DarkeSword

Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo's announced their new console, the Nintendo Switch (formerly known as "NX"). Looks like a home/portable console hybrid! Very cool!

Press release:

Quote

REDMOND, Wash.--()--In an introductory video released today (http://www.nintendo.com/switch), Nintendo provided the first glimpse of its new home gaming system and revealed that it is called Nintendo Switch. 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.

At home, Nintendo Switch rests in the Nintendo Switch Dock that connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room. By simply lifting Nintendo Switch from the dock, the system will instantly transition to portable mode, and the same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels with you. The portability of Nintendo Switch is enhanced by its bright high-definition display. It brings the full home gaming system experience with you to the park, on an airplane, in a car, or to a friend’s apartment.

Gaming springs into action by removing detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.

“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO, Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”

Developers can design their games supporting a variety of play styles, which gives gamers the freedom to choose an experience that best suits them. Some of the publishers, developers and middleware partners announcing support for Nintendo Switch are as follows:

• 505 Games   • LEVEL-5 Inc.
• Activision Publishing, Inc.   • Marvelous Inc.
• ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd.   • Maximum Games, LLC
• ATLUS CO., LTD.   • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
• Audiokinetic Inc.   • Parity Bit Inc.
• Autodesk, Inc.   • PlatinumGames Inc.
• BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.   • RAD Game Tools, Inc.
• Bethesda   • RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
• CAPCOM CO., LTD.   • SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
• Codemasters®   • Silicon Studio Corporation
• CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.   • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
• DeNA Co., Ltd.   • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
• Electronic Arts   • Starbreeze Studios
• Epic Games Inc.   • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
• Firelight Technologies   • Telltale Games
• FromSoftware, Inc.   • THQ Nordic
• Frozenbyte   • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
• GameTrust   • TT Games

• GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.

  • UBISOFT
• Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc.   • Ubitus Inc.
• HAMSTER Corporation   • Unity Technologies, Inc.
• Havok   • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
• INTI CREATES CO., LTD.   • Web Technology Corp
• KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.    
• Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.    

 

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It's what the majority of the rumors were suggesting.  Some thing I noticed:

  • Games on display included Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which we knew), Mario, Mario Kart, Splatoon, Skyrim (big surprise), and an NBA game.  Splatoon is the one I'm most curious about, since it seemed pretty clear that there wouldn't be dual-screen functionality, which means changes to Inkstrike and Super Jump.  If it's a launch title, that means less than 2 years between Splatoon 1 and 2, which to be fair isn't unusual for competitive shooters.  That's a pretty short time for Mario Kart 8 to be supplanted, too, although that one could be a simple port.
  • The two "Joy-Con" sticks analog and face-button placement are almost identical, but not quite.  If a second player uses one of them, they'll find that the joystick and buttons are slightly further down.  Probably not a huge deal, since they'll probably center their grip on the joystick, and the distance between joystick and buttons is the same.  The other keys (+ and -, Home and some grey thing, and the shoulder and trigger buttons) aren't reflected at all.
  • This could be pretty annoying for anyone who keeps their game consoles in a cabinet.  You could probably leave the unit in the dock and keep the controllers outside, but how long will a charge on the controllers last?
  • The blurb mentions "local multiplayer" with multiple units, suggesting ad-hoc wi-fi LAN capability.  That's pretty big.
  • In what looks like an editing error, you can see the side of the dock, with -two- HDMI ports, neither of which seems to be hooked up to the TV the guy is playing on.  If one of those is an HDMI-in (pass-through), Nintendo could be trying to make a multimedia hub like the Xbox One.  Or it could be a second HDMI out, allowing for multiplayer on two independent big screens.  I'd bank on the former, though.
  • In other screenshots, you can see the right side, and there are no ports there, so presumably the AC is back there.  No idea on other ports, like USB.  I'm really hoping for either ethernet, or USB so I can use an ethernet adapter.  Wi-fi in my house sucks.
  • Since it has motion controls, it should be able to play Wii games (probably on Virtual Console), although there's nothing like a B button on the second controller.  I can't see any way it could be used to play Wii U games, unless you could get an adapter to allow you to use the Switch itself and the Hub at the same time, or a separate controller with a screen.
  • That game cartridge is pretty tiny.  I know you can store a lot on flash media these days, but I have a feeling a lot of game content will have to be downloaded and will live in internal memory.
  • Was that an intentional knock on the iPhone 7, showing very clearly that the Switch has a headphone jack?

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THEY DID IT! THEY FINALLY DID IT!

It blew my freaking mind. 

This'll be awesome. 

.....So cause of Minecraft having the Skyrim pack, does this mean that all Elder Scroll games are gonna be on Nintendo consoles now? 

...It uses game cartridges? Cool. 

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41 minutes ago, AarowSwift said:

Monster Hunter finally returns to my TV.  People may be excited about the portable options, I'm thrilled to finally leave hand held gaming in the dust.

I can't find that Monster Hunter has been announced for Switch, but it seems likely.  I guess both of the last two were on 3DS only?

