Nintendo ‘Switch’es things up


By Aidan Rivas

Nintendo’s newest console will be released unto the masses on March 3. The Nintendo Switch, previously codenamed NX, will be an entertainment system that treads the line between home console and portable handheld.

Although all the technical specifications have not been released to the public, the Switch boasts the ability to play larger games like “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” that could not be played on-the-go. The only bit of technical information that has been released is that it will carry a special Nintendo-branded NVIDIA Tegra chipset, which is significantly less powerful than the other home consoles on the market right now, like the PS4 and Xbox One.

However, Nintendo seems to be sticking to their guns with the Switch. They’re putting their focus on fun, innovative gameplay rather than powerful graphics hardware as they’ve historically done with their other consoles like the Wii and 3DS. The downside of a weaker console isn’t the first-party franchises like Mario, Zelda and Kirby though: it’s the fact that third-party developers like Ubisoft, EA and Capcom will have to put more work into developing for them, resulting in more exclusive titles or simply no third-party titles on the Switch.

What are the new, exciting features of the Switch, though? The console will be something in between a portable console and stationary for home televisions. The console itself is a thin tablet-like screen that can have two motion controllers attached to its sides to form one whole portable interface. That screen can be placed on a docking and charging station that also serves to connect it to a home TV. The motion controllers, which would now be free-floating, can be attached to another mounting point to form a controller as well. These motion controllers have been shown to be extra intuitive, and will be the focus of a few games like ARMS: a fighting game where you literally throw punches at your opponents – finally – with zany stretchy spring-arms, a huge step up from Wii Boxing in 2006.

Unfortunately, the console will only be released with two new games: the highly anticipated “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and a beautifully simple game called “One, Two Draw,” in which two players pretend to be cowboys and quick-draw with the motion controllers. Online services have been confirmed to cost recurring payments either monthly, tri-monthly, or annually, similar to other modern consoles. The console will be released on March 3 and will be sold for $299.99, according to the suggested retail price.