After several weeks of rumours and speculations, Nintendo has officially announced the release date and price of its upcoming new console, the Nintendo Switch. The company also revealed new details on the console, including online functionality, some of the console's unique features, and more.
The Nintendo Switch will release in North America, Europe and Japan on the 3rd of March. The console will be available for $299.99/£279.99/¥29,980, with a price yet to be revealed for European countries, although we can expect a price around €299.99.
The Switch has a 6.2″ multi-touch screen which displays up to 1280×720 resolution. If you are playing in TV mode, with the console in its dock, games will be displayed up to 1080p resolution, while playing in handheld or tabletop mode games displayed in up to 720p. Around the edge of the Switch screen you’ll find a brightness sensor, a pair of speakers, the power and volume buttons, the headphone jack and game card slot, and the docking rail.
Nintendo Switch has 32GB of internal storage, a portion of which is reserved for use by the system, but players will have the option to expand its capacity using microSDXC or microSDHC memory cards. The battery life lasts between three to six hours, but this is something that will vary depending on the software and usage conditions. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge.
The console will ship with left and right JoyCon controllers, JoyCon wrist straps, a JoyCon grip, the Switch dock, an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. Two Switch SKUs will be available, at the same price – one with grey controllers, and one with coloured controllers. Unlike previous Nintendo consoles, the Nintendo Switch will be region free.
Nintendo is also making some changes to the online funcionality with its new console. Similar to Xbox Live and PSN, Nintendo intends to make the Switch online funcionalities, such as online play, a paid service. According to Nintendo, subscribers will be able to play online with other players, use online lobbies and voice chat apps, and receive a free game every month and exclusive deals. This service will be free at launch, but will become a paid service sometime in Autumn 2017.
Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Con that can each act as a standalone controller. These include traditional inputs of previous platforms, such as two analog sticks, A/B/X/Y buttons, and two shoulder buttons. Each Joy-Con can be used as a single controller. When playing this way, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) have the same button layout. When a Joy-Con is held horizontally, the buttons on top can be used as L and R Buttons (they are called the SL and SR Buttons). Joy-Con are available in multiple colors at launch: gray, neon red and neon blue.
Both Joy-Con include advanced HD Rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. Joy-Con (R) includes an IR Motion Camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape.
You can see the Nintendo Switch in the videos below.