The Nintendo Switch is an upcoming ninth generation dedicated game platform developed by Nintendo. During the reveal of their partnership with DeNA, Satoru Iwata revealed that this device, then codenamed "NX". The Switch is a portable system which can be docked for home play, effectively hybridizing home consoles and handhelds. Joy-Con Controllers can attached to the system to work like a GamePad or used separately for multiplayer. The system is cartridge-based, storing physical copies of games on Game Cards like the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS lines; while continuing this tradition for handhelds, it notably breaks the trend of home consoles storing games on discs.
The Nintendo Switch is a home console/handheld hybrid device; while the main unit is a portable tablet, it can be inserted into a special dock that connects to a monitor for at-home play. Games are controlled using either the Joy-Cons, wireless controllers that can be attached to either the sides of the tablet or a special controller bridge called the Joy-Con Grip, or a Pro Controller similar in design to the controllers used in the competing Xbox One. Physical games are stored on Game Cards similar to those used in the Nintendo DS and 3DS.
On October 16, 2015, the Nintendo Development Kits for the NX were confirmed to be distributed to various publishers. This confirmed that the NX is succeeding the Wii U and 3DS and is coming out in multiple formats. There seems to be a massive boost in making them developer friendly with development portal at developer.nintendo.com with the Nintendo Dev Interface.
On April 27, 2016, Nintendo confirmed a March 2017 release with The Legend of Zelda as a launch title. Additionally, they said that the NX will not be at E3 2016.
Nintendo has chosen not to give much information about the console due to concerns over industrial espionage; as a result, an overwhelming majority of the NX's publicity has focused on unconfirmed rumors and speculation. The information Nintendo has provided clarifies that the NX will not truly succeed the Wii U or the 3DS and that games will still be developed for the latter two consoles, as it would be impractical to discontinue both. Additionally, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed during a Q & A session following E3 2016 that Nintendo has been doing research on virtual reality.
On October 20, 2016, Nintendo released their official preview trailer for the console after months of little to no information; this trailer showcased the variety of ways that the NX, now referred to by its current official name of the "Nintendo Switch", can be played; particular emphasis was placed on its handheld capabilities, while still showcasing the ability to use it as a home console. Despite positive fan reception, Nintendo's stock took a significant downwards spike due to investor skepticism caused by the trailer appearing to market the device towards a combination of casual and core audiences rather than the core market alone and by the continued lack of information towards the Switch's technical specifications.
On December 7, 2016, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime did a surprise live demonstration of the Switch during his guest appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; there, he allowed Fallon, a noted fan of Nintendo, to play a portion of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While nothing was stated about the technical specifications of the Switch, its live demonstration showcased its home-to-handheld transition capabilities and its ability to run Breath of the Wild at a noticeably smoother framerate than the Wii U version, implying a greater technical prowess.
The Nintendo Switch will be Nintendo's first hybrid console.
The Nintendo Switch will be the first home console in the world to store physical games on cartridges as the main format in 20 years; the last cartridge-based home console before it was the Nintendo 64, released in 1996.
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo's first home console since the Nintendo GameCube to have the word "Nintendo" included on its name.