This is Nin­tendo’s next video game con­sole

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

NIN­TENDO LAST Thurs­day un­veiled its next video game con­sole, the Nin­tendo Switch, a com­bi­na­tion home and mo­bile de­vice the com­pany hopes will re­verse its for­tunes in the con­sole mar­ket.

The Switch is a tablet-like de­vice play­ers can at­tach to a dock con­nected to the owner’s tele­vi­sion, en­joy­ing games with a stan­dard home con­sole con­troller. When own­ers want to play on the go, they re­move Switch from the dock and at­tach a pair of ‘Joy-Con’ con­trollers, one on each side.

The Joy-Con con­trollers re­sem­ble small re­motes, fea­tur­ing a thumb­stick and a va­ri­ety of but­tons. The con­trollers can de­tach and be used in games by one player or serve as in­di­vid­ual con­trollers for mul­ti­ple play­ers.

The Switch will launch in March 2017. Nin­tendo has yet to re­veal pric­ing de­tails.

With the Switch, Nin­tendo seeks to re­bound from sag­ging sales of its cur­rent home de­vice, the Wii U. Since launch­ing in 2012 – a year be­fore Sony’s PlayS­ta­tion 4 (PS4) and Mi­crosoft’s Xbox One– Nin­tendo has sold more than 13 mil­lion Wii U con­soles. By com­par­i­son, sales of the PS4 have reached 40 mil­lion. Nin­tendo also pro­duces the 3DS hand­held con­sole, which has sold nearly 60 mil­lion units to date.

The Wii U fea­tures a con­troller with a tablet-size touch­screen, some­what sim­i­lar to the de­sign of the un­docked Switch. How­ever, it failed to catch on with con­sumers, while third­party pub­lish­ers bailed in favour of pro­duc­ing games for PS4 and Xbox One.

Footage of the Switch in ac­tion shows two peo­ple play­ing Mario Kart, each hold­ing one of the Joy-Con con­trollers side­ways. Another clip shows a per­son play­ing an ac­tion game hold­ing both con­trollers ver­ti­cally like re­motes while the Switch is propped up by a kick­stand.

“Nin­tendo Switch al­lows gamers the free­dom to play how­ever they like,” said Reg­gie Fils-Aime, Nin­tendo of Amer­ica’s pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, in a state­ment Thurs­day.

Nin­tendo says sev­eral third­party pub­lish­ers will part­ner with the com­pany on Switch games, in­clud­ing Ac­tivi­sion, Elec­tronic Arts, Cap­com and Ubisoft. Dur­ing a video show­cas­ing the con­sole, footage of Bethesda Soft­works’ role-play­ing game The El­der Scrolls V: Skyrim and Take-Two In­ter­ac­tive’s NBA 2K were spot­ted.

GAM­ING REVO­LU­TION

“With the Nin­tendo Switch’s unique ca­pac­i­ties and de­sign, Nin­tendo could again re­de­fine the way we play games,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guille­mot in a sep­a­rate state­ment.

The Switch will run a cus­tom ver­sion of Nvidia’s Te­gra pro­ces­sor, the chip­maker con­firmed in a sep­a­rate blog post. Ver­sions of the Te­gra pro­ces­sor are used in de­vices such as Nvidia’s own por­ta­ble gam­ing plat­form, Nvidia Shield.

Wed­bush an­a­lyst Michael Pachter says the sup­port from third-party pub­lish­ers looks “im­pres­sive,” adding the Switch could per­form well, depend­ing on how it stacks up against the PS4 and Xbox One.

“If the specs are com­pa­ra­ble, and the price point is com­pa­ra­ble, and the soft­ware is com­pa­ra­ble ... I think things are go­ing to be great,” says Pachter.

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