Nintendo on Thursday officially unveiled its new gaming system Nintendo Switches
After months of speculation and buildup, Nintendo on Thursday officially unveiled its new gaming system, the Nintendo Switches. Previously known only by the codename “NX,” rumors about this latest video game console began last year with a hint from Satoru Iwata, the company’s late president.
At the time Iwata suggested only that Nintendo was working on a new video game system, and few details have leaked since then.
The Switch is Nintendo’s first home gaming system since it launched the Wii U in 2012. That system is widely regarded as a disappointment — Nintendo has sold just under 62 million units worldwide. That compares to the sale of more than 101 million units of its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii, since its release in 2006.
The Switch is not Nintendo’s first comeback effort, however. Wii sales were nearly five times greater than the number of Nintendo GameCube units sold since its release in 2001.
This time around the video game publisher/developer community already has thrown early support behind the new system. Nintendo has announced more than 40 third-party partners for the Switch, including notable publishers such as Activision, Bandai Namco, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive Software and Ubisoft.
The system is scheduled for a March release, but pricing has not been released.
The Nintendo Switch could sell 2.85 million units globally in 2017 if launched by the end of March, IHS has forecast.
Mobile gaming is a key feature for the Nintendo Switch, which isn’t surprising, given that Pokémon Go was such a big hit this summer. Nintendo has reaped only a small portion of the rewards, however, due to the fact that it is a minority owner of The Pokémon Company and its properties.
Still, its success could represent writing on the wall in regard to the power of mobile gaming.
The Switch mobile gaming system actually rests in the Nintendo Switch Dock, which connects the unit to a TV for traditional living room-based gaming. When lifted from the dock, the Switch can transition to portable mode, allowing the user to enjoy all the same games on the tablet-like device.
The Switch features a bright high-definition display and unique Joy-Con controllers that split in half for placement on each side of the Switch. Two players can utilize the Switch Pro Controllers for traditional multiplayer gameplay on either the Switch’s display or on a TV. Multiple Switch consoles can be linked together for local multiplayer competition.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America.
“It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries,” he added.