Nintendo Switch - 4

Nintendo this week officially revealed when the Switch will be available around the world (March 3). And in addition to a wealth of details about games, accessories, and functionality, the Japanese video game company also unveiled the console’s hardware specifications.

The Nintendo Switch sports a 6.2-inch, 720p multi-touch screen (1280 x 720) in handheld mode. When it’s docked, the Switch outputs to 1080p through the dock’s HDMI connection. It’s essentially a mid-range tablet running a custom Nvidia Tegra processor, which we still know very little about. The lower resolution screen was most likely included to ensure the Switch’s battery lasts longer on a single charge.

Additional hardware specifications include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and 32GB of onboard memory, which can be expanded thanks to a microSD card slot. That might not seem like much compared to the 500GB and 1TB hard drives that come in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, respectively, but the Switch will run games off of physical cartridges, so storage shouldn’t be an issue.

I do, however, wonder about digital content. As mentioned, expandable storage is supported, but Nintendo didn’t talk much about how the Switch will handle downloadable content. For that matter, will users be able to download apps such as Netflix? At least in Android, users can often offload games and apps to microSD cards, so we’re assuming Switch users will be able to do the same thing.

Battery life is a big question

The most important spec of all is the Switch’s battery life. Nintendo said gamers should get around 2.5 to 6.5 hours depending on what game they’re playing. For example, Nintendo said the Switch should get about three hours of battery life when playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That’s decent, but not great.

Luckily, the Switch comes with a USB-C connection, so users should have no trouble charging the console when they’re on the road. And, yes, the Switch sports a 3.5mm headphone jack, which should be fun for all the iPhone 7 owners out there.