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The Complete Nintendo Switch FAQ – Updated

Last updated: February 8, 2017 – Every nugget of information we know about the the Nintendo Switch, its controllers and, most importantly, its games.

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Nintendo Switch - Tabletop Mode

So, now we know. The full reveal for the Nintendo Switch saw an onslaught of new information about the hardware, its controllers and most importantly, its games.

Last updated: February 8, 2017.

After four years of Nintendo Direct broadcasts it was refreshing to see the Japanese publisher put on a bit of a show once again. We have no idea if the Switch is going to connect with a large audience but you could sense a touch of renewed purpose and pride from Nintendo in the console’s full unveiling, something we never really saw with the Wii U.

All in all it was a decent, although not outstanding, reveal. The Switch cannot compete head-to-head with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in terms of raw power but it does offer a tangibly different experience. The $299.99 price point won’t help however – effectively removing the potential for it being an impulse purchase – and the announced software line-up also did little to demonstrate its difference.

That said, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild makes it for launch, which wasn’t a given, and with some first and third-party titles presumably held back for E3 things should look a lot better a few months after launch.

Third-party support looks reasonably promising, but then it always does when a Nintendo console launches. Hopefully the difference this time is that if that support does evaporate, the combined output of Nintendo’s first and second party studios – who now only have one console to develop for – will ensure that the Switch doesn’t suffer from the same software droughts that plagued the Wii U.

We’ll be adding more information to this page as it is available, so pop it in your bookmarks and check back to stay up to date.

Release date and price

The Nintendo Switch will be released on 3rd March 2017 in the following regions:

  • North America – $299,99
  • Japan – ¥29,980
  • Europe – Dependant on retailer. Currently £279.99 in the UK.

What’s in the box?

Nintendo Switch - Box-Contents

Option One

  • Nintendo Switch Console
  • Left and Right Joy-Con controllers (Grey)
  • Left and Right Joy-Con wrist straps (Grey)
  • Joy-Con grip
  • Dock
  • HDMI cable
  • AC adaptor

Option Two

  • Nintendo Switch Console
  • Left and Right Joy-Con controllers (Blue and Red Neon)
  • Left and Right Joy-Con wrist straps (Blue and Red Neon)
  • Joy-Con grip (non-chargeable)
  • Dock
  • HDMI cable
  • AC adaptor

First party accessories and peripherals

Nintendo have never been shy to supplement their consoles with peripherals and accessories and the Switch looks to be no exception. The official line-up of first party Nintendo Switch peripherals includes:

  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
  • Nintendo Switch Dock, Nintendo Switch AC adapter, HDMI cable.
  • Left Joy-Con controller
  • Right Joy-Con controller
  • Left and Right Joy-Con controller set
  • Joy-Con grip (Chargeable)
  • Joy-Con Wheels
  • Joy-Con Controller Strap (Grey)
  • Accessory Set (Case and Screen Protector)

Console specifications

There has been much debate around the processing and graphical power of the Nintendo Switch and for now most of those questions remain unanswered. Based on the game footage seen so far the Switch looks to be a moderate step up from the Wii U at the very least.

  • Size: 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm (with Joy-Con attached)
  • Weight: Approx. 297g ( 398g with Joy-Con attached)
  • Screen: 6.2 inch LCD with capacitive touch capability
  • Console screen resolution: 1280×720 resolution
  • Maximum TV output resolution: 1920×1080, 60 fps
  • Audio output: Supports linear PCM 5.1ch
  • CPU/GPU: NVIDIA customised Tegra processor
  • Battery: Lithium ion battery with 4310mAh capacity
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Communication: Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Region locking: None (Whoop!)

Storage

The Nintendo Switch console includes 32GB of internal storage of which a portion is reserved for system use. This can be expanded via microSDHC and microSDXC cards. Game cards have an upper limit of 32GB.

Battery life

One of the big questions around Nintendo’s new console was just how long the battery would last in portable mode. Now we have the answer. When undocked the console’s internal battery will last between 2.5 – 6.5 hours, depending on the game being played. The console can also be charged and played at the same time using a USB-C cable. It is estimated that Joy-Con controllers will hold a charge in the region of 20 hours.

How does it work?

The Nintendo Switch can be played in three configurations.

Nintendo Switch - Portable Mode

  • TV mode – playable on HD televisions and generating an image up to 1080p.
  • Tabletop mode – Propped up with kick-stand and played using detached Joy-Con or Pro Controller.
  • Handheld mode – With attached Joy-Con controllers for play on the go. (see above)

The controller

The controllers for the Nintendo Switch are called Joy-Con. Each is fully functional independent controller but when connected to the Switch console or the Joy-Con Grip performs in the same way as a standard game controller.

Left Joy-Con features

  • Clickable analogue stick
  • Accelerometer and gyro sensor
  • Four Directional buttons
  • L and ZL buttons
  • SL and SR buttons
  • Capture button
  • Wrist strap with enhanced SL and SR buttons
  • HD Rumble
  • Neon Blue variant

Right Joy-Con features

  • Clickable analogue stick
  • Accelerometer and gyro sensor
  • A, B, X, Y buttons
  • R and ZR buttons
  • SL and SR buttons
  • NFC reader/writer
  • Wrist strap with enhanced SL and SR buttons
  • HD Rumble
  • IR Motion Camera
  • Neon Red colour variant

Nintendo Switch -Joy-Con Controller

Dock

The packed dock includes the following connections:

  • 2 x USB 2.0 compatible ports (side and back)
  • System connector
  • AC adapter port
  • HDMI port

USB 3.0 support will be added in a future firmware update.

Home Screen and UI

It’s nice, elegant and simple.

Nintendo Switch - Home Screen

Online services

Nintendo will be joining Microsoft and Sony in offering a paid online service. At launch the service will be free, with subscriptions beginning in Fall 2017. In an interview with Nikkei, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said the service would cost in the region of 2,000-3,000 yen per year. This equates to $17.50-$26.50.

Subscriptions will include a free NES or SNES game to download and play for a period of one month. Some SNES titles will be adapted for online multiplayer play.

Nintendo will also be launching a Smartphone App which will let users invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and facilitate voice chat. It’s also reasonable to expect that the My Nintendo rewards service will also be integrated into this new eco-system.

Digital Games

The Nintendo eShop will be available on the Switch at launch but as yet no games are officially confirmed other than Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! and I am Setsuna. It is expected that more information will be revealed about the console’s digital service before to launch.

Streaming and sharing

The left Joy-Con controller features a Capture Button that can take screenshots and, pending a future update, record gameplay footage.

Local Multiplayer

The Nintendo Switch supports the connection of eight consoles over local WiFi.

Web browser

The Nintendo Switch does not have a web browser. At least at launch.

Confirmed games and release dates

Despite the Switch having 80 games in development its launch line-up is not as robust as we hoped, with many rumoured titles absent. The launch window will see the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildSplatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the latter of which adds new characters and tracks to an already superb Wii U game. We also saw the expected reveal of Skyrim from Bethesda, plus cautious support from Sega and Electronic Arts. Our hope is that E3 will see the announcement of more games to support the Switch into the 2017 holiday season.

  • 1-2-Switch – 3rd March, 2017
  • ARMS – 3rd March, 2017
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild –  3rd March, 2017
  • Splatoon 2 – Summer 2017
  • Super Mario Odyssey – Holiday 2017
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – TBC
  • New Fire Emblem – 2018
  • Fire Emblem Warriors – TBC
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 28th April, 2017
  • Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! – March, 2017

Confirmed third-party games

  • 1001 Spikes – TBC
  • Cave Story – TBC
  • Disgaea 5 – May, 2017
  • Dragon Quest 10 – TBC
  • Dragon Quest 11 – TBC
  • Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2 – TBC
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 – TBC
  • Fast RMC – TBC
  • Farming Simulator 2017 – TBC
  • FIFA – TBC
  • Has-Been Heroes – TBC
  • Human Resource Machine – 3rd March, 2017
  • I am Setsuna – 3rd March
  • Just Dance 2017 – 3rd March, 2017
  • Lego City Undercover – Spring
  • Little Inferno – 3rd March, 2017
  • Minecraft – TBC
  • Minecraft Story Mode – TBC
  • NBA 2K18 – TBC
  • New Shin Megame Tensei – TBC
  • New No More Heroes title – TBC
  • Project Octopath Traveller – TBC
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris – TBC
  • Rayman Legends Definitive Edition – TBC
  • Redout –  TBC
  • Rime – TBC
  • Sonic Mania – TBC
  • Steep – TBC
  • Super Bomberman R – March
  • Syberia 3 – TBC
  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ – TBC
  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – TBC
  • Shovel Knight Treasure Trove – Spring
  • Skylanders Imaginators – 3rd March, 2017
  • TumbleSeed – TBC
  • Ultra Street Fighter 2 – TBC
  • Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – TBC
  • World of Goo – 3rd March, 2017

What do Nintendo Switch game boxes look like?

Like this…

Parental controls

Nintendo will also be releasing a smartphone app that allows parents to control the play time of their children. You can see how it works in this rather wonderful video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIhagVVGB9s


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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe.