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After a surprise announcement on their Twitter account, Nintendo has at last pulled off the curtain on their much hyped next gen console, the NX which is now officially named “Switch”; an unconventional name indeed (but when has Nintendo done things in the conventional way in recent years?), however it fittingly portrays two of the biggest highlights of the system: on-the-go console gaming and detachable controllers that can be used in a variety of ways.

Yes, many of the previous rumors about the Switch turned out to be true – it’s a home console-handheld hybrid running on Nvidia tech; it also has a dock that stations the handheld component turning that setup into a console. It uses cartridges as well (that very much resemble 3DS ones).

First off let’s have a look at how the handheld part works – it’s basically a tablet to which the detachable controllers (known as Joy-Cons, one for each side, left and right) can be attached and then taken on the go. As for the console, the user only needs to insert the tablet into the dock, detach the controllers and put them on a pad (known as a Joy-Con Grip) for a more traditional control scheme. Of course you don’t need the Grip either as each Joy-Con can function individually on its own, and that certainly opens up some interesting 2 player couch co-op possibilities. Of course if all this sounds very gimmicky, you can just opt for a Switch Pro Controller (which is pretty much Nintendo’s take on the Xbox One controller – but that’s a good thing as the Xbox One controller is very ergonomic and comfortable).


Now onto the specs and features: We still don’t have a clear idea as to how powerful the Switch console (and its portable version) will be, but Nvidia has released some info on their official blog, saying:

Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.

The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.

Rumors suggest that the Switch will be less powerful than the Xbox One or PS4 (which seems likely, but its still powerful enough considering its a portable home console).

As for the games available for Nintendo’s system, we already got a look at some of them in the Switch trailer: In addition to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, we got a look at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (very likely the soon-to-be-released remastered version), what looks like NBA 2K17, a new Super Mario game in the vein of Super Mario 64 (on the Nintendo 64), Mario Kart 9 (since it has King Boo as a playable character, who is not available in the current Mario Kart game, as well as a new UI for items) and Splatoon 2 (in addition to a new map, the characters seem to have new hairstyles – which cannot be changed in the Wii U game – as well as new outfits).


Nintendo has also released a list of companies that will be partnering with them to make games and other software for the Switch; there are about 48 names listed, and includes big publishers like Ubisoft, Bethesda, EA, From Software, Activision etc and even smaller studios like 505 Games, Frozenbyte, Inti Creates and others. So you can expect a pretty good lineup of launch titles.

No details on the price is known yet but it’s speculated that the Switch will cost 299$ (there will also be a “bundle” priced at 399$ as well) and the portable aspect will have a battery life of just 3 hours (while it does seem less, we need to consider the fact that its portable device more powerful than the Wii U, so it is understandably power hungry).

The internet’s response has been huge and pretty positive towards the reveal of Nintendo’s new console (in fact the Switch reveal trailer hit 10 million views on the very first day) and this is a sign that Nintendo are heading in the right direction. The system’s name is short and to-the-point, and there is no chance that consumers will be misguided as to what the system’s goal and demographic  is; the Wii U failed exactly at this. Even though there are some troubling aspects about the Switch (such as it’s price point, it’s relevance to developers after a certain period of time etc), but ultimately, I’m happy to see Nintendo has finally realized their mistakes

The Nintendo Switch will release on March 2017 alongside Breath Of The Wild, however Nintendo has promised to provide us with further details before the console’s release arrives.

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