Nintendo Switch: Everything We Know, What We Don’t Know & Predictions [Nintendo NX Discussion]
Hello and welcome my name is Nate from Video Games Recon and finally some actual tangible and official news for the Nintendo NX or should I say the Nintendo Switch which is out in the wild in the form of a trailer, I don’t know what the dealeo is with this particular Thursday as we’ve been waiting for months if not years for news on both the NX and Red Dead 2 scraping the bottom of the news barrel with any tit bit, news or rumours we could get out hands on and then both Rockstar and Nintendo drop trailers on the same day.
Anywho let’s not get distracted this video is all about the NX, I mean Switch, I’ll probably have another video up soon talking about Red Dead. Anyway let’s get things started, touching on the new naming scheme my thoughts are that Nintendo Switch is a bit of a boring and bland name but it does what it says on the tin and already makes a great stride explaining its features to casual consumers as appose to the Wii U which combined with bad marketing even confused hardcore gamers like you or I.
And speaking of hardcore gamers I think this trailer was aimed specifically for us as appose to the casuals who I’m sure they’ll try and target more, closer to its launch on March 2017. I say this because aside from the switch mechanism and docking station the trailer was short on gimmicks, there was no hint of waggle controls, touch screens, 3D, voice activation or any of that malarkey, everything that was shown off was all about the games and gamers and for the most part core gamers at that instead of the trailer being filled with families or your Nan playing Wii bowling. Thoughts on the trailer aside what do we actually know about the Switch, well it appears many of the rumours that have been building up over the last few months have been true so for the most part the trailer has essentially officially confirmed things we already knew. At first I was a little disappointed with the lack of pomp and ceremony hoping for a conference or Nintendo Direct on the new system but after the flop that was the PS4 Pro’s announcement, again with information essentially confirming what we already knew, perhaps Nintendo took note of Sony’s lack lustre announcement and did the smart thing and just let the hype train take care of itself, and I’m sure later down the road they’ll be a Direct discussing things like power, price battery life etcetera.
Anywho, what we actually know officially. Well as discussed earlier the Nintendo Switch has a release date of March 2017. It is a handheld console hybrid with 2 detachable controls that can be used together as a more traditional control scheme or independently for 2 player co-op; the physical media of choice will be game cartridges, the processor will be an undisclosed custom Nvidea Tegra chip, there will be a bunch of third party game support perhaps not on the same sort of level you’d expect from Xbox or Playstation at launch, but a pretty respectful start for Nintendo seeing as their trying to rebuild a lot of relationships with third party developers and publishers. There also seems to be a good amount of first party support (which to be fair you should come to expect with Nintendo) whether these are sequels or backwards compatible titles are unknown at this point but we’ll talk more on that later, however most namely of all the first party titles there were glimpses of a new Mario game which you’d expect to be a launch title and seems to take a lot of inspiration from Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine.
The Switch will have 2 shoulder buttons unlike the 3DS and Playstation Vita and unlike Wii U tablet and pro controller will have the right thumbstick below the main buttons more in line with an Xbox controller, and all I can say on this is thank fuck for that can we please do away with those stupid control schemes for handheld gaming. Speaking of the game pads there will be a Switch pro pad similar to the Wii U pro pad as well as the detachable controllers referred to as Joy Cons right and left as well as an optional accessory I’ve heard referred to as both a grip and as just a Joy con, much like the Switch Screen the detachable controllers can be plugged into the grip so as to be more akin to a traditional controller and one would also assume it will come with its own battery pack to improve the life of the individual controllers. So now on to what we don’t know and there’s a lot, first off price, this could be a big issue at launch as typically handhelds are cheaper, but this console has a lot of moving parts being modular so R&D for this system must be through the roof plus also tying in that with the next thing we don’t know, is exactly what Nvidia chip is going to be inside of the Switch and will the docking station have its own components to improve the visuals when playing in console mode? All these things could dramatically affect the price.
