We are finally privy to all the details, price and release date of the Nintendo Switch. And we have also finally got our hands on it and it's good, it's very good.

There are some caveats, but it looks like Nintendo could relegate the horrific failure of the Wii U to the past.

Driven by a modified version of the Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, we thought we'd be faced with a tablet masquerading as a games console, but this is the power of Nintendo at its best. Yes, the tablet unit drops to 720p when undocked, in handheld mode. And yes, it has the basic feel and style of a tablet, but it's so much more than that.

The Joy-Cons make an enormous difference for starters.

We got to play several games on the new console at the dedicated Nintendo Switch Presentation event in London and used all the different control methods at our disposal.

Starting with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we played with the Switch docked and using the new Pro Controller. It is smaller than an Xbox One equivalent, but feels well built and perfectly suited for comfort.

Bar the weird button layout of the game itself, which'll take some getting used to thanks to being fairly alien to Xbox and PlayStation fans, the controller is responsive and logical. We suspect many games will be played this way.

As for the game, we played the identical demo to the one shown at E3 last June, albeit on the Switch rather than the Wii U. It would have been nice to have seen both versions side-by-side but we swear that draw distances are better and the game seemed a little smoother this time around.

We've since found out that it runs at 900p and in 30fps on Switch in TV mode, which isn't great but on a par with many early Xbox One titles. The Wii U version is 720p, so there's definitely a bump.

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Playing Arms was an entirely different experience as we did so with the Joy-Cons only. It's a fighting game where you box with a Joy-Con in each hand and is the closest thing to a Wii game we've played for a while.

To be honest, our demo was too brief to get a genuine feel for the game - save for a confusing battle with someone who'd played it far more often than us - but it did show us that the small, clip controllers are incredibly versatile and well built.

We prefer the neon blue and red Joy-Cons over their grey equivalents, not least because they help distinguish different players in local co-op or battles, but you can order either/or.

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Our last gameplay session for now was on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a special version of the superb Wii U title optimised and remastered for Switch.

Not only did this give us a great idea of how one of our favourite games of all time is shaping up for the new console - superbly, as you can imagine - but we also got to play it on the undocked Switch screen with the Joy-Cons attached.

We were told it was running in 720p at 60fps on the device - the max for the undocked unit - and it's super smooth. Indeed, we've never seen a native tablet game running as well.

Now for the caveats.

We cannot ignore the price. Before the launch, rumours placed the Nintendo Switch at £200 but it will, in fact, retail for £280 from 3 March - with no game included. Games will range from £40 to £60. And should you fancy a Pro Controller, that's a whopping £65 extra. A replacement or additional pair of Joy-Cons are £75. Wowsers.

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That might not seem like much to a generation au fait with blowing £600 on a smartphone every couple of years, but it represents a hell of a lay-out for parents who are seeking the family experience of the old Wii.

Another issue is the memory storage capacity. It ships with just 32GB of internal storage and although games come on cartridge rather than disk, you'll still be able to download some from the Nintendo Store and that space will fill up very quickly. There is a memory card slot, which will expand the internal memory, much like the SD card slot on the Wii U, but that is yet another external purchase that is required.

Lastly, and importantly, many of the big triple-A games aren't currently listed as launch titles. Zelda will be, but much of day one will be reliant on third party games. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a heavily tweaked version of the Wii U classic, but it's still just a remaster. And Splatoon 2, from what we've played so far, will appeal greatly to fans, but is strikingly similar to before too.

First Impressions

The caveats cannot be ignored, but as much as they rankle they don't quite take the gloss of what could be Nintendo's most significant console in the last decade. It certainly needs to be.

We went to the London event with some trepidation, but the Nintendo Switch exceeded our expectations. It's not just a supercharged tablet, it's something quite different.

It feels like the company has taken the best bits of the Wii U, the even better bits of the original Wii, and added portability to the mix. This is not an Xbox One or PS4 rival, it's different and could become every hardcore gamer's second console. It could also bring back the market that made the Wii so successful: families. The motion gaming aspects of the Joy-Cons will certainly be an allure in that respect.

If only it were cheaper.

Nonetheless, while we need more time with the Switch to get a firm grip on its potential, we came away from the hands-on event feeling more positive about Nintendo's future than when we arrived.

There are several signs in the Switch that the king could return. And Nintendo could very well be back in the game.