Nintendo Switch Hardware and Developers Revealed

By Jorge Ba-oh 20.10.2016 47

Nintendo Switch Hardware and Developers Revealed on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

After months of speculation, Nintendo has finally revealed its new platform, a hybrid called Nintendo Switch.

A three minute lifestyle trailer highlights the hardware side of things, with various scenarios showcasing just what you're able to do with the new kit. Whether it's a late-night hunt in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or playing Mario Kart 8 with friends in a camper-van, the hybrid offers a range of both mobile and at-home possibilities.


Switch allows players to literally pick up their console and go, taking the experience with them on the move. To combat having to lug a CD wallet around, Nintendo is also shifting back to cartridges, ensuring a unified experience both at home and outside.
The Joy-Con controllers, which detach from the high-def display, can be used as two smaller controllers for multiplayer, or bound together into its own smaller unit for more traditional play. Also coming is the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, a standard peripheral that seems to revert to a more standard position of the analogue sticks.

Image for Nintendo Switch Hardware and Developers Revealed

Unlike the Wii U, it will be possible for folk to bring multiple Switch systems to duke it out in local play.

Interestingly there appears to be a version of Skyrim and NBA 2K running on the system, two franchises that have been absent from Nintendo systems in recent years, or never appearing, as in the case of The Elder Scrolls line.

The Japanese gaming giant is due to release the Nintendo Switch this March, alongside Breath of the Wild.

Confirmed developers include: 

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What are your thoughts on the Switch?

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but they will continue handhelds in parallel, since they say it's not a replacement for the 3DS.

Before we all get too worked up over whether Nintendo sees this as unifying its product lines, you have to remember that Nintendo has a history of doing this sort of thing. The DS was supposedly a "third pillar" not meant to replace the Gameboy. It's Nintendo's way of hedging their bets. The DS succeeded, so we never saw another Gameboy. If the Switch succeeds the same will likely happen again.

Nintendo is keenly aware of the value of putting all of their development power behind one system. They've already internally aligned their divisions to facilitate this, if I recall. But they are also aware that if the Switch doesn't work out, DS is their most bankable brand, just as Gameboy was back in the day. I fully expect most of Nintendo's efforts to be behind the Switch, but they're not going to come out and say "DS is dead" when there's a real possibility they might have to go back to it. 

Marz -
Thing is, I don't see why it matters whether it's classed as a home console or handheld, or which part of the system the technical stuff is built into (dock or tablet). I don't see why people should be worked up over it being a tablet/handheld that connects to the TV. You can treat it as a home console by simply never taking it out of the dock. Nothing changes in your gaming experience by playing it this way. And I think the excuse that it being a handheld first and foremost means Nintendo sacrifices power is a poor argument - I never expected this to be a beast, and nobody ever should with Nintendo. Power is never on the cards with Nintendo and hasn't been for the past two gens. I'm happy with what Nintendo's doing with this system, and just look forward to the games.

Trepe -
I agree with you on the d-pad thing (mentioned it further back). If they don't include the Pro controller in the box, that will annoy me, but I'll defo have to buy one if I want to play fighting games. They should make another type of Joy-Con purchasable - one that has a proper d-pad for the left side, because if I want to play fighting games portably, I ain't using the Pro controller and I ain't using those face button replacements for the d-pad. 2D games and fighting games I will only play with d-pad, not sticks, so it needs addressing.

Snowtwo said:
I know I didn't say anything here but... 
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Seriously, right down to how it would function with the snap-on devices. I'm a bit worried about durability and connectivity but, since this stuff will likely be made of Nintendium, it could probably take a bomb blast and still work. However controller size will be an issue in ensuring a good porable experience. Nice to see Skyrim will be supported on the new Wii U.

I sumit for evidence my controller design for the WiiU (made before anything about the WiiU was shown, but while there were rumors of screen on controller)

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It doesn't matter at all, but I was just pointing out, it is a handheld technically. All the guts are in the tablet and it even has mobile components. I'm not worked up at all about it and I think it's genuinely cool idea overall. There's a lot of things in the dark though, so I'm curious to know a lot more still and what games are planned for the launch period.

If and when I probably get one, I'd think I will be keeping it mostly docked and using that amazing looking Pro Controller. Literally looks perfect in terms of design.

Love the Pro controller design, but curious why Nintendo hasn't released official promo images for the controllers. I want to see the triggers and such. Need to try and make sure I don't end up having to use those joy-cons where possible, because even with my small baby hands, it looks like I'd cramp up to hell.

Haven't seen any high-res clear shots of the Pro Controller, but there's this one of the dock.

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Two smaller things (but still significant) about the promo that caught my eye were:

1, There were no children in the promo. That's pretty much unheard of for a Nintendo commercial. I would say that, that's probably as much to do with how high the price point will be, as much as it is trying them trying to appeal to adults again. I suspect it's not going to be a cheap product.

2, That base is way too thick to be just a stand. even if it has the power supply inside of it, that wouldn't make it as big as it is. I can't help suspecting that there is extra hardware inside of that base that gives it a little bit of a boost for the big screen. That approach would also give their description of it being a home console more legitimacy. 

Just my thoughts on it so far. What do you think?


I agree, the dock does look chunky to be just that. Perhaps handheld runs 720p and the dock can output 1080p. Will be very happy with that, mind. 720p handheld would be good enough for me. But does add some backing to their "this is a home console" claims, I agree.

It's probably more like running a laptop, when it's off of charge the computer throttles/underclocks itself to give better battery life, when it's on charge/plugged in, it can run at full speed with the fans doing the cooling, there are fans on top of the Switch. 

The dock also has 2 USB ports on the side and we haven't seen the back or the right side of it yet, the screen resolution of the switch tablet doesn't limit what resolution the games render at, we'll probably get Smash Bros. rendered at 1080p like the Wii U (and just be downsampled in portable mode), and we might get games changing their graphical settings depending on what mode the user is playing with (although that part is just my conjecture).

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Not seen this mentioned much yet, but one thing I want to mention too. Matte finish on the plasitc!

I'm so happy they went with that. I can't stand glossy plastic. It looks good for about a day, but then it scratches so easily and gets fingers prints all over it. A few days in and it already looks a mess. My Wii U is covered in surface scratches and I barely even touch it and the gampepad is a fingerprints magnet.

Yeah, gloss for consoles needs to die quickly. Matte also doesn't look cheap as shit.

I was surprised to see that Sony changed the 1.0 PS4s to matte finish on the left side when my bro got his recently. My day one edition has the left surface in gloss, but looks like they changed this not long later for future models. And clearly the Slim is all matte, too, so I hope this is going to be the norm going forward. Death to gloss!

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Azuardo said:
However, this concerns me:
And Nintendo themselves are not making it any better by saying this won't be the only system they develop for going forward, as in this is NOT an attempt from them to bridge both worlds, this is definitely just a home console that you can carry with you, but they will continue handhelds in parallel, since they say it's not a replacement for the 3DS. One of the very few good things I could see coming out of this was Nintendo finally being able to concentrate on one front of development but no, they're saying themselves that won't be the case.

I mean, shit, really? They are saying this?

They said so in a Q&A session at an investors meeting apparently. This was posted on Twitter by a Nintendo investor and relayed by another, but apparently the original tweet was deleted after it was picked up by certain news outlets :

They're apparently saying that a proper replacement for the 3DS will be coming eventually. But like J4K said up above, and I'm very much aware of this, it could be just their way of warning people that they could do another handheld further down the line if this new approach doesn't pan out, like they did with the DS not being their proper new handheld back in the day, which I prefectly well remember, yet a new GBA, even though I seem to remember they WERE working on one, never came out. I think an Iwata asks mentioned how they were working on a powerful handheld on the side, that didn't come to fruition, that would be more conventional.

But my problem with this is that they're not taking a strong enough stance on this. I also know that saying now "it's more a home console" could just be so that people who were planning on investing more on 3DS software and potentially on picking a NEW3DS if they hadn't already, this holiday season, don't feel prevented from doing so because the Switch is coming. But if they just flatout said this is where all our games are going to be from there onwards, I think the system would sell more, know what I mean? because there would be the promise of a much larger software output. But if they're not sure themselves what their stance should be, then people like me have reason to feel concerned. I would LOVE them to focus on this one platform going forward. But right now, this reveal brings up more questions than anything else, and they're, understandably so, saying that there won't be any new announcements on specs or upcoming titles before 2017 (because to get the best sales on Christmas and Black Friday in America, it's best to not give people the impression that they should wait for Switch and not buy anything on those occasions). I fear they're not driving a strong enough message of what the system truly is and what they're going for with this, to capture the audience, because as it is now, we're not really sure what we can expect from the system, are we?

( Edited 22.10.2016 23:29 by RudyC3 )

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Azuardo said:
Trepe -
I agree with you on the d-pad thing (mentioned it further back). If they don't include the Pro controller in the box, that will annoy me, but I'll defo have to buy one if I want to play fighting games. They should make another type of Joy-Con purchasable - one that has a proper d-pad for the left side, because if I want to play fighting games portably, I ain't using the Pro controller and I ain't using those face button replacements for the d-pad. 2D games and fighting games I will only play with d-pad, not sticks, so it needs addressing.

I got my Wii U Pro controller in the box with the system. I simply purchased a bundle that included it because I knew I'd want to play with it. I bet there will be such bundles for the Switch as well, there's no reason they should have done it for the Wii U and not here.

I think there has to be more joy con combinations coming. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they sold separately both parts, like if you JUST want a D-Pad, there's no reason you should have to change the right side where the buttons are, right? In fact you could mismatch different halves to suit your preferences. Me for example, I prefer the Wii U Pro and Gamepad configuration where both sticks are on top of the D-Pad and buttons, for third person and first person shooter, I find that to be the most comfortable setup. Not the mismatched GameCube/Xbox approach, and certainly not the Dual Shock approach either of having them anywhere but in the primary position where your thumb naturally comes to sit when you grab hold of the controller. I play Resident Evil Revelations rather competitively, and I can't imagine myself playing it any other way than how I'm playing it now.

Rumour reports sem to indicate backwards compatibility with wiimotes at the very least, so if that was the case, the Wii U Pro Controller should still be compatible in some way, I don't see why wiimotes would be but not the more recent controllers. But it's only rumours now so we'll see.

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Ah yeah, I remember when I first saw the controller and the joy-cons that this would be a way to customise controllers with different coloured joy-cons and such. So I'm sure we'll see joy-cons being sold separately, and perhaps ones with different buttons layouts for certain games - perhaps even different placements for the control sticks and my hoped-for plus-shape d-pad. Microsoft has been doing design-your-own controllers, which is such a cool idea, and with the faceplates of the 3DS Nintendo has been doing, I've no doubt we'll see lots of customisation for the Switch controllers.

As for the dilemma over another handheld, I guess right now it's not too much of an issue if the next Nintendo handheld is a few years away, but in my head, the Switch has the potential to be the home for all future Nintendo games, and I find that awesome. All these potential franchises that I hope will be coming out - F-Zero, Star Fox, 2D/3D Metroid - and I have the choice to play them either on the TV or on handheld. It's amazing. But if it were to end up that certain games only come out for the next handheld and not the Switch, it'd just annoy me. I want that option of now playing certain titles that were usually confined to handhelds (mostly 2D games) on the TV, and vice versa for 3D games.

But I wonder if Nintendo sees it as a problem if they only stick with the Switch and no more handhelds. I mean, most Nintendo fans that buy their home console more often than not buy the handheld too (e.g. I think 90% of Wii U owners own a 3DS, surely? just a guess, but sounds plausible). How much potential extra hardware, and therefore money, would they miss out on if only sticking with the Switch?

Still, I guess if they say for now they are only focusing on Switch, it's a sign to see how things go. If Switch fails, then they will want to get their handheld out.

The screen has 5 ports on top of it too, which is weird.
One might be for wired power....but the 4 others? <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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That's just venting holes (with possible mini fan).

The card slot, volume rocker, headphone socket and power on/off button are on the top of the tablet.

George Bason (guest) 23.10.2016#42

I've heard numerous sources sight a terrible/mediocre battery life of 3.5hrs. For a portable this is a joke, because it doesn't fulfill the primary console aim. It's size is already large, and they expect gamers to carry a battery pack as well?

Then there's the raw power, which is said to date from 2014 and is Maxwell based. I doubt that will get very far with impressing gamers already using Pascal. A Pascal based George 1050 costs 130 pounds and features top of the range features at low cost. I think more people will buy that, than a weak console trying to get away with it by pretending to be portable for 3.5hrs.

George Bason (guest) 23.10.2016#43

@Marzy Do You mean they've put the vent holes on top of the device?

I wonder how long a Nintendo Switch
Will last, even in a slight downpour...

Yeah, on the tablet. It has venting holes at the top edge of it, when in horizontal position. Heat rises so it makes sense to put them there.

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Darkflame said:
The screen has 5 ports on top of it too, which is weird.
One might be for wired power....but the 4 others? 

That's just an air vent.

Power jack is on the bottom. Game card slot, headphone jack, and power/volume controls are on top.

EDIT: Oops, didn't see Marzy already answered this. But here's some close up pictures of what's on top.

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( Edited 23.10.2016 18:13 by Sonic_13 )

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It could be that either there's an additional processing system to help out in the dock (that's been rumoured but like everything it might not be true at all), or when docked the system gets overclocked (a more plausible scenario since it's a common feature on Tegra chips, even my 2014 Tegra-based phone has that), or any mixture of both who knows? And then that would be when the fan kicks in, cause I imagine the fan won't be running while in portable mode, that would be a first and draining on battery even more.

I will say this though: No Tegra so far that I know of has ever required an active cooling system. So there's perhaps a hint that it's not your run out of the mill Tegra already released before, but perhaps something more beefy. Because if it was something already out for some time, then we'd have seen a Tegra already out there requiring a fan cooling it, but as far as I know, that has not happened yet.

EDIT: Forget I said anything, apparently boards with a Tegra on it have come with fans before, namely the Jetson TK1.

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( Edited 24.10.2016 00:18 by RudyC3 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

The fact that Epic games have said they'll help with porting unreal engine games, NVIDIA built new APIs' to harness the Tegra processor, the potential of cartridge games (could have storage up to 128Gb (about double an original bluray disc), releasing with the new Zelda, portable Skyrim, more potential Nintendo announcements before launch and a whole host of interested 3rd party developers... things are looking good for the console so far. I am very interested to see what Nintendo say come 2017.

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