Nintendo has officially announced a new console called the Nintendo Switch. We don’t know how much the console will cost yet, and we’re not sure exactly which games will be released along with it. But there are some things we do know:
1. It’s a dual-action console
The main premise is that the console can be used traditionally, alongside a controller and a television, or as a portable handheld device. The console has modular parts, including a detachable controller, and can be detached and used with the built-in screen.
In the video Nintendo released, we are introduced to at least five ways to use the Switch.
The video opens to a man playing a standard console game — he’s looking at a TV and using a handheld wireless controller.
He then takes the console out of its stand and attaches two halves of the modular controller. A built-in screen turns on to display the same game he had been playing on the television, now shown on a portable console.
In another scene, he props up the detached Switch with its kickstand and uses half of the modular controller in each hand, separately.
We also see the man using a separate, more traditionally shaped controller instead of the modular one included with the console.
In another scene, the man uses two Switch consoles propped against each other, and each of the four players use one half of the modular controller to play a game in teams of two.
The Switch doesn’t look like your average, everyday portable game console. It looks more like an Nvidia Shield gaming tablet, and according to The Verge, is actually powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra processor.
2. The modular controller is called a Joy-Con
Each side of the controller is equipped with a joystick and four buttons. As shown by the video, the two halves can be used separately by two different players, and they can be slotted onto either the portable console or a separate accessory that turns the two halves into a regular controller.
The Joy-Con has an optional “pro” version, according to The Verge, that is similar to the older Wii U Pro controller.
3. The console uses gamecards, sort of like the DS
According to The Verge, the game cartridges are strikingly similar to those used in other portable Nintendo products and pop into the side of the tablet.
4. We’ve seen six games so far, but 48 companies have said they support the Switch
While Nintendo had issues finding supporters for the Wii U, the company published a list of 48 developers interested in the Switch console. EA, Bethesda, Activision, Ubisoft, and Unity are all among those pledging support.
The six games we see in the promotional video are as follows: The Legend of Zelda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mario Kart, Splatoon, a new Super Mario game, and an NBA game.
5. It comes out in March 2017
Sure, there’s no price and no precise release date, but who cares? The Switch is on the path to being a ridiculously cool console, and as long as developers keep supporting it, the Switch should be a hit.