For the sake of it being a new year and Nintendo’s big year, I wanted to compile everything I’ve heard about the Nintendo Switch over the last two and a half months. Most of it is rumors, with a few small tidbits about the console itself. This won’t be a large article though, instead I’ll just be bullet-pointing with comments where needed. It will be divided into three sections for ease of reading. Those sections are Confirmed, Semi-Confirmed, and Rumor. The first and third are pretty clear, the second is for stuff that are sort of confirmed, but might not have made it to the final iