The Nintendo Switch (codenamed the NX in development) is Nintendo's upcoming hybrid video game console and their seventh major game console. Despite this classification, Nintendo markets the system mostly as a home console rather than a portable handheld system. It was officially announced on October 20, 2016, and is set to be released simultaneously on March 3, 2017 in Japan, the US, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, and other territories. It will also cost US $299.99 in America, and JP ¥29,980 in Japan. A Nintendo Switch presentation containing more information about the system was live-streamed from January 12, 2017 at 11:00 PM to January 13, 2017 at 12:05 AM (EST). The Nintendo Switch is set for a hands on event on six separate Sundays in six different cities across America prior to its release date, along with Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. Pre-order retail reservations start on January 21, 2017 in Japan.
The Nintendo Switch is an LCD tablet-like console that can be plugged into a "Nintendo Switch Dock" and will include an AC adapter. With the system docked, the game footage will be displayed on the TV screen. With the console detached, the footage will be displayed on the console's screen. The two "Joy-Con" controller pods can be removed and used either as separate controllers, similar to small Nintendo Entertainment System controllers, or used as one controller together, or optionally docked into the "Joy-Con Grip" to give a more traditional experience. The console can be used without the docking unit, unlike the Wii U's GamePad which it slightly resembles with Joy-Cons attached, making this console more of a hybrid between home and handheld systems. The console will also use small "Game Card" cartridges, similar to the Nintendo DS line. The Nintendo Switch Dock also has two USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI output, an AC adapter port, and a TV output LED light. The Nintendo Switch has built in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, a multi-touch capacitive touchscreen of 6.2-inch diagonally, a resolution of 1920 x 1080p on TV Mode and 1280 x 720p on Tabletop or Handheld mode, a USB Type-C connector, internal memory of 32 GB, a microSD slot (upgradable with microSDHC/SDXC cards), a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a brightness sensor, two speakers in the bottom, and a battery life ranging anywhere between 2.5-6.5 hours. For example, battery life during The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay is 3 hours.
The handheld console has a kickstand that can be used to prop the system up. The Nintendo Switch can be played in three different styles; TV Mode, Tabletop Mode, and Handheld Mode.
Several Mario series amiibo were shown in the initial reveal trailer, and it was later confirmed that the Nintendo Switch will have amiibo support. Players can scan them through the Joy-Con (R) controller or the base of the Joy-Con Pro controller.
The Joy-Cons have an accelerometer and gyro sensor. The Joy-Con (R) has an IR motion camera that can sense and measure the real-time shape, motion, and distance of objects. Two SL and SR shoulder buttons are on each Joy-Con. The Joy-Cons can be placed into the Joy-Con Grip through the controllers rails. The Joy-Cons will launch with two color sets; the standard gray, along with neon blue and neon red. Much like the Wii Remote, each Joy-Con has gray wrist straps with slide locks, with other colors sold separately. A HD rumble feature for high definition motion controls is included in the Joy-Cons, which can convey realistic sound effects from the Joy-Cons speakers based on motion controls. For example, shaking ice cubes in a glass cup will be heard via the Joy-Cons speakers. Both Joy-Cons have Bluetooth 3.0. The Joy-Cons have a battery life of 20 hours and a charging time of 3.5 hours. The Joy-Con (L) has a capture button that can take a screenshot of gameplay that can be saved onto the system's Album and in the near future be able to upload recorded gameplay footage to social media. Two games are currently set to release that utilize the Joy-Cons HD rumble features, such as a minigame-based game called 1-2 Switch set to release as a launch title and a wrestling game called ARMS in Spring 2017.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
A traditional controller, simply called the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, will also have a D-pad, replacing one set of the directional buttons on the Joy-Con (L). The Pro Controller features the same set-up as the Nintendo GameCube Controller, with the second analog stick set below the face buttons. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has a battery life of 40 hours and charging time of 6 hours, includes an NFC sensor for scanning and writing amiibo figures, and is sold separately.
The Nintendo Switch will be able to synchronize with smartphones via an application for online capability for inviting friends to play online, set play appointments, and voice chat with friends on online matches. The Nintendo Switch will have no region locking, similar to Nintendo handhelds prior to the Nintendo DSi. A Nintendo Account is necessary to access any online features, with a free trial period for its online service at launch and will later start charging an undisclosed price starting Fall 2017. Software for Nintendo Switch will be available to purchase at retail, and possibly from Nintendo eShop as well. The Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo home console since the Nintendo 64 to have retail software stored on cartridges rather than disks.
Nintendo Switch Parental Controls
The Nintendo Switch will also use optional parental controls, being controlled from the smartphone via an application named "Nintendo Switch Parental Controls", in order to control and monitor a minor's playing time. Nintendo have released a video featuring Bowser and Bowser Jr. detailing the functions of the application, with the former monitoring the latter's playing of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Boos also appear in the video and Bowser is shown to have a picture of Princess Peach as his phone wallpaper.
Nintendo Switch menu
The Nintendo Switch's system menu has grids for displaying games' icons and on the bottom has icons for; Notifications, Nintendo eShop, Album, Controllers, System Settings, and Sleep mode.
Revealed Mario games
50 companies have collaborated with Nintendo and 80 games are currently in development for the Nintendo Switch. Among the games shown, there is footage of Mario running in a three-dimensional space in a town area resembling a bazaar or Mexico, followed by a temple-like or ruins-like area. The town area has several, brightly-colored, buildings along with a creature resembling a skeletal Maraca Guy. The castle area has sand and water geysers around it, along with a Bill Blaster and Bullet Bill, as well as a number of Coin Rings and hearts indicating there is a health meter. The game's art style appears to be similar to that of Super Mario 3D World. In the footage, Mario performs a Triple Jump. The game will be called Super Mario Odyssey, and will be released during Holiday 2017.
Additionally, a new enhanced version of Mario Kart 8 will be released called Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This version will add King Boo, Dry Bones, Bowser Jr., and the Inklings from Splatoon to the roster, as well as bringing back the Boo and Feather items after a long hiatus.
Physical and digital games