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Nintendo NX Revealed as the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo's portable and home console hybrid is real and powered by Nvidia.

News by Mike Williams, .

Today, Nintendo finally revealed the Nintendo NX to the world under its new moniker: The Nintendo Switch. The system is, as rumor suggested a portable and home console hybrid, allowing Nintendo to focus its considerable expertise with both sides of the divide on a single console.

Over the course of the three minute video, Nintendo showed off a system that lined up perfectly with the rumors. The console is a portable that slides into a dock when you're at home.

The controllers on either side of the system - called JoyCon R and L - are detachable, attaching to a controller shell for playing at home, or even splitting for multiplayer when you're out and about. Being able to move between home play, portable mode, and multiplayer seems to be the primary point of the Switch; take your home console gaming with you. Later in the video there was also a Pro controller for the new console.

The games - card-based according to the trailer - shown were existing titles, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a version of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, or enhanced ports or sequels, like Mario Kart and Splatoon. The exception is the all-new Mario title.

In a seperate announcement, Nvidia confirmed that the Nintendo Switch is powered by Tegra technology.

"Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards," said Nvidia in the announcement.

"We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency," the company added.

It's worth noting that the a big problem with previous Tegra-powered devices is the battery life. The Nvidia Shield Tablet K1, which the switch vaguely takes after, had a 6-7 hour battery life. Hopefully, Nvidia and Nintendo have worked to improve that.

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Comments 56

  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #1 Mega_Matt 11 months ago
    Looks pretty awesome to me. I can't wait to find out more.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #2 mobichan 11 months ago
    As a developer, I am super excited to hear about their distribution scheme for indies. As a player, I am excited that there appears to be no motion control or "gimmicks" with this system. Just a (hopefully) simple portable system with tv connectivity. It isn't super convenient in portable mode the way the last few portables were, but as I get older, my eyes prefer a larger screen anyway.

    Here's hoping there is real 3rd party support. Not just a couple launch offerings or "safe" ports from other platforms.
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  • Avatar for sevenpains #3 sevenpains 11 months ago
    Looking at the JP website gallery and partners page we can see some interesting things like From Software in the partner page and better pics of the various controllers that you can use to control the games with.
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  • Avatar for orient #4 orient 11 months ago
    This is all I ever wanted.
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  • Avatar for camchow #5 camchow 11 months ago
    Glad the rumors were true. Looking forward to console like versions of Fire Emblem, Monster Hunter, Pokemon etc.
    Sad about analog stick placement on the pro controller. I prefer the Playstation / Wii Classic Controller set up to the Xbox one.
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  • Avatar for QuietDroid #6 QuietDroid 11 months ago
    I skipped the Wii and WiiU (but love my 3DS) and I am all in on this!
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  • Avatar for The-Fool #7 The-Fool 11 months ago
    I'm not sure whether expanded ports of MK and Splatoon, or new games.

    King Boo was in the trailer, and you could hold 2 items (neither of which in MK8).

    There was also a new map in Splatoon, plus hairstyles for Inklings.
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  • Avatar for ojinnvoltz #8 ojinnvoltz 11 months ago
    Gross. But if I can play Wii U games via the eShop, I'm in. Skipped the Wii U but I want that Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2. And whatever else Platinum might make for the Switch.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #9 cldmstrsn 11 months ago
    If they come out with this at 299 its definitely going to be a day one buy for me. I can already see the tag lines. " Are you going to switch to switch bitch?"Edited 2 times. Last edited October 2016 by cldmstrsn
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #10 SatelliteOfLove 11 months ago
    MAKE THE SWITCH...TO THE SWITCH

    That'll be $100k, Mr. Kimishima
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  • Avatar for barneybarnes24 #11 barneybarnes24 11 months ago
    I hate to be nitpicky, but that isn't mario kart 8
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  • Avatar for Ralek #12 Ralek 11 months ago
    I have a Shield K1 tablet and as a gaming device it has a lot of potential for sure, but right now, it's not worth it, because of the severe pitfalls like heat development, battery life and most of all software support. IF you are ok with playing glorified mobile games as well as the occasional port of a old game like MGS Revengeance or Doom 3 (2004), then a Nv Shield is right for you. If you want to play more substantial games, more modern games and have a broader selection in general, then the Nv Shield does nothing for you.

    The success of this hinges completely on the question whether 3rd parties will now embrace ARM/Tegra or if they won't ... and right now I don't see much that would make me believe that they will.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #13 cldmstrsn 11 months ago
    @Ralek Well we dont know yet what the specs are but it could very well be an x86 processor in there instead of an ARM. Im very intertested to see when they release the specs.
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  • Avatar for Soapfish #14 Soapfish 11 months ago
    @camchow I suppose it can't please everyone. I personally love the Xbox placement. I have a CronusMax just so I can use my Xbox controller on my PS4, but I understand the struggle.Edited October 2016 by Soapfish
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  • Avatar for secularsage #15 secularsage 11 months ago
    I'm cautiously optimistic. While I actually enjoy my Wii U and 3DS a lot more today than I did when I first got them, it's still really difficult to get overly excited about Nintendo technology when Nintendo refuses to offer a halfway decent user interface and doesn't traditionally offer much in the way of internal storage.

    I'm also suspicious that the Nintendo Switch's graphics aren't going to be that much better than what the Wii U already provides given the reliance on a Tegra chipset (which is known for producing a lot of heat and which isn't very friendly on batteries). That tablet screen also looks really small - smaller than the 12" Surface screen I'm typing this on, and probably more like an iPad's screen. The included stand also doesn't look very stable, and anyone who's ever owned a Surface will tell you that even its stand (which is very well-designed) only works well on very flat surfaces.

    There's also the question of backwards compatability. Are the Joy-Navs motion controllers? Does the system support Wiimotes in any way? If not, a good chunk of the previous Nintendo library from 2006-2016 won't work on the Switch - even platform games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii have a shake mechanic.

    There are also more practical questions, like "How does the Switch navigate going between WiFi networks?" and "What happens if you start online, move to a place without Wi-Fi, and try to continue your game?" The 3DS and the Vita have both shown that this doesn't work so well in execution, and what winds up happening is that you're either fiddling with Wi-Fi or sighing and putting your device in airplane mode.

    All of this isn't a deal-breaker, but the reality is, this thing's going to need specialized software, which means it's going to receive fewer ports from other systems and have the same huge reliance on Nintendo and its development partners, many of whom aren't going to be excited to stop developing cheaper handheld games for the 3DS to try to focus on more expensive titles for the Switch.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #16 MHWilliams 11 months ago
    @barneybarnes24 The only addition seems to be King Boo? That's not an all-new Mario Kart game.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #17 Kuni-Nino 11 months ago
    Looks dumb as hell. I'm buying it anyway.
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  • Avatar for swamped #18 swamped 11 months ago
    I don't have a lot to say about this because, as suspected, it's basically exactly what the rumors stated. But here are my takes:

    1. I'm a tiny-handed woman for whom a 3DS XL is marginally too wide and heavy but I'll be shocked if ham-fisted Americans everywhere aren't already complaining about the baby controllers even though they look to be optional.

    2. Why are people in technology commercials always ignoring their dogs in favor of technology? Not pictured: the women and children screaming as an unattended 200lb dog chases them across the park. But they're also always extreme extroverts who do things like talk to strangers in coffee shops. "You have a Nintendo Switch too?? Let's compare... Ugh hold on, oh my god, I have to take my fucking dog out AGAIN. UGHGGGHHHH. I HATE MY OWN DOG BUT LOVE STRANGERS."

    3. Definitely envisioned that portable screen sliding off the tray table during turbulence, landing in an unreachable crevice between seats, and being totally inaccessible for the duration of that poor man's 14 hour trans-Pacific flight. (May be based on personal stylus experience.)

    4. LOL at the idea of people playing on those baby screens in a tournament setting. LMAO.

    5. SPLATOON.
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  • Avatar for Damman #19 Damman 11 months ago
    I'm curious what those game carts are. Some kind of proprietary flash memory cards?
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  • Avatar for Soapfish #20 Soapfish 11 months ago
    @swamped Yeah, few people are going to use those baby controllers. Just including a pro controller for home use without the sliding mini joy cons would be better in my opinion. Nintendo seems to want to push that social interaction of passing off controllers seen in the video, but I don't seem that happening outside of Nintendo PR.
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #21 chaoticBeat 11 months ago
    Looks sexy. Port of Tokyo Mirage Sessions please!
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  • Avatar for -jayban2 #22 -jayban2 11 months ago
    Maybe I'm in the minority but I'm sad its such a seemingly traditional device, in terms of how you interact with it. Unless there's things they're yet to announce. Graphically improved versions of the same old stuff isn't of much interest to me anymore.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #23 cldmstrsn 11 months ago
    @Damman ya its probably like 3DS carts but way more storage. possibly 16 GB cards with a micro SD slot or something like that.
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  • Avatar for sevenpains #24 sevenpains 11 months ago
    Thats a new splatoon game i feel like btw the models aren't like anything in the wii u splatoon
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  • Avatar for reccos #25 reccos 11 months ago
    Is this the first time the packed in controller doesn't have a traditional "nintendo" d-pad? Not a deal breaker since Pro Controller most likely does... just wondering if I'm missing something
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  • Avatar for manny_c44 #26 manny_c44 11 months ago
    I'm sold. I've been portable-only Nintendo since gamecube so for me this is perfect.
    @-jayban2 I bet a game developer could easily do a pack-in of whatever controller they want on the side, like a cost effective steel battalion. Which is pretty cool I think.Edited October 2016 by manny_c44
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  • Avatar for Soapfish #27 Soapfish 11 months ago
    @MHWilliams Not just King Boo, but a different UI with two item slots. What makes it not a new Mario Kart? Other outlets like IGN are reporting it as such.
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  • Avatar for camchow #28 camchow 11 months ago
    @Soapfish huh, I didn't even know CronusMax was a thing. That's awesome, thanks for the info! Will keep this in mind for the future.
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  • Avatar for Soapfish #29 Soapfish 11 months ago
    @reccos Yeah, the Pro controller has the traditional d-pad. Looks like you can dock with the side controllers attached too.
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  • Avatar for petercacic #30 petercacic 11 months ago
    lol another dud for true gamers, Nintendo cares more for making weird junk then what gamers want . this fine if you like this but 80% of gamers i know dont care for handhelds and also its another under powered and big time weak system thats hoping a gimmick will sell it . it will be like all of them it will sell out , out of the gate like all tech does and then be done the only thing that can save them is games and i mean real games not this BS lists we hear i still have lists from Nintendo of 40 plus big games that never were made for the wii u so who cares what they say
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  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #31 Modern-Clix 11 months ago
    @mobichan How are those gimmicks? They are gameplace enhancements that provide even more options. Gyro and motion controlling, if used right, are fantastic.

    For example, Metroid Prime 3 for the Wii, and for the Wii U, Splatoon. Gyro controls for Splatoon were precise and the better way to play.

    I really hope we still have gyro controls.
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  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #32 KaiserWarrior 11 months ago
    I like the idea of it. Bridging the gap between Nintendo's console and its handheld makes things a lot more convenient all around, and they thought ahead to provide a variety of controller options just at the base -- pro controller, Joycons on the Switch unit, JoyCon Grip, the Joycons sans grip, splitting Joycons into mini-controllers for multiplayer... it's a pretty smart and scalable solution that lets you use your preference of control setup.

    Especially with it using Tegra, which almost implies ARM, I don't expect it to get a lot of support outside of Nintendo first- and second-party.... but then, that's par for the course with everything since the N64 that wasn't the Wii, so whatever. I don't buy Nintendo systems for third-party stuff.

    My primary concern lies in the aforementioned battery life issues, and particularly in backwards compatibility.

