After multiple leaks, hints and speculation over the last year, Nintendo have finally announced their new console.
The main premise seems to be that the console is both a stationary unit as well as a handheld and can switch on the go. With the use of a docking station the console can switch from a stationary TV output to a portable tablet complete with two detachable components which function as a controller when put either side of the tablet.
They can also be used for multiplayer functionality as when detached they work as a two separate controllers.
The console also seems to have local multiplayer external to a single unit.
This means it is possible for two Switch units to play in the same game, perfect for games like Mario Kart and Super Smash, where too many people on the one screen can be crowded or mean the size of the split-screen is tiny.
Talking about the screen; it is rumoured to have a roughly 900p resolution. However, as that was from previous leaks and not confirmed from Nintendo we will have to wait and see exactly what it will be. That being said when it is in its docking station broadcasting to a TV it’s safe to assume it’ll be at least 1080p. Anything lower would be a backwards step in terms of graphics.
Unlike all recent Nintendo consoles, the console doesn’t have a touchscreen, breaking the trend pioneered by the DS, Wii and Wii U. The motion control system from the Wii also seems to have been ditched in favour of joystick-only controls. Discs also seem to be off the menu with Nintendo opting for Flash based cartridges. This could be to increase storage capacity without the need for an included disc drive as well as saving games directly onto the cartridge, something they’ve done before.
The list of developers backing the console seems to be a lot more extensive than the Wii U. One of the issues of the Wii U was its hard nature when it came to developing games for it, as a result it looks like Nintendo have learnt from their mistakes. Activision, Bethesda and EA have all listed their names in support of the console. Also released was an accompanying image showing just how many developers were backing the console as well as showing Skyrim playing on the console in the trailer.
A couple of questions do remain though.
For instance, will the unit have a sustainable battery life? It only looks like a small tablet so it’d be interesting to see the specs. As a follow-up, how expensive is it going to be? With such a small case it’s fair to assume they’re packing some punch in whatever components they’re using. Will we be looking at the £400 price bracket, or maybe higher?