So long, Nintendo NX. The codename for Nintendo's next piece of gaming hardware has been cast aside and replaced with the console's true moniker: Nintendo Switch.
It's an apt appellation, as you'll see when you read on - because this is a machine that is truly different to every other console out there. Here's what we know about it so far.
What we know
As previously rumoured, the Switch is a hybrid console that can be used either with your living room TV or handheld. The console’s tablet-like core can be docked in a TV-connected hub station, where it’ll charge as well as feed video to your screen – but when you attach the Joy-Con controllers to the core and remove it from the hub, it becomes a fully-fledged handheld console. The tablet-like core has a kickstand too, so you can prop it up on a tabletop and play with wireless controllers.
All games will be playable in either mode, so you won’t have to choose between a full-fat home version and a watered-down mobile version – the only difference will be in the size of the screen, and the fact that the handheld version will obviously run on a battery that will, eventually, run out. You don’t even have to reload your game to continue playing when you make the switch, you simply pick up exactly where you left off. Since the launch of the Wii, Nintendo has been keen to stand out from its console rivals – and making the Switch a 2-for-1 deal certainly does that.
The Switch’s Joy-Con controller modules are multitalented. They can work in a multitude of ways: as a tradition gamepad, with one linked to each side of a central unit; as on-board controllers for the handheld guise of the Switch, with one connected to each side; or as wireless controllers for the handheld Switch, to be used one in each hand. Additionally, you can play two-player split-screen games with a single Switch and a single Joy-Con pair, by giving one half of it to a mate.