Nintendo has just taken the wraps off its next console generation via a nicely detailed lifestyle type video. The video attempted to show the console in all sorts of use-situations, demonstrating the flexibility of its unique proposition and how well it works in home or on-the-go, how it scales up from single player, to split screen, to party / multiplayer, to stadium gaming tournaments. On the way we got to see various interesting gaming concepts and hardware features.
The first thing, and key to the Nintendo Switch proposition, is that this console is designed for seamless playing either docked to your TV or when you are on-the-go as a handheld. This is illustrated at the beginning of the video by the gamer who would otherwise be interrupted by having to go and walk the dog. Instead of a break for his Zelda adventure the guy detaches the left and right grips from his Switch 'Joy-Con' controller and clamps them onto a screen nestled in a dock by the big TV. After that he just lifts out the screen which looks akin to something like the WikiPad, flanked by the two halves of the controller. The gamer continues his adventure as the dog runs about the park doing doggy stuff.
Next up we see some more hardware design features of the Nintendo Switch, we see a 'game card' inserted, a 3.5mm audio jack, an accessory tethering loop, and a built-in kickstand being used on a flight. A cool feature for two player and split screen games is that both halves of the Switch 'Joy Con' controller can work as a single independent controller for simple games like Mario Kart etc. Later in the video you also see some 'Pro' type controllers in use.
Nintendo's official PR summary of the new Switch is as follows:
"Introducing Nintendo Switch! In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles."
Initial impressions suggest that Nintendo is again not aiming for direct competition with Microsoft and Sony but hoping to pull off another Wii moment. It is banking on the portability, convenience, and simple go anywhere multiplayer fun to gain mass adoption. As usual it will leverage its own unique gaming IP to make the best of its proposition but popular multi-platform titles will probably be better enjoyed on other, less mobile, platforms.
The Nintendo Switch is "coming March 2017". Pricing is yet to be announced.
Update: There is more official info available in a new Nintendo blog post.