Nintendo confirmed Thursday it will launch its Switch video game console worldwide on March 3. The console, which is a combination of a home and portable device, will cost $299.99 in the U.S. Players attach the tablet-like device to a dock to play at home on a television with standard video game controllers. Players can also remove the tablet, with a 6.2-inch screen, using a pair of "Joy-con" controllers on each side to play games while away from home. "Nintendo Switch is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes," said Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima in a statement. The Switch will have three game modes: A TV Mode where users plug Switch into the TV via docking station and play with a standard controller; a Tabletop Mode where the Switch sits up with a kickstand, and players hold both "Joy-con" controllers separately; and Handheld Mode, where players attach the Joy-con controllers to each side and play games on the go.
Nintendo on Thursday unveiled the new console it plans to launch next year: the Switch. Previously referred to as the NX, the Switch is a radical new design that can be used for both at-home and mobile gameplay. Here's a closer look at everything we know about the Switch so far. The Nintendo Switch is a new console that can be used to play games on your television at home and on-the-go. Nintendo's introductory video shows the Switch being used in a living room on a TV and in a park as a handheld console.
There's a certain magic in the air ahead of a console launch. Unlike with phones and other gadgets, we don't see new game systems very often, so each new release feels momentous. That's particularly true for Nintendo, a company that's been striving to differentiate itself from its rivals. While Sony and Microsoft are pushing their consoles to be more like gaming PCs, Nintendo has focused on creating unique experiences that you can only get by buying one of its systems. The Switch has a lot riding on it.
Nintendo remains a puzzling phenomenon for a lot of modern gamers. The company never makes powerful consoles, or cool consoles; it never pushes the processing envelope, and it always seems a little eccentric when it comes to online infrastructure. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, it isn't trying to make gaming PCs designed to resemble dedicated games machines – it just makes games machines. The Switch is the latest evolution of an idea Nintendo has been playing with since the arrival of the Wii in 2006 – a console for everyone, with an interesting, accessible and flexible interface. The console itself is basically a tablet, and completely portable, but plug it into the stand and the action immediately appears on your TV.
Nintendo has something to prove. After the Wii U flamed out spectacularly, the company needed to do something truly different to stay afloat in the console world. Its answer is the Switch, a new hybrid portable/home gaming system that's unlike anything we've seen before. While Microsoft and Sony are simply trying to shove in faster hardware to support 4K and HDR, Nintendo is going back to its roots with a device that evokes memories of spending carefree afternoons with your Gameboy, or going head-to-head with your friends in Mario Kart on the SNES. The Switch is a reminder that Nintendo innovates best after it fails; when its back is against the wall and it's not just reacting to pressure from the competition.