What will the battery life be? Again discussing which chip it will have inside will dramatically affect the handhelds battery life, the higher the graphical fidelity and resolution the higher the battery consumption. How much internal or external storage will it have, which is vital for digital games especially when you take into account the massive file sizes of games these days, and if it does have external storage will it be proprietary or like an SD card and if it is a Nintendo only memory card how much will it cost, could this be the Playstation Vita memory card debacle all over again. What will the Hand held’s resolution be and will it differ from the resolution you’ll get when docked in console mode? There were some rumours that the handheld screen will have a native resolution of 720p which if true would be fine for such a small screen however personally I would like the resolution and graphical fidelity to be improved natively when docked giving a similar sort of performance level to that of the original PS4 and Xbox One.
Will the screen on the hand held component have touch screen capabilities? Although in the video no such features were shown my guess would be yes the screen will feature touch screen abilities if only for the menu’s and so on as it would be silly not to with how familiar everybody is with said controls on phones and the reason it hasn’t been shown off is that like I said earlier this trailer is geared more towards the Hardcore gamer or Nintendo fan and won’t feature a big push from Nintendo to play the actual games with touch as we don’t really care about that. Even though if a developer really wanted to I don’t think Nintendo would try and stop them. Are all the first party games also on the Wii U that are shown in this trailer sequels, backwards compatible or remasters? As there appears to be content in some of these games not in the Wii U versions.
As the current Nvidia Tegra chips uses the ARM architecture and the Wii U and I think the original Wii uses an architecture based on the Power PC it seems very unlikely to be backwards compatible unless they do something like the Xbox Ones backwards compatibility system, also I think it’s very unlikely they’ve made a bunch of sequels to Mario Kart and Splatoon in time for launch especially as they look near identical to the Wii U versions, so my guess would be that were looking at remasters here of some of the best that the Wii U had to offer. So with what we know and what we don’t on the table let’s throw some predictions and speculation out there out there as that’s always fun.
First off let’s start with power, I’d like to think that they’ve got the new and upcoming Tegra X2 chip inside the Nintendo Switch but my guess is that this system already sounds expensive to make and even more so if the docking station has its own processing power which I think it will to a limited degree giving a capacity to output natively to 1080p perhaps with some minor graphical boosts. So I think the Switch will have a modified Tegra X1 chip, perhaps overclocked and with extra Cuda cores and memory bandwith but will still basically be a Tegra X1 chip so as to keep the costs down, meaning the Switch will sit somewhere between the Xbox 360 and PS4 in terms of power.
I think the battery life will be Okay, not good but not bad, I’d guess that you’ll be looking around the 6 hour mark from full charge to absolutely dead for the average gaming session. For storage I think it will come with 32 gigabytes internal storage as standard with the option of external storage which unfortunately will be proprietary as I just don’t see Nintendo supporting SD cards, let’s just hope they don’t make them too expensive. The ports on the side of the docking station will either be for wired Pro controllers. Or an interesting Idea I had, they are HDMI pass-through’s so you can play your Xbox One or PS4 through your docking station similar to how you can play PS4 through your Xbox One but with the added ability of being able to stream it to the handheld component.
And as previously discussed I think it will have a touch screen, a handheld resolution of 720p and will feature a bunch of remastered Wii U games. So that was my thoughts and predictions on the Nintendo Switch, personally I think the system looks pretty cool and am moderately hyped for it and looking forward to hearing more about the specs and price as these are the things that will really get my juices flowing. Hopefully they can learn from the lessons of the Wii U and focus on these main pillars if they want the Switch to be a success, a reasonable price, competent specs in a similar ball park to the standard PS4 and Xbox One, Marketing it correctly as the Wii U’s marketing was woeful at best and finally and most importantly in my eyes is third party support, this possible above all else should be there main focus as the PS4 has sold like hot cakes for ages with few or no killer apps and has not only survived but thrived on a diet of third party support.
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As found on Youtube