Latest Nintendo console can Switch form factors on the fly


— 9:46 AM on October 20, 2016

Nintendo has released the first teaser video for its next game console, the Switch. The three-minute clip makes it clear that a return of cartridges and an attempt to blur the distinction between home and portable gaming will indeed be elements of the company's latest system, as the rumor mill suggested.

The video opens with a gamer playing what appears to be The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind on a television with a traditional controller in hand. That's all well and good, but he then slides the sides of the controller off that hand-held frame and onto a tablet nested in a dock by his TV, transforming the system into a portable. The controller side pieces appear to be usable when attached to the tablet, the controller frame, or in a kind of HTC Vive-esque wand arrangement.

An Nvidia Tegra SoC powers the Switch. The company provided limited information regarding that chip on its corporate blog. We know the SoC contains an ARM processor and "the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards," though Nvidia didn't say whether that means Maxwell or Pascal tech. The company isn't talking CPU core and stream processor counts, either, nor do we know anything about clock speeds, so performance levels are anyone's guess. Nvidia does say the Switch has hardware-accelerated video playback capabilities and custom audio software, and it also features a new API called NVN that's meant "to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses."

The Nintendo Switch will be available in March 2017. Pricing info for the system wasn't released today.

 
   
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