After more than a year of speculation we finally know what Nintendo's next console will be.
Formerly known as the Nintendo NX, the new machine has been officially named the Nintendo Switch. And it looks brilliant.
A preview trailer has shown the device itself, with its clever handheld and home console properties. However, there are still plenty of details to be revealed.
That's why we've put together all the speculation we've heard about it in the past, as well as the new information that has come to light. Here's everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.
What is Nintendo Switch?
The late Satoru Iwata first revealed his company was working on a new games console in March 2015. Codenamed Nintendo NX (but reported as "Project NX" originally), the new console was said to be "a brand-new concept".
"As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename 'NX'. It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year," Iwata said.
The machine he was referring to is the Nintendo Switch, revealed on Thursday 20 October 2016, although sadly, he passed away in summer of 2015, so would not get to deliver that news himself.
When is the Nintendo Switch release date?
Nintendo finally unveiled the Switch in its preview trailer (above), but it is still expected to formerly announce the new console in a dedicated Nintendo Direct online broadcast "prior to the March launch".
At that time, Nintendo says, it will reveal "full game demonstrations, the list of launch window titles, as well as launch date, product configuration and related specifics".
At least it has confirmed that an in-store date of March 2017 is still on the cards.
How much will Nintendo Switch cost?
Considering how different it is to anything else out there it is impossible to know how much the Nintendo Switch is likely to cost. But there is an indication that it could be pricey.
Previous Nintendo consoles have followed natural pricing progressions over the years. The Nintendo Wii U, for example, cost $300 when first released in the US. The Wii cost $250, the GameCube $200, as did the N64, SNES and NES.
However, while Nintendo has always aimed to be more family friendly than rivals with its games machines, CEO Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that the company will not be making the latest machine at a loss. It has been the case in the past that a console could cost more to make than it can recoup, with software sales making up the shortfall.
This will not be the case with Switch, meaning it is likely to be the most expensive Nintendo machine yet. After all, it requires a high-grade screen, clip on controllers and a HDMI-enabled base station.
We feel therefore that Nintendo will price its next, make-or-break console at around the $400-$500 mark.
What will the Nintendo Switch look like?
Nintendo's preview trailer pretty much revealed all, including the fact that the Nintendo Switch will use cartridges, like its classic consoles and the Nintendo DS series.
It is essentially made of one base unit with a "high definition" screen that can then be added to. Two controllers - called Joy-Cons - clip either side when portable, giving a Wii U GamePad-style experience. They then come off when the console is slotted into its docking station.
You can then clip the Joy-Con controllers to a separate accessory to make a fully-fledged gamepad.
What's more, each of the Joy-Cons can be used as a basic but full controller individually, allowing for two-player games when out and about. The Switch tablet unit has a kickstand so it can remain upright, like a portable TV.
What are the Nintendo Switch specifications?
We've seen what it looks like but we will have to wait to find out the Switch's actual capabilities.
An official survey, commissioned by Nintendo at the start of 2016, originally suggested that games will run at 900p and in 60 frames per second, while it will also be capable of 4K Ultra HD video streaming.
But surveys can often throw misinformation at the person partaking in order to gauge reaction to possible rather than definitive features.
The 4K part has been repeated elsewhere though, with some thinking that it goes beyond video streaming and the console might even upscale games footage to 4K when plugged into the dock. Even in that case, games will still run in 1080p at best, however.
Other rumoured spec (as reported by Nintendo Insider) include an AMD GPU and "between 6GB and 8GB of RAM". However, these come from Reddit user untypedhero, who claims to be a Nintendo employee or close to the company. Reddit has apparently verified his validity, but there is still come doubt as to his credentials, so take it with a pinch of salt.
What software will the Nintendo Switch software be like?
An interesting rumour that emerged in the middle of last year is that the Nintendo Switch operating system will be based on Android.
This was based on the fact that the company is working with mobile gaming platform company DeNA on its mobile applications, which started recently with Miitomo.
To be honest, we've not heard much recently to back up the claim, so it might be a rumour that has faded since. Although, considering it's turned out to be more tablet than anything else, it does still make sense.
What games will be available for Nintendo Switch?
It has been confirmed that alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Wii U, which has now been put back to 2017, an enhanced version will also be available for Nintendo NX from launch day.
Nintendo hasn't officially revealed what other games will be released for sure, but several did appear in the preview trailer, including Splatoon, an enhanced version of Mario Kart 8, a Mario platformer that looks like (and could be) Super Mario 3D World, a Switch version of Skyrim, and NBA 2K17.
But while many of the launch games are still unknown, a full list of developers, publishers and other software partners has been revealed. You can see them all below:
- 505 Games
- Activision Publishing, Inc.
- ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co.,Ltd.
- ATLUS CO.,LTD.
- Audiokinetic Inc.
- Autodesk, Inc
- BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
- CAPCOM CO., LTD.
- CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.
- DeNA Co., Ltd.
- Electronic Arts
- Epic Games Inc.
- Firelight Technologies
- FromSoftware, Inc.
- GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC．
- HAMSTER Corporation
- INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
- KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
- Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
- LEVEL-5 Inc.
- Marvelous Inc.
- Maximum Games, LLC
- Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
- Parity Bit Inc.
- PlatinumGames Inc.
- RAD Game Tools, Inc.
- RecoChoku Co.,Ltd.
- SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
- Silicon Studio Corporation
- Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
- SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
- Starbreeze Studios
- Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
- Telltale Games
- THQ Nordic
- Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
- TT Games
- Ubitus Inc.
- Unity Technologies, Inc.
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Web Technology Corp.