Nintendo Switch: Everything you need to know

nintendo-switch

Nintendo’s entry into the ninth console generation is the talk of the town, but how will it actually work and what will it offer?

The console codenamed NX has been officially announced as Nintendo Switch via a lively trailer that demonstrates the home/handheld hybrid, its detachable Joy-con controllers, 6 games and traditional gamepad support. Here's everything we know about Nintendo's exciting new console.

6 games confirmed, many more on the way

During the Nintendo Switch reveal trailer, we get a glimpse at a handful of titles making their way to the console. This is the full list of games confirmed through the trailer:

  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim HD
  • Splatoon
  • NBA 2K17
  • Super Mario (Switch)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mario Kart 9

We uncovered that Bethesda had been talks with Nintendo back in August, but to see the sprawling RPG Skyrim HD pop up in the trailer was one of the most pleasant surprises of all. There was also a new 3D Mario and what looks like Mario Kart 9. Both of these Nintendo titles for Switch have been rumoured for some time.

Check out our complete list of Nintendo Switch games for confirmed and rumoured titles.

Play your way: Joy-con controllers on the go or at home

When at home, the Nintendo Switch rests on the Switch dock, connecting it to your television. There you can use the Switch's Joy-con controllers or a new-and-improved gamepad Pro to play Switch from the comfort of your lounge room.

When you're on the move, the Switch transitions automatically to handheld mode. For gaming in handheld mode, the Joy-con controllers slide into either side of the Switch's tablet display. There's also a kickstand on the back of the Switch so you can use it as a traditional mini display on the move.

Loads of publishers are on board with Switch

A huge roster of publishers, software developers and middleware partners have expressed their support for the Nintendo NX. Among them are some huge AAA names like Activision and Bethesda, and some exciting prospects like FromSoftware. Dark Souls 3 on the go anyone?

Here is a full list of companies throwing their weight behind the Nintendo Switch:

• 505 Games• Activision Publishing, Inc.

• ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd.

• ATLUS CO., LTD.

• Audiokinetic Inc.

• Autodesk, Inc.

• BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.

• Bethesda

• CAPCOM CO., LTD.

• Codemasters®

• CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.

• DeNA Co., Ltd.

• Electronic Arts

• Epic Games Inc.

• Firelight Technologies

• FromSoftware, Inc.

• Frozenbyte

• GameTrust

• GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.

• Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc.

• HAMSTER Corporation

• Havok

• INTI CREATES CO., LTD.

• KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.

• Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

• LEVEL-5 Inc.

• Marvelous Inc.

• Maximum Games, LLC

• Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.

• Parity Bit Inc.

• PlatinumGames Inc.

• RAD Game Tools, Inc.

• RecoChoku Co., Ltd.

• SEGA Games Co., Ltd.

• Silicon Studio Corporation

• Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.

• SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.

• Starbreeze Studios

• Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

• Telltale Games

• THQ Nordic

• Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.

• TT Games

• UBISOFT

• Ubitus Inc.

• Unity Technologies, Inc.

• Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

It's powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra processor

As was heavily rumoured before launch, the Nintendo Switch houses a custom Nvidia Tegra processor. Details are still scarce on the exact specifications of the processor tailored for Switch, but if its anything like the current Tegra range, we can expect some pretty serious power in the hybrid console.

Latest Nintendo Switch headlines

 The complete round up of Nintendo NX rumours

Nintendo needs little introduction. The company has been at the forefront of video game development since its very beginnings and is well known for consistently innovating with both its software and hardware.

Over the years, Nintendo has been willing to try new things while retaining its own unique style, even if – at times – it hasn’t quite paid off. But you know its team of visionaries - led by the great Shigeru Miyamoto - are only ever one new idea off another surge to the top of the industry pops. Just look at its success with the innovation of motion-based controls. Can the NX be the next big thing in gaming?

Currently, little is known about the Nintendo NX other than its existence and vague comments from the company’s management aimed at tempering fan expectations. We can’t even be sure, at this stage whether it will outright replace the Nintendo Wii U, or compliment it in some way. Below you will learn more about the state of Nintendo’s brand ahead of the NX’s full reveal, and also the latest rumours that have surfaced/leaked from industry insiders.

