Everything we know about the Nintendo Switch so farNintendo recently revealed its next console, the Nintendo Switch, which is a hybrid between a traditional games console and a handheld. Hitting shelves in March next year, here’s why it’s got us excited
While big name rivals Microsoft and Sony push the boundaries of what games consoles are capable of with a greater range of graphics and memory – not to mention distinctly more grown-up offerings – Nintendo ploughs its own furrow with games designed as fun-for-all-the-family. Although XBox 360 and PS4 fans get to enjoy the likes of Halo and Grand Theft Auto, Nintendo is the home of Mario Kart, Wii Sports and Splatoon.
Brand new teaser trailer
The new three-minute trailer for the Switch suggests a change in direction for the Kyoto-based company. Featuring scores of trendy millennials hanging out in apartments, in bars, at basketball matches and at go-kart races, it seems that Nintendo is making a pitch to an audience of young adults rather than families.
So how does it work?
The Switch’s unique selling point is its versatility. When you want to play the Switch at home, you can connect it to a docking station that will hook it up to your TV. The sides of the system can be taken out to turn them into a makeshift controller, which allows you to play from the comfort of your sofa even if the console is several feet away.
To play on the move, you remove the console from its docking station and plug in the controller parts again. Based on the teaser trailer, you’ll be able to make the seamless transition from your TV screen to the handheld device’s screen.
Will it succeed?
Yet again, Nintendo has produced an innovative piece of hardware, this time blurring the lines between a TV console and a portable gaming device. However, the company’s last console, the Wii U, was a relative flop compared to its Wii predecessor. As well as this, hybrid consoles have traditionally failed to strike a chord with gamers: Nvidia’s Shield Portable, the first of its kind, got a lukewarm reception from critics and players alike.
So the pressure is on. If the Switch goes on to sell by the million, Nintendo will have achieved something that no other major video game hardware developer has successfully done before, and found success with a multi-function gaming device.
Some questions remain unanswered for the time being. We know the Switch will launch sometime in March 2017, but there isn’t an exact release date yet. Nintendo hasn’t revealed how much it will cost, or much by the way of tech specs, or given any indication how long the handheld battery will last. That said, the first signs are very good, so the current verdict is: watch this space.