Well, it's finally been revealed - the Nintendo Switch has been shown off in a flashy three minute trailer. In many ways it reinforced plenty of the more reputable rumours from earlier in the year, though naturally a lot of doubt has been replaced by clarity. It's also possible, just from those three minutes, to learn a lot about the system.
We've been analysing the reveal and previously announced details and put them all into this guide. We've tried to be fully comprehensive, but will update this as more information emerges.
Let's break it down into clear categories:
Nintendo Switch Release Date
This one's easy - in the regional variations of the reveal video for North America, Europe and Japan, all had a March 2017 release window.
Nintendo Switch Dock - For TV Play
- The docking unit is used to deliver the system's image onto a TV screen.
- It appears to have 2x USB sockets on the side.
- Includes a charging/power indicator light and is confirmed to charge the console when docked.
- Appears to have little function without the tablet console, with the portable aspect powering the device.
- We're making an assumption that there's a HDMI port to connect with the TV.
Nintendo Switch Console
- Has a "Game Card" slot, looks SD Card size but chunky like a 3DS cartridge.
- Headphone port at the top.
- A clear cooling vent / fan at the top.
- Power button is located top left.
- Volume up/down buttons are next to the power button.
- Includes a flip-down stand on the right hand side.
- At this stage there is no indication that the screen is a touchscreen. There's no mention of the feature in initial press releases, and that functionality wasn't shown in the reveal.
- Nintendo describes the screen as a "bright high-definition display".
- The system does not support backward compatibility of physical media for Wii U or 3DS games.
- This consists of two detachable controller parts, which can clip in either side of a special 'Grip' or the Switch Console itself.
- These two parts are included with the core system.
- Each includes 1x Analogue stick + 4 face buttons (ABXY/UDLR).
- Each includes a Trigger button + Shoulder button.
- Very small "release" button for the detachable mechanism.
- Due to games confirmed we believe there should be motion controls, but this was not demonstrated clearly in the reveal.
- Home button is found on the right.
- Non-descript circle button found on the left - rumours from earlier in the year indicate this could be a 'social' button.
- Plus button to the right, Minus button to the left.
- Joy-Con looks perfect for selling in different colours / limited edition designs.
- Left and Right controllers slide on.
- Charging or playing indicator lights are visible.
- It's unclear whether there's additional functionality to charge Joy-Con controllers, however.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- We believe there may be motion support (from the Splatoon footage), but we are not 100% certain.
- Dual Analogue controls.
- ABXY face buttons.
- Shoulder buttons + Triggers seen, same as the Wii U equivalent.
Features (and some Assumptions)
- Four people can play on two consoles. The basketball segment shows four people playing on two screens.
- Standardised car mount - a section in a van showed the device clipped to a front seat.
- We do not believe there's a camera on the device, based on available footage and assets.
- No 3D effect on the screen, at least no indication that's a feature.
- No suggestion of 3G / 4G connectivity.
- No mention of GPS (for titles such as Pokémon GO).
- No mention of NFC, though that could come later.
- amiibo support is confirmed, though the method for scanning figures and cards is yet to be revealed.
Powered by Nvidia
Nvidia is supplying the GPU capabilities for the Nintendo Switch; the following is from an official announcement:
Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world's top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.
The Nintendo Switch's gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.
Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering.
We've optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency.
NVIDIA gaming technology is integrated into all aspects of the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system, which promises to deliver a great experience to gamers.
Confirmed Development Partners
- 505 Games
- LEVEL-5 Inc.
- Activision Publishing, Inc.
- Marvelous Inc.
- ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd.
- Maximum Games, LLC
- ATLUS CO., LTD.
- Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
- Audiokinetic Inc.
- Parity Bit Inc.
- Autodesk, Inc.
- PlatinumGames Inc.
- BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
- RAD Game Tools, Inc.
- RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
- CAPCOM CO., LTD.
- SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
- Silicon Studio Corporation
- CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.
- Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
- DeNA Co., Ltd.
- SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
- Electronic Arts
- Starbreeze Studios
- Epic Games Inc.
- Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
- Firelight Technologies
- Telltale Games
- FromSoftware, Inc.
- THQ Nordic
- Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
- TT Games
- GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.
- Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc.
- Ubitus Inc.
- HAMSTER Corporation
- Unity Technologies, Inc.
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
- Web Technology Corp
- KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
- Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
- Image & Form
- 3D Mario Game (no name as yet)
- Mario Kart
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Pikmin 4 (speculative, but likely based on reports)
- Project Sonic 2017
- Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
- Unnamed Basketball (NBA) Game
- Dragon Quest X
- Dragon Quest XI (requires updated confirmation)
- Just Dance 2017
- Unnamed Image & Form Project
Those are some key details that are now clear about the Nintendo Switch. Let us know of anything we've missed in the comments, and let us know what you think of how the system's shaping up so far.