Nintendo has finally revealed what’s been up its sleeve. Meet the Nintendo Switch, a new gaming console, formerly code-named NX. The console, which was officially unveiled on 20 October and is set to hit the market by March next year, is both a hand-held gaming console and a television gaming one and can shift between the two. Hence, the name.
After the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii, the Wii U, launched in 2012, disappointed gamers. So the Switch is an important release. What we know about it at the moment is that it is a hand-held tablet with clip-on controls on the sides, but plug it into a dock and you can use it to play games on your HDTV in 4K resolutions. There are two controllers, which, when clipped to the sides, function as one. There is no word yet on whether the Switch supports any other controllers, but it would be cool if it did.
Not much is known about the hardware except that it is powered by a Nvidia Tegra processor. The tablet’s screen size is expected to be between 5.5 and 6.5 inches. Nintendo has hinted at several big features it has not yet unveiled, and rumours are circling about a possible gesture-based system. It could be that the two controllers will have some sort of gyroscope, like in the Wii controllers.
What makes the Nintendo Switch an exciting prospect is its versatility. Gamers are familiar with the pain you feel when you have to leave an unfinished game you are playing on your television or computer and head out. With the Switch, you can just pull out the hand-held component and continue the game while travelling.
There are still several questions Nintendo has to answer about the Switch, such as what the battery life is and whether it will be powerful enough to compete with other consoles. But given how successful Nintendo’s hand-held consoles, such as the DS and 3DS, have been, expectations from its latest offering are high.