Nintendo Switch price, games, latest spec

nintendo-switchWhen the Nintendo Switch was announced not much was let slip about the console/handheld hybrid. We’re not likely to get any more key details about the system until January 2017. Although president Tatsumi Kimishima has offered some snippets regarding two key areas.

With production of the Wii U coming to an end this Friday, all eyes are on the new Switch.

Nintendo has announced that it will hold a dedicated event for its next games console on January 13 next year. This will precede its release in March.

Nintendo Switch what we already know

Thanks to the teaser trailer, first aired in October, we already know some details.

For a start we know that it can change from being a home console to a handheld gaming portable thanks to add-ons and clips. We also know that it can even be played by two-players when out and about.

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This seems all very futuristic but gaming on a tablet-style device while travelling and then being able to hook it up to a television when at home is not new. The Nvidia Shield tablet (I still love mine) can do just that.

Games on the Shield are very playable thanks to its low latency game controller. You can hook it up to a TV using a HDMI lead and, thanks to its Tegra K1 processor, it is capable of console-like graphics. Oh, and you can stream your PC games from your machine upstairs to play on the telly downstairs.

Chances are that the Switch will be more powerful. I dare say that clipping controls on to the side of the tablet display will make for a more effective portable gaming device too.

I really like the fact that the new Ninte comes with a proper TV dock. It’s much better than having to fiddle with leads. There are a number of rumours that this dock will be packing its own tech too. The favourite whisper is that it will be capable of 4K video output for Netflix and such.

Nintendo Switch – the latest

Trusted Nintendo insiders have leaked some of the internal specifications of Nintendo’s latest console. These confirm previous reports that the device would use a 6.2-inch 720p multi-touch display and come with 4GB of RAM.

nintendo-switch-joy-conIt’s almost a given that the device will use a Nvidia made SoC (System on Chip), using an ARM CPU. The Graphics Processing Unit will likely use the Nvidia Pascal GPU architecture. This means that the Nintendo Switch’s internal hardware will have a lot more in common with Nvidia’s aforementioned Shield Tablet than the PS4/Xbox One and PC.

Word is that the portable gamer will have 32GB of internal storage, though this will likely be expandable using microSD or a similar storage standard.

Nintendo Switch – what the President says

Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said during an earnings briefing that the console will be priced in line with what you’d expect from a Nintendo console.

However, given that the Switch is a console/mobile hybrid, which Nintendo console does he have in mind?

Kimishima said:

Regarding the price, as we have been saying, we are, in principle, not planning to sell it at a loss… We would like a wide variety of consumers to enjoy Nintendo products, and we would also like to think in terms of consumers’ expectations for our products.”

I am thinking that $400 will be a ballpark figure. The Wii landed at $250, whereas the Wii U started at $300 at launch.

Switch game line-up

Nintendo’s only confirmed Switch game is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are teasers for new or updated versions of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon shown during the Switch’s teaser vid though. There was also a mysterious 3D Mario game on display in the video.

These might all be red herrings, so be careful. Nintendo does state that the trailer shows

…short glimpses of representative gameplay to demonstrate the liberating nature of the Nintendo Switch home gaming system.”

Videos for Skyrim and an NBA 2K game were shown during the Switch’s announcement trailer, but these games are not officially confirmed for the console.

Ubisoft is bringing at least Just Dance 2017 to the Switch, while dozens of third-party developers have signed up to support the console. These game houses should be able to bring something tasty to the table(t). Big hitters such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Square Enix, Konami, and Capcom are amongst the roll call.

In the earnings briefing, Kimishima said third-party support for Switch has been strong because the studios…

…realise that Nintendo Switch offers a chance to create new and exciting surprises which are not possible with existing gaming devices.”

Nintendo Switch – what’s next?

The Nintendo Switch has obviously been designed to be an affordable portable offering. It does have significantly less RAM than the PS4 or Xbox One, will this matter? If it uses a more lightweight OS and run games at lower resolutions, then this might not nobble it so much.

Nintendo will officially announce the Switch’s price, launch lineup, and specs on January 13 during an online presentation. The company has said not to expect any major news about the console until then.

In terms of sales projections, Nintendo expects to ship 2 million Switch consoles during its launch month of March 2017.

Check out the Nintendo Switch official online home.