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The logo for Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch, also called under the codename Nintendo NX, is the upcoming Nintendo console, set to be released worldwide in March 2017.[1] It was first revealed on October 20, 2016.[2] Not much is known about it currently.

History

The Nintendo NX logo.

One of Satoru Iwata's last actions as president of Nintendo prior to his death in July 2015 was to push the company towards mobile gaming, forming a business alliance with Japanese mobile provider DeNA in March 2015.[3] Iwata recognized that mobile gaming was a rapidly growing market and wanted to bring Nintendo's IP to it without compromising their integrity.[4] During a joint press conference on 17 March 2015 to announce this partnership, Nintendo also confirmed that it was developing a new hardware platform codenamed "NX", which it described as having a "brand new concept".[5]

Nintendo stated that the NX would not be a direct replacement of the existing Wii U and Nintendo 3DS product lines which are launched back in 2011 and 2012; in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Nintendo's new company president Tatsumi Kimishima stated that the NX would be a "new way to play" that would "have a larger impact than the Wii U". He believed that the Wii U would "slow" following the release of NX, but reiterated that the platform will not be a successor or direct replacement to the existing Wii U.[6][7]

At an investor's meeting on 27 April 2016, Nintendo announced that NX would be released worldwide in March 2017.[8][9] Nintendo did not unveil the NX hardware at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2016, though it did announce that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild—which was originally announced as a Wii U exclusive, was in development for both NX and Wii U. At a Nintendo shareholders' meeting following the conference, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that the company had concerns that competitors could copy ideas from the NX if they revealed it too soon.[10][11]

The following month, rumors began to surface about the nature of NX, which suggested that it would be a hybrid device designed for both home and portable usage, and feature detachable controllers. It was also speculated that the platform would utilize a system-on-chip from the Nvidia Tegra series, which is designed for use in mobile devices.[12][13] Some of these rumors were supported by issued patents assigned to Nintendo for various game console hardware published in July and August 2016.[14]

On 20 October 2016, Nintendo released a trailer that officially unveiled the device and its final branding, Nintendo Switch, and confirmed its nature as a hybrid device.[15]

Hardware

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid video game console, with the main system comprising the "Switch Console", "Switch Dock" and the "Joy-Con" controllers. Although it is a hybrid console, a Nintendo spokesperson stated that the Switch was "a home gaming system first and foremost", and that it does not affect Nintendo's continued sales of the Nintendo 3DS. Instead, Nintendo will start to diminish production of the Wii U in anticipation of the Switch's release.[16] Nintendo does not plan to release further details of the console until 2017.[17][18]


Technical specifications

Exact specifications have not been officially announced, but Nvidia confirmed that the Switch uses a system-on-chip from its Nvidia Tegra family of products. No specific details were revealed beyond that it is "based on the same architecture as the world's top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards", and has a custom API known as "NVN" which is designed to "bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses".[15][19]

Games distributed at retail will be stored on cartridge-like Game cards, similar in design to those used for Nintendo DS and 3DS games.[20] However, the Switch will not be compatible with physical 3DS cards or Wii U optical disc media.[21] Like Nintendo's previous consoles and handhelds such as the Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS (and XL), Nintendo Switch will be compatible with Amiibo figurines.[22]

Console and dock

The Nintendo Switch in docked and handheld configurations

The main unit of the console is the "Switch Console", a tablet-like monitor that comprises an LCD screen,[23] an audio jack and a kickstand.[22][24] The Console also has slots on the side, in which the Joy-Con controllers can be slid into when taken out of their base.

The console also docks into the Switch Dock, a docking station that connects to a power supply and to a monitor, television, and capture card when it needs to be charged or to transfer the output onto an external monitor or television.[15]

Controllers

The Nintendo Switch also comes with a controller system called the Joy-Con. The system comprises of two controllers; the "L" and "R", and come in the Joy-Con Grip, its specified base frame, and includes action and shoulder buttons, bumper triggers and a joystick on both.[25] The controllers can be attached to the Switch Console (similar to the Wii U GamePad), they can be removed and used separately in each hand (similarly to a Wii Remote and Nunchuck), attached to a grip to provide a gamepad form factor or used as individual controllers for two players.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The console will also support a wireless gamepad known as the Switch Pro Controller which has a more traditional design reminiscent of the Wii Classic Controller Pro and Wii U Pro Controller.[24][26] The Nintendo Switch will also support multiplayer via multiple systems; for example, allowing four players to play using two Switch systems.[15][27]

