The Nintendo NX was first announced quite some time ago, but details were extremely scarce outside of a few notable rumors. Today Nintendo finally provided some real details on what is now called the Nintendo Switch, which is a handheld/console hybrid set to release in March 2017. Alongside the announcement trailer we have confirmation that the Nintendo Switch will have a new Mario platforming title, Mario Kart, Splatoon, Skyrim, NBA2K and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind. We’ve compiled all of the Nintendo Switch launch details, as well as information on the games shown in the reveal trailer.
Nintendo Switch Console/Handheld Hybrid
The most important fact about the Nintendo Switch is that it combined Nintendo’s handheld gaming systems with its home console offerings. The handheld form of the Nintendo Switch looks almost like a small tablet with Wiimote-like controllers on either side. These controllers can slide off, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
When on the go the Nintendo Switch functions in a similar fashion to any other Nintendo handheld device. You can play all of your games on the go just like you would with the Nintendo 3DS. However, when you plug the handheld into the included docking station, it becomes a home console. In addition to offering an HDMI output to your TV or monitor, the docking station also charges the Switch and acts as a power unit.
Modular Console, System Link, Joy-Con and Pro Controllers
Whether you’re using the Nintendo Switch as a handheld device or home console, there are multiple ways you can interface with it. Included with the Switch are two Joy-Con controllers. These are the modular controllers that slide into either side of the Nintendo Switch. With the Switch being a somewhat modular console, the Joy-Cons detach and can be placed into the Joy-Con Grip accessory, which creates something that looks very similar to a more traditional controller.
In addition to using the Joy-Cons with the Grip accessory, you can give one Joy-Con to a friend and use one as the first player controller and the other as the second player controller. In fact, you can wirelessly system link two Nintendo Switch consoles together (while out on the go) and play multiplayer with even more friends. The launch video showcased an NBA2K game being played across two system linked Nintendo Switch consoles, with four people getting in on the action.
For more traditional gamers, Nintendo will offer the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which looks very similar to the Wii U and Wii Pro controllers. What this means is that no matter what your preferred play style, the Nintendo Switch will support it.
Nintendo Switch First-Party Controller Options
- Play with a single Joy-Con.
- Play with two Joy-Cons using one in each hand.
- Play with two Joy-Cons attached directly to the console while on the go.
- Play with two Joy-Con controllers using the Joy-Con Grip accessory.
- Play with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
Games and Third Party Support
During the launch trailer there were several Nintendo first-party titles on display, as well as one third-party title. Astute gamers will notice that a Mario platforming title, Mario Kart, Splatoon, The Legend of Zelda, NBA2K17 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were all being played on the Nintendo Switch. We have confirmed that the games shown are not simply ports of Wii U titles. While none of these games are officially titled aside from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind, they are not ports and will offer features not present in the Wii U variants of the games. Amiibo support will also be offered with the Nintendo Switch.
The Mario Kart title looks like Mario Kart 8 with two items per kart and the addition of King Boo as a playable character. The characters in the Splatoon game have new hair styles and clothing. The new Mario platforming title resembled Super Mario 3D World, but it’s clearly a new, untitled Mario game. Meanwhile, Skyrim was very clearly shown in the reveal trailer, but Bethesda has not officially announced the title for the Nintendo Switch.
All Nintendo Switch games will come on cartridges similar to Nintendo 3DS carts, and it’s expected the console will offer games via download like other modern day consoles and the Nintendo 3DS. There are a number of third-party publishers already signed up to produce Nintendo Switch games, although no official titles have been announced at this time. You can check out a sample list above, but notable publishers are Activision, Namco Bandai, Bethesda, Capcom, Electronic Arts, From Software, Level 5, Platinum Games, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and more!
Powered by NVIDIA
The Nintendo Switch is graphically powered by a custom Tegra processor from Nvidia. The gaming experience of the Nintendo Switch is supported by fully custom software with a revamped physics engine, advanced game tools and new gaming APIs for developers. Nvidia has optimized a full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile uses, along with a custom operating system integrated with the GPU to provide increased performance and efficiency.
The GPU within the Nintendo Switch is said to be based on the same architecture of the top GeForce cards, but no additional details were offered. For those who may not be tech-savvy, all of this means you should expect Nintendo Switch games to look roughly on par with Xbox One games.
With the Nintendo Switch being officially unveiled today and releasing in March 2017, expect a lot of new details over the next few months as Nintendo gears up for the launch of the new console. Stay tuned to Prima Games for updates!