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Meet The Nintendo Switch: Nintendo’s NEXT BIG THING – Coming March 2017

We take a look at Nintendo’s next BIG THING — The Nintendo Switch

As promised, Nintendo has gone live on October 20 with its big reveal of the much-anticipated and heavily rumoured Nintendo NX console, and first and foremost it isn’t called the Nintendo NX at all, instead it will retail as the Nintendo Switch. Importantly, the name is significant as it relates to some of the key functionality and features of the new console, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Nintendo also confirmed that the new console will arrive in March 2017. The announcement was accompanied by a preview trailer showcasing much of what we can expect from the Nintendo Switch console, and indeed, many of the earlier rumours have proven correct. We’ll embed the trailer below so you can see exactly what we’re talking about.

So, as you can see, the big deal here is that the Nintendo Switch, as per earlier rumours, does indeed straddle the line between home console and gaming portable, allowing gamers to literally pick up their current game and walk out the house with it via a nifty combination of a cartridge system, a dock, and both modular controllers and a display panel.

Nintendo hasn’t had the best couple of years and analysts see the Nintendo Switch as the company’s last-ditch attempt at making a hugely successful console. I for one am very impressed by the overall concept of the device; I love the fact you can take it apart and play it anywhere as well as on your TV. The applications for this are immense. From a developer prospective, it’s also HUGE. Ditto VR.

“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”

We couldn’t help but chuckle a bit as Nintendo appears to be encouraging “responsible” dog ownership, by taking your massive dog to the park off the lead and ignoring it while playing your portable! Likewise Nintendo seems to think its cool to rock up at a party and make everyone play your games.

The CEO of UK video game retailer GAME, Martyn Gibbs, speaking to God Is A Gamer, has waded in on the Nintendo Switch announcement, offering up his thoughts on the platform and what it means for the future.

“As today’s teaser video demonstrates, the SWITCH is another example of Nintendo differentiating its gaming experiences to appeal to a broad array of gamers. Nintendo has consistently developed home consoles and handheld gaming to see its beloved and engaging games and characters deliver ultimate fun and enjoyment. SWITCH is clearly taking some of the best features of handheld and home consoles and merging them into a fantastic new way to play. We will be bringing more details to our customers as soon as possible.”

Marketing peculiarities aside, what we’re looking at here does look very cool and revolutionary at the same time. This is the first time the “pick up your game and turn it portable” issue has been tackled with any kind of practical real-world application. What’s more, the graphical quality aboard the portable component looks to be very high, and the myriad ways in which the setup facilitates multiplayer gaming is reassuring.

We also catch a glimpse that Skyrim (probably the remastered version) is apparently coming to the Nintendo Switch, along with new Mario titles (including Mario Kart), a new NBA game, and The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

The preview also emphasises Nintendo’s interest in professional gaming towards the end of the video, as we see competition teams practicing with the portable component before taking part in a big stadium contest in front of hordes of fans.

Nintendo NX Price: How Much Will It Cost?

Nintendo remained tight-lipped about the pricing for the Nintendo Switch. But a few sources have chimed in with their projections for how much the Nintendo Switch will cost once it lands in March 2017:

“In the US,” reports TR, “the only indication we’ve had on price has come from credit-rating agency Macquarie, which thinks the console could retail for between $300 and $350. “The agency took this price as an indication that the console might struggle, since it’s a price that’s comparatively higher than what we’ve come to expect from Nintendo in the past.”

We’ll continue developing this article with new information. Below you can see all the pre-reveal rumours of the Nintendo Switch, as the Ninetndo NX, to see how they compare to the device showcased in the new video preview.

In a lengthy interview with SumZero Joshua Kennedy of Sonian Capital Management outlines his assessment of the company at large, what the future holds for Nintendo and whether or not the mysterious NX is enough to change the company’s fortunes in 2016/17. Interestingly, Kennedy believes the market “doesn’t understand Nintendo” and this has resulted in the company’s “mispriced” stock value.

“There is a confluence of factors that has led to Nintendo getting mispriced in the past, and I think it is a pattern we’re seeing again today,” said Kennedy. “The first factor is the cyclicality of their hardware business; sales are very strong when they have a hit console or handheld. Software sales are pro-cyclical, so it is a real peak-and-valley sales pattern. The second factor is the company is extremely circumspect about sharing its plans for new products, so it leaves investors, competitors, and fans to speculate about what’s coming next for Nintendo, particularly when sales are at a trough because the old cycle has ended.”

On the subject of the NX, Kennedy added: “the NX is likely to replace both Wii U and DS at the same time. There has been considerable speculation that the controller will be a standalone handheld device that you can take with you on the go. Think for a moment how problematic and inefficient it has been for Nintendo to have two different hardware platforms for the last several years. They have to develop separate games for both, third-party developers are reluctant to develop because the audience is split in two, plus there are two hardware teams, two support teams, etc. Simply by consolidating into one platform, which management has said in the past is a desirable goal, could be a win for Nintendo.”

Nintendo NX LEAKS Big Time on Reddit

Reddit, the source of all things interesting on the web, has just got one hell of a scoop on the Nintendo NX via one of its members who claims to work in retail. Here’s the full break-down of what was said, including pricing, release dates and specs and hardware:

Marketing

  • “Interact with your game on the go.” phrase seen on a poster.
  • Strong co-branding effort with a Mario launch title on many posters.
  • Console is currently set to launch with least 4 titles on deck.
  • Stores should be receiving demo units around February.
  • Base price point seems to be sitting at $299.99
  • Bundle
  • The NX is currently set to have a bundle option.
  • The contents of this bundle is currently unknown.
  • Bundle price is currently sitting at $399.99

Packaging

  • The packaging for the NX will be slightly larger than the Wii U’s packaging.
  • The packaging is relatively clean and simple and is similar to the Wii U in terms of package design.
  • The color scheme for the packaging is white and blue (compared to the Wii U’s blue and black).
  • The packaging still says “NX” however there is still no indication if this is a placeholder or the final name.
  • The areas of the packaging that would usually depict the hardware were blurred and redacted by Nintendo in attempt to keep it hidden.

Features and Specs

  • Games will be on cartridges
  • 4k streaming has been mentioned. – What this likely means is playback of content such as Netflix, etc. Not gameplay.
  • 1080p and 60fps are being used by the marketing teams in relation to gameplay on to the console portion. I’ve heard unconfirmed rumblings of 900p for the infamous hybrid part of the device.

Nintendo NX: Latest News

The Nintendo NX has been rumoured for a long while now and there’s been so much hype about it being the next BIG thing – something you must watch and are going to definitely want. But even though it’s been the talk of the town very little concrete information has emerged so far to give us any indication of WHAT the device ACTUALLY IS; what’s new, what should we actually be excited about?

As of July 26 it has all been revealed, it seems. Eurogamer, in an extensive report, claims to have heard from “a number of sources” and says it has confirmation about many details of the Nintendo NX device. The broad description is this; the Nintendo NX will be a handheld portable, a display with analogue controls either side of it, however, the controllers will detach to turn the device into a kind of tablet mode.

“On the move, NX will function as a high-powered handheld console with its own display. So far so normal – but here’s the twist: we’ve heard the screen is bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached or detached as required,” states the report, with an accompanying image.

The report goes on to explain that when not being used as a portable, the Nintendo NX can connect up to a TV for use as a home console.

“A base unit, or dock station, is used to connect the brain of the NX – within the controller – to display on your TV.”

EG also confirms that the hardware will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra chipset, a fact revealed by Digital Foundry. It’s believed Nintendo may have brought its plans forward and will announce the console in September 2016. Information from some sources suggests the earlier claim of an Android software platform is not true, and that Nintendo has developed its own proprietary software for the console, which will support a game cartridge system; however, the cartridge support will be for an entirely new Nintendo NX design, so don’t go expecting backwards compatibilty with your NES, SNES, DS, or Gameboy. It’s thought that digital download will also be supported.

Nintendo NX Will NOT Debut At E3 2016 – WILL Launch In March 2017

Information regarding the Nintendo NX has been ethereal at best, one minute we know something, and the next it turns out its hogwash; there’s so much speculation and most of it is still up-in-the-air with little in the way of confirmation from either Nintendo itself or “in the know” sources. However, while earlier details suggested a launch inside 2016, possibly at the E3 expo, information has now come to light that this will not be happening, and we have apparent “confirmation” of a launch in Spring 2017, with March being pointed at in particular. Nintendo’s financial reports have now been published and within this report is mention of a “brand new concept” being launched in March 2017 and that’s a phrase we’ve heard before in association with the NX, so although the Nintendo NX isn’t fingered directly…well, there isn’t much else it could be really is there?

At the same time, Wall Street Journal personality Takashi Mochizuki took to Twitter to confirm that the Nintendo NX will not be heading to E3. He says Nintendo will of course be in attendance, but will be primarily promoting the new title in the Zelda franchise.

Confirmed Nintendo NX Games: Zelda and Just Dance

There are two games that have — sort of — been confirmed for the Nintendo NX: Zelda and Just Dance. Here’s what WIRED had to say about the prospect of both and what they mean for the NX’s gaming experience:

“Eiji Aonuma, producer of the Legend of Zelda series, told us that the saga’s new open-world entry, Breath of the Wild, will be the same experience whether you’re playing it on Wii U or NX. That shuts down any theory that NX is some wacky contraption like that patent Nintendo filed with joysticks poking up out of an oval-shaped screen. That doesn’t mean it’s only sticks and buttons, but it does mean it’s not an iPad.”

“We know this because Ubisoft has now announced the second known NX game, a version of its popular motion-controlled dancing game. But wait! Doesn’t that mean NX will have motion controls? Not necessarily, actually. The current console version of the game actually uses your cell phone as the controller, via a special app. So NX doesn’t necessarily have native motion controls.”

The Wii U is NOT DEAD

Nintendo, after word got out about it canceling production of the Wii U, got down from its high tower in order to address the press and inform them that they were wrong — Wii U production is NOT halting. It will continue producing the Wii U this quarter, the next quarter and for the foreseeable future as well.

The reason this caused such a stir was because many thought, once the news came out about Wii U production ending, that Nintendo was shoring up resources in order to prepare for the launch and/or release of the Nintendo NX console later on this year. But this is not the case, as Nintendo points out — so the NX remains shrouded in mystery.

Nintendo will no doubt unveil more details before or during this year’s E3 event, but in the meantime, here’s everything we know about the console so far – some of it little more than rumour, while other elements have a bit more substance to them.

It will unite Nintendo’s home and handheld markets

The Nintendo 3DS is even older than the Wii U, but Nintendo hasn’t announced a successor for it. Anyone who has been following the company since the ’90s will know this is very odd indeed; throughout the past few decades Nintendo has dominated the portable gaming arena, with its Game Boy and DS lines achieving the kind of sales that even Apple and Samsung would be jealous of. The 3DS hasn’t been as successful as Nintendo’s other portables, but has still shifted more than 50 million units worldwide – a very respectable figure when you consider that the rival PS Vita has apparently only managed around 4 million.

So why has Nintendo decided against producing another dedicated handheld games console when it has traditionally been so successful in this arena? Because the NX will apparently unite the two markets under one system. There are reports that the machine will ship in two SKUs: a home console and a portable machine. How these two will connect is not yet known, but some have speculated that you’ll play the same games on both. The idea is that you can play at home, then take the portable section out of the house with you and continue your progress. This presumably means that the handheld console produces visuals of a lesser quality than that of the home system, which – given reports that it rivals the PS4 in terms of power – should be potent enough to stake its claim on the next-gen market. Another theory is that the portable docks with the main unit, and therefore contains the “brains” of the console – the home unit will be little more than an interface which allows the unit to send video feed to your TV screen.

Whatever form the final hardware takes, it’s clear that Nintendo is willing to shelve its handheld ambitions in order to create a totally unified system. It has even combined its home and portable hardware divisions, which is as good an indication as any that the NX will straddle both arenas.

It’s going to be as powerful as current consoles

Nintendo’s SNES and N64 were seen as cutting-edge machines when they were released, offering immense technical strides over their rivals. However, since the Wii and DS era, Nintendo has taken a rather different approach to hardware. It has produced systems which are less powerful than their immediate competitors and has therefore been able to combine each one with innovative tech – touch control with the DS and motion control with the Wii – and still sell it at a competitive price.

With the Wii U adopting the same strategy but failing, there’s a good chance that Nintendo will aim to give the NX parity with the Xbox One and PS4 to ensure that it receives a steady stream of third-party titles – something the Wii U lacked. Again, much of this is up in the air at the moment – some rumours have suggested that it will be less powerful, while others have stated that developers are already talking about porting over existing PS4 games to the console. It’s hard to know what to believe without any firm evidence, but we do know that dev kits have been issued, so the idea of studios already working on conversions can hardly be dismissed.

Nintendo knows it has to play the power game this generation, as the Wii U has been left behind when it comes to really amazing third party releases. Nintendo fans love Nintendo games and these can only be played on Nintendo consoles, but they also like robust third-party support, and if you’ve only owned a Wii U this generation then you will have missed out on Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, Dark Souls 2, Project CARS and Call of Duty: Black Ops III. That simply cannot happen again if Nintendo wants to claim a big share of the market. Giving developers the same amount of power they’re used to on Microsoft and Sony’s consoles is the only way to ensure that NX gets a steady stream of games. Without them, Nintendo could have another Wii U on its hands – a system with impeccable first-party support but a very small library overall. And Nintendo is in the unique position of not being behind the curve this time around – both Microsoft and Sony are hoping their new consoles will have long lifespans, so Nintendo can enter this particular hardware rare on level terms.

It could ship with a unique controller

Patents are a good way of seeing what companies are planning in their future tech, and one relating to Nintendo showcases a controller which has a screen covering its entire surface. Developed by Sharp, these “free form” displays have a wide range of uses, but in the case of Nintendo’s patent it would allow developers to alter the button layout at will, placing new touch-screen controls anywhere on the controller’s surface. It’s quite an out-there concept but the potential is obvious – you’d never be short of buttons again, that’s for sure.

It might not have an optional drive, and will use cloud power

Again, we’re in shady patent territory so these points are worth taking with a pinch of salt – like all patents, they might not necessarily happen. Documentation discovered online suggests that the NX could abandon an optical drive and go totally digital, which would be a bold move but would allow Nintendo to reduce the manufacturing cost of the unit as well as make the console smaller in size. The company already has a robust digital storefront in the form of the eShop on the Wii U and 3DS, and while the PS Vita has been a bit of a flop, it has proven that a console which purely favours downloads can still find an audience. Then there’s the obvious comparison with smartphones and tablets, neither of which have a physical delivery method for software. Digital-only is the future, but is the market ready for a digital-only home console? Perhaps NX will be the machine that answers that question.

On the subject of cloud computing, another patent claims that the machine could benefit from additional horsepower via remote servers. The idea would be that during especially intensive sections of a game, some of the processing load could be shared by cloud-based servers, which could make for more visually impressive games. The same patent also hints that “supplemental devices” could make the base console more powerful – if you’re old enough to recall the N64’s 4 MEG RAM expansion cart, you’re on the right lines.

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