The Nintendo® Switch

Coming soon this Spring is one of Nintendo’s best work yet in 2017. The new Nintendo® Switch isn’t looking to be the center of your media experience. Nintendo® has confirmed that the console won’t be launching with common streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

How Much Will it Cost
Thanks to the Nintendo Switch Presentation that took place during Thursday night, we now know a lot more. Nintendo® got the big news out of the way first, revealing that the console will be available on March 3 2017 and that it will retail for $299.99/ £279.99/ AU$ 469.95.
For this price you get the console itself, left and right Joy-Con controllers (in your choice of slate grey or neon blue and neon red), wrist-straps, the Joy-Con Grip, the Switch Dock, HDMI cable and AC adapter.The Nintendo® Switch Pro controller will be sold separately for $69.99 (we’re still waiting to hear UK and AU pricing).

You’ll also get the chance to buy Joy-Con controllers separately. These have been priced at $79.99 in the US and £74.99 in the UK for a set. Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed.

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Despite the fact that rumours had suggested otherwise, we now know that the console will launch with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well as 1-2 Switch, Just Dance 2017, and Skylanders Imaginators.There will be other first and third party games further down the line including a brand new sandbox Mario adventure and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim with Nintendo® stating that there are more than 50 companies currently working on over 80 games for the console.

Release Dates
The Switch presentation revealed that the console will launch worldwide on March 3, 2017.
The system will launch first in the US, Japan, parts of Europe including the UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and several other countries.
Pre-orders for the system have already started in the UK and the US, while in Nintendo’s home country, Japan, fans have to wait until January 21 to pre-order the Switch.

Nintendo Switch features
Nintendo® has always been a company willing to do its own thing. While Sony and Microsoft have fought over having the more powerful machines, Nintendo® has focused its attention on interesting controllers and 3D displays.The Switch looks like a very unique console indeed.

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In recent years Nintendo® has developed a bit of a problem with its attention being split across its consoles and its handhelds. The Nintendo® Switch console will be a hybrid between the two, and might just solve this problem.
The Switch will have several modes of play including traditional home console TV Mode, Tabletop Mode where the console stands up on its kickstand and Handheld Mode, where multiple people can play simultaneously.

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When played as a handheld, you attach two controller portions to the side of a 6.2″ 720p multi-touch screen, which feature a ‘split’ d-pad.These can then be detached when your dock the console, at which point you can either play the console with a more traditional ‘Pro controller’, which features a classic Nintendo® d-pad, or reassemble the detached controller handles into a gamepad using the ‘Joy-Con grip’.
Nintendo® says the Switch has a touchscreen, Wi-Fi, and can connect up to eight other Switch systems for a big multiplayer experience.
Fans of foreign games will also be glad to hear that the console isn’t region locked. That means you’ll be able to access all the JRPGs you’ve ever wanted.
As far as battery life is concerned, you can expect your Switch to last between 2.5 and 6.5 hours in handheld mode. How long it last is entirely dependent on which game you’re playing – games that force the processor to work harder will of course sap the battery quicker.
Overall this is a similar battery life to the Nintendo® 3DS so we’re not all that surprised. Fortunately, unlike the 3DS, the Switch doesn’t have a dedicated charger and instead uses a modern USB-C connector so it should be easier to charge on the go.

Nintendo® Switch Controller.
The primary controllers are named Joy-Con, and they look like they could be the most capable pads Nintendo® has ever introduced. These are the controllers which are attached to both sides of the touch-screen while the console is in tablet mode.
The Joy-Con Controller can be detached, forming two one-handed controllers. Each section can read amiibo figures and can be used as a fully functional gamepad, but each side has its specialty.

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Nintendo® Switch specs
Thanks to a Nvidia blog post we know the console is powered by a custom Tegra chip, which was also found in the, Nvidia’s desktop GPU’s have seen a substantial upgrade recently, and there was some home that this upgrade would carry through to Tegra, but this hasn’t been confirmed, and seems unlikely given the specs we’ve seen. We do know the clock speeds that the CPU and GPU will run at. The CPU has a clock speed of 1020MHz in both docked and undocked modes, but the GPU sees more of a change, dropping from 768MHz to 307.2MHz when running on battery power.
307.2MHz might not seem like much compared to the PS4’s 800MHz or the Xbox One’s 853MHz, but it should still be enough to outperform the Wii U, and we’ve all seen the performance Nintendo® was able to squeeze out of its last console.
The blog post does mention that the chip has been optimised for “mobile use cases” which we hope means that it’s not too battery hungry, but there are rumors circulating that the console only has a battery life of three hours when used as a handheld device.

For more be sure to check out www.nintendo.com

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