The Nintendo Switch has finally been unveiled, throwing many of us off balance with its quirky form factor as well as unique method of letting you game on the move. Certainly a far more creative name than the originally touted Nintendo NX, what does the Nintendo Switch has to offer an already jaded crowd in terms of the gaming experience, now that VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) are starting to make headway?
First of all, Nintendo has certainly held its cards close to its chest for the Nintendo Switch. Despite showing many happy faces in a variety of situations in its teaser trailer that you can view below, it does seem as though more questions are raised as opposed to answers.
What we know about the Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch will definitely be larger than even the Nintendo 3DS XL, that is for sure. After all, how else are you going to pack the components that are capable of such graphical firepower when you are on the move? Not only that, there is the battery to worry about, but Nintendo has proven many times over that their handheld expertise includes a pretty decent battery life.
Joy-Con controllers will see action, and it can be used in a wide range of gameplay options. You can click it back into place, or have it slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory for a more traditional controller experience, depending on the situation. The tablet bit of the Nintendo Switch will come with an integrated stand so that you can prop it on a table and play from a (short) distance.
IGN has received confirmation from Nintendo that “the dock is not the main console unit of Nintendo Switch” and “the main unit of Nintendo Switch is the unit that has the LCD screen." The dock's main functions would be pretty much the standard fare: allowing TV output and power/charging, which probably means there will not be any kind of upscaling capability along the way when you enjoy your games on an HDTV.
The Nintendo Switch does not seem to be backwards compatible, at least playing physical 3DS or Wii U games. The translation from a Japanese Famitsu story which was featured on Destructoid did mention that Switch is unable to handle physical games from both their Wii U and 3DS, although we do wonder whether Nintendo will milk their evergreen cash cow of back catalogue titles through downloadable content and the magic of its Virtual Console.
It does seem as though the Nintendo Switch will feature a couple of controllers that can be snapped to the LCD display, which clearly makes it easier to game on the go, although the tiny size of it does seem to be rather restrictive if one has particularly large hands. Will they arrive bundled with the Nintendo Switch? We don’t know.
NBA 2K and Skyrim have been featured in the trailer, but neither 2K Games nor Bethesda were able to provide a confirmation that their respective titles are in the pipeline to make the switch to Nintendo’s upcoming console, pardon the pun. This is in stark contrast to the likes of Ubisoft and Square Enix who have proudly announced that they will be making specific Nintendo Switch titles.
Unreal Engine 4 support will also be part of the Switch DNA, thanks to a tweeted confirmation, while Amiibo figures are also recognized as long as there is a compatible game on the Switch running. This would certainly add value to the way things pan out for Nintendo’s newest console.
What we do not know about the Nintendo Switch
Important information concerning the Nintendo Switch remains elusive, like that legendary Pokemon that you have been after. We have absolutely no idea on how much the Nintendo Switch will cost, and what kind of hardware specifications does it pack underneath the hood (although it would be a safe assumption to say that it will be faster, has more memory and perhaps carries more cores in the processor than the Nintendo Wii U), battery life when you tote the portable console around, a specific launch date and the launch titles that will accompany it.
Will the Nintendo Switch have a touchscreen? Are there motion sensitive controllers? How many players can there be in a multiplayer title? So many questions, and very little room for answers. One can only keep one’s fingers crossed that more concrete answers will be forthcoming in the future as we edge closer to the March 2017 release. Chances are it should not cost more than the Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 Pro, and yet be pricier than the existing Nintendo Wii U when it was first launched.