    BC is important to me. BC that involves re-buying digital versions of games I already own on disc doesn't count. I can see how the base unit and TV dock could be used to do WiiU games when you're at home, though they don't ever show it outputting to TV without being in the dock. No info on whether it will support WiiMotes for Wii BC. As a person that plays a lot of video games and doesn't just throw my old systems and games in the trash when new systems come out, reducing the clutter under and around my entertainment center matters. It probably won't be a deal-breaker, but it will definitely be a point of disappointment and frustration if they haven't planned that sort of thing out.

    Then again, it's not like Microsoft or Sony are doing any better of a job. C'est la vie.
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  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #33 Modern-Clix 11 months ago
    @petercacic This is probably the most ludicrous response I have seen here. Please tell, what is a true gamer? Because I am one, but if you want to go by anecdotal evidence with the people that you personally know...

    How about the fact that handheld gaming is still a reality if you just look at the 3DS lifetime sales. Sure, not anything close to DS sales, but lets be real, nothing ever was.
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  • Avatar for sloth-machine #34 sloth-machine 11 months ago
    Love the visual style of the device. Nintendo finally moved on from making their consoles look like Apple's tech.
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  • Avatar for jxnholt #35 jxnholt 11 months ago
    It's pretty much exactly what it was speculated to be. And I am fine with that.
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  • Avatar for Patrick-C #36 Patrick-C 11 months ago
    This looks very cool, and even if you don't personally care about handheld gaming, just the idea of Nintendo consolidating all its efforts on one platform should be exciting to you if you're a Nintendo fan.

    Open questions:
    •We don't see the UI at all. Are the Miis coming back? I hope so.
    •Streetpass? Again, I hope so. It was the 3DS stealth innovation.
    •How's the retro aspect of this system going to work? Will it get VC? Will it be backwards compatible with 3DS or DS? It has a cartridge slot and all.
    •Will it be compatible with Wii Remotes or the Wii U Pro controller? It's all just Bluetooth after all. Be nice if it would save you from buying another controller...
    •Is the screen a touch screen?
    •The dock is big enough that there has to be more than just charging and throwing-to-the-TV functionality on it. Does it beef up the processing? Increase the resolution?

    I mean, there's a lot of open questions. But conceptually it's rad, and design-wise they nailed it. That you can stand it up and break off the controllers and have portable multiplayer gameplay with friends right next to you with only a single unit is incredible.
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  • Avatar for fstim82 #37 fstim82 11 months ago
    I'd be pretty happy with a 6-7 hour battery life. I guess that estimate wasn't under gaming load though. If it has a battery life on par with the 3ds, it won't be too bad. Less than that though... we might have an issue. I'd love to hear they will sell an upgrade like for the Wii U.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #38 Tetragrammaton 11 months ago
    Yup, that's a hybrid. Excuse me, I'm going to need a shovel to eat all the crow I've been served.

    Pretty excited about the games we saw in just that small trailer. Hoping the rest of the new stuff knocks it out of the park!
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  • Avatar for fstim82 #39 fstim82 11 months ago
    @-jayban2 Stay tuned for what peripherals you'll be sliding onto that controller in place of the Joy-Cons showed.Edited October 2016 by fstim82
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  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon #40 PlatypusPlatoon 11 months ago
    SO! HYPE!

    This is everything I've ever wanted in a piece of Nintendo hardware. I'm ashamed to admit that I skipped the Wii U generation, but I'm back on board 100% for this.

    All aboard the hype train!
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  • Avatar for Thad #41 Thad 11 months ago
    @Ralek In other words, Nintendo's biggest challenge is enticing third-party developers to release compelling games. This is not a new problem and I don't think it's got much to do with the choice of chipset.

    I'm guessing it'll have fantastic first-party games. Whether its third-party support will be more like a Nintendo console or a Nintendo handheld remains to be seen; obviously I'm hoping for the latter.

    Meantime, I'm keeping an eye out for a Wii U price drop. I like grabbing moribund consoles on the cheap, from the Dreamcast I got for $100 in the summer of '01 to the PSTV I picked up a few months ago for $40.
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  • Avatar for jayzii #42 jayzii 11 months ago
    Both the device itself and the yin yang graphic design with the satisfying little *click* look quite slick.

    I'm very excited that Nintendo can devote all of their developers to one console instead of splitting them between handheld and console.
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  • Avatar for admiralsnackbar #43 admiralsnackbar 11 months ago
    This is exactly what I wanted from the Switch. I am ECSTATIC!
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  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #44 Modern-Clix 11 months ago
    @Thad I am hoping for third party content in the same vein we got with the 3DS if Nintendo is consolidating. I can take it or leave it with ports. I want some third party exclusives.
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  • Avatar for detten17 #45 detten17 11 months ago
    i'm curious but not one hundred percent sold. I personally feel I can wait until they make their first hardware iteration that fixes some flaws.
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  • Avatar for whitestreak #46 whitestreak 11 months ago
    I must say:

    The thing I like the most about the trailer is how it looks to recreate that old local-multiplayer vibe which constitutes the fondest memories of my youth. Making that sort of experience available in a portable is pure genius, and Splatoon looks a killer app in that format.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #47 Ralek 11 months ago
    @Thad Maybe, I lack the expertise to really say how much it matters, but in the end, we now have all three major platfroms pretty much aligned as far as the basic hardware goes: X1, PS4 and PC - that makes it easy, fast and cheap to port games between platforms, not to mention that devs know very well how to work "close to the metal" with that they got here.
    I doubt there are remotely as many devs who are that intimately experienced with the ARM/Tegra architecture of the Switch. Will it be more convenient for devs to deal with Switch's ARM/Tegra approach, than it was to deal with the WiiU's specs and PPC? I don't know, ony time will tell, but generally speaking, being the odd one out, the one causing extra costs and hassle during the development, is not beneficial.

    I'm very curious to see what the final specs for the switch look like, because like I said, my K1 tablet is not the latest in their Tegra tech, but the issues it has with heat and battery life (when in heavy use) are quite severe, so I wonder if (and then how) they managed to move beyond that.
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  • Avatar for docexe #48 docexe 11 months ago
    @Ralek The chip’s architecture being different from the PS4 and XBOne is certainly going to be an obstacle for it to attract 3rd party support, but the deciding factor will ultimately be (as is often the case, really) the size of the installed base. If the Switch sells in numbers large enough, some publishers and developers will be willing to develop for it in spite of the extra hassle if only because not doing so will be leaving money on the table.

    Of course, the pressing matter then is the “if it sells in numbers large enough” part. The jury is still out on that matter and Nintendo might still screw it up. Personally, I at least expect the Switch to have some success in Japan and for the Japanese publishers that still support the 3DS and Vita to migrate to it, but only time will tell for sure.Edited 2 times. Last edited October 2016 by docexe
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  • Avatar for Ralek #49 Ralek 11 months ago
    @docexe The big caveat here is, whether there will be enough initial support and then appeal to get the sales going, to then encourage further investments by 3rd-party devs. _IF_ the Switch takes off, it will see support for sure, but there is a critical early period where it's all about trust and perception ... a good example for an utter failure in this regard is also the Vita.

    " Personally, I at least expect the Switch to have some success in Japan and for the Japanese publishers that still support the 3DS and Vita to migrate to it, but only time will tell for sure."

    Yes, well, honestly, I don't. The whole point about the 3DS is a) the still sizeable installbase and b) the cheap cost of production. If you compare the Vita and 3DS, the point is obvious immediately. From what we can tell sofar, 3DS-production values, won't probably fly on the Switch, hence, the MAIN competitive advantage of the 3DS, being able to produce for cheaply, and thus with minimal risk and a good chance for sizeable profit, is gone, just like that.
    Not to mention, that apparently, Nintendo is not quite ready to abandon the 3DS yet, so that will cause some confusion on all sides, and some devs will stick to the 3DS for some times, thus limiting their output for the Switch, if there is any at all.
    Just look at Atlus, they made 1 game for the WiiU, and even that was a cooperaiton with Nintendo, while they made about a dozen for the 3DS, not counting all the games they published by other devs. If you look at the PS3/4, you can see that it basically amounts to Persona ... 4/5 and Arena there. So obviously, for them installbase is a secondary concern, it's all about the production.
    A game like Persona 5 just HAS to perform well for them, because if it doesn't it might cause them substantial trouble, as it would any small company making a big investment that did not pan out. After Cathrine it's easy to see, why they were very reluctant to make any more forays into HD productions (and Cathrine most certainly was not on the same level as Persona 5). It's also no coincidence that they chose Persona for this "gamble", because that is as solid a performer as they have in that regard, and DESPITE all of that caution, they still settled on a cross-gen project, bringing the game to PS3 and PS4.