Understanding the Failure of the Wii U

After the mega success of the 100-million selling Nintendo Wii, in 2012 the company released its follow-up console, the Wii U. It’s been a mega flop. Despite getting a year’s head start on rival formats PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, its worldwide sales of 13 million have long since been passed by its competitors. In the case of the PlayStation 4, it has been outsold 3 to 1. So what went wrong?

At the risk of being overly brief on a meaty topic, the Nintendo Wii U was simply too underpowered. Within a year of its release, its hardware was dated in comparison to the PS4 and Xbox One, and unable to keep up with the big blockbusters from third-party publishers like Activision, Ubisoft and EA. It was also ill-equipped to handle the escalation in and scale of digital distribution. Equally, it was unable to double effectively as a media-playing device. As a result, Nintendo itself became the primary creator of games for the Wii U, and its patchy release schedule did little to keep gamers excited in the format.

With a small library of titles and only a few developers trying to innovate with the machine’s main distinguishing feature – a screen on the controller – it lacked (and still lacks) a market edge. Compounding these issues, the audience that had connected with Nintendo on its predecessor, the Wii, had moved away from its relatively simplistic game experiences by the time the Wii U arrived and did not migrate to the new console in large numbers. The Wii, if anything, had become a gateway to mobile gaming or the PlayStation and Xbox.

The Wii U has therefore become lost between two generations, which is a shame, as Nintendo remains one of the world’s best developers and there are some truly brilliant games on the format.

The Wish List: What does the Nintendo NX need to do?

The Nintendo NX is the company’s attempt to revitalise its image in the console space after the lacklustre response to the Nintendo Wii U. Here is where we believe the console needs to in order to attract a large audience of gamers and stay relevant into the future.

  1.  It needs to be considerably more powerful than the PS4 and Xbox One, so that it can be futureproofed to some extent against the arrival of a PS5 and Xbox 4 in the future. However, it must remain close enough to the PS4 and Xbox One to be able to play its games.
  2.  It needs to be much friendlier to developers, allowing them to port across titles made for the PC, PS4 or Xbox One with as few road bumps as possible in order for it to be cost effective.
  3.  It needs to modernise the Nintendo Network and bring it in line with the modern expectations of a media hub with a friendly user-interface for online shopping, streaming and socialising.
  4.  It needs to provide strong support – in terms of development and distribution - to independent developers and third-party partners.
  5.  It needs to communicate freely with other devices in the user’s ecosystem, such as the Nintendo 3DS handheld, tablets and mobiles, and the PC.
  6.  It needs a transparent and busy release schedule of games, including regular releases from the company’s top franchises. This means releasing more than one title a generation.
  7.  It needs to put the focus on traditional gaming ahead of gimmicky controls.
  8.  It should be virtual reality aware, compatible with headsets such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
  9.  It needs to intelligently connect and amplify Nintendo’s suite of mobile games.

Confirmed Details About the Nintendo NX

Nintendo is keeping its cards very close to its chest with the Nintendo NX and for good reason; as a public company, any public or media backlash to a poorly explained reveal could see the company’s share price plummet. Nintendo is already in the midst of managing its most recent reveal, a move into mobile games. All we truly know at this stage is the following statement from the initial reveal - "[the NX is a] dedicated games platform with a brand new concept."

As well as the following clarification from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kmishima: "As far as the NX goes, I've said that it's different and obviously a new experience. That being said, I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It's something unique and different. It's something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base."

We also know that NX – at this stage at least – is only a codename. Beyond this, it’s speculation.

100% Confirmed Games for the Nintendo NX

Below in our rumours section you will find a list of many games expected to hit the format, but there are some that have been officially confirmed. The below games are, as of the time of writing, confirmed by their developers as being produced for the Nintendo NX.

