After years of speculation and a missed E3 showing, the Nintendo Switch – formerly known by its codename Nintendo NX – has been unveiled to the world. The successor to the Wii U and 3DS is a portable handheld console with detachable controllers, with the option to connect to a TV or play standalone in tabletop mode. Here’s everything you need to know about the system, from the games to come in the following weeks and months and the hardware that powers it.
Nintendo Switch – what is it, how does it work and what is bundled with the system What is the Nintendo Switch? Nintendo Switch is a home console that can be played on the move. It has the form factor of a handheld system, with a screen bookended by two controllers – named Joy-Cons – that can be attached and detached as required. So how does it work? There’s three play modes; ‘Handheld Mode’ sees the Joy-Cons attach to the base unit to be played on the go; ‘TV Mode’ which connects the system via a dock to a television, with controllers attaching to a central module – the Joy-Con Grip – or synced to a decided Xbox-style ‘Pro Controller’ (available separately), and ‘Tabletop Mode’, which uses a built-in stand so the screen can be displayed upright anywhere, with the Joy-Cons detached controller(s) to play local multiplayer games. Changing between the three modes is designed to be as frictionless as possible, as this video shows: Pokémon Sun and Moon Walkthrough and strategy guide Our complete guide for every step of your latest Pokémon journey. The move allows Nintendo to develop and release games for a single system that can cater to audiences who prefer portable and home-based games, and is a strategy that makes sense in light of Nintendo’s decision to merge its handheld and hardware divisions under one roof so the two teams can collaborate on its next system back in 2013. How do Joy-Cons and other peripherals work, and other ways to play The Joy-Cons themselves offer several features. As well as more traditional inputs like an analogue stick (that can be clicked in), face buttons, shoulder buttons and a Home button and Share button (allowing screens and later video to be uploaded to social networks), the Joy-Cons will offer Wii-style motion sensors and ‘HD Rumble’. The latter is said to be accurate enough to convey a variety of feedback levels; one example was the feeling of moving ice cubes in a glass, with different levels of feedback for one, two or three cubes, and water filling to the top of the glass. Additionally, the right Joy-Con features an NFC reader for tapping in amiibos, as well as a motion IR camera said to detect the shape, motion and distance of the objects in front of it, such as a hand playing rock, paper scissors. Nintendo is also providing an Xbox-style Pro Controller, similar in design to its previous Pro controllers for Wii and Wii U, but with the addition of HD Rumble, motion sensors and NFC support. As for the base system, it features a 720p, 6.2 inch touch screen with a capacitive, 10-point multitouch display – meaning multi-finger gestures are supported, offering input akin to modern smartphones as opposed to the stylus-driven Wii U and 3DS. As well as online connectivity, up to eight Switch systems can also be connected locally. Battery life, meanwhile, is said to range from two and a half hours to six hours depending on the software and usage conditions, with Nintendo claiming roughly three hours of play with launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The system can be charged with an AC adapter on the move with a USB-C connector. The Joy-Cons themselves, meanwhile, have a charge time of around 20 hours. Elsewhere, there’s details about storage. Nintendo Switch offers 32GB built-in, some of which will be taken up by the operating system, and can be expanded with SDXC cards up to 2TB in size. Of course, with game cards not expected to store much data on the system itself, it’s assumed 32GB will last a while for those not downloading games digitally. Finally, recent Nintendo patents have hinted at possible VR support for the Switch, where the device can clip into a headset similar to Gear VR or Daydream View. While it’s unknown whether this will be available all during the system’s lifespan, but it’s a hint that Nintendo is at least considering the technology. How much does Nintendo Switch cost and where can I pre-order? Nintendo Switch is available March 3rd, 2017 in Europe, North America, Japan and other select territories, with the launch unit featuring a base console, a TV-connecting Dock, left and right Joy-Con controllers, wrist-straps, and a basic Grip controller module for 29,980 Yen, $299.99 and Ł279.99. You can place pre-orders from Amazon worldwide; in the UK it’s also available from GAME, Argos, Tesco and ShopTo, while the in US, from Best Buy, Walmart, Target and GameStop. Though two versions a