    I hope I am wrong, but I just can't see them jumping on the Switch, doing something like SMTV for it ... at least not right away. Having SMTV though, while not bing around here, would certainly help the systems' image as well as it's sales in Japan. Nintendo needs to be able to offer enough of an enticing argument itself, at least initially.
    THey need to do the opposite of what Sony did with the Vita, they have to back the Switch all the way, shoring up trust in the device, by having faith themselves. That is going to be critical, and they need to be able to communicate that they have faith, that they are backing it 100%. Knowing Nintendo, that in itself might unfortunately be quite the pitfall for them ^^
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  • Avatar for docexe #50 docexe 11 months ago
    @Ralek Mmmm... I was going to post a longer reply but ultimately I decided against it, as we don’t really know enough about the critical details of the Switch launch that will ultimately determine its prospects for commercial success (like the price or its actual game line-up) to make any accurate guess of how its fortunes will turn out.

    Still, it’s probably important to remember that the 3DS was not a hit out of the gate and Nintendo went to pains in order to ensure its success. Of course, they also had a lot riding on it at the time given portable gaming is their primary moneymaking. If they feel similarly about the Switch, they will probably take severe measures as well, but only time will tell what their exact strategy will be.
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  • Avatar for Thad #51 Thad 11 months ago
    @Ralek ARM's a known quantity; it's not like it's the Cell or something. Nintendo's been working with ARM processors on its portables since GBA and has had pretty good luck in that space.

    Regarding heat: there's a pretty good feature at Ars Technica that notes that the Switch has a fan but theorizes that it'll switch to a less power-hungry mode when it's not docked (and suggests that while the dock will output in 1080p, the screen on the Switch may only display 720p). This seems like a pretty good set of educated guesses to me. It would be pretty weird for Nintendo to stop caring about its portable systems' power consumption now.
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  • Avatar for Thad #52 Thad 11 months ago
    Adding: Plus, it runs UE4.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games#Unreal_Engine_4

    If we're talking multiplatform releases, any game on that list is a possibility. (Well, not Gears 4, but *many* of the games on the list, anyway.) Some, like DQ11, have already been confirmed.

    Unity too, of course.

    That's no guarantee that games built in those engines will be ported, of course; there are a lot of reasons why a dev would choose not to, from tech specs to installed userbase.

    But look how many games are still seeing simultaneous release on PS4 and Vita, even though the Vita is ARM-based, less powerful, and doesn't exactly have a huge userbase. Whatever happens with the Switch, I'd be very surprised if it underperformed the Vita.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #53 Ralek 11 months ago
    @Thad Fair enough, but the Vita really is a low bar to cross, esp. for a hybrid device, that will aim to cover both handheld and homeconsole customers ^^
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  • Avatar for Ralek #54 Ralek 11 months ago
    @docexe Yeah, that's true I guess, but it's also a bit of cautious tale because as we all know, for all it's success the 3DS is nowhere near the DS in terms of commercial performance. Price will be crucial initially, but I think there is a good chance we'll see a $300 price point. I just can't see how they could possibly push any higher than that, not without hurting sales and having to slash the price within the first few months
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  • Avatar for docexe #55 docexe 10 months ago
    @Ralek Fair enough. And yeah, the $200-$300 USD seems to be the ideal range. Anything beyond that and they will be screwed.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #56 Ralek 10 months ago
    @docexe Esp. with the PS4P out and Scorpio looming a couple of months later.
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