At long last, Nintendo has taken the wraps off its new NX games console. We now know the Nintendo NX will be called the Switch and this article contains everything you need to know about the console ahead of its launch – both official details and rumours. Here's the Nintendo Switch release date, price and specs. Also see: Nintendo Classic Mini NES release date, specs, games and features.
Latest update: More news on the games coming to the Nintendo Switch including Pokémon - read more.
It was expected Nintendo would reveal the NX console in October and it did exactly that in the form of a Switch preview trailer, which you can watch above.
"In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles," said Nintendo
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Nintendo Switch release date and price
This isn't new information as Nintendo already confirmed the NX would launch in March 2017 and that's still the release date for the Nintendo Switch. The exact release date will be revealed during a presentation on 13 January in Tokyo.
During the live presentation (not a normal Nintendo Direct), the final release date will be announced along with the line-up of games for the Switch. Mr Kimishima also said that selected media in the US and Europe will get hands-on with the console in January and the public will also get the chance at events around the same time. Also see: NES Classic review
While Nintendo is trying to keep the public in the dark, one Twitter user seems to know otherwise. Thank to a 'Nintendo source', a freelance games journalist has revealed the console will go on sale 17 March with a worldwide launch that same week.
Being told March 17th is currently planned Switch launch day in PAL, will release worldwide that same week but not same date all regions.— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) November 2, 2016
What about pricing? As per a helpful comment on our article, Gamestop has revealed the Nintendo Switch price by offering a pre-order for £399 or €499. The listing only has basic information and a release date of 'TBC'.
We're still a long way off the Nintendo Switch release date so a price is not something which Nintendo will announce until closer to that time. However, Tesco may have accidentally revealed the Switch price with a landing page which was quickly taken down. It listed the then named NX at £349.
While that's a reasonably high price, Ben Parfitt of MCV writes: "This is a machine that is targeting the mass market, and Nintendo certainly plans for it to have a mass market price. Price is one Wii U mistake Nintendo is determined not to repeat. This could be NX's single biggest win." That was before the Switch preview trailer, though, and he now suggests around £300 as "that kit won't come cheap".
However, CEO Tatsumi Kimishima revealed to investors that the Nintendo NX will not be made at a loss, having learned from the Wii U. "When Wii U was launched, the yen was very strong. I am assuming that situation will not repeat itself. Selling at a loss at launch would not support the business, so we are keeping that mind in developing NX," he said.
A leak on Reddit before the Switch announcement suggested the console will retail at around $299 for the base model but bundles will be available at $399 and be, we expect, similar to the Wii U Deluxe. Stores should get demo units ofthe NX in February, it added.
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Update 14 November: However, the most recent pricing rumour seems the most attractive - and most 'Nintendo-like'. Historically, Nintendo consoles haven't been expensive, with the company focusing on those that don't want to invest in a high-end console like the PS4 or Xbox One. While the above rumours seem to suggest Nintendo is pitting the Switch against the established consoles, the latest rumour seems to confirm that this isn't the case - and if true, we're delighted.
Lets Play Video Games claims to have spoken to two credible sources that say retailer GAME has been told to expect to sell the Nintendo Switch for £199.99 in the UK when it launches next year. Furthermore, the sources claim that there will be an additional £249.99 SKU that offers not only more storage than the base model, but also a bundled game. Specific storage capacities are unknown at the time of writing. The source also claims that the Switch Pro Controllers will be priced at £39.99 in the UK, fairly average for console controllers in the UK.
In terms of USD, the source claims that the hardware bundles will come in at $249.99 and $299.99 respectively.
Further to this, as reported by WCCFTech, Canadian Toys "R" Us accidentally listed the Nintendo Switch for $329.99 CAD. This matches the reported £199.99 price tag for the UK and leaves us very excited - it's an extremely competitive price.
Nintendo Switch specs and details
One of the first things to tackle is that the NX console is, as per rumours, both a home console and a handheld device at the same time. It's a hybrid of sorts which is an evolution of the Wii U's Gamepad.
It might be helpful to think of the Nintendo Switch like the Nvidia Shield tablet. It's a tablet device which appears to contain all the hardware which has a docking station which then plugs into your TV – this is how it switches from being a traditional home console to handheld.
"In addition to providing single-player and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles," said Nintendo.
As some patents showed, the Switch has two removable 'Joy-Con' controller sections which attach at either end of the Switch tablet. In this form it really does look like a new and improved Gamepad. Once in the dock, you move them to a controller in order to play games as per usual. The screen on the tablet is hidden so there won't be dual-screen features like the Wii U.
We don't have detailed specs yet and it's unclear whether the tablet section even has a touchscreen but we assume it will be in order to use the interface easily, if not for gaming. Nintendo has only said "The portability of Nintendo Switch is enhanced by its bright high-definition display." Rumours before the announcement suggest a scree up to 900p.
It's not official, but Eurogamer has it on good authority that the Nintendo Switch screen is 6.2in with a 720p resolution. It's also a capacitive touchscreen like smartphones and supports 10-point multi-touch. The report also mentions that the right-hand Joy Con houses an Infrared transmitter with which to interact with the dock.
Note that the Nintendo Switch won't offer a second screen experience like the Wii U as the tablet needs to be plugged into the dock - "Nintendo Switch is dedicated to deliver a single-screen experience," said Nintendo.
The controller does look a little awkward but there will also be a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller which you can use with the Switch console in its different modes.
The Nintendo Switch does even more than this as shown in the preview trailer. For example, when you're on a plane you can remove the controller sections, prop the tablet on its kick-stand and game away without having to hold it. You can also share one each to play multi-player and even share them between lots of people for 'a variety of gameplay options'.
A bit like the 3DS, the video shows up to four Switches being used together for even more multi-player 'face-to-face' capabilities.
