What it was a catchy line in the song? Anyways what a reveal! Our guesses that the console is indeed a portable hybrid were correct. The Nintendo NX has been renamed to the aptly branded Nintendo Switch, which is a tablet-like device that has two controllers that slide on either side while its turned horizontally. The tablet can then be snapped into the home unit to switch it to the television for a more traditional console experience. It seems the focus of this console is the ease of taking the best Nintendo games anywhere in a unique way, not only that, but several third-party games were also revealed for the Switch as well. Check out the full trailer below!
Judging from the trailer, here’s what I can gather about the device. For starters the console will take 3DS style cartridges, making load times presumably minimal. This could also solidify my backwards compatibility theory that the Nintendo Switch will play 3DS games, but there’s yet to be any information about that. As far as the home unit goes, it looks to be designed much after the Wii. The tablet looks sleek, with a headphone jack (apparently that’s an important feature) and a prop up stand to set the unit up anywhere.
What makes the Switch unique is the design of its controller. Two sliding pads attach to either end of the tablet that can be used individually as separate controllers, similar to how the Wii Mote could be played like an NES controller. Once again they can be attached to the side of the tablet to give the unit more direct button inputs while holding it. Players can also prop the unit up and use the controllers wirelessly. There is also a shell that creates a traditional controller when these two halves are slid in. It also seems that a separate controller similar to the Wii U Pro Controller will also be available.
What’s interesting about the controller is the button layout. Gone are the days of the awkward analog stick placement of the Wii U, which were both above the buttons. The Nintendo Switch takes the Xbox approach, staggering them. Face buttons are above the right joystick, while the directional input are below the left. This will make the third party games feel much more at home than they ever could have with the Wii U.
Speaking of games we did see a number of games being played on the Nintendo Switch. For starters, we got scenes of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wilds, which is not surprising as it will no doubt be Nintendo’s ace in the hole at launch. Later on, we got just a snippet of a new 3D Mario title that looked awfully similar in style to Super Mario Sunshine, without the water backpack of course. A new Mario Kart was also briefly shown. Then, we got a scene of a bunch of E-Sports players training and mapping out strategies for Splatoon, which they then played with a traditional controller! That scene alone is huge cause it shows a move away from Splatoon‘s signature style of play, but also shows acknowledgement and even celebration of the E-Sports scene by Nintendo.
Even more surprising, third-party support has been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch, as one scene has a player comfortably playing Skyrim in a taxi. That alone is awesome, since Nintendo has been limiting their home console on what games are published for it, which does make sense considering the mounds of shovelware for the original Wii that still gathers dust in stores across the world. We also got scenes of an NBA 2K game, which again is pretty cool considering that these core titles that have been dominating the charts are now capable of being played on the go.
All in all, the Nintendo Switch is everything I hoped it would be in concept. Here’s hoping Nintendo delivers a more refined list of features and specifications within the next few hours or within the week. All of this footage looks amazing, but if the device itself can’t perform how its intended to, then it will not be as cool as this trailer makes it out to be.
Either way, I need the Nintendo Switch, like bacon needs eggs.
Now we wait for that March 2017 release window. Let’s hope that the system does not get delayed.