Nintendo Switch announced – a hybrid gaming system

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Nintendo have finally revealed their new gaming system, called the Nintendo Switch. Codenamed NX for the past year, it was rumoured that Nintendo’s new console would be a modular console-portable hybrid, that would use cartridges instead of discs, Nintendo have given us a first look at the system in a 3 minute video, and it pretty much confirms that it will work as a stationary home console, AND a portable handheld device.

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The Switch has three main components, the console itself, the ‘Joy-Con’ controllers and the dock. From the trailer we see different scenarios of how the Switch can be played, offering different configurations when playing solo or with friends. As a stationary home console, the screen is placed on the dock which is connected to a TV – and works like any other gaming console.

By simply lifting the Nintendo Switch console from the dock, it will instantly transition to handheld mode, and the same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels with you.

The Nintendo Switch includes detachable Joy-Con controllers that slide into place from either side of the console, looking similar to a WiiU gamepad. By detaching the console from the dock, and adding the controllers, now you get a portable handheld device that you can take wherever you go. There are different variations for the Joy-Con controllers; one player can use the controllers in each hand, replicating the Wii’s remote and nunchuk control scheme, or two players can take each controller and play multiplayer games like Mario Kart or Smash Bros. You can even use additional Joy-Con controllers depending on the game.

They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch consoles together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.

Also, with the lack of 3rd party games on the WiiU, Nintendo Switch looks to be more friendly towards publishers, developers and middleware partners, some of them shown below. It is also interesting to note the games shown during the trailer – Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mario Kart 8 with additional features, NBA 2K17, a new 3D Mario game, and Splatoon with additional features.

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Editor’s thoughts

Watching the reveal trailer, I’m really excited for this new hybrid system and the different ways to play it. I own a 3DS, but don’t own any of Nintendo’s home consoles – and what excites me the most about the Switch, are the 1st party games (looking at you Pokemon and Animal Crossing) and the 3rd party support which the WiiU lacked. I like the modular aspect of the system, and the possibilities with online/local multiplayer games – but I’m much more interested to see how powerful it is.

My main worries after watching the trailer revolve around the overall design and quality of the system’s components – I’m expecting the Joy-Con controllers to be very durable, since players will be sliding them in and out constantly, and the fact that they act as individual controllers. I hoped the designs were more ergonomic, but I guess the grip accessory and spending more money on a pro controller are supposed to ‘fix’ that. There are a couple of things to nit-pick, like the flimsy kickstand, the big vent at the top of the console, battery life and the visual quality of the games. But, other than that, I am really rooting for Nintendo with their new system, hoping that they have created a decent competitor against current gaming consoles.

Nintendo Switch is set to release in March of next year, which is 5 months away!
What you you guys think of the Nintendo Switch, and its console/portable hybrid features?

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