Nintendo Presents the Nintendo Switch to the World

Thursday evening, January 12, Nintendo streamed their Nintendo Switch Presentation, which finally took the cover off the next dedicated home console, and that presentation was overflowing with information. Finally able to move away from rumors and conjecture, we can now see exactly what the console is able to do, as well as quite a few games that will be coming to the system. I do plan to go more in-depth on my thoughts and impressions regarding the overall unveiling, which includes the Nintendo Switch Presentation and the Treehouse Live event, but for now, we will simply take a look at what was actually shown during the presentation.

Right away the company answered two of the most burning questions regarding the console, and that was price and launch date. The Nintendo Switch will be launching on March 3, 2017 globally and the price (for North America) will be $299.99.

The system will include the main console, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) controllers, a Joy-Con grip (to which two Joy-Con are attached and used as one controller), a set of Joy-Con wrist straps, a Nintendo Switch dock (which holds the main console and connects it to a TV), an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. Two stylish versions of the system will be released: a version with a set of gray Joy-Con, and a version with one neon blue and one neon red Joy-Con. Both versions will be the same price.

As we learned back in October when Nintendo revealed the console through a 3:30 trailer, the heart of the console is the tablet that can actually be taken on-the-go. Now, we have confirmation that the tablet is indeed a 6.2-inch screen, with 720p resolution, displaying beautiful images for amazing game play.

Nintendo Switch is a breakthrough home video game system. It not only connects to a TV at home, but it also instantly transforms into an on-the-go handheld using its 6.2-inch screen. For the first time, players can enjoy a full home-console experience anytime, anywhere. The screen includes capacitive multi-touch capabilities for compatible games. Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge. While away from home, Nintendo Switch can be charged by plugging the AC adapter into the console’s USB Type-C connector.

What seemed to be inconsequential accessories to the Nintendo Switch gaming experience to some, however, turned out to be the hidden pieces to the puzzle that many people expected to find out from Nintendo. The removable controllers on either side of the console when in portable mode, the Joy-Con, are the keys to several hidden features and surprises.

The versatile Joy-Con offer multiple surprising new ways for players to have fun. Two Joy-Con can be used independently in each hand, or together as one game controller when attached to the Joy-Con grip. They can also attach to the main console for use in handheld mode, or be shared with friends to enjoy two-player action in supported games. Each Joy-Con has a full set of buttons and can act as a standalone controller, and each includes an accelerometer and gyro-sensor, making independent left and right motion control possible.

Nintendo Switch also contains a number of built-in features that make it more interactive. The left Joy-Con has a Capture Button that players can press to take instant screenshots of gameplay to share with friends on social media. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC touchpoint for interaction with amiibo figures, as well as an IR Motion Camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape. Both Joy-Con include advanced HD Rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. With HD Rumble players can experience a level of realism not possible through sights and sounds alone.

It is incredible finally getting to see the next step in Nintendo evolution, as the Nintendo Switch marks a new phase in the company’s life cycle. With so many different initiatives and projects being implemented by the company, making sure the Nintendo Switch gets off to a glorious start. Among those changes, Nintendo has also been working to improve their online experience with the Nintendo Switch, as well.

Nintendo Switch makes it easy for players to stay connected. Up to eight systems can be connected for local wireless play. The player can place the system upright anywhere by using the built-in stand, then easily share Joy-Con for multiplayer fun away from the TV. The system will support online Wi-Fi multiplayer gaming. Nintendo also unveiled a new online subscription service that will begin with a free trial at launch. The service includes a smart-device application available in Summer 2017 that will let users invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with one another as they play compatible games. The fully featured paid service will be available in the fall.

Nintendo has taken a unique approach to Parental Controls with their new system, as well. It appears they are fully embracing the use of mobile app integration. Along with the Parental Controls, their online features will be similarly using a mobile app, too.

Take a look at the breakdown of the company’s new online services available with the Nintendo Switch.

nintendo-switch-online-services

A good majority of my impressions were made by the software that was shown off. It will be amazing to dive even further into the new games that will soon be available. I look forward to getting into the games that were shown (and not shown), so be on the lookout for that post soon. For now, I will leave this post on this note: Nintendo has finally given us the details we have wanted to know ever since late President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, shared the fact that Nintendo was indeed hard at work creating their next dedicated gaming system, code-named “NX”. Now, the Nintendo Switch is about a month and a half away from launch, and the excitement is real! Some of the most amazing gaming experiences are only weeks away from mass existence, and the time cannot pass quickly enough, before it’s time to play.

How excited are you to experience the Nintendo Switch? Will you be pre-ordering the system? What did you like best about the Nintendo Switch Presentation?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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Nintendo Announces a New Treehouse Live Event

The Nintendo Switch presentation and subsequent events are beginning to take shape, as Nintendo prepares to fully unveil their newest home console. On January 12 at 11PM EST, the company will be live-streaming the global reveal of the entirety of what makes the Nintendo Switch what it is. The next day, Nintendo of America will be live-streaming a new Treehouse Live presentation to go into much more detail on the games featured.

This presentation promises to be an amazing display of games that have been nothing more than rumors for all of us to this point. Now we will not only see them in some capacity during the Nintendo Switch Presentation, but we will also be able to get in-depth with the Treehouse employees. The Treehouse Live events are always incredibly informative and entertaining, at the same time, so I am really excited about this.

Will you be tuning in for the livestreams next week, as we finally get a full view of what the Nintendo Switch is/will be? How many surprises do you expect to see during the Nintendo Switch days of reveal/hands-on? What do you want to see most during the Treehouse Live event?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

 

The Nintendo Switch Presentation Time Has Been Set

A few weeks ago, Nintendo shared the announcement trailer for the Nintendo Switch, and the video has garnered incredible viewership in the weeks since. Within hour of going live, the video was well past record-views on the company’s official North American YouTube channel, alone. In fact, the number of views for the announcement trailer are well over 21 million, as you read this.

Following the trailer, we learned that any/all new details regarding the Nintendo Switch would officially be shared on January 12. Of course, that date seemed to be so far off for some because it had been virtually the entire year prior to the announcement waiting in anticipation for that small bit of information.

Nintendo has now announced the time at which we will finally be able to see exactly what the Nintendo Switch is going to be for us to experience.

We are right at about a month out from this global event, and I am flat-out excited about it. Nintendo is going to finally fully reveal to us what the Nintendo Switch is, and what it will be. With an 11pm ET stream, it immediately says to me this will be a HUGE global presentation that the company is certain will attract eyes from everywhere, regardless of the time.

Will you be tuning in live to watch the Nintendo Switch Presentation? What are you looking forward to seeing most during the January 12 event? What types of surprises do you anticipate?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

 

Reggie on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Over the last week or so Nintendo has been promoting the appearance of Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, on the Tonight Show. As it approached, the reminders were more frequent. The anticipated topic of focus was, of course, Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s newest smartphone game, featuring the company mascot on iPhone for the first time which is set for release next week (December 15, 2016).

tonightshow-reggie-switch-1024x565As the segment began, Jimmy was surprised by the guest appearance of Super Mario creator, Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto in the audience. Also seated next to Miyamoto-san was translator-extraordinaire and Nintendo Treehouse boss, Mr. Bill Trinen. The duo did not speak during the segment, however they did provide some phenomenal tension during Jimmy’s high-pressure game play of Super Mario Run. The smiles were infectious as Jimmy played through the game for the duration of a single course, and it was genuine. We also heard a little bit more about the three different modes in the game.

In addition to the Super Mario Run game play demo, Reggie had one more surprise for Jimmy, and that was the unveiling of a Nintendo Switch console, and the first-ever public play of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was amazing to see the Nintendo Switch somewhat “in the wild”, as not only Reggie played a bit of it, but Jimmy also had the opportunity to play, as well.

Another truly exciting part of the show was getting to watch Miyamoto-san play the Super Mario Bros. theme song with The Roots crew, Jimmy Fallon’s Late Show band.

I really cannot emphasize how  incredibly exciting it is to be a true Nintendo fan right now. There are so many new and terrific things coming at us right now and you only get the sense that this is the beginning of a wild ride from Nintendo!

How excited are you to play Super Mario Run? What about the Nintendo Switch? How did you like the footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Did you know that Miyamoto-san was a rockstar?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

Development Has Not Been Taken Lightly!

