Did Nintendo just redefine the world of console gaming? Is this the modular console we’ve been waiting for? Is the product demo too good to be true? All these questions have been racing through our minds. I don’t think the global gaming media has had some hands on time with the device. Nonetheless, the product video that has been released by Nintendo throws some light on what their new console, the Nintendo Switch (formerly called the Nintendo NX) can do. If you haven’t seen the video, we suggest you take a look at it before reading further.
At the 25 second mark of the video we get our first look at the console that will rest below your TV. If you look closely, there are 2 ports on the left of the console. They look very reminiscent of the HDMI port but I think that one might be an HDMI out port and the other might be the power port. It is unlikely that the power and HDMI ports will sit on the side of the console, but if the device needs to maintain a slim profile then this may just be a compromise.
Moving on, at the 28 second mark you can see the controller (called Joy-Con) being detached from the housing. It looks like this housing will be a power bank of sorts which will charge these controllers. Why? Well, keep reading. After detaching the Joy-Con controllers, it looks like the controller is connected to a display that rests in the Nintendo Switch housing.
Here is what I think. The little screen that sits in the Switch is being charged by the main console. The housing in which it sits essentially amplifies the graphics for the big screen (that’s what we speculate). Once the user removes the screen it essentially becomes a portable console and we all know how well Nintendo makes their portable consoles.
There are shots of the hand held console being used outdoors and the screen looks really bright. We think the screen may be an OLED one. This will not only ensure that it produces vivid colours but is also battery efficient. Speaking of battery, it looks like the hand held console (the display part) will be able to charge the Joy-Con controllers aswell.
At the 54 seconds, we can see a cartridge being inserted in the console. It looks like this will be the medium of choice for games. We speculate the device will have some built-in storage as well. At 1:22 we see that the device is compatible with a traditional controller. Another thing that we would like to know is the storage capacity. Throughout the video we have seen Skyrim being played and we would like to know if the built-in storage is enough for a AAA game.
Another cool thing that we start seeing from 1 minute and 38 seconds is multiplayer. The Joy-Con controller can be split in two for split screen multiplayer. This is a very cool feature. The up side is that the two players get four face buttons along with an analogue stick. The down side is that the ergonomics that the D-Pad may be compromised a bit. However, this is something we will comment on when we get our hands on the device.
Sticking with multiplayer, it looks like two Nintendo Switch consoles, when put together will be able to offer four players co-op.
The Nintendo Switch is expected to launch in March 2017. The price and exact date is still unknown. Along with some other unanswered questions; such as, how powerful will the console be? Considering it's portable in nature, it can’t be as powerful as the PS4 or Xbox One. As far as battery life is concerned, no information is available about the life of the portable console or the controller.