Nintendo has finally revealed its successor to the ill-fated Wii U, the portable focused Switch, formerly known by the codename NX.
From the brief video the Japanese gaming giant revealed today, it looks like rumours were correct and that the console is portable, but can also be plugged into a base station at home, called the Nintendo Switch Dock, allowing it to be played on a television.
The Trailer beings with a young man playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Fire using what looks like a Gamecube controller, indicating that perhaps the Switch will feature backwards compatibility gamepad will be reminiscent of the company’s mid 2000s gamepad.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
The screen portion of the home console, which seems to slide out of the Nintendo Switch’s base, has two sides that can be slid onto it called Joy-Con controllers, with both featuring offset joysticks and various other buttons. This allows the Switch to be taken out of its base station and played on the go.
It also looks like just as rumours indicated, the new console will use cartridge-like SD cards. While this might seem like a strange move, given how affordable large amounts of flash storage has become over the last few years, it makes sense for Nintendo to opt for this format, rather than a disc based system.
The portable version of the console features a headphone jack and kickstand according to the trailer. The controller add-ons, which connect to either side of the screen, can can be detached and used wirelessly. These two controllers can also be used independently for multiplayer gaming. A more traditional controller that closely resembles the look of the Xbox One’s gamepad, called the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, is also a controller option with the Switch.
Games shown off in the trailer include what looks like a new unannounced 3D Mario title, NBA 2K, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Splatoon, an underrated recent Wii U release, and arguably Nintendo’s most anticipated upcoming title, The Legend of Zelda Breath of Fire,.
The final few seconds of the trailer feature a segment where Splatoon is being played in an e-sports arena, indicating that Nintendo has loft ambitions to become a player in the professional gaming scene. It’s likely that the Switch could be designed to cater towards the e-sports market.
While this short trailer is a dream come true for many fans of gaming, including myself, it’s unclear how many of these features will actually make it into the final product. The gaming industry has a history of releasing impressive trailers that overshoot what the console is actually capable of, with Microsoft’s Kinect and even Nintendo’s own Wii U being two notable examples.
Still, the prospect of a console that can be played at home and on-the-go, all without any level of compromise in terms of performance, is exciting. Nintendo claims it has third-party development support for the console from major developers like Platinum Games, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Warner Bros Interactive (find a complete list below). In total, 48 third-party developers have said they plan to support the Switch. Nvidia has also revealed that it’s building the Switch’s internal hardware.
Nintendo says that its new Switch console is set to launch in March. Check out a collection of screen shots from the trailer below.