After months of waiting and what proved to be an accurate leak, Nintendo finally put us out of our misery last week and revealed the Nintendo Switch. While there’s a lot to be announced yet, we at Nintendo Insider are pretty excited about everything it has to offer.
Let’s take a look at everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far.
It’s powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor
We don’t know much about the Switch’s innards, and unless there’s another leak, we likely won’t until January. However, thanks to NVIDIA, we know that it has a custom highly-scalable Tegra processor, which “includes a NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards,” the company explains in its blog post.
Tegra processors are built for mobile devices, so the choice makes perfect sense. This also means it is quite likely the Switch won’t be as powerful as its rivals – the PS4 and Xbox One. We do at least know it will deliver better visuals than the PS3 and Xbox 360.
The biggest possible downside is that the use of custom APIs could mean the Switch isn’t easy to develop for – will this put developers off, though?
It has loads of third-party supporters
We saw some awesome-looking games in the reveal trailer, including what looked like a new Mario Kart and 3D Mario game. It wasn’t all first-party games, though. We also caught a glimpse of Skyrim and NBA 2K17. Bethesda hasn’t confirmed that Skyrim will be released on the Switch just yet, but it has said it will be publishing on the console, along with almost 50 other third-party developers.
This is a good sign – first-party games are great, but Nintendo needs the support of other developers in order to be a true success.
So far, these are the five games confirmed for release on the Switch:
- Dragon Quest X
- Dragon Quest XI
- Just Dance 2017
- Project Sonic 2017
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It can be played anywhere…
The key feature of the Switch is its portability. Getting really stuck into the new Zelda but need to go to work? Simply lift the Switch from its dock and continue to play on the move. This really sets it apart from its competitors – consoles like the PlayStation Vita allow you to play PS4 games on the move, but you need a Wi-Fi connection to do so. Because you’re taking the whole console with you (sans dock), there’s no need to connect to anything. Unlike the Wii U, the Switch will not provide a second-screen experience, as this proved to disrupt gameplay.
It’s also a much more sociable console, as the Joy-Con controllers, which sit either side of the console, can be detached to allow co-op play – something which has never been done before.
…but it’s primarily a home console
Switch’s ‘wow factor’ may lie in the fact it can be picked up and taken to your mate’s house/workplace/that boring party you don’t want to go to, but Nintendo has said it will be “a home gaming system first and foremost.”
So while the Wii U will undoubtedly get phased out, there are no plans for the 3DS yet. In fact, Nintendo says there are more games for the 3DS in the pipeline, as the console is still incredibly popular.
It takes GameCards, not discs
Nintendo has bravely ditched the disc and opted to use a much more portable option: GameCards (or cartridges to me and you). However in a surprise move, 3DS cartridges won’t be supported by the Switch. Nintendo usually offers backwards compatibility for its previous generation, but aside from the possible technological difficulties, there’s a good reason why Nintendo may have chosen not to provide the option this time around.
If the plan is to promote the Switch as a home console and continue developing games for the 3DS, it makes sense to keep the two consoles separate. Otherwise Nintendo is essentially killing off the 3DS, which it obviously does not plan to do just yet.
The wait begins!
That’s all we really know about the Switch so far – Nintendo is keen to keep its lips sealed when it comes to price, specs and games until January. At least its release date, which will be sometime in March, isn’t too long to wait. Time to start begging the boss for an extra-generous Christmas bonus, then.
Nintendo Switch will release worldwide in March 2017.