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Nintendo reveals NX to be the Switch, a console-portable hybrid

Nintendo has officially unveiled its next piece of hardware, which will be released in 2017 as the Nintendo Switch. Last night, the company revealed via Twitter that a three-minute trailer for the system formerly known as the NX was set to be broadcast today, and the footage did not disappoint.

As expected, the system will blur the lines between home console and portable device. The Switch has its own screen and detachable controllers for gaming on the go, but it can also be connected to a television for players who prefer a bigger screen.

It seems that the Switch will offer several different control options, depending on which game is being played. A traditional dual analog gaming controller features heavily in the reveal video, but we also see simpler, wand-like controllers that can detach from the console itself.

When attached to the sides of the Switch’s portable screen, these input devices (called “Joy-Con controllers” in a press release) form an approximation of the Wii U gamepad. The trailer also shows one person using them detached, with one in each hand, as well as locked into a separate controller accessory (the “Joy-Con Grip”). At other times they’re detached and used individually, in the same vein as a horizontal Wii remote, making it easy to dive into multiplayer on the go. The trailer features local multiplayer with a single Switch, as well as multiple Switches networked together for more players.

It’s long been rumored that the new Nintendo console would see a return to card-based storage media as opposed to disks, and this footage seems to offer some confirmation. In the airport segment of the clip, we see a user load a 3DS-style game card into the top of his device.

The sheer amount of gameplay footage featured in the trailer is perhaps the biggest surprise of the reveal. There’s a healthy dose of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as expected — the game was delayed so that it can be released for the Switch as well as the Wii U — but there were several surprises, as well.

Iterations of Mario Kart and Splatoon are shown running on the new hardware, although it’s unclear whether these games are entirely new, or simply updates of titles first released on the Wii U. There’s also footage of a brand new Mario platformer, which is sure to excite the Nintendo faithful.

There’s even some indication that third-party support might be stronger that it was during the Wii U era. We see NBA 2K17 being played on the console, as well as a good amount of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which seems to be something of a graphical showcase for the system.

Nintendo first referenced the NX publicly in March 2015, when the system was described as a “brand new concept” by then-CEO Satoru Iwata. We’ve heard bits and pieces of information since then, and this trailer confirms many of the biggest rumors that were circulated regarding the hardware.

The Nintendo Switch will be available in March 2017.

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Brad Jones
Brad is an English-born writer currently splitting his time between Edinburgh and Pennsylvania. You can find him on Twitter…
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