Since Nintendo revealed their next home gaming system, now known by its proper name, the Nintendo Switch, we’ve learned that they have no intention of giving any more details about the console until 2017. That means, information that we don’t know, at least definitively, will not be revealed nor will it be confirmed until January, at earliest. We have, however, gotten a little more detail on the system via Nvidia, and it’s quite enlightening.

Shortly after the reveal of the Nintendo Switch, Nvidia finally confirmed that they, indeed, are the processor chip manufacturer for the system. They also shared several other key pieces of information, as well. It appears the folks over at Nvidia are excited that the Nintendo Switch is the ONLY gaming device they are providing their chips for. Leading up to the reveal of the Nintendo Switch, the rumor mill swirled  ferociously especially around which chipset would power the console. Many people found themselves in differing camps, seemingly fighting it out over who was correct on which manufacturer would power the “NX”. Well, that has now finally come to an end, as we have gotten the answer. Of course, there are a few who are disturbed by that realization, but in the end, now is the time to discover the greatness in that partnership between Nintendo and Nvidia.

The first thing to know about the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system: it’s really fun to play. With great graphics, loads of game titles and incredible performance, the Nintendo Switch will provide people with many hours of engaging and interactive gaming entertainment.

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.

You may remember that some early information coming out about the “NX” was that the console would be using “industry leading chips” and now it appears we know what that means. It really should come as no surprise though, that Nintendo is utilizing custom chips, anyway. They have always used custom chipsets for their hardware. Even when it has been based on existing chipsets, the final product was always something catered to the needs of their hardware.

It should also be noted that Nvidia shared a little more about the Nintendo Switch in their recent blog post. Quite obviously they are going to sound extremely optimistic about their partnership, but their involvement looks to go far beyond providing some silicon and solder for Nintendo to do what they will with it. They are providing much more with this investment, and the amount of work put into the creation of the Nintendo Switch.

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.

We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency.

NVIDIA gaming technology is integrated into all aspects of the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system, which promises to deliver a great experience to gamers.

Sometimes I think too many people either underestimate Nintendo’s collective understanding of the industry that they have virtually pioneered, and sufficiently thrived in for the last 30+ years now, or they’re just overestimating their own grasp of it. Either way, that’s not a great place to dwell. Far too often we hear people overreact to this news, or that rumor, or even some confirmed move, only to find out how far off their assessment was of the situation. Meanwhile, Nintendo is continually working very hard to be the best at doing what they do best: make incredible experiences designed to elicit smiles from those whom they touch. The amount of work that has gone into the Nintendo Switch is mind-boggling!

But creating a device so fun required some serious engineering. The development encompassed 500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform: algorithms, computer architecture, system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals. They all had to be rethought and redesigned for Nintendo to deliver the best experience for gamers, whether they’re in the living room or on the move.

So essentially, those people who assume Nintendo kind of stumbled into the Nintendo Switch could not be more wrong. Nintendo and their development partners have put in some obscenely intensive hours to make what could possibly (and hopefully will) turn out to be their very best console ever, both critically and financially! Time will tell, but the most efficient approach for all of us fans/gamers would be to patiently wait for Nintendo to completely pull back the curtain on their new home gaming system.

So what are your thoughts on the additional, albeit limited, details of the Nintendo Switch? Of what has already been revealed, what are your favorite features of the console? What other features do you want to see as part of the system? How well do you anticipate the Nintendo Switch to do from all aspects?


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So, What Did We Actually See?!

Thursday, October 20, 2016 will be remembered as the day that Nintendo revealed to the world their newest “home gaming system” known now by its proper name, the Nintendo Switch. It has really been a long time coming to get solid confirmed information directly from Nintendo about what has been known as the Nintendo NX since the late, great Satoru Iwata surprisingly shared that it was in development back in March 2015 when he announced the DeNA partnership. In the midst of all of that waiting (and silence), many fans took to employing their investigative, however sharp they may have been. That proved to be frustrating for many, and exhilarating for others.

nx_hardwareNow, we don’t have to rely on fake 3D model mock-ups, and with additional confirmations trickling in from developers and partners, we are finally entering the realm of the truth dwellers. My main hope is those who alienated themselves, or just felt it necessary to contentiously interact with certain others in the Nintendo fanbase and community, are able to get past all of that and embrace what we have. So what exactly is it that we have?

It turns out Nintendo showed us quite a bit in a short 3:37 minute video. On the surface, the new Nintendo Switch is simply a new “home gaming system” that can be taken on the go with a portable aspect, as well. Now, that concept was not a new one to any observers who have been keeping up with ANY of the rumors/leaks since March of last year. Now though, we have official confirmation, and seeing it in action is much more gratifying than reading someone’s speculation.

One thing that is evident, also, is that Nintendo is making sure that it’s known that the Nintendo Switch is first a home console. They made that point clear with their initial branding following the video announcement last Wednesday evening. The official Nintendo website was promoting for the Thursday morning reveal, and many noted the wording on the site that read, announcement“Watch the preview trailer for Nintendo’s next home gaming system.” In addition to that, though, Nintendo has also reiterated that sentiment.

While the Nintendo Switch is designed for play both in the home and on the go, Nintendo wants to be clear that it’s a home system first.

“Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost,” the company told Polygon when asked if the system was going to impact the sale of the 3DS portable systems.

So, after seeing for certain what the concept is designed to do, we not only saw several different control options, but also saw a few snippets of gameplay, as well. Nintendo packed a lot into that short video, and it was done very well.

Gaming springs into action by removing detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.

Today’s video incorporated short glimpses of representative gameplay to demonstrate the liberating nature of the Nintendo Switch home gaming system.

One of the most interesting things about today’s presentation is the amount of possibility that it presents with the system. Nintendo made a concerted effort to show people utilizing the console in the multifaceted ways that it can be. Whether playing in the living room at home, in the park, on a plane, at the basketball courts, or even in a large group competing in eSports, the Nintendo Switch allows gamers to play however they choose, without boundaries.

“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO, Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”

Developers can design their games supporting a variety of play styles, which gives gamers the freedom to choose an experience that best suits them.

One of the major things that plagued the Nintendo’s most recent home console, the Wii U, was the lack of major 3rd party support for the system, long-term. The company has been aggressive in remedying that as best they can with the Nintendo Switch. Prior to reveal, that was a big “want” from many gamers and digital space influencers as the importance of having real support from developers and publishers outside of the company, and its key role in the ultimate success of the system. Immediately out of the gate, Nintendo has made it clear that they were serious about having the content necessary to bring gamers, old, new and uninitiated, to their new home gaming system. They provided a list of several devs/publishers to help gamers to know who they can anticipate.

• 505 Games • LEVEL-5 Inc.
• Activision Publishing, Inc. • Marvelous Inc.
• ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd. • Maximum Games, LLC
• ATLUS CO., LTD. • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
• Audiokinetic Inc. • Parity Bit Inc.
• Autodesk, Inc. • PlatinumGames Inc.
• BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. • RAD Game Tools, Inc.
• Bethesda • RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
• CAPCOM CO., LTD. • SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
• Codemasters® • Silicon Studio Corporation
• CRI Middleware Co., Ltd. • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
• DeNA Co., Ltd. • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
• Electronic Arts • Starbreeze Studios
• Epic Games Inc. • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
• Firelight Technologies • Telltale Games
• FromSoftware, Inc. • THQ Nordic
• Frozenbyte • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
• GameTrust • TT Games

• GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.

• UBISOFT
• Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc. • Ubitus Inc.
• HAMSTER Corporation • Unity Technologies, Inc.
• Havok • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
• INTI CREATES CO., LTD. • Web Technology Corp
• KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
• Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

nx_partnersSeveral other companies have since gotten into the fray, announcing their excitement of being partnered with Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch. A few of them are featured below:

So, there we have it! Nintendo pulled the curtain back for a few minutes to allow us to see the Nintendo Switch, and aside from any clarification articles that may come up here and there, we are not going to get any more official details until some time early 2017. That in all likelihood will be in January, shortly out of the holiday season and after the new year. I expect the information flow to be heavy in the last fiscal quarter 2016 (January, February and March 2017). And as the system is scheduled to release in March, whenever that is specifically, the heat will be on furiously with details and advertisement going constantly. I expect it to be a time where anyone who is paying any attention will indeed know exactly what the system is, and that they definitely want one!

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.

Which aspect of the Nintendo Switch appeals to you most? Which 3rd party supporting partner’s software do you think will be a game-changer? What else do you think we will find out about the system that was held back by Nintendo in this initial reveal? Will you be picking up this system at launch, shortly afterward, or quite some time afterward?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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