Nintendo Unveil The Nintendo Switch, Out In March 2017

So here it is, at long last. Nintendo have unveiled their next games console, the Nintendo Switch. Previously codenamed NX, it’s a modular portable tablet device, coming out in March of next year.

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The short 3 minute video reveals plenty about the console, showing how the portable Nintendo Switch tablet console slots into a docking station that connects to your TV, while the two Joy-Con controllers can attach to a gamepad frame, the side of the tablet console, or simply be held independently. They can work as a pair to make one traditional console gamepad or can be used separately for playing on the go or as individual controllers during multiplayer – the console can be propped up by its kickstand for just these situations. The combined Joy-Con controller does look pretty bulky – Dreamcast controller bulky – so there’s also the Switch Pro Controller that has a traditional form.

“With this first look at Nintendo Switch, I hope fans are already imagining the possibilities of having the freedom to play when, where, and how they want to,” said Satoru Shibata, president of Nintendo of Europe. “Our teams at Nintendo, and many other developers, are all working hard to create new and unique experiences, and we look forward to showing you more.”

The tablet console itself is powered by Nvidia, who announced separately that they had worked on a custom Tegra design for Nintendo – though don’t say what Tegra generation it’s closest to in design, but they write that it’s “based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards,” which implies Tegra X2 – features a high-definition display, though the actual resolution is still unclear, and features game cartridges for better portability over disc-based media.

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Games seen during the demo included The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a Mario game, Mario Kart, Splatoon, and there were also appearances of Skyrim and NBA 2K17. There’s also a long list of publishers and technology providers who are going to be actively supporting the console, including Activision, EA and Ubisoft.

  • 505 Games
  • Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co.,Ltd.
  • ATLUS CO.,LTD.
  • Audiokinetic Inc.
  • Autodesk, Inc
  • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
  • Bethesda
  • CAPCOM CO., LTD.
  • Codemasters®
  • CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.
  • DeNA Co., Ltd.
  • Electronic Arts
  • Epic Games Inc.
  • Firelight Technologies
  • FromSoftware, Inc.
  • Frozenbyte
  • GameTrust
  • GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.
  • Gungho Online Entertainment,Inc
  • HAMSTER Corporation
  • Havok
  • INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
  • KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
  • Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
  • LEVEL-5 Inc.
  • Marvelous Inc.
  • Maximum Games, LLC
  • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
  • Parity Bit Inc.
  • PlatinumGames Inc.
  • RAD Game Tools, Inc.
  • RecoChoku Co.,Ltd.
  • SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
  • Silicon Studio Corporation
  • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
  • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
  • Starbreeze Studios
  • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
  • Telltale Games
  • THQ Nordic
  • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
  • TT Games
  • UBISOFT
  • Ubitus Inc.
  • Unity Technologies, Inc.
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Web Technology Corp.

So! What do you think?

UPDATE: “Today’s video incorporated short glimpses of representative gameplay” explains a press release, so the footage of Skyrim may not be running on the console.

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I'm probably wearing toe shoes, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!

37 Comments

  1. Portable Skyrim.

    Sign me up.

    • Portable Zelda and Mario.

      Sign me up! ;)

      Could be my first Ninty console since N64!

  2. If it really is as smooth as shown, wow.

    Likely pick this up.

    • Pick it up… and then take your dog for a walk?

      • I don’t have a dog but my PSP/Vita were played to death on the train. Could see this doing the same thing.

      • You do spend a lot of time on trains tho.

  3. At the risk of sounding like a cynical old git…

    It’s going to be 2 underpowered consoles in one (handheld and a real one) for the price of a PS4/XBone, isn’t it?

    And it looks like they’ve gone for weird placement of the sticks on the controller. Left one higher up than the right one. Not both at the same level, which is the correct way to do it.

    More details might change my mind, but I suspect it’s going to be a case of Nintendo being about 3.5 years late again. (Bit of an improvement over how late they were with the Wii U, I guess)

    • well, Nintendo did have that layout on the Gamecube.
      and i guess they’ve done it that way so both parts can be used as separate controllers, with the stick on the left and buttons on the right.

      • Oh, it’s definitely weird and the least comfortable way to do it. It’s almost as if Sony got it right first time (back in the PS1 days) and everyone else has been trying to be different ever since.

        How long did Sony stick with pretty much the same controller until the PS4 came along and introduced a much less comfortable controller?

      • Having the left stick higher actually leads to a more natural thumb position when gripping the controller. Then it’s just a case of whether you want symmetry, how highly you prize the positioning of the face buttons, and so on.

        There’s nothing wrong with the offset stick layout… except that you prefer Sony’s symmetrical layout. Fair enough, but there’s millions of people who disagree with you.

      • That is a good point but it would be smart for Ninty to do two sets of controllers. This design and the Dualshock analog design. Either way, it gets the barrier of people not liking the sticks out of the way.

      • @Stefan L

        “Having the left stick higher actually leads to a more natural thumb position when gripping the controller.”

        I’m always baffled when I hear this. While I’m not allowed to judge peoples bone structure, I can’t keep myself from saying; what’s wrong with some people’s hands? There’s nothing natural about left thumb aiming, reaching or placing higher than the right one!?!

      • That’s symmetry as opposed to the shape you hand makes when bunching it up into a fist or gripping onto something tightly. Grab onto something and your hand tries to make a circle out of the thumb and index finger, and that’s a shape that, with the left analogue stick higher, is better replicated on the Xbox controller.

        The right thumb placement is another matter. There are many games where the face buttons are much more important, or at the very least, where your thumb needs to be able to switch back and forth very quickly, and that’s why the lower placement, close to the “main” X or A button is preferred. The Joy-Con controller has those too far apart, in my opinion, just as the Wii U got it wrong on the Gamepad by having the stick above the face buttons.

      • Just out of interest, does anyone know why Sony did it one way and Nintendo/MS did it the other?

        Not any vague “it’s more comfortable”, or “it’s how I think hands work” reasons.

        But did any of them actually do any real research into which way is best? Or was it “We’ll just do it that way” or “They’ve done it that way, we’ll be different”. Or even “it’s been done both ways, so let’s just pick one”. Followed by years of “We can’t change that! We’ll never hear the end of it if we do!”

        All I’ve ever seen is a pretty even split between which way people think is best (even if half of these people are obviously wrong ;) and never anything from the people responsible for it in the first place.

        And that even split is taking into account people might say they prefer it whichever way their preferred/current console does it. (I doubt many people prefer a particular console because of the way the controllers are though)

      • Not that I know of, but you can chart their histories. The first PS1 controllers didn’t have analogue sticks, so when they were added, they were bonus functionality with the main focus still being on the D-pad and face buttons. There’s a pleasing symmetry to the design as well.

        In contrast, Microsoft came along and designed with analogue stick control in mind from the off, especially with Halo being their marquee launch title.

        Nintendo have flip flopped between all manner of controller layouts and designs. The only real constant is the positioning of ABXY, but even that wasn’t there on N64 and had a really odd layout on Gamecube.

      • @Stefan L

        Strange. It doesn’t feel anymore natural to me and when I play Fifa with my nephew on his Xbox One, the controlling is just so off for me in every way (it’s not just the analogues, it’s the R2/L2/R1/L1 buttons as well). The Xbox controller feels so clumsy and overdimensioned to hold and my hands aren’t small.

    • Being a gamer with equal length arms and hands was also disappointed by the positioning of the sticks :)

  4. ok, interesting.
    i guess the success of the mobile systems they have, along with the relatively poor sales of the Wii U, has prompted this hybrid system.

    there are some interesting ideas at work here.

    i like how the clip on controller sections can be used as separate controllers for multiple players.
    local multiplayer has been a feature lacking from the handheld market, at least multiplayer that doesn’t require multiple copies of the game for multiple machines.

    they’re gonna need some hefty batteries for that thing though.
    if all the processing power is in the portable unit, that along with that screen are going to need a bit of power.
    especially if they want this system to be comparable to other current systems.

    but then maybe they have processors in the dock, so for home use on TV, where battery life isn’t an issue, they have more processing power available.
    because on that much smaller portable screen you wouldn’t need such high resolution anyway would you?

    and Skyrim on the go? nice.
    what if the Nintendo version of Skyrim has full mod support while the ps4 version doesn’t?

    i could be interested in this, if they can get enough third party support.

    • ok, seems like you updated the page while i was writing that.
      that looks like quite a bit of third party support.

    • So Sony won’t allow full mods for Skyrim, presumably because of security reasons and/or people filling the game with tits and cocks and all sorts of inappropriate things…

      And you wonder if Nintendo would allow such a thing? Seems unlikely, doesn’t it?

      • it does yes, but stranger things have happened in gaming before.
        i mean, i never thought i’d ever see an elder scrolls game on a Nintendo platform.

        if sony had a problem with nudity, then i can think of a few games they’d have a problem with.
        some of their own first party studios titles come to mind.
        more likely it’s their paranoia over piracy.
        if there’s any thieving to be done on the sony platforms, it’s sony that’ll do it.

      • I think, i can’t recall where I read it but I think Bethesda revealed that it was Sony literally wanting every single mod to be QA tested and it being literally impossible to do so by anyone due to the nature of mods.

        It is most likely the last gen version of Skyrim that is being ported to this due to it’s specs and Nintendo has shown to be rather slow at accepting new stuff sometimes.

        Also, Skyrim on PS4 has mod support now.

  5. Yes it’s very clever, but I very much doubt this will be much good. Controller at home looks huge and uncomfortable. Controllers while out and about look tiny and uncomfortable.

  6. Nice, but no. Going up against mobile phone gaming is just a bit silly these days, especially when key Nintendo franchises are available for free on mobiles.

  7. So in terms of performance we’re looking in the same area as PS3/360/WiiU. Clever how it all comes together and comes apart though.

    Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Google have nothing to worry about here.

  8. So basically a vita with a TV Dock. Wow.

  9. Looks too big & uncomfortable for a portable, and showcasing skyrim doesn’t imply it’ll be particularly powerful, especially with the battery that would be required to run it. Jack of all trades, master of none.

  10. Very very clever, I really like it! Looks like opinions are very mixed, I totally get that, the focus is definitely not power and wow factor, I just love how they’ve demoed all the local multiplayer features and slick docking. Shame Sony couldn’t have made a Vita to TV dock and facilitated DS4 pairing, they would’ve had this five years ago! I’m tempted and torn now, my first Nintendo since the N64 or PSVR, I guess I’ll have to see how 2017 pans out :)

    • I’ve just realised that the name is really clean and sensible, I’m a bit disappointed! I was hoping for something like Puu or DiisCharge?

    • For someone like me, who was completely left out of the current console cycle ( I am have yet to buy a PS4/Xbox One) and I am slowly running out of gaming time (I only play HS and Overwatch these days)…it seems very tempting. I played a bit of Nintendo games last year when I was in Sweden for a month and the house we rented had a Wii U. Our group had a blast playing Mario Kart, just simply stupid kid-level fun.

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