Nintendo Switch Presentation Jan 13th (GMT) Hardware description
So Nintendo finally had their live stream from Tokyo. Where president Tatsumi kimishina was on hand to introduce us in more detail to Nintendos answer to the next generation of home games console. A console with a difference, rather than being just purely a home console (WiiU) or a console for portable gaming console (3DS), this console is both in one.
You can view my hands on experience at the Nintendo Switch event on youtube here
Key facts from presentation about the Switch:
Nintendo Switch will launch March 3rd 2017 for a US price of $299 and a UK price of £279
Two options on launch, both grey joycons or neon blue joycon L(eft) and neon red joycon R(ight), both pack options are the same price
Online service will be available for free as a trial, eventually leading to a pay for service, further details to be released soon. (include a smart device app)
No region lock on software
3 modes of playing:
TV mode - play on the TV, whilst docked
Table top mode - use the kick stand to prop the Switch console up as your smaller screen, use the joycons unattached to play games
Handheld mode - joycons attached either side of screen, gamer plays individually in this setup
Battery life 2.5hrs to 6 hrs depending on the game play and use
Capacitive touch screen
Can connect upto 8 Switches for local play
Joycon L and R
Analogue control stick, with buttons for actions
HD rumble - the ‘resolution’ of the haptic (vibration) feedback you get from the joycons is such that entire games can be played using just that.
has IR motion camera to detect hand gestures & distance
NFC reader for amiibo
has ‘share button’
Joycon grip, designed to slide and hold joycons whilst you play in ‘TV mode’
Pro controller - very much a classic gaming console style controller, looks like the WiiU equivalent
Nintendo Switch Press hands on event happening in London straight after Tokyo stream
Nintendo are having a hands on Switch press event around the world pretty much straight after the stream from Tokyo (Friday 13th Jan 2017 ~4am GMT).
I will be there to report on my hands on experience of the Nintendo Switch.
Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see that (hopefully, if not live, then straight after the event).
Also keep any eye on gadget guru twitter for updates from/on the event.
Be sure to tweet me the things you would like to know about from a hands on experience @gadgetGuruTechy
Let me know your queries and questions and I will try to answer them from my hands on.
For some time the gaming world had come to terms with leaks from sources proven to be correct previously that the Nintendo Switch would launch without Zelda Breath of the Wild.
Lura Kate Dale and Emily Rogers to name a couple had put fans dreams of embarking on a Hyrule adventure that little less likely on launch of Nintendo Switch.
Now the same sources are indicating that the assertion of no Zelda at launch may be incorrect.
Emily Rogers tweeted as did Laura Kate Dale that the switch is now looking more likely to launch with the AAA title, some doubt placed on whether this may be worldwide, but at this point in the game, it would be strange for Nintendo to try to pull of a staggered game release in territories. Indeed one of the earlier rumours was that the new console will forego region locking, making it possible for you to buy your game anywhere in the world and not worry about the device it will play on.
Many rumours come out all the time, I am not going to detail all, but this one is quite significant. Zelda at launch will give the new console a major boost. Zelda BotW will give the buying motivation that some consumers will be waiting for.
I actually cant wait for the event on the 12th Jan (13th Jan in UK, due to time differences), where I will finally get to play with now infamous Nintendo Switch and confirm/reject the rumours that have been flying about. Watch out for links to video and radio content relating to this here.
It is hard for anyone following the technology scene and/or gaming world not to be aware of the hype storm around Nintendo’s next console. Originally codenamed as Nintendo NX (announced on 17th March 2015 by the late CEO Satoru Iwata alongside announcing an alliance with Japanese mobile gaming firm DeNA ) the Nintendo Switch is the gaming giant’s new successor to the failed WiiU of its current/last generation.
The Nintendo Switch has at its core a new concept, one which Nintendo was very keen to keep under wraps for as long as possible, even electing not to showcase it at E3 in 2016, probably due to fears of others copying the idea before its release. Indeed other devices have been pointed to by various people as pre-dating the Nintendo Switch as concept and released device, the most prominent of these being the Morphus X300
The concept: Play your Nintendo video games on your TV and then when you need to go take the tablet console out of its dock with bespoke controllers that attach either side of the tablet console, this lets the player take the game on the go.
In essence the Nintendo Switch represents a merging of home console and mobile console (the 3DS) lines into one, although Nintendo still refer to the Switch as a Home console . The motivation is definitely to have a hybrid device.
Nintendo has remained rather tight lipped about its new flagship console, other than a trailer, no real official confirmation or denial of any rumours have been made by Nintendo, this has raised the anticipation of the console even further with prominent ‘leakers’ proving their leaks to be true based on the trailer for the system released in October.
Prominent leakers in this instance are Laura Kate Dale and Emily Rogers amongst others including news outlets Eurogamer and Digital Foundry
As part of the trailer reveal, Nintendo also released a list of some of the 3rd parties that are working with Nintendo to deliver content for the Nintendo Switch
In addition, certain patents filed by Nintendo, have suggested additional details, which are open to interpretation in part, but also confirming suggestions and leaks that have come to light from other sources.
From the flurry of details being asserted/disproved, one analysis based on a patent filing sees the release of a peripheral to be used with the Switch in order to have Virtual Reality possible on the device, other leakers and sources (e.g. video from Obe1plays) are now calling this more than likely to be introduced in the coming year, but probably not a launch peripheral.
General anticipation for the console seems to be at an all time high, with ‘hype’ reaching fever pitch with fans, critics and press, this should be credited to Nintendo’s media campaign and ability to generate leverage from their IP and reputation. I am genuinely excited by the console, I think its definitely going to offer the gamers something that ‘they did not know they needed’, all neatly packaged up in a Nintendo style shiny package.
Mobile gaming is extremely popular, particularly so in the Japanese market, this is something that no doubt Nintendo has been observing and noting, resulting in a pivot from their earlier position of not developing games for smart phones to now committing to a series of games on platforms like iOS and Android.
The strategy Nintendo seem to be adopting with their dedicated console hardware is to consolidate the portable range (3DS, new 3DS) and their home range (WiiU) into one line, the Nintendo Switch. The strategy should save development costs and in theory bolster one market being seen as in decline (home console) with the growing and possibly more lucrative smart phone gaming market. This direction is clear from the concept of the Switch. Nintendo has even merged its games development teams from handheld and home consoles into one per IP as reported by gamesindustry.biz in January 2013.
So the now almost expected notion of a Nintendo console having a gimmick to sell it, may not be the sole motivation (if at all) for the Switch, it may be an attempt to grasp and shape the direction of the ‘big N’, and quite possibly assure its future for the coming Nintendo fans/critics not yet born/bothered!
Nintendo have confirmed that the Nintendo Switch will release in March 2017, and have promised more in depth details at their Switch event on January 13th (4am GMT).
The event will be streamed live from Tokyo available at https://www.nintendo.co.uk/switch, and then will be followed by a Press event at key locations around the world, include a London event, where I will be attending to report on my first hands on experience of the switch. Watch out for details of how to watch that content. Of course you can always listen to my review on the following Indus Gadget Guru slot on BBC Radio Manchester and Lancashire in January 2017.