With a worldwide launch on March 3, 2017, Nintendo is confident you’ll want to shell out $299.99 to play its latest videogame console, the Nintendo Switch.
You’re probably wondering why you’d want another console when your Wii U is still alive and kicking. I hate to break it to you, but the Wii U is on its way out. Developers have already moved on to developing new games for Nintendo Switch. If you want to play the latest iterations of Nintendo’s beloved franchises, you’re going to have to upgrade.
Let me break things down for you. First, the name. Why Switch? Because the console’s main selling point is that it’s a “two-in-one” machine. When you’re home, you can play on your TV while sitting on your sofa with a bag of Doritos at your side. But what happens when you have to venture into the real world?
Normally, you’d save your game, turn off your console and leave your home empty-handed. This is where Nintendo Switch shines. If you’re heading out, you can take the Switch with you. That’s right, Nintendo’s innovative new console transforms into a portable gaming machine with a 6.2-inch touch screen by simply pulling it out of its TV/charging dock and sliding the Joy-Con controllers onto the sides.
Battery life ranges from 2.5 to 6 hours, depending on the game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, one of Nintendo Switch’s most technologically advanced games, can last about three hours on a single charge. You can also play while charging the Switch or plug in an external USB Type-C portable battery for extended gameplay sessions.
When playing on your TV, the motion-enabled (just like the Wii) Joy-Con controllers can be used independently or they can be attached to the Joy-Con grip for a more traditional gaming experience. You can also hand one of the two included Joy-Con controllers to a friend to play against them in multiplayer mode.
The left Joy-Con features a Capture Button that takes gameplay screenshots which you can share on social media. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC touchpoint for your amiibo collection, along with an IR Motion Camera that detects distance, shape and motion of nearby objects. Also, both Joy-Con controllers include HD Rumble, allowing you to feel various levels of vibrations.
Multiplayer fans will be glad to know that up to eight Switch consoles can be connected for local wireless play. And if you don’t have eight gamer friends, you can always play online through Nintendo’s new online subscription service that will launch with a free trial before transitioning into a paid service in the fall.
Major publishers are currently developing games for Nintendo Switch, including Activision, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks.
Check out the videos below to see what’s coming to Switch: