The highly anticipated reveal of the Nintendo NX is finally here.
After numerous patent leaks and hoaxes, Nintendo officially revealed their enigmatic Nintendo NX console this morning. Now with the moniker “Nintendo Switch”, the new console continues Nintendo’s efforts to merge the console and mobile gaming audiences.
The official hardware specifications, price and physical game MSRP will be announced on a later date, however Nintendo’s upcoming console is a modular home console/tablet hybrid, as previously confirmed by leaked design patents. Those who prefer the more traditional at-home setup can use the Nintendo Switch with a TV courtesy of its docking station; Nintendo has not confirmed if it doubles as a charger for the tablet itself, however in-home gamers can simply load the tablet into the dock and connect the system to a TV via HDMI.
The native controller consists of three units- two mini remotes and an ergonomic housing; the two remotes can be detached from the standard controller for use as a mini-Wiimotes for a single player or multiple users, and can slide onto the sides of the tablet, transforming the Nintendo Switch into an entirely mobile system. Akin to the Wii and Wii U, the Switch will also support a brand new Pro Controller, though further details regarding the supposed “Switch Pro Controller” have yet to be announced.
For the first time in 21 years, Nintendo’s home console will use cartridge-based games, roughly the same size as the current Nintendo 3DS cart. The apparent lack of an optical bay negates any hope for Wii U backwards-compatibility, however today’s reveal may suggest that digital Wii U titles can still be played on the Nintendo Switch, as indicated by the appearances of Splatoon and Mario Kart 8. According to a recent NVidia blog post, the Switch runs on custom NVidia software with a modified NVidia Tegra processor, presumably an unannounced “X2”- the successor to the X1 found within the NVidia Shield. Exact specifications are still under-wraps, though NVidia claims the internal GPU is “based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards”.
The Nintendo Switch is currently scheduled to release in March 2017. The launch window has not been announced, but if today’s reveal is any indication, Nintendo fans can expect to see Skyrim: Special Edition, NBA 2K17, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon and a new Mario title shortly after the console’s release. Just Dance 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the untitled “Project Sonic 2017” are all confirmed to release for the Switch next year.