Nintendo finally revealed some details about their next-generation video game console. On October 20th, 2016, Nintendo released a short press release detailing the new console’s name, as well as providing details about the new portable console.
While the press release Nintendo provided the world was pretty much just a tease of what is to come, it was still better than keeping us in the dark. Nintendo did not comment on important details such as price, actual release date, a full line of launch titles, or any real hardware specific specifications. What we did learn though was that the Nintendo Switch is going to work anywhere you go.
This new console is Nintendo’s latest revolution in anywhere gaming. The major shining point of the Nintendo Switch is that it docks to a unit in your gaming room which will interface with your television like previous gaming devices have done since the inception of home gaming consoles. The unique thing about the Nintendo Switch is that you can remove the console from the docking station and take it with you for portable gaming. The console has a built in screen and controllers which can either be attached to the console or removed for multiplayer game play.
Nintendo has been known for coming up with innovative gaming systems. When the Nintendo Wii was originally released, it was the first system of it’s kind to get people out of their seats and actually get into the game with the Wiimote controllers. People could get in quite a workout playing certain games like the boxing mini-game in Nintendo Wii Sports. When the Wii U came out, not a whole lot changed; however Nintendo did attempt to get some portability from the new Wii U controller. While it was a good concept, the practical use failed miserably. It looks like Nintendo learned a lot about how to develop a truly portable system though from these failures as the Nintendo Switch looks to be pretty impressive in terms of its use and practicality. Will the Nintendo Switch be able to save Nintendo as a hardware company, or will the system just be another bust for one of the original home video game console companies? Only time will tell how well the Nintendo Switch will do.
Nintendo Switch Configurations
From what Nintendo has shown us in their introduction video for the Nintendo Switch, we know of at least five different configurations for the device. As mentioned earlier, one configuration is that of a standard gaming console whereby you dock the unit where you plan to play on a television screen. The home based Nintendo Switch controller can be slid apart so that you can attach the controllers to the console’s sides for portable gaming. When this occurs, it looks similar to a PlayStation Vita whereby you can control your game from the left and right side of the console. The third configuration includes sliding out the controllers from the console and using them in a wireless fashion to play games. This works more for when you are playing a two player game and each person needs a controller. also has a kickstand so that you can set the console down on a table, and play with the wireless controllers at a bit of a distance without the need to be holding the actual unit. Lastly, you can sync up two Nintendo Switch console for even more multiplayer goodness. Nintendo’s video seemed to show four people playing NBA Live 2K using two different Nintendo Switch devices.
The name of the Nintendo Switch Controller is the Joy-Con. When looking at the wireless remote, each side of the Joy-Con looks pretty identical each containing an analog stick and four buttons. Their is a left side and a right side of the Joy-Con which can either snap into place of the Nintendo Switch console for portable gaming, or surrounding a Joy-Con grip accessory which makes the controller look like what we are used to seeing with our current wireless controllers.
Outside of the normal Joy-Con controller, Nintendo is also going to be releasing an optional Switch Pro Controller. This will be similar to the Wii U pro controller that was released for the previous generation gaming system. The Switch Pro Controller will not slide apart for portable gaming but will instead be an actual gaming controller that we have been used to since video game systems were originally released.
Nintendo Switch Gaming
Remember the days of the NES where you would put a cartridge into your console and power it up? Over the years the media had changed from cartridge based gaming to that of optical devices starting way back in the Sega CD and Turbo Graphics 16 days. Since that migration all of the latest generation consoles have focused on higher end optical media for gaming. This is not the case with the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo is making a revolutionary change again in that it is using game cards similar to that of the Nintendo DS for the Nintendo Switch. While I am sure these new game cards are larger and more high end of those in the Nintendo DS, it is quite a change to thing of going back to what almost feels like a cartridge based system in a next-gen console. Given that this new Nintendo Switch is going to be portable, it does make a lot of sense as using cartridges or game cards allows users to really get into the game without worrying about the spinning disk…plus the spinning disk would eat up a ton of battery life from the unit.
While there has not been much officially discussed around launch titles other than The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Nintendo did confirm that it does have 48 video game developers on board to create content for the new video game console. Some of these companies include popular franchise developers such as EA, Ubisoft, Capcom, Bethesda and Activision. In terms of game play that we have seen, we know that people have played Mario Kart, Splatoon, an NBA game similar to 2K, The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, and a new Mario game. Hopefully as we get closer to March of 2017, we will gain further details of official launch titles.
Nintendo Switch Grey Console