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Nintendo Switch Release Date, Specifications, Games, Controllers, and Everything You Need to Know

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Nintendo Switch Release Date, Specifications, Games, Controllers, and Everything You Need to Know
Highlights
  • The Nintendo Switch supports local multiplayer
  • It is powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra chip
  • There will be games from Nintendo and other companies like Bethesda too

Nintendo has finally announced the Nintendo Switch. And while there's a lot to talk about, there are some key features that define the Kyoto-based company's latest effort. These are the crucial details you need to know.

(Also see: Nintendo NX Revealed as Nintendo Switch, Confirmed for March 2017)

There are two parts to the Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch consists of the Nintendo Switch Console and the Nintendo Switch Dock. The console plugs into the dock for use on a big screen. It's these two core components that have probably given rise to the rumour of the device being called the Nintendo Duo. The 6.2-inch display on the Nintendo Switch Console doesn't seem to work as a touchscreen although the functionality appears to be built in and sports a 720p resolution.

The Nintendo Switch will play cartridges
One of the earliest rumours doing the rounds was that the Nintendo Switch would use cartridges. Suffice to say it has come true. Dubbed as GameCards, they will plug into the Nintendo Switch in order for you to play whatever Nintendo has in store. Though the company hasn't commented on the capacity of a GameCard, most reports claim it tops up at 32GB of storage.

Nintendo Switch controllers are called Joy-Cons
Another pre-announcement rumour to come true was its detachable controllers. They're officially referred to as Joy-Cons. They plug onto either side of the Nintendo Switch Console when used as a portable and can be attached to what's known as a Joy-Con Grip for games that require more complex controls. On their own, each Joy-Con can be used to play simpler titles like Mario Kart - essentially giving you two controllers out of the box for certain games, so you and a friend can game with minimal fuss.

One of the Wii U's best peripherals makes a welcome return with Nintendo Switch
Although the Wii U wasn't Nintendo's best-selling console, that didn't stop it from having one of the better controllers on the market. The Wii U Pro Controller had seemingly limitless battery life, great build quality, and felt good to use over extended play sessions. With the Nintendo Switch, you get the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which appears to carry on from where the Wii U Pro Controller left off.

Nintendo Switch specifications
After Nvidia's last showing with the RSX chip on the PS3, the Nintendo Switch will be sporting a custom Tegra processor, another leak that has come true. According to Nvidia, it's a "high-efficiency scalable processor includes an Nvidia GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards." The idea, according to the company, is to allow blistering fast to the mainstream, building NVN - a new API to make this possible, along with a new physics engine, advanced game tools, and libraries to boot. Though nothing has been said of its raw performance numbers, its developer kits allegedly sport the following specifications:

  • Four ARM Cortex-A57 cores, max 2GHz
  • Nvidia second-generation Maxwell architecture
  • 256 CUDA cores, max 1GHz, 1024 FLOPS/cycle
  • 4GB RAM (25.6 GB/s, VRAM shared)
  • 32 GB storage (Max transfer 400 MB/s)
  • USB 2.0 and  3.0
  • 1280 x 720 6.2-inch IPS LCD
  • 1080p at 60 fps or 4k at 30 fps max video output
  • Capacitance method, 10-point multi-touch

With Nintendo though, it's always been about the games. Which brings us to the next point.

The Nintendo Switch games will include a new Mario title and Skyrim too
Yes, you read right. While a new Mario game on a new Nintendo console was all but obvious, it was Skyrim that was the big surprise of Nintendo's three minute long reveal. Historically, Nintendo has never had the best relationship with third-party game publishers. However the presence of Bethesda's open-world role-playing game is a sign that we'll probably see a concerned effort to get other game companies on board, ensuring that Nintendo Switch owners won't just have Mario to play. This was further bolstered by a slew of companies including EA, Konami, Sega, Atlus, Codemasters, Capcom, and Ubisoft pledging support for the Nintendo Switch.

(Also see: The Elder Scrolls Travels: Oblivion PSP Impressions - Could Have Been Epic)

 

Nintendo Switch supports offline multiplayer
While Sony and Microsoft are more than happy to drop offline, multiplayer gaming, Nintendo appears to embrace it with the Nintendo Switch. The company claims it is possible for "numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition." A welcome effort considering how rare offline multiplayer tends to be for many a gamer.

Nintendo Switch price and release date
The Nintendo Switch is slated for a March 2017 release, but there's no word yet on a price tag for the device. It's unlikely to be available in India at launch.

What are your favourite features of the Nintendo NX? Let us know via the comments.

We discuss everything you need to know about Nintendo Switch and whether it’s likely to come to India on Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast. You can either subscribe to via iTunes or RSS or just hit the play button below.

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Rishi Alwani Rishi writes about video games and tech. Legend has it he bleeds pixels. More
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