Yeah, I still haven't bought a 3DS because the use case just isn't there for me right now.  I don't travel enough that a bulky game system is something I can keep on me often enough (although I did just buy myself an 8Bitdo Zero). At home my wife usually wants to watch what I'm playing, and the big screen is a plus for me, too.  Being able to just pick up the whole thing and move with it to another room is something I see myself doing, though, and in the coming years I'm probably going to have to share the screen with my kid.

I'll probably buy a 3DS on Black Friday this year, since there are a ton of games I've wanted to play on it, but God knows I have enough DS, PSP,  and even GBA games to keep me busy for years.  Backwards compatibility--which means Virtual Console for the Switch, since it has no optical drive--was one of my big questions, and it seems pretty clear that 3DS games couldn't possibly work on it.  With Pokemon Sun/Moon coming out soon, clearly support for the 3DS will be ongoing for a while yet.  They're probably going to see what the market does, since treating the Switch as a "portable" game device is a bit of a stretch considering how big it is.  It's tablet-portable, not phone-portable.

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oh my god my body is so ready :3 i do have a few concerns though:

#1: i cant imagine that the thing where you take the controls off of the portable is going to work too well. i love Nintendo to death, but they arnt the best at making hardware

#2: please, for the love of god, let this one get third party support so it'll actually sell

#3: i wonder how powerful the handheld will be. even though it wont effect me personally, graphics whores are gonna tear this thing apart if there is any graphics quality drops between the console and portable.

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1: They call it Nintendoium for a reason. I once dropped a GBA SP down a flight of concrete fire stairs. It still works. GameCubes could be dropped from ten feet and still hold together. They're the best at making durable, reliable hardware.

2. Just... look up a few messages.

3. The specs are known now, just go look them up. And every new console has a minority of fanboys bitching about something they haven't seen themselves. This is nothing new, and nothing to worry about.

Edited by The Damned
Those ain't real specs...

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4 hours ago, MindWanderer said:

I can't find that Monster Hunter has been announced for Switch, but it seems likely.  I guess both of the last two were on 3DS only?

 

Mainline Monster Hunter has been Nintendo exclusive since 3 Ultimate, and while that game saw a WiiU port, the last two were 3DS only because portables are the be all end all in Japan these days.  So now we have a portable you can play on your TV.  Unless Switch bombs in Japan, Capcom is all but guaranteed to put Monster Hunter on it.

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23 minutes ago, The Damned said:

3. The specs are known now, just go look them up. And every new console has a minority of fanboys bitching about something they haven't seen themselves. This is nothing new, and nothing to worry about.

@The Damned Full specs are known? I don't think so... some vague stuff has been put together, we know it's a "custom Tegra" chip for example, but I haven't see detailed specs. Link?

Might end up being the most bad-ass handheld/portable gaming system ever.... as a console, I really hope that Nintendo considers turning the dock into a discrete GPU that can *eventually* bump things up. If it used TB3, for example, you could see upgrading the dock independent of the tablet as a way for the system to move forward.

Will be loads of fun either way, but I do want to see the full specs, and AFAIK they are not yet known.

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I don't usually take this sort of stance with Nintendo, but I think it just looks like a gimmicks on top of gimmicks to make it a Wii U inside a Wii while also ripping off the PS Vita. And for $299...

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8 hours ago, djpretzel said:

@The Damned Full specs are known? I don't think so... some vague stuff has been put together, we know it's a "custom Tegra" chip for example, but I haven't see detailed specs. Link?

No, you're right. I was going by a rather nicely put together list of components taken from Nintendo's own info. Several hours later, and people have pointed out compatibility issues, power drain concerns, and no one else has been able to find this exact list on the page.

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11 hours ago, NintendoLover94 said:

oh my god my body is so ready :3 i do have a few concerns though:

#1: i cant imagine that the thing where you take the controls off of the portable is going to work too well. i love Nintendo to death, but they arnt the best at making hardware

#2: please, for the love of god, let this one get third party support so it'll actually sell

#3: i wonder how powerful the handheld will be. even though it wont effect me personally, graphics whores are gonna tear this thing apart if there is any graphics quality drops between the console and portable.

 

1. Better than you might think in hardware terms actually. Granted not perfect but recent track record has me less concerned. This thing is a finished product its not a demo they could drop it at christmas if they wanted to. But they want more marketing run up.

 

2. Its got a LOT of early third party support and game engines include Unity AND Unreal. That is gigantic. 

 

3. The whole point is that its the same between either. Which i really really hope is true. 

 

Concerning powerdrain: The best evidence we have on this is the Wii U Pro controller. Outrageous battery life on that thing. I think we're going to be OK there.

 

And Yes that WAS an intentional Knock on the Iphone 7. That comes as part of Nintendo's alliance with Google. This dropped at a specific time for a specific reason. Google is taking aim at Amazon after their Twitch Prime announcement. 

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5 hours ago, Hyperion5182 said:

Concerning powerdrain: The best evidence we have on this is the Wii U Pro controller. Outrageous battery life on that thing. I think we're going to be OK there.

