The new Nintendo console that was until now simply known as the “NX” has received a proper name: Nintendo Switch.
The newest platform in the Nintendo family, which was first discussed in March 2015, is set to reach stores in March 2017, two years after its initial reveal.
With titles set to be released alongside the Nintendo Switch that feature additions to flagship Nintendo game series such as Super Smash Bros. and the Legend of Zelda, the company has obviously invested a lot of faith in their newest addition to their console lineup.
The Wii U, which was released in 2012, featured an innovative piece of technology in the handheld GamePad provided to offer a dual-screen experience reminiscent of the company’s early DS and 3DS systems. However, the console was met with mixed reviews and rocky sales, which actually led to withdrawal of support from several major third-party studios, including both Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, in 2013.
In what appears to be a renewed faith in the portable gaming market Nintendo has cornered for years, the Switch can do something it’s console predecessors could not: both.
The Nintendo Switch will be the first attempt by Nintendo at a hybrid between mobile gaming and a more classic home experience. The company hopes to pull this off with the introduction of new controllers.
The concept of the additional touch screen employed by the GamePad for the Wii U will not be abandoned, but rather upgraded into a mobile device, with the touch of the Nintendo Switch to its Nintendo Switch Dock.
The Nintendo Switch will feature two detachable controllers on either side of the screen, dubbed Joy-Con controllers. These Joy-Con controllers can be used in single-player mode while attached to the Nintendo Switch, or detached to provide a multiplayer experience.
While the Joy-Con controllers may slightly resemble the old Wii controllers, they are not the only option for the Nintendo Switch. For players that prefer a different experience, the Nintendo Switch can be accompanied by the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which at first glance resembles the existing Wii U Pro Controller. Upon closer inspection, however, there are several differences, including a throwback to an even earlier Nintendo system. The new Pro Controller has shifted one of the analog sticks to the bottom right, where the “C” stick once sat on the 2001 GameCube controller.
With this small nod to its past, Nintendo continues to aim toward the future. In a press statement issued by the company regarding the release, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime offered a new hope for the creative edge that helped Nintendo grow from a small business into one of the pioneers of modern video games.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Fils-Aime. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”