphical fidelity as Fallout 4. That shows the system if capable of keeping up with at least the first iterations of PS4/XBO which lets be honest here, is what most people are going to have for quite awhile.

    So let’s get to your real issue with the system here: It’s made by Nintendo.

  • c4ptchunk

    The list of developers looks nice but this system will have the same issue as previous Nintendo systems. Those developers will all make mediocre ports of their games and support will fade. In my honest opinion, as long as Nintendo doesn’t treat the Indie developers like shit as they have before the system may stand a chance.

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    Oh look, innovation! *Glances at comment section*
    Oh look, skeptics, doubters, and believers! *Grabs popcorn*

  • Sarusig Musicman

    “Since the Wii, everything must have a “thing” going. Motion controls, a pad with motion controls, two screens, two screens with 3D.”

    … the d-pad, shoulder buttons, the diamond shape button placement, the analog stick, etc.
    Yeah you’re right Nintendo should stop trying new “gimmicks”. Clearly it never works and no one else ends up using these.

  • Destroyer of Bullshit

    Then I will go with that “elitist nonsense” (and keep in mind, just because you claim it to be elitist doesn’t mean it is). The Wii U lacked third-party support for other reasons, not performance.
    Get your facts straight if you decide to be a smartass on the internet.
    The Wii had massive support besides it being weak, so did their handhelds like the 3DS.
    Get out.

  • Destroyer of Bullshit

    Are there any disappointments that aren’t lackluster?
    What did you expect from Nintendo?

    Your assumptions on third-party support are unfounded. You just look at the Wii U like an ape, then decide it’s going to be the same (because that’s apparently “logic” these days). Every instance is its own. You’re basically saying “A company that failed is destined to fail again.”
    Well, I got news for you: Nintendo has also been successful. By your own logic, they should be successful again!
    See how that kind of stupidity works?
    Get out.

  • Destroyer of Bullshit

    Are you from the future?
    Did you see that in your tiny crystal ball?

    No, and no.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about, so you might as well just shut up and let the big boys do this.
    Metrics aren’t indicative of future developments.
    People like you with thier self-fulfilling prophecies are part of the problem.
    Shame on you.

    Now get out.

  • Destroyer of Bullshit

    “Worse than its predecessor” on what basis?

    Oh, wait. No basis.
    You’re just talking out of your ass like usual.
    That’s why nobody likes you, btw.
    Get out.

  • Destroyer of Bullshit

    Why do websites and content creators feel the need to write “articles” on the same video everybody else has already seen?
    Of course it’s about money, but this is just redundant. You can’t possibly know anything we don’t. Not at this point.

  • ParadoxReign

    Different websites have their followers and they want to hear what those websites think about this video. This is nothing new at all and happened all the time when something new came out.

  • ParadoxReign

    Oh look, a troll!

  • eltonBorges

    Oh, so that’s why the Wii U sold so well world wide right? It was exactly what the fans wanted, right? Yeah.

  • Nope Naw

    I guess the words “played a big part” kinda escaped you. If you want to disprove my claim, then disprove my claim. Just saying “Nuh uh! You’re wrong!” doesn’t cut it.

    When someone starts making claims that “[thing] fans want this or that”, that is elitist nonsense. It’s that or No True Scotsman, or both.

    There’s a difference between having massive support >at launch< and maintaining that support. The Wii didn't maintain that support.

  • Nope Naw

    I too am a lifelong Nintendo customer. The only system I do not own is the WiiU, and some of the permutations of the DS line. That said I’ve become increasingly frustrated with Nintendo over the years because of their resistance to learn from their mistakes, or even acknowledging that they’ve made mistakes at all.

    Regarding the Switch, I feel I’m placed firmly in the middle. As a whole, I don’t think it’s a bad idea. There’s promise there. At the same time, I’m not convinced that the Switch is going to be competitive for long, and is more likely to compete with the 3DS than anything else. Nintendo has some good third parties (allegedly) signed up. Including two big ones for me, Platinum and From Soft. I’ve said it elsewhere, give me Bayo 2 on the Switch and I’m game.

    If no elitisism was intended that’s fine. But you have to recognize the irony in responding to an over-generalization with an over-generalization of your own, no? In any case, I don’t think we disagree much on the Switch as it stands.

  • Nope Naw

    You keep telling people to get out. That’s not how one conducts civil discourse. Not that I think you’re interested in that, of course.

  • Nope Naw

    The point about markup prices and production cost really isn’t getting through to you, is it?

  • Aaaaand the Nintendo fanboys come out of the woodwork, this is my shocked face.

    The real issue here is that Nintendo hasn’t made a semi-powerful console since the Gamecube. Of course the Wii sold like gangbusters, but it was also a fad that, once it died down, so did the 3rd party support. All anyone looked forward to on the console was the next Mario, Zelda, or Pokemon…which seems to be all Nintendo has to go on nowadays.

    We all know what happened with the WiiU, and yes, several dozen games announced by 3rd parties at the announcement of the console itself didn’t even see the light of day.

    I would love nothing more than for Nintendo to one day to come out with a hyper-powerful console that would herald an SNES-like renaissance in the gaming world, but it seems we won’t ever see that.

  • Private account with 9 comments….

    Tells me all I need to know about you…

  • Sanic

    Nice with wit the fanboy claims; and way to sidestep and not refute any of the things I said.

    The obsession with power is dumb. Raw power does not mean a fucking thing in this industry, else PC’s with high tier enthusiast parts would be the most popular platform bar none and consoles wouldn’t even exist. No one really cares about power, it’s all just marketing talk that people like you drone on about later. Blast processing, right? Funny I mention that too as the Genesis was able to compete neck and neck with the SNES despite being severely outclassed by it in almost every hardware category. Then we have the Saturn vs PS1, two comparable systems with the latter coming out on top due to better pricing and marketing to both consumers and developers.

    Skipping to the 6th gen and you have the 2nd weakest console, the PS2, being the biggest success in home consoles since the NES. Both the far more powerful systems, the GC and Xbox, sold far less and had pathetic excuses for libraries comparatively. You know about the Wii’s success which that alone should have set off alarm bells in your brain that raw power means jack shit but whatever. 360 vs PS3, the PS3 was more powerful yet fumbled about while the 360 absolutely dominated in the first half of that generation. Why? Marketing. Marketing is the gospel of the console industry. It makes or breaks companies. Sony fucked up bad with their image, price point and lack of notable games at first. Then they rebranded and had a great comeback while the 360 stagnated into irrelevency along side the Wii, which also failed to market itself in the latter half of the generation.

    Wii U fucked up its marketing from the start with the name and complete lack of promotion. XB1 fucked up its marketing with the whole fiasco about the camera and the way games would lock to accounts or something. No one was about to trust them. So that leaves the PS4. Sony got their success from literally not doing a thing while their competitors shot them in themselves in the feet.

    Blast proccessing. DVD player. Wii would like to play. It’s not a XB1.

    These are marketing slogans/points that drive sales. This is what makes people buy hardware, not power.

    Maybe because I’m a PC gamer and just scoff at the notion of “powerful console”, what a joke.

  • Gaijin-

    The article is clear, brief and hits the key points, which unfortunately is something in short supply in games media. Well done, keep it up.

  • phagette

    Splatoon is objectively superior with gyro controls, Switch doesn’t have it, that’s all I need to know its shit.