Nintendo Switch (2017)

Nintendo Switch

March 3rd, 2017 Worldwide.

Price: $299 (US)

The Nintendo Switch, formally known only as the NX, is the successor to the Wii U. It is a hybrid console, which allows it to be played at home on the TV as well as on the go. A dock is used while playing on the TV, it has video output and USB ports, and also charges the system. But it also clocks the hardware up to allow for higher resolution output.

The system itself has a 720p multi-touch capacitive screen, which is of much higher quality than screens previous used on the 3DS and other Nintendo portables. The battery in the system is the more powerful battery ever used in a portable gaming device. It will last between 3 to up to over 6 hours depending on screen brightness and the game you’re playing.

The Switch is launching in two versions, grey and neon red and blue.

The Joy-Con controllers have to be felt to be believed, they use a new technology Nintendo is calling “HD Rumble.”  HD Rumble is much more advanced than normal rumble tech, it can simulate the feel of things like marbles or ice cubes.  In the Switch version of Dragon Quest Heroes I+II, when you slash at a Slime you’ll get a “jelly” like feeling in the Joy-Cons. Another example from that game, is when you attack a group of enemies you’ll be able to tell if a Metal Slime in hidden in the group. Those are just a few examples, but everyone that has used them will say the same thing.

They’re awesome.

The right Joy-Con also has built-in IR functionality, much like the Wiimote. This can be used for Wii-like controls, or since the system has a touchscreen it could also emulate that while in TV mode.

The Joy-Con Grip in an accessory that lets you attach the Joy-Cons to either side, and use it as a standard controller. You could also use them freely in each hand like a Wiimote and nunchuck, but with an analog stick and shoulder buttons on each controller. The Joy-Cons can last for 20 hours on a single charge. There is also a Pro Controller like the Wii U had, it has the same HD Rumble tech and gyros as the Joy-Cons. The Pro Controller also has 40 hour battery life, compared to the Dual Shock 4’s 10 hour battery life.

The Joy-Cons themselves can each also be used as a controller. Though they are pretty small, hands-on impressions suggest they’re still pretty comfortable.