Another thing the video confirms is that the Nintendo Switch brings back the return of the cartridge. Like the 3DS, the Switch games will come on small memory cards which slot into the back of the tablet.
Read: Best games consoles 2016.
In the preview trailer we also spotted a nifty car mount which the tablet slots onto making it a decent in-car entertainment system for the kids (or adults).
Nintendo said it will announce 'configuration and related specifics' before the March launch so we'll have to wait for specific Nintendo Switch specs. However, a blog post by Nvidia confirms the console runs on its technology – interesting with the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii U all use AMD.
We can confirm that the Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra processor.
"The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an Nvidia GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards," said the firm.
The post also says the console uses a fully custom software system including 'a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries'.
"We've optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency," added Nvidia.
Will the Switch replace the 3DS?
With the portable mobile nature of the Switch, many of you will be wondering whether the 3DS might be discontinued. However, Nintendo has confirmed that it's not putting all its eggs in one basket with the Switch.
In an interview with Bloomberg, president Tatsumi Kimishima said: "We didn't just want a successor to the Wii U or the 3DS" and added "Thanks to our software, the 3DS hardware is still growing. So that business still has momentum. And certainly rather than being cannibalized by the Switch, we think the 3DS can continue in its own form."
Will the Switch support VR?
In the same interview the subject of virtual reality was brought up, appropriately so with devices like the PlayStation VR. Although there's no definitive yes or no, Nintendo hasn't ruled it out and has 'a lot of interest' in the technology.
"If you asked as if this might be possible in the future, certainly we can't say no. In terms of how it can be used for gaming, it's something we must consider. It depends on the system specifications. I can't say that we have no interest in VR because VR offers new ways of playing, but that depends on what kind of software can be played. But what kind of software works, that's only something you only know once you actually experience it. And our games are ones that are usually played for a long time," said Kimishima.
While we wait for more detailed specs, a leak on Reddit touts 4K support although likely for video playback like Netflix. Gaming will be 1080p and 60fps. The source from a 'large retail partner' also leaked some details which we've mentioned above.
They also said the phrase "Interact with your game on the go" is on posters which also suggest the Switch will launch with a Mario title and there will be at least four games 'on deck' which we assume means pre-installed.
Last and probably least is that the packaging is bigger than the Wii U's, but simple in design with a blue and white colour scheme. At the moment it still says NX but that may not be the final name and the area showing the image of the console has been blurred out.
While Nintendo hasn't officially announced a list of launch titles for the Nintendo Switch, there are some things we can say now - also check out the Reddit leak above.
For starters, we know that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on Switch and we're really hoping it's available with the console on launch day. It's shown off in the preview trailer along with a Mario game which also looks like it will be a launch title.
Also spotted in the video are Splatoon, Mario Kart, NBA 2K17, Skyrim and Monster Hunter.
What Nintendo has said it that "Developers can design their games supporting a variety of play styles, which gives gamers the freedom to choose an experience that best suits them." It has also announced a long list of partners which will be supporting the Nintendo Switch - see below.
Update 18 November: There is news on the games list for the Nintendo Switch as LPVG has details via multiple sources including that Zelda: Breath of the Wild won't launch with the console in March. It also said that the game you see above will be a new Super Mario game with different worlds. Furthermore, it said the Skyrim port is going ahead and that a new version of Splatoon will come bundled with the more expensive Switch model.
That's all great and yet we have more as Eurogamer says that the Nintendo Switch will get Pokémon Sun and Moon. It's codenamed Pokémon Stars and means the Switch will be the first home Nintendo console to get one of the main games.
Although the Switch preview trailer shows the console playing popular titles such as Skyrim and NBA 2K17, Japanese publisher Capcom isn't entirely convinced on the viability of porting titles to the new device.
"We are currently carrying out research with regards to multiplatform implementation of software for PS4 and Xbox One on to the Nintendo Switch," it said its most recent financial report via MCV. “However, we do feel that there are differences in the desired direction and the play-style of the Nintendo Switch and those of the PS4 or Xbox One."
"At Capcom, we determine which platform to release a title for after considering the features of both our software and the hardware in question, believing we must bring the enjoyment of our games to their maximum potential."
"As a software publisher, we endeavour to develop games that offer enjoyment best suited to each piece of hardware's features and target users. Following first party, in order to introduce our own content we are currently moving forward with internal planning and analysis as a partner company."
Nintendo Switch Backwards compatibility
With no obvious disc drive (there might have been one in the docking station perhaps), the Nintendo Swich will not be backwards compatible with physical Wii U games. The firm has also confirmed to IGN that the console won't work with 3DS games either despite the similar cartridge system, simply commenting "no" on the issue.
As for digital software backwards compatibility, it said there is "nothing to announce on this topic" and "will make additional announcements about the Nintendo Switch hardware later, before the launch of the product."
However, we'd be very surprised if it doesn't offer titles from older consoles for the Nintendo Switch via the eShop like it does now on the Wii U and 3DS.
• 505 Games
• Arc System Works
• Bandai Namco
• CRI Middleware
• Electronic Arts
• Epic Games
• Firelight Technologies
• Grasshopper Manufacturer
• Gungho Online Entertainment.
• Hamster Corporation
• Inti Creates
• Koei Tecmo Games
• Konami Digital Entertainment
• Maximum Games
• Nippon Ichi Software
• Parity Bit
• RAD Game Tools
• SEGA Games
• Silicon Studio Corporation
• Spike Chunsoft Co
• Square Enix
• Starbreeze Studios
• Take-Two Interactive Software
• Telltale Games
• THQ Nordic
• Tokyo RPG Factory
• TT Games
• Unity Technologies
• Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
• Web Technology Corp