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Nintendo Switch: What A Twist!

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Out of the blue, Nintendo said yesterday it was going to reveal its next console on October 20….only a few hours later. It’s October 20 now, and the unveiling happened as promised. Ladies and gentlemen, “NX” has been retired…..get used to saying Nintendo Switch!

It is pretty much exactly what the rumors said it would be: a console that doubles as a handheld, has detatchable controllers on its sides, and takes little cards instead of discs. Its various uses and functions were demoed in the three-minute trailer released at 7 AM this morning. Within that time, a new Mario, a new Splatoon, a new Mario Kart and, surprisingly, a Switch version of Skyrim were all confirmed. That’s right, Skyrim is portable now!

And don’t forget Zelda. There’s also a new Breath of the Wild trailer today! Three, in fact! (Note: Nintendo mentions we’re still seeing the Wii U version of the game in these videos.)

Nearly everything demonstrated in the trailer has been guessed already by the press, but Nintendo still managed to keep a couple cool functions secret…like the little stand you can pull out of Switch’s rear end that makes four-player gaming in the backseat of a car possible with just one machine. Also, the controllers that detatch from Switch (now called Joy-Con controllers) aren’t the only ones; there’s a traditional controller for gaming at home.

Just to assure us the Switch will get better third-party support than the Wii U (man, I sure hope so), Nintendo’s put out this diagram. Find your favorites!

nintendo switch

I see Sega and Platinum together. Bayonetta 3, please!

One thing Nintendo hasn’t revealed yet are the specs and processing capabilities. This being Nintendo, we’re holding our breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop once they tell us it’s slightly less powerful than an iPhone 4, that this version of Skyrim is the original, not the Special Edition, and that it can’t go online, or something tone-deaf. Can you blame us? They’ve revealed this much so far:

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.

The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.

Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering.

The Nintendo Switch WILL launch on time March 2017, with Zelda at the very least. Pricing TBD.