Games

Nintendo Switch games

During its official unveiling, Nintendo announced some of the partners that had committed to supporting the Switch; contrasting Nintendo's struggles to gain third-party support on-launch for previous platforms, the company initially listed 48 third-party publishers, studios, and middleware developers.[15][28] Among these partners, Nintendo listed major publishers such as Activision, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Konami, Sega, Square Enix, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, as well as 505 Games, Arc System Works, Atlus, Bethesda Softworks, Codemasters, FromSoftware, Frozenbyte, Koei Tecmo, Level-5, PlatinumGames, Spike Chunsoft, Telltale Games, Deep Silver, THQ Nordic and others.[15][29] Both Unity Technologies and Epic Games also pledged support to help developers bring games using their game engines, Unity and Unreal Engine 4 respectively, to the Switch.[30][31]

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, originally announced as a Wii U exclusive, will also be released for the Switch.[10][32][33] The console's reveal trailer showcased footage from potential new titles in the Super Mario, Mario Kart, and Splatoon series.[34]

Prior to the console's official unveiling, Sega and Ubisoft had already confirmed specific third-party titles in development for Switch, including Just Dance 2017[35] and Project Sonic 2017.[36] The reveal trailer also featured footage of a port of NBA 2K17.[34] While footage from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was shown in this trailer, Bethesda, the game's developer, later stated they had not yet announced they were bringing the game to the Switch, but had provided Nintendo the footage to support the reveal as a committed developer for the system.[37]

Reception

Financial analysts had a mixed response to the announcement of the Nintendo Switch.[38][39] Following the financially under-performing Wii U, analysts had expected that Nintendo would recognize their vulnerable position on the console market when developing their next console, believing that the company would find a means to draw back the core gamer market. Instead, the initial promotion of the Switch appeared to appeal to an audience that fell between the core gamer and casual gamer market, that being mobile game players that would want a more engaging experience but not willing to play for hours at a time, according to the New York Times.[38] Analysts were unsure if such a market existed in large numbers to justify the Switch.[38] Other concerns on the Switch's announcement were related to yet-confirmed details that could make or break the system, such as its retail price, whether the unit includes a touchscreen, the unit's battery life, and the type of games that the development partners will bring to the console.[40] The company's stock price, which rose by 4% on the day before the Switch's announcement in anticipation,[40] fell by 7% the next day due to these issues.[38]

Following the October 2016 reveal video, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, was questioned on Twitter about his thoughts on the Nintendo Switch, and replied saying that he was impressed with Nintendo's ability to "state a bold vision and build a product that delivers on that vision".[41] Xbox's head of games marketing, Aaron Greenberg, congratulated Nintendo, saying he loves "seeing new innovation in our industry" and that the "Switch looks like fun".[42] The trailer became Nintendo's most viewed video on YouTube within 24 hours.[43] It was also the top trending video on YouTube overall for about a day.[44] Game developers were more positive towards the Switch, seeing the system as "a more unifying experience between their handheld and console divisions", but expressed concern on unanswered hardware specifications, and how Nintendo will market the unit to draw in developers.[45]

List of Mitchell games on Switch

Game Name
Mitchell & Ness background cover.png
Mitchell & Ness
New Mitchell Van Morgan 4

Mitchell Universe

Mitchell Universe
Mitchell Battle Duology Nintendo Switch background cover.png
Mitchell Battle: Duology
Mitchell Castlegrounds Nintendo Switch cover (fixed).png
Mitchell Castlegrounds
Mitchell and Nicktoons Tennis Rematch Nintendo Switch Cover (fixed).png
Mitchell & Nicktoons Tennis: Rematch
Mitchell & Dora Nintendo Switch cover part 2.png
Mitchell & Dora
Mitchell Mania Nintendo Switch cover (fixed).png
Mitchell Mania
Mitchell Forces Nintendo Switch cover.png
Mitchell Forces
Mitchell Van Morgan: Global Marathon
Mitchell Van Morgan 64 HD (Nintendo Switch).png
Mitchell Van Morgan 64 HD
Mitchell Sports Superstars (Nintendo Switch).png
Mitchell Sports Superstars
Mitchell Van Morgan's 20th Anniversary Nintendo Switch cover (fixed).png
Mitchell Van Morgan's 20th Anniversary
Mitchell Tennis Aces (Nintendo Switch).png
Mitchell Tennis Aces
Mitchell Van Morgan's 2018 film videogame (Nintendo Switch title).png
Mitchell Van Morgan (2018)
Mitchell Van Morgan 11- Episode 1 (Nintendo Switch).png
Mitchell Van Morgan 11: Episode 1
Nicktoons Super Splash Bros. Ultimate
Super Mitchell Party (Nintendo Switch).png
Super Mitchell Party
Gavin's Mansion HD

References

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External links

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Video game consoles

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