Gamer’s all around the globe today, woke up to what many have been waiting for – for all too long. With confirmation of Nintendo revealing their code-named “NX” title, in 2016, happening early in the year; many gamer’s have been stuck in a tailspin, trying to figure out just exactly WHEN official details would be announce. Today ended up being that day, and I think we can all agree that the word finally – is just an understatement.
The Nintendo NX was officially revealed as the Nintendo Switch, early this morning via a 3-minute preview trailer, which was officially released via all Nintendo YouTube channels, and official websites. While the trailer didn’t really tell us all that much about the console, it definitely spent quite a bit of time showing off it’s core concept, as well as some of the games we can expect to be arriving on the platform – games in which I will get to in a moment.
Let’s talk a little bit about the console, shall we? The Nintendo Switch has turned out to be pretty much exactly what the latest rumors have been claiming it to be. The system itself is a hybrid of sorts. The core system is a dock, which stay’s at home and acts as a sort of hub, at least what we can tell so far; that will enable you to play all the latest and greatest Nintendo Switch games, on your big flat-screen TV, at an apparent 1080p 60FPS.
Th other part of the console is the tablet, which comes with two detachable controllers, which are officially called the “Joy-Con”; which can either work attached to the tablet, or wireless when unattached from the tablet. The overall controllers sport a control scheme quite similar to the Wii U’s button layout; featuring two sets of analog sticks (one on the right, one on the left), a set of XYAB buttons (on the right), as well as a set of directional buttons (on the left) – which basically replace the D-Pad. The Joy-Con controllers also sport a plus & minus button, which are each on their own respective side, as well as a home button and power button. Now, when playing at home, both Joy-Con controllers will be able to attach to a dedicated Joy-Con, controller-hub of sorts (rather than using the tablet), which will branch the two detachable controllers together, ultimately creating the consoles standalone, basic, controller for home gaming.
The tablet on the other hand is exactly what you’d expect. It’s a tablet, looks to have a 7-inch screen, and sporting a 720p display. Upon lifting up the tablet from the Nintendo Switch Dock, the console will immediately go into hand-held mode, which will then allow you play whatever title you were playing, from your tablet. While sources who are not reporting back from Nintendo claim the company states the console as a home-console “First and foremost”, there is no doubt that this console will very well serve as the companies next handheld machine – as long as it is able to maintain a current frame rate.
The tablet also allows for new cooperative way’s to play with your friends. Remember the Joy-Con controllers I just mentioned? Well, based upon the preview trailer we were shown today, each controller can act on it’s own, as a dedicated controller is certain co-op game modes – so it seems. This method was seen being used in the Mario Kart footage, as well as the NBA 2K17 footage that was shown within the preview.
Before moving onto the game’s, let’s talk a bit about what we know so far in terms of the specs that the Nintendo Switch is packing. It was officially revealed today by nVidia themselves that the Nintendo Switch is currently being powered by a 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.” While this is a pretty vague statement as to what we should expect in terms of graphical power coming out of the Nintendo Switch; I think assuming the GPU holding the likeness or, at around the same horsepower of any 700-900 GTX series of graphics cards – wouldn’t be all that far-fetched. Anything beyond the horsepower of the 900 series of GTX cards will certainly put the consoles price-point far beyond the $300-$400 mark that many are currently speculating.
nVidia also went on to state the following:
Nintendo SwitchThe 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.
It’s quite evident now that whatever is packing the punch in this machine sure as hell sounds to be running very efficiently for the system. While Nintendo hasn’t always had the most feature-filled UI’s; they’ve all most certainly been cleaned, and for the most-part – speedy. It seems with the integration of this custom Tegra chip, Nintendo will be able to continue that tradition.
— Arby’s (@Arbys) October 20, 2016
Lastly and most importantly; let’s touch on a bit about the games that were shown off during the preview trailer. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that the main failure of the Wii U, was not only it’s crappy marketing, but mostly it’s lack of games, especially 3rd party support. With a brand new Mario title being shown off in the trailer, as well as NBA 2k17, Skyrim Remastered, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and what now seems to more than likely to be new Nintendo Switch exclusive DLC – for both Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon; I think it’s safe to say that the Nintendo Switch is shaping up to have one of the best and strongest launches Nintendo has ever had for a home console. Despite this, many are still concerned that the Nintendo Switch will fail to withhold the 3rd party support they have seemingly lost throughout the duration of the Wii U’s lifespan.
However, it doesn’t seem like Nintendo is worried at all, as shortly after the preview trailer was released, the company released an image which confirms a slew of partnered developers that are working on titles that will be headed to the Nintendo Switch.
Based on the partners listed, I can already give you several titles that will more than likely be headed to the Switch, sometime within the year the console is released.
- Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix)
- BlazBlue: Central Fiction (Arc System Works)
- Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco)
- Injustice 2 (WB)
- Dark Souls 3 (From Software)
- StarFox (Platinum Games)
- STEEP (Ubisoft)
- Sonic 2017 (SEGA)
- F1 2017 (Codemasters)
I could go on and on with the speculation, but needless to say, this list opens up so many possibilities – it seems Nintendo has turned a full 180 on us.
Ultimately the hype is absolutely real right now. And while we’ve only received just a tease as to what exactly the Nintendo Switch is and it’s capabilities, I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo has definitely put themselves back on the mark as both wonderful innovators, as well as a force not to be reckoned with – when they do things correctly.
The Nintendo Switch is still currently set to launch during March of 2017.