The Nintendo Switch made its debut this morning. The Switch was once codenamed “NX.”
The reveal came in the form of a trailer. Then Nintendo sent out a press release. The Nintendo Switch is set for March 2017. Its controllers are detachable. It has a stand for portable play on surfaces. The Switch has a dock that will allow it to, we assume, charge while connected to your television.
The Nintendo Switch will offer home and portable gaming in one package. It has strong third party developer support, too, with the likes of Skyrim appearing in its trailer.
Those are the facts as they stand today. Will still have a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the Switch.
How much will the Nintendo Switch cost?
The biggest unanswered question in my mind is the price. The Nintendo Switch could wow the world by costing $299 or less, or it could disappoint with a $400 price tag. We don’t know.
In May of this year, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima told investors the NX will not launch at a loss. That is, it will cost Nintendo less to make the Switch than consumers will spend buying it.
This is historically true for most of Nintendo’s hardware.
To keep the price down for Nintendo’s profits and consumers, the Switch will need less power.
This thing looks like it offers a lot of accessories, too. The Pro Controller, the dock, extra side controllers? I’m curious about their prices.
How about performance and battery life?
It’s obvious. Hardware capabilities and cost are co-dependent. If you want a stronger system, you’ll pay more to get it.
The battery life and performance power of the Nintendo Switch will affect its cost. It’s as simple as that.
Will this system run games at 60fps in 1080p on the TV? How about on the go? Rumor has it that the portable screen checks in at 720p, so games won’t need as much power to hit higher frame rates.
The higher the performance, the more strain the Switch puts on battery life. For the Nintendo Switch to be an acceptable portable, we’ll need at least four hours of game time on each charge. I’m not sure that’s possible.
Especially if we want the price kept down.
What games are launching with the Nintendo Switch?
The Wii U was a troubled console out of the gate for myriad reasons. One of them was its launch lineup.
Nintendo says they’ve learned their lesson in that regard. We already know we’re getting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Switch at launch.
What else, though?
The reveal trailer for the NX showed new Mario and Mario Kart games. With that in mind, consider this verbiage from the press release that came after.
Today’s video incorporated short glimpses of representative gameplay to demonstrate the liberating nature of the Nintendo Switch home gaming system. Full game demonstrations, the list of launch window titles, as well as launch date, price, product configuration and related specifics, will be shown and announced prior to the March launch.
The games shown might not even be real.
Finally, will the Switch offer backwards compatibility?
The Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U were all backwards compatible. Nintendo actually added Game Boy Advance cartridge slots into the DS for this reason.
The Nintendo Switch uses cartridges, not discs. Will it play Wii U games? Will Nintendo offer them digitally? Will they offer them at all?
How about the Virtual Console? Surely, Nintendo sees a lot of potential money earned from VC games. Will they make us buy them all over again?
These are my biggest questions regarding the Nintendo Switch. What are yours?