Nintendo announced their upcoming next generation console this morning. Previously codenamed “NX,” the Nintendo Switch is a portable console that consists of a tablet detachable controllers, and a dock for your TV for a regular game console experience.
This is what it’s known so far:
It combines home and portable into a single unit. The Nintendo Switch is powered by custom a version of NVIDIA’s Tegra mobile processor. According to NVIDIA, “the high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.” Going by that statement, I can assume the tablet will probably display at 720p while in tablet mode, and a probable 1080p when docked.
The absence of 4K support is intriguing, meaning that they’re probably looking into expanding mobile gaming rather than trying to compete with Sony and Microsoft in the home console race.
It could also mean there’s a possibility that the 3DS will be phased out, so Nintendo doesn’t have to make different versions of a game for different consoles.
Apparently, games will be sold on small SD card-sized memory cards, while others could probably be downloaded into the console. There’s no announcement yet about backwards-compatibility, but we could probably see some compatibility with 3DS games. Probably.
Also, it won’t support CDs or DVDs, which is absolutely fine by me. I want a game console that plays games, I don’t want to pay twice the price because it can play movies. I already have players for that purpose connected to my TV.
It also has a kickstand and different options to play. The side controllers, called J-Con, can be detached from the tablet and use wirelessly. Wireless Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers will also be available for a full size controller experience.
Speaking of controllers, the whole J-Con unit looks like a dog’s head, and someone was extremely fast at making a quick sketch of it.
Who’s a good boy? This is what I call a controlling pet ;).
Anyway, as far as upcoming titles, so far we only know about the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It will be for the new console, and it’s already been announced for the Wii U.
The console’s official trailer also shows Splatoon, Skyrim, Mario Kart, Super Mario, and an NBA basketball game. Nintendo also announced several development partners, so it’s hard to say how many games will be ready by the official launch on March of next year.
One of the more interesting features I saw, and which I think is a sin, is the fact it has a headphone jack.
Come on Nintendo, it’s 2016, stop being a heathen and make players choose between charging the device or using their headphones D:<
So the question still remains; did they choose the right hardware for their next generation console? It’s hard to say at this stage, but we’re in a more mobile world than we were when the first Wii came out, so chances are people will welcome it with arms-wide-open, even if they only use it to pass the time while on the toilet.
At the same time, it’s strange that Nintendo doesn’t seem to be making any effort to catch up with the competition in the graphics department. While the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One S have 4K support, Nintendo is still clinging to more modest graphics.
Only time will tell how well it will be received, after all, initial sales at launch mean nothing if sales drop afterwards.