Has the next generation gaming console finally arrived? Nintendo sure hopes so. On Thursday, the Japanese gaming giant finally unveiled what up to now went by the code name The NX. We now know that the new console will actually be called the Nintendo Switch, named after its ability to switch from a fixed device to a portable device in one fell swoop.
As if we don’t already spend enough time in front of a screen, Nintendo hopes its new hybrid console will persuade gamers to play Nintendo games no matter where they are, an ambitious proposition carefully laid out in a three-minute trailer accompanying Thursday’s announcement.
In it, we get our first look at how this thing actually works. Basically, players can use it as a standard console by keeping it in a docking station connected to the TV. Or they can us it as a portable device by removing it from the dock and attaching controllers (or "Joy-Cons") to both sides. It also has multi-player capabilities, which, much like its predecessor the Wii, makes it ideal for parties.
"Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like," said Nintendo of America's president and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime,. "It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries."
As of now there are six games compatible with Nintendo Switch, which, in a throwback to Nintendo 64, will be available as miniature cards or cartridges, as opposed to the discs that have become ubiquitous in the current gaming landscape. Chief among those titles are Nintendo stalwarts like Mario, Mario Kart, and The Legend of Zelda, whose latest installment, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, understandably gets the most screen time in the trailer.
The Nintendo Switch is expected to hit shelves in March 2017.