  1. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild: Definitive Edition NEX (Nintendo) - Launch
  2. Just Dance 2017 (Ubisoft) - Launch
  3. Dragon Quest X (Square Enix) - Release date unknown
  4. Dragon Quest XI (Square Enix) - Release date unknown
  5. Project Sonic [Working Title] (Sega) - Release date unknown
  6. Mech Super eXtended (Byte 4 Games) - Release date unknown
  7. Riverside (Zockrate Laboratories) - Release date unknown
  8. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (Lizardcube) - Release date unknown
  9. RISE: Race the Future (VD-Dev Games) - Release date unknown
  10. Puzzlebox Setup (Bplus Games) - Release date unknown
  11. Deformers (Ready at Dawn) - Release date unknown
  12. Bit! Boy! Arcade (Bplus Games) - Release date unknown
  13. Niki – Rock 'n' Ball (Bplus Games) - Release date unknown

Wrap Up of Rumours and Leaked Documents About the Nintendo NX

While Nintendo has officially unveiled very little about the device as yet, a number of sources with a track record of delivering real leaks have begun sharing details with the Internet. What’s real and what’s not is unclear, but certainly what you’ll read below doesn’t come across as pie in the sky science fiction and is definitely in the realms of possibility.

Summary of Nintendo NX Specifications:

Two Forms: There will be a console and a handheld, they will be separate devices but linked.

Console Name: Nintendo Extra (NEX)

Console Design : Looks like a modernised NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)

Power: x86 CPU (30% more powerful than Xbox One)

GPU: 50% more powerful than PS4

Storage: 1TB HD

RAM: 12GB DDR3, (3GB for OS, 9GB for Media)

Media: Optical Discs and Digital Downloads

Ports: Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0

Controller:  Two forms; one is a Pro controller with analogue triggers and scrollable and depressible bumpers. The other is like a combination of the Pro controller and GamePad, with a smaller screen in the middle.

Nintendo_NX_Patent_3_converted

Launch Games:

  • Super Mario NEX
  • Zelda Wii U: Definitive Edition NEX
  • Luigi's Mansion
  • FIFA 17
  • Call of Duty
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Dragon Quest
  • Mass Effect Trilogy: Definitive Edition
  • Mass Effect Andromeda

The Leaked Document

  • The Nintendo NX will release in 2016
  • The next big Legend of Zelda game will be cross-platform, so it will release on both the Wii U and the NX at the end of 2016
Source: Neogaf

the insider (2)

      • The Nintendo NX will be close to, but more powerful than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
    • The Nintendo NX will have a detachable wireless HDMI dongle on its back panel, which can be plugged into a TV for streaming of gameplay without cables. This should allow for easily playing in multiple rooms without moving the console. The streaming tech used to push a game signal to the Wii U GamePad’s screen has been updated so it can deliver content in HD using this dongle.
    • There will be small motors in the analogue sticks that will provide haptic feedback as you play. For example, driving a car over rough terrain will be felt through the controls.
    • It will sync with most Bluetooth devices, including smartphones and tablets.
    • You will be able to answer phone calls and receive text messages on synced phones directly through the NX user-interface.
    • The hardware architecture mimics that of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, and the system has been set up specifically to make porting a game from those formats to the Nintendo NX as simple as possible. Games that run on Android or use the Unreal Engine 4 middleware will be particularly easy to port. The source claims a third-party developer told them that "it's the easiest device we've ever developed for. You just take your code, compile it, and it works."
    • Nintendo will be ramping up its social features on the NX, and is using the upcoming mobile release Pokémon Go to test many of its ideas out.
    • A lot of focus will be going into improving the multiplayer experience on the NX, and we’ll see a new generation of the StreetPass concept as part of that evolution.
    • The NX will be a champion for Augmented Reality gaming.
    • We should look to upcoming mobile game Pokémon GO to get an idea of the type of social features that will be in NX.
    • The functionality, appearance and usability of the Nintendo NX has been described by one developer "as if Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS had a baby," and that it does not look like a typical Nintendo device.
    • The NX will run on a new operating system called the NintendoOS, which uses many of the features we’ve seen in mobile phones. In fact, it’s so similar, Nintendo is concerned that some people may incorrectly believe the system runs on Android.
    • The NX is built to maximise networking and will be a link between many devices and services.
Source: Go Nintendo

the insider (1)