It's really good battery life for a controller, you can get a few hours out of it, but as a standalone portable it has to be held to a higher standard.  My DS Lite had enough juice to last for a cross-country plane trip, including waiting around at the departure airport and a layover.  My PSP... well, when I planned to play my PSP, I also packed my DS.  But bear in mind that battery technology hasn't improved dramatically in the last few years, and the Switch has a much more powerful graphics card than the Wii U Gamepad.  Rumors are calling the Switch's battery life at 3 hours, but that's probably for a dev kit, which is probably worse than the commercial product will get.  I'm also curious whether the Joy-Con's have special batteries that charge off the base station, or use independent AA's or AAA's.

I'm just hoping the dock has ethernet, or USB ports for a wired ethernet adapter.  If it has USB 3.x, it could support gigabit ethernet.  If they're planning on making e-sports a real thing, wired internet would be hugely important--even just 8 players in a crowded area all running on one 802.11 band would create interference, and in the middle of a crowd of people carrying phones, it could be really bad.  Oh, and the main unit needs to support 5G wi-fi, not the already-outdated 2.4G the Wii U came out with.

I also really hope they remember to make the main unit rechargeable from something other than the base station.  I imagine the dock will be similar to the Wii U's (where you can take the power cable out of the dock and plug it into the gamepad directly), but a separate charging cable would be nice (though they'll probably sell it separately).

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A hybrid desktop/portable console, eh? Interesting use of hardware. It's neat, it's versatile, it's a got a slick design, and it's a new gaming experience - but to me a console is a console is a console ... it's the gameplay itself that makes the real difference.

I've been kind of disappointed with Nintendo lately and I won't pay for a new console if all I'm doing is increasing the number of ways I can play one game. That being said, they're probably on to something from a marketing perspective - I can see how someone (who is not me) could find value in paying for one desktop console, yet also get a portable system with so many ways of using it, including multi-player. It does seem a logical next step for Nintendo and its technology. I don't know, I'm on the fence with this one.

One thing I will add: The Damned made mention of 'Nintendonium.' I've dropped my SNES and GameCube so many times over the years and never even dented the cases, so I can vouch for that, but I think the structure is everything; I only hope that tablet portion is as durable as you suggest. I also hope Nintendo keeps a crapload of those detachable controller pieces in storage, cuz I can see a lot of folks losing those.

Also, the trailer was filmed in Vancouver - I recognize all the streets. In fact, I think the FLYNN'S sign was hanging off the building in the second shot for TRON: Legacy.

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To predict the capabilities of the Switch it may be worth looking at the iPad Pro, which AFAIK is the most powerful ARM-based tablet. The Pro has a faster CPU than the PS4 or Xbox One but an inferior GPU. It's also $800.

https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/3u5sdc/curious_ipad_pros_benchmark_numbers_vs_xbox_360/

Now, the iPad Pro has a display of 3.1million pixels and a 9.7in screen. The Switch will be smaller and cap at 720p, so it need only display about 25% of the pixels. The display will doubtless not be of the same quality as an iPad Pro in other ways (i.e. will be cheaper.)

The Switch would also not need some of the hardware of the Pro. No high-end camera, fingerprint sensor, etc.

If the GPU of the Switch is something like a GTX 1050 in terms of performance - that would be the low-end of Nvidia's Pascal architecture - it would be at least on par with the PS4/Xbox One... And a 1050 has relatively low power draw and pricing...

I'm cautiously optimistic!

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I think the prospect of quality games via both first and third-party support is linked to the versatile portable/home console nature, and Nintendo is smartly banking on it.

Developers and publishers are attracted to a system that people will play everywhere. A system that you can play comfortably from a couch, then literally pick it up and take on on the road, plane, etc. And without the need to develop for multiple screens, touch screens, or weird controls. Straightforward.

And if third parties support it greatly, Nintendo will be more inclined to support it themselves with great first party titles.

This is all blue sky of course, but I think the approach is solid and understandable, which isn't as easy to say for the Wii U. Here's hoping!

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2 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

A hybrid desktop/portable console, eh? Interesting use of hardware. It's neat, it's versatile, it's a got a slick design, and it's a new gaming experience - but to me a console is a console is a console ... it's the gameplay itself that makes the real difference.

The funny thing is: I think most players would agree with you, but developers will only get on board if they think the system is promising.  And that depends on two things: whether the system will sell well enough to have a large enough consumer base to make development worthwhile, and whether the developer thinks they can create games on it that people will buy.

Remember what happened with the Wii U: there were several developers on board at the beginning who all jumped ship when Wii U sales were sluggish.  It sounds like this time there's more developer buy-in, but I think the big difference is that Switch strikes a balance between innovation and compatibility.  I think we'll see a lot of ports, like Skyrim, taking advantage of Unity and Unreal compatibility.  And even more interesting is the release of the souped-up Xbox One and PS4 coming out, making this (demi-)generation almost like a 5-way competition--the Switch should have power comparable to the first-run XBOne and PS4, so if there are multiplatform games that come out for all 3, the Switch might have an advantage, but then there are the new ones... and console sales are in a slump, with lots of folks not having bought into the new generation yet at all... I'd hate to be an analyst right now, this is a unique position for this market and I don't have a good prediction for how it could turn out.

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