Nintendo embraces our modern world of mobile gaming with the first mobile console hybrid. Nintendo officially, finally announced the name of their upcoming console this morning with a three and a half minute video.
The Nintendo Switch is a fully portable console. The Wii U-like gamepad, called the “Joy-Con,” has detachable pieces. You can either play it like a gamepad or slide the side pieces off and use them like Wiimotes with the stand-alone screen. The entire gamepad connects into the Nintendo Switch Dock so you can play games on the big screen. The console also supports the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
The video showcases the ease of switching modes between gamepad and TV. The Wii U has this feature, but is limited to a short range near the console. The Switch lets you grab the gamepad and go, treating it like an advanced handheld console.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
The Nintendo Switch feels like a natural follow-up to the Wii U. The ability to take the gamepad on the go highlights one of Nintendo’s greatest strengths – handheld gaming.
This does create some interesting quandaries for the future of the Nintendo 3DS. It’s likely the Switch will act as both Nintendo’s home console and handheld device rolled into one.
No details or concrete information were given outside of the announcement trailer. We do see people playing new 3D Mario and Mario Kart titles during the video. And of course, the upcoming Legend of Zelda title, which is also coming to the Wii U.
Nintendo also announced partnerships with dozens of third party developers and publishers. These include the big ones like Activision, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Square Enix, and Ubisoft. The announcement video showed people playing Skyrim and NBA 2K. Nintendo had previously struggled with even the biggest third party publishers on their last two consoles.
The Nintendo Switch will launch in March 2017. Nintendo promises more details to come before the launch.