    • There will be no backwards compatibility with the Wii U or Wii.
  • There will be 12GB of RAM, but the current dev kits only partition 9GB of that towards games, the rest towards the NintendoOS
  • The Nintendo NX runs an ARM processor.
  • Devkit features a 1TB internal hard-drive
  • There are two controllers. One is like the Wii U Pro Controller, but features bumpers that can not only be pressed (like buttons) but can also be scrolled sideways. The other is like the GamePad, but with a smaller screen.
  • Eight controllers can be connected at once.
  • The achievement/trophy system does exist but is more about offering up challenges to gamers to complete in games, rather than paid for hitting static pre-existing milestones. Completing these challenging will tie into a My Nintendo rewards system.
  • The NX game discs are dual-layered and 25GB
  • The NX will be able to multi-task, capable of running other apps and media while you are also playing a game.
  • In regards to ports, we can expect at least one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, and an Ethernet port.

Source: Reddit


The Nintendo NX Launch Window Game List

  •        Super Mario NEX
  •        Zelda Wii U: Definitive Edition NEX
  •        Luigi's Mansion
  •        FIFA 17
  •        Call of Duty
  •        Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  •        Dragon Quest
  •        Mass Effect Trilogy: Definitive Edition
  •        Mass Effect Andromeda
  •        Final Fantasy*
  •        Destiny*
  •        Battlefield*
  •        F-Zero-EX*
  •        Super Smash Bros: Definitive Edition NEX**

** Source knows of their planned release, but could not 100% confirm.

Source: Reddit

Other Rumours

    • Kantan Games CEO Serkan Toto tweeted that Namco Bandai was working on a number of NX games, including a sequel to Super Smash Bros. that would be available at launch.
Source: Twitter
  • Square Enix revealed that it is thinking of bringing Dragon Quest X and Dragon Quest XI to the Nintendo NX in 2016.
Source: Tech Radar
  • The Nintendo NX could be more than just a TV game system, and could double as both a handheld and a console. A number of separate rumours point to this possibility, and former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also said, "we will continue making 3DS and Wii U software while preparing for the Nintendo NX [and] we’re prioritising satisfying customers who purchased the Wii U. Immediately cutting off software for previous hardware upon the release of a new machine is inefficient.” By referencing both the 3DS and Wii U together in this statement, it adds weight to the belief that the NX will supercede both formats. The existence of a dongle for wireless streaming to TVs would also support this argument.
Source: Wired
  • Talks are occurring between Electronic Arts, one of the games industry’s biggest multiformat game creators, and Nintendo. The latter is hoping to lock down the big third-party publisher in order to ensure the library of games for the NX includes PS4 and Xbox One titles.
Source: Nintendo Life
  • The Nintendo Network will adopt an achievement/trophy system similar to its rival consoles. It will also capture footage as a game is played so that players can share moments with friends.
 Source: Nintendo Enthusiast
  • The Nintendo NX will support cloud saves, which would also support the theory that the machine can double as a console and as a handheld.

Source: Reddit


Patents

Nintendo has filed a number of patents that appear to be relevant to the development of the NX, the more likely of which we have posted below. Companies will frequently patent ideas that are never used, but these still might give some hint to what Nintendo has in mind for its coming machine.

This patent suggests that Nintendo will do away with discs and use memory card cartridges (which are sturdier and have less restrictions on size). The patent also suggests an internal hard-drive, and compatibility with external hard-drives.

Nintendo_NX_Patent_1

This patent shows the plans for the hardware flow on a potential NX controller. The main point here is the reference to a display, adding weight to rumours that the NX controller will have a screen or will, in fact, be nearly entirely a screen.

Nintendo_NX_Patent_2

This patent furthers rumours of a smartphone-like experience, detailing a device that you hold like a traditional console controller, but featuring a large touchscreen across most of its surface.Nintendo_NX_Patent_5

This intriguing image shows a game console with a supplemental computing device attached to it. This started some speculation that the NX could augment the Wii U by adding more power to it, rather than actually arriving as its own unique machine. However, this counters other leaks we’ve seen.

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