Wow. I know I’ve been gushing about PlayStation VR in my review, but this has the potential to be a game changer as well. Let it be known that today, October 20 2016, Nintendo dropped the mic. The Nintendo Switch is everything it was rumored to be and, to my surprise, a lot like what the leaked patent filings showed. I’ve embedded the announcement trailer below, but let me go over what we know about the Nintendo Switch so far.
The name Nintendo Switch is solid and thankfully ditches the Wii branding. In those two words you have a pretty good idea of what the Switch allows you to do—switch between a home console and mobile console with ease. This move away from the Wii moniker and white/blue/gray color scheme aligns with reports of Nintendo internally rebooting itself as a brand as well as it’s position on gaming. Tristan was quick to point out there is not one kid in this trailer, everyone is an adult. It’s no secret the company has been known as being “for kids” for a while now, and it appears the Switch and it’s core concept are aiming to bring back the older gamer audience and have them in their good graces once again. While the motion controls of the Wii were innovative and the Wii U had a novel idea with the Gamepad, the Switch’s selling point of being a two-in-one console feels like the least gimmicky thing to come out of the House of Mario in years.
The console itself is a sleek slab of beauiful looking dipslay with the guts housed internally. As rumored, you can dock it to your TV when at home and pop it off and take it with you when on the go. At this point in time it’s unclear if the dock has any CPU or GPU power inside, or if it’s a mere passthrough. The size of it, however, leads me to believe there’s more going on with the dock other than simply throwing an image up on your television. When you’re on the go you can make use of the included kickstand in order to play games on a plane, or in my case, during your lunch break. Another feature that has long been rumored and is now confirmed is….
As reported, the Switch has two controllers that can be connected and disconnected from the screen in no time. Nintendo is calling these Joy-Con controllers. One thing I noticed my second time watching the trailer is how brilliant Nintendo was in ditching it’s trademark connected cross style d-pad in favor of having each directional buttons separate. This allows two players to use each Joy-Con as their own controller complete with a set of face buttons, a single joystick, a volume button, and a shoulder button. When you’re at home you can connect the breakout controllers to the Joy-Con Grip accessory that we’re assuming comes with the console. You can also opt to buy a newer redesigned pro style controller called the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller if you so choose.
It supports local co-op and online play as evidenced by the numerous games shown throughout the trailer. The fact that it supports local splitscreen multiplayer makes me all warm and tingly inside. Speaking of games…
Splatoon will be on the Switch as well as what we’re pretty confident is a new Mario title (please let it be available day one). It also looks like Skyrim may be on the console as well. They also showed Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but we already knew that was coming.
Well, this screen definitely 100% confirms that Nintendo is going back to cartridges and, like I said in my NX Do’s and Dont’s post, this move makes total sense. We’ve seen the horror of disc based media on a handheld platform with PSP…..ew. Cartridge based storage is also signicicantly faster than it’s optical media based counterpart this day in age along with being, ironically, cheaper to manufacture.
Friend of the site, Ryan has confirmed to us via NVIDIA’s site that Switch is using a custom CPU/GPU architecture by NVIDIA which aligns with the rumblings we’ve heard for quite some time now. Not only that, but Nintendo’s new system looks like it will pack some serious oomph thanks to a custom Tegra processor built on the world’s top performing GeForce graphics card according to NVIDIA’s press release.
What We Don’t Know
We have no wording on price or when it will release. Luckily, March 2017 is still in the cards as evidenced by the words at the end of the trailer. We also have no idea how long battery life for the Switch will be or what games will be available at launch. According to Nintendo’s press release the company will share full game demonstrations, a list of launch window titles, as well as launch date, price, product configuration and related specifics will be shown and announced prior to the March launch. You can check out the full Nintendo Switch launch trailer below.