Nintendo created ripples when they released an introduction trailer for their newest home console, Nintendo Switch, in October, 2016. Today, Nintendo revealed more details about the Switch via a live stream event. The console aims to bridge the gap between portable game consoles and home game consoles. Nintendo brands the Nintendo Switch as a home console gaming system that gives users the freedom to change their “play style”. With the Switch, users have access to three distinct play styles:
- TV Mode – Play games on the television in typical video game fashion.
- Table-top Mode – Play games by placing the console on a flat surface such as a table using the built in kickstand.
- Handheld Mode – Play the Nintendo Switch like a portable console by attaching the L and R JoyCons to the console.
The battery life of the Nintendo Switch in handheld or table-top mode will range from two and half to six hours of play, depending on the game being played. However, the console can be charged while playing using the included adapter or by using compatible portable chargers.
Nintendo Switch will also have an online service like PSN and Xbox Live that will allow gamers to play and chat with their friends online. Nintendo will offer a promotional trial for the service after the release of the console.
Controllers and Focus on Multiplayer
The controllers for the Nintendo Switch are known as Joy-Cons. The R Joy-Con has an NFC reader built into the analog stick to enable Amiibo support. On the other hand, the L Joy-Con has a special button to capture screenshots and record gameplay. Each Joy-Con has an accelerometer and a gyroscope to enable motion control. The Joy-Cons also have HD Rumble, a state of the art vibration technology that allows for more realistic gaming experiences.
The Switch also focuses heavily on local co-op multiplayer. Nintendo stated that up to 8 Nintendo Switch consoles can be connected with one another for local multiplayer in supported games. Building on the focus on local multiplayer, each JoyCon can also be used as an independent controller, effectively allowing users to share one Joy-Con with another user and play a game in local co-op mode. In essence, each Nintendo Switch comes with two controllers out of the box. The JoyCons will be available in three colors – the regular Grey/Black, Neon Red and Neon Blue – with more colors coming soon.
Games and Software
Nintendo also announced several games that will be gracing their newest system. Games announced for the Nintendo Switch include 1,2Switch, Arms and Xenoblade 2. In addition to the new franchises, old favorites such as Splatoon, Fire Emblem, Mario and The Legend of Zelda would be making a comeback on the Nintendo Switch – with Splatoon 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo Switch also boasts strong third-party support – a first for any Nintendo console. Notable game studios that have expressed support for the Nintendo Switch include Sega, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and Bethesda – notable titles include Three Dragon Quest games, FIFA, and Skyrim. Diverting from their strategy for past home and portable consoles, Nintendo has also rid the Nintendo Switch of region locking (YAY!).
Pricing and Release
Nintendo Switch will release on March 3rd, 2017 and will retail for $299.99. The Nintendo Switch console bundle will include the Nintendo Switch itself, the Nintendo Switch Dock, a (L) and (R) JoyCon, a JoyCon Grip, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. There will be two bundles available at launch – one with grey JoyCons and another with one Neon Red and one Neon Blue JoyCon. Both of these bundles will retail for the same price of $299.99.
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