Nintendo Switch
October 24, 2016 | by Michael
Everything We’ve Learned About the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch has only officially been in our lexicon for a handful of days, but we’ve learned quite a bit about it since. Despite only releasing a trailer, we’ve seen plenty more about the Switch since either through sharp eyes or statements made in the days since. Here’s a rundown of everything we know now that Nintendo has begun to talk about the Switch.

-The Nintendo Switch will use cartridges. As rumored months ago, the Switch will use cartridges, instead of discs, for their game releases. The video Nintendo released briefly shows a 3DS lookalike cartridge, called the GameCard, sliding into a slot in the screen. No specifications have been given about these GameCards, however. Can you save onto cartridges? Can they hold as much information as a modern Blu-Ray disc? Are they cheap enough to make for 3rd party developers/publishers to make games on?

-The Switch’s dock does very little. Originally we were hopeful that dock would maybe boost the Switch’s performance while you were playing games at home, but that’s not the case. According to Nintendo: “the main function of the Nintendo Switch Dock is to provide an output to the TV, as well as charging and providing power to the system.” Makes some sense, the dock is a neat power station and it would need an HDMI output, but that’s a pretty big box that functions only as a power brick.

-No backwards compatibility for the Wii U or 3DS. Even though this is a bit of a bummer, this actually makes some sense. The Switch has no disc drive, making it impossible to put your Wii U games into it, and the Switch isn’t a two screen console making 3DS games practically impossible to play. Not to mention, Nintendo hasn’t clarified if the Switch has a touch screen. No word on the state of digital and virtual console purchases and how they’ll carry over, it they do.

-Skyrim and NBA 2K17 aren’t confirmed for the Switch. Despite getting some prominent screen time in that trailer, Bethesda remained apprehensive when asked directly if Skyrim would be coming to the Switch. Skyrim Remastered is coming out very, very soon, so you could surmise they’re just waiting until then, but it still seems strange they’d include both games without any major plans to port something to the Switch. Both Bethesda and Take Two have stated their support of Nintendo’s new console, but until we have concrete game titles and release dates it’s all smoke and mirrors.

-Switch will use custom Nvidia hardware. Not long after the Switch’s reveal, Nvidia posted a blog confirming it’s their hardware inside the new console. They’re using their Tegra processor that’s often used in modern mobile electronics like smartphones and tablets. This would be pretty powerful, but no telling how well it’ll be utilized on a console with such a different concept. It is a good sign for the mobile portion of the Switch, but questions remain about performance, battery life, and heating issues.

There’s still a lot more we need to know about the Switch, and Nintendo has said they won’t be talking about launch lineups or specific hardware specs until next year. That still leaves major information to come like price that will hopefully be coming before too long. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great start, but teasing a possible new 3D Mario and Mario Kart without any official word, especially since Skyrim and NBA 2K aren’t confirmed, leaves me a little apprehensive. Overall it was a great reveal and a lackluster followup. Hopefully we’ll get more and more info in the coming days, maybe later this week, but for now we’ll live off of these tidbits for at least a few months.

Michael

Managing Editor around here, moderator over at Giant Bomb, writer at prowrestling.cool

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