Nintendo has finally revealed its latest console; codenamed NX, as the Nintendo Switch and will be available in March 2017. Rumours had been circulating for months that Nintendo had planned to release a hybrid handheld-console, but today’s announcement confirms those reports with the Switch being playable at home or on the go without. All Switch games will be playable on your home entertainment system, but the console itself is detachable allowing for play wherever and whenever you so desire. A surprising addition to the Switch is the inclusion of detachable controllers for portable play which would seem to allow players to replicate that home feeling when out and about. Interestingly, while maintaining its commitment to multi-player experiences, which have come to characterise Nintendo in recent years, the company seems to be taking a leaf of the PS Vita’s book by offering high graphical fidelity and full-console experiences in a portable package. Nintendo may just succeed where Sony failed.
The Wii U has been struggling to find an identity for itself in the years following its release and it appears that the house that Mario built is finally ready to put it out of its misery. The death of the Wii U was to be expected, but the bigger fallout from this announcement may be its impact on Nintendo’s thriving handheld portfolio with the 3DS line. If all core Nintendo console games are now easily playable on the go, is there a place for the 3DS in the market? Nintendo has yet to comment on the matter, but it would seem to indicate the merging of its console and portable divisions and the streamlining of its entire product line. If this were to be the case, it would be understandable considering Nintendo’s inability to fully follow-up on the breakout success of Wii, leaving it trailing behind its competitors over at Sony and Microsoft. What this means for traditionally portable exclusives such as the Pokémon franchise remains to be seen.
No price point has been revealed, but it is safe to say that it would need to remain within the 299-399 threshold in order to remain competitive. Whether the system returns to using cartridges as many theorised is unknown, but given the hybrid-nature of the console, this seems likely. Little details have emerged about the launch line-up beyond the all-ready announced Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind, but a promo video released by Nintendo indicates that a new 3D Mario title along with versions of Mario Kart, Skyrim and Splatoon may be available on the console. If nothing else, its clear that Nintendo is sick of taking the bronze medal. Today’s announcements show its going for gold. We will keep you up to date with more news on the Nintendo Switch as it comes to light.