Nintendo Switch

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"Switch and Play"
–Advertising slogan
Nintendo Switch
ニンテンドースイッチ Nintendō Suitchi
Nintendo Switch logo.png
Nintendo Switch 2.jpg
The Nintendo Switch inside the Nintendo Switch Dock, with Joy-Con controllers.
Generation N/A
Predecessor(s) Wii U
Successor(s) N/A
Technical Details
Media Nintendo Switch Game Card
Storage capacity 32GB internal memory, microSD card[1], USB storage*[2]
CPU Nvidia Tegra[3]
Model no.
Compatibility & Connectivity
Can connect with N/A
Input Joy-Con, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Backwards compatible with N/A
Forward compatible with N/A
Services provided Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Account
Launch date WW: March 3, 2017[4]
Discontinue date
Units sold

The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo's upcoming seventh major home console platform[5][6], following the Wii U. The system is described as being a hybrid handheld and home console device, allowing players to take the system and play home console games on the go.[7] Officially unveiled in October 2016, the Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide simultaneously in March 2017[8][9][4].



Development on the Nintendo Switch began in 2013.[10][11] Satoru Iwata, Tatsumi Kimishima, Genyo Takeda, and Shigeru Miyamoto created a strategy to revitalize Nintendo's business, including entering the mobile market, creating new dedicated gaming hardware, and "maximizing" the company's intellectual property.[11] According to Tatsumi Kimishima, development began with the question, "What kind of new experience can we create?", as Nintendo did not simply wish to create a follow-up to the Nintendo 3DS family or Wii U.[11] The system designers initially struggled to come up with a concept for the system, until looking back at the company's history and seeing that "[Nintendo's] really been an amusement provider."[10] Afterward, the concept of playing games anywhere with anyone came about.[10] With the overall concept set, many of the basic features of the system came about quickly afterward; according to designer Yoshiaki Koizumi, the concept of having two controllers that could attach to the console was one of the first decisions to be made.[10] The name "Switch" refers not only to the console's ability to swap between portable and TV modes, but also to the idea that it will be "a ‘switch’ that will flip, and change the way people experience entertainment in their daily lives."[12]

To show that Nintendo would continue in the dedicated gaming hardware business after announcing a partnership with DeNA to enter the mobile market, Satoru Iwata announced that a new Nintendo platform "with a brand-new concept" was in development during an investor's briefing in March 2015, referred to under the codename "NX".[13] During a later investor's meeting in May 2015, Iwata stated that the company would not give specific details or reveal the NX until 2016.[14] Succeeding Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima would later state that the new hardware would not be a successor to either the Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family[15], and reconfirmed that the device is based around a new concept.[15][13] The Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara also stated that the console "is trying to change what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device".[16] During an investor's meeting in April 2016, Kimishima stated that the hardware would be priced to not sell at a loss at launch[17], later stating in July that the company plans on the Nintendo Switch making up for declining Wii U sales.[18]

Over time, rumors began to surface about the new console. One such rumor was that the device would run on a version of the Android operating system, which was later debunked by Nintendo.[19] According to Shigeru Miyamoto at a June 2016 investor's meeting, the NX was not showcased at E3 2016 as the company was worried about potential imitators if info was released too early.[20][21] In spite of this, however, according to Bethesda's Todd Howard, the system was still demoed in private at the event.[22]

The console was finally revealed as the Nintendo Switch on October 20, 2016.[7] When asked if the system would impact sales of the Nintendo 3DS due to its portable nature, a Nintendo representative answered that, "Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost."[23] The company has also announced a "Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017" event on January 12, 2017, in Tokyo (livestreamed worldwide) to reveal more about the system, including its launch date, launch titles, and price, as well as announcing a number of hands-on events worldwide to take place pre-launch.[24]


The main feature of the Nintendo Switch is its ability to be played both at home and on the go[7], immediately transitioning from displaying on the television to the system's built-in screen.[9] The Nintendo Switch itself features a tablet-like screen with a 6.2-inch capacitive multi-touch screen with a display resolution of 720p.[25] The device features a power button, volume buttons, a 3.5mm headphone port, a covered Game Card slot, and on the back of the device is a kickstand[9] with a microSD card slot underneath.[25] The system's battery life is officially stated to be between 2.5–6.5 hours, varying by software and usage[4]; Nintendo have commented that the system is designed to allow users to play for as long as possible "comfortably".[26] The system can be recharged using a USB Type-C cable.[25] Finally, the system's screen uses Immersion Corporation's Touch Sense technology, providing haptic feedback when the touch screen is used.[27]

The Nintendo Switch has three "play styles". In "TV Mode", the Nintendo Switch is connected to the Nintendo Switch Dock, allowing players to play on a television screen.[4] The dock features two USB ports on the front, and an LED indicating when the system is outputting to the television.[25] Opening up the back of the dock reveals an additional USB port, an HDMI port, and an AC Adapter port for charging the system while it is docked. The dock's USB ports will support USB 2.0 at launch, while USB 3.0 support will be added in a system update.[28] In "Tabletop Mode", the Nintendo Switch is stood up using its kickstand while the Joy-Cons are used separately, either for single-player or multiplayer.[4] Finally, in "Handheld Mode", the Joy-Cons are attached to both sides of the Nintendo Switch in a form factor similar to the Wii U GamePad.[4] Up to eight systems can be connected for local play.[4]

The Nintendo Switch will not feature Miiverse, nor will it have StreetPass capabilities.[29] Using the Joy-Con L's Capture button, the player can capture a screenshot of their gameplay, which automatically saves the shot to the system's album. From the album, players are able to edit the image by adding text with a variety of colors, positions, and sizes, and post it onto social media sites.[30] Images can also be saved to an SD card or deleted.[31] The ability to capture and post video footage is planned for a future update.[4]

The system will not be backwards compatible controllers and accessories with any previous systems. However, compatibility with some controllers may be considered as an addition in a future update.[30]


The Nintendo Switch features 32 GB of internal NAND memory.[25][1][30] The total memory for the system can be expanded with microSD cards of up to 2 TB in size[1][2] While the system will not support USB-based storage options at launch, the company is considering whether or not to add this feature in a future update, as being unable to take USB save data on the go conflicts with the portable aspect of the system.[2][30] While using a microSD card, game save data will be saved to the system's internal memory, while redownloadable data (digital games, updates, downloadable content, etc.) will be saved to the microSD card.[30]


For the first time, the Nintendo Switch will use a paid online service, based around the Nintendo Account service.[32] Under the paid subscription service, users will be able to play online with each other, as well as use the online lobby and voice chat application on smart devices.[32] Users will also be given exclusive deals, as well as being able to download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Nintendo Entertainment System title with added online play each month (the game will only be available to players for that month).[32]

Other internet-based services, such as the Nintendo eShop, sharing images, and adding and managing friends can be accessed without requiring a paid subscription; however, a Nintendo Account is still required to access any online features.[32] The Nintendo eShop region available to the user depends on the country they have selected for their Nintendo Account.[30]

System specs

Although the device's full specifications have not been revealed, it is known that the system will be powered by a custom, "high-efficiency scalable" Nvidia Tegra processor. The system will use an Nvidia GPU "based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards", and a brand-new "NVN" API "built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses."[3] According to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, the Nintendo Switch GPU is similar to those found in the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and modern PCs.[33]


NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Category:Nintendo Switch games 

The Nintendo Switch will be the first Nintendo console after the Nintendo GameCube to not use a variant of the Game Disc format for physical releases, instead opting for the Game Card format similar to those used with Nintendo's handheld devices since the Nintendo DS.[34] Basic Game Cards are said to be able to hold 16 GB, and are non-rewriteable.[2] In addition, the Nintendo Switch will be the first Nintendo home console to be region free, allowing users who purchase a game in another region to play that copy of the game on any Nintendo Switch system.[4]

In Japan, the hardware will launch with nine titles: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2-Switch, Super Bomberman R, Skylanders Imaginators, I Am Setsuna, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Disgaea 5 Complete, Dragon Quest Heroes I•II, and Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence.[35] In other territories, the system will launch with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2-Switch, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators, I Am Setsuna, and Super Bomberman R.[36][37] According to Nintendo, over 100 games for the system are currently in development.[35]

The Nintendo Switch will not be backwards compatible with games for any previous systems.[26][30]

The Nintendo Switch will feature a Virtual Console service, though it will not be available at launch.[38]



NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Joy-Con 

The Joy-Cons (Joy-Con L and Joy-Con R) are the main controllers for the Nintendo Switch. They can either be attached to the Nintendo Switch on both sides of the system, detached from the system to use without holding the screen or as two individual controllers, or attached to the Joy-Con Grip for a form factor more similar to a standard controller.[9] Both Joy-Cons feature an analog stick, four face buttons (the d-pad on Joy-Con L and the standard face buttons on Joy-Con R), standard shoulder buttons and triggers, and a pair of "SL" and "SR" shoulder buttons on the rail.[25] Joy-Con L also features a Minus button and a Capture button[25][4], while Joy-Con R has a Plus button, a Power button, and NFC functionality.[25][4]

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller 

Similar to the Wii U, a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, resembling a more traditional controller, has been announced.[7] The controller can be used with the Nintendo Switch regardless of whether or not it is attached to the dock.


NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: amiibo 

amiibo will be compatible with the Nintendo Switch. Both the Joy-Con L and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller feature a built-in NFC reader/writer.[4]

Joy-Con Wheel

NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Joy-Con Wheel 

The Joy-Con Wheel is an accessory to be released alongside Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Similar to the Wii Wheel, the Joy-Con Wheel is a wheel-shaped shell that a Joy-Con can be fitted into, giving it the form factor of a steering wheen. The Joy-Con Wheel also features plus and minus buttons as well as two triggers on the back.


Announcement / Post-announcement

At its reveal, many of Nintendo's announced partners showed their interest in and praised the Nintendo Switch. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the Nintendo Switch "could again redefine the way we play games."[39] Bethesda announced that they were "trilled" to be a partner for Nintendo Switch, stating that the console "presents exciting opportunities for our studios & fans."[40]

When asked about his thoughts on the Nintendo Switch on Twitter, Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, replied by stating, "I'm always impressed with [Nintendo's] ability to state a bold vision and build a product that delivers on that vision."[41] Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg also commented that the Nintendo Switch, "looks like fun!" and praised Nintendo's innovation in the industry.[41] Shuhei Yoshida, the head of Sony's Worldwide Studios, has said that the Nintendo Switch is "a very unique system," and that it will be "good for core gamers."[42]

Business analysts, however, were more skeptical of the device and Nintendo's direction with the console, many citing its main gimmick and target audience. Dr. Serkan Toto questioned the console's level of innovation and whether or not the Nintendo Switch's hybrid concept would be able to attract a wide enough audience, stating, "who else but die-hard Nintendo fans will buy the Switch?"[43][44] Others were also concerned with other aspects of the console, such as the device's battery life, its price point, and third-party support.[45]

Within twenty-four hours of its posting, the "First Look at Nintendo Switch" trailer became the most-viewed video on Nintendo of America's YouTube channel[46] and the top trending video on YouTube overall[47], surpassing 10 million views. In an investor's briefing on October 26, the company revealed that the trailer had been viewed more than 23 million times on its official YouTube channels alone, and that reactions were more than 95% positive.[48][49]


External links

Nintendo Switch on other NIWA Wikis:
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Fire Emblem Wiki
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Super Mario Wiki
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Zelda Wiki


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Switch supports up to 256 GB microSD cards. Nintendo Everything (January 13, 2017). Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Nintendo Switch's storage could be expanded with USB drives. Gamereactor UK (January 13, 2017). Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 NVIDIA Technology Powers New Home Gaming System, Nintendo Switch. Nvidia (October 20, 2016). Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017. Nintendo (YouTube; January 12, 2017). Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  5. Reggie calls the Nintendo NX a home console. Wii U Daily (June 19, 2015). Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  6. PR - First Glimpse of Nintendo NX Coming Tomorrow at 7 a.m. PT. GoNintendo (October 19, 2016). Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Nintendo Switch world premier demonstrates new entertainment experiences from a home gaming system. Nintendo (October 20, 2016). Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  8. Earnings Release: Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2016. Nintendo (April 27, 2016). Retrieved June 16, 2016.
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  12. Nintendo on Switch’s name, goal with the announcement trailer. Nintendo Everything (December 6, 2016). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  13. 13.0 13.1 March 17, Wed. 2015 Presentation Title. Nintendo (March 17, 2015). Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  14. No NX Reveal at E3, Nintendo Says. GameSpot (May 11, 2015). Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Nintendo President: NX Is Not the Successor "to the Wii U nor to the 3DS". IGN (May 16, 2016). Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  16. Nintendo NX Will "Change The Concept" Of Home Console And Handheld Gaming, Says Pokémon Company President. Nintendo Life (September 20, 2016). Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  17. Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2016 - Q & A. Nintendo (April 28, 2016). Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  18. Wii U was expected to sell 100 million units. (July 7, 2016). Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  19. No, Nintendo's NX Will Not Be Running On Android. Forbes (June 2, 2015). Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  20. Report: Nintendo's fear of imitators kept NX out of E3. Polygon (June 29, 2016). Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  21. Nintendo Didn't Show NX at E3 Because It Was Worried About Copycats, Says Miyamoto. GameSpot (June 29, 2016). Retrieved October 22, 2016).
  22. Q&A: 'Skyrim' Creator Todd Howard Talks Switch, VR and Why We'll Have to Wait for Another 'Elder Scrolls'. Glixel (November 21, 2016). Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  23. Nintendo: Switch is a home gaming system ‘first and foremost’. Polygon (October 20, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  24. Nintendo Switch event to reveal further details in mid-January. Polygon (October 26, 2016). Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 Features on the official Nintendo Switch website. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Nintendo Switch: Nintendo confirms lack of retro-compatiblity… for physical media, note about battery life. Perfectly Nintendo (October 21, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  27. Immersion and Nintendo Enter into Agreement to Bring Immersion's TouchSense Technology to the Nintendo Switch System. GoNintendo (January 13, 2017). Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  28. Specifications on the official UK Nintendo Switch website. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  29. Nintendo Switch won’t have Miiverse or StreetPass. VentureBeat (January 13, 2017). Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 Nintendo Answers (And Avoids) Our Switch Questions. Kotaku (January 19, 2017). Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  31. Here’s how you can take and share screenshots on the Nintendo Switch. VG247 (February 23, 2017). Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Nintendo Switch online service on the official Nintendo Switch website. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  33. Nvidia CEO Thinks That PS4, Xbox One, and PC Ports on Switch Will Be Simple Due To Tegra Chip. My Nintendo News (November 16, 2016). Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  34. Nintendo Switch - Official Website - Nintendo's New Video Game System. Nintendo. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Nine Months Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending March 2017. Nintendo (January 31, 2017). Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  36. "Take a look at a sampling of titles for #NintendoSwitch from Nintendo and our third party partners coming this year." Nintendo of America on Twitter (January 13, 2017). Retrieved January 13, 2071.
  37. I Am Setsuna confirmed for North American and European Switch launch. Nintendo Everything (January 23, 2017). Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  38. Virtual Console Will Not Be Ready For Nintendo Switch Launch. Nintendo Life (February 23, 2017). Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  39. Developers Respond to Nintendo Switch. IGN (October 20, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  40. Bethesda Bethesda says they're 'thrilled' to be working on Switch. GoNintendo (October 20, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Xbox Bosses Praise The "Bold Vision" Of Nintendo Switch. Nintendo Life (October 21, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  42. Sony says Switch is "unique" & "interesting", believe it to be "good for core gamers", talk Nintendo mobile efforts. GoNintendo (December 6, 2016). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  43. Nintendo Stock Value Drops 6.5 Percent After Switch Reveal, Some Analysts Doubt Its Appeal. GameSpot (October 21, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  44. Nintendo Switch Console Is Met With Skepticism From Investors. The New York Times (October 21, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  45. "Who else but die-hard Nintendo fans will buy the Switch?" (October 20, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  46. Nintendo Switch preview trailer becomes most watched video on NoA YouTube, surpasses 10 million views. GoNintendo (October 21, 2016). Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  47. The Nintendo Switch Reveal is the Top Trending YouTube Video With Over 10 Million Views in One Day. Gamenesia (October 21, 2016). Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  48. Switch reveal viewed by over 23 million people, reactions 95% positive. GoNintendo (October 26, 2016). Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  49. Semi-Annual Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending March 2017. Nintendo (October 27, 2016). Retrieved October 27, 2016.

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Components / other

Add-on devices / other

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