Thursday evening, January 12, Nintendo streamed their Nintendo Switch Presentation, which finally took the cover off the next dedicated home console, and that presentation was overflowing with information. Finally able to move away from rumors and conjecture, we can now see exactly what the console is able to do, as well as quite a few games that will be coming to the system. I do plan to go more in-depth on my thoughts and impressions regarding the overall unveiling, which includes the Nintendo Switch Presentation and the Treehouse Live event, but for now, we will simply take a look at what was actually shown during the presentation.
Right away the company answered two of the most burning questions regarding the console, and that was price and launch date. The Nintendo Switch will be launching on March 3, 2017 globally and the price (for North America) will be $299.99.
The system will include the main console, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) controllers, a Joy-Con grip (to which two Joy-Con are attached and used as one controller), a set of Joy-Con wrist straps, a Nintendo Switch dock (which holds the main console and connects it to a TV), an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. Two stylish versions of the system will be released: a version with a set of gray Joy-Con, and a version with one neon blue and one neon red Joy-Con. Both versions will be the same price.
As we learned back in October when Nintendo revealed the console through a 3:30 trailer, the heart of the console is the tablet that can actually be taken on-the-go. Now, we have confirmation that the tablet is indeed a 6.2-inch screen, with 720p resolution, displaying beautiful images for amazing game play.
Nintendo Switch is a breakthrough home video game system. It not only connects to a TV at home, but it also instantly transforms into an on-the-go handheld using its 6.2-inch screen. For the first time, players can enjoy a full home-console experience anytime, anywhere. The screen includes capacitive multi-touch capabilities for compatible games. Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge. While away from home, Nintendo Switch can be charged by plugging the AC adapter into the console’s USB Type-C connector.
What seemed to be inconsequential accessories to the Nintendo Switch gaming experience to some, however, turned out to be the hidden pieces to the puzzle that many people expected to find out from Nintendo. The removable controllers on either side of the console when in portable mode, the Joy-Con, are the keys to several hidden features and surprises.
The versatile Joy-Con offer multiple surprising new ways for players to have fun. Two Joy-Con can be used independently in each hand, or together as one game controller when attached to the Joy-Con grip. They can also attach to the main console for use in handheld mode, or be shared with friends to enjoy two-player action in supported games. Each Joy-Con has a full set of buttons and can act as a standalone controller, and each includes an accelerometer and gyro-sensor, making independent left and right motion control possible.
Nintendo Switch also contains a number of built-in features that make it more interactive. The left Joy-Con has a Capture Button that players can press to take instant screenshots of gameplay to share with friends on social media. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC touchpoint for interaction with amiibo figures, as well as an IR Motion Camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape. Both Joy-Con include advanced HD Rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. With HD Rumble players can experience a level of realism not possible through sights and sounds alone.
It is incredible finally getting to see the next step in Nintendo evolution, as the Nintendo Switch marks a new phase in the company's life cycle. With so many different initiatives and projects being implemented by the company, making sure the Nintendo Switch gets off to a glorious start. Among those changes, Nintendo has also been working to improve their online experience with the Nintendo Switch, as well.
Nintendo Switch makes it easy for players to stay connected. Up to eight systems can be connected for local wireless play. The player can place the system upright anywhere by using the built-in stand, then easily share Joy-Con for multiplayer fun away from the TV. The system will support online Wi-Fi multiplayer gaming. Nintendo also unveiled a new online subscription service that will begin with a free trial at launch. The service includes a smart-device application available in Summer 2017 that will let users invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with one another as they play compatible games. The fully featured paid service will be available in the fall.
Nintendo has taken a unique approach to Parental Controls with their new system, as well. It appears they are fully embracing the use of mobile app integration. Along with the Parental Controls, their online features will be similarly using a mobile app, too.
Take a look at the breakdown of the company's new online services available with the Nintendo Switch.
A good majority of my impressions were made by the software that was shown off. It will be amazing to dive even further into the new games that will soon be available. I look forward to getting into the games that were shown (and not shown), so be on the lookout for that post soon. For now, I will leave this post on this note: Nintendo has finally given us the details we have wanted to know ever since late President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, shared the fact that Nintendo was indeed hard at work creating their next dedicated gaming system, code-named "NX". Now, the Nintendo Switch is about a month and a half away from launch, and the excitement is real! Some of the most amazing gaming experiences are only weeks away from mass existence, and the time cannot pass quickly enough, before it's time to play.
How excited are you to experience the Nintendo Switch? Will you be pre-ordering the system? What did you like best about the Nintendo Switch Presentation?
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!