During last night’s Nintendo Switch 2017 Presentation, the company gave us a closer look at the new console, including its three modes, some details on its screen, battery life, and Joy-Con. Here’s a summary of the Switch’s key features from Nintendo’s presentation and press release.
“Nintendo Switch is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes,” said Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima. “We will introduce the world to new experiences made possible by the unique characteristics of the Nintendo Switch hardware and the Joy-Con.”
That said, here’s more about the three modes: The Nintendo Switch can be played in three different modes. “TV Mode” is the most standard one, where you can hook up the Switch and play it on a TV. “Tabletop Mode” is where you stand the Switch up using its kickstand and play using the Joy-Con. This mode allows you to play away from a TV and also allows for Joy-Con multiplayer.
The third mode is the “Handheld Mode.” This mode is done by attaching the Joy-Cons to the console and using it as a portable device, allowing you to take it with you anywhere including the outdoors.
Now, one thing that always comes to mind when thinking handheld or portable device is battery life. The Nintendo Switch’s battery life varies depending on software and usage conditions, and can last for more than six hours. For example, during the live stream it was said that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge, but that will also vary on several factors like brightness and such. While away from home, you’ll also get to charge the Nintendo Switch by plugging the AC adapter into the console’s USB Type-C connector.
Here’s a closer look at the features of each Joy-Con controller. While they may look the same, they actually have their own unique functions. For example, the left Joy-Con has a Capture button used to capture an image during the game. Meanwhile the one on the right has the Home Button as well as an IR Motion Camera that is used to detect the distance, shape, and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, this camera can detect how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper, or scissors shape. The right Joy-Con also has an NFC touchpoint for interacting with amiibo figures.
Additionally, both Joy-Con controllers feature advanced “HD Rumble,” which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations with a more realistic sense. During the presentation, they shared an example of how these detailed effects could allow players to feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. The HD Rumble is said to be able to provide players with a level of realism that can’t be experienced through sights and sounds alone.
Next is a look at the Nintendo Switch’s screen. The above is a first look at its interface. While we’ve yet to get a closer look at the screen itself, it is a 6.2-inch screen that includes capacitive multi-touch capabilities for compatible games.
And finally, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Switch will make it easy for players to stay connected with the possibility of up to eight systems being connected for local wireless play. The system will support online Wi-Fi multiplayer gaming as well. There will also be a new online subscription service that will start with a free trial at launch. There will also be a smart-device application for it in Summer 2017 that will allow users to invite friends to play online, set appointments, and chat with each other as they play compatible games. The fully featured paid service is expected to launch in the fall.
Nintendo Switch releases on March 3, 2017. Siliconera will provide more insight on the Nintendo Switch after our hands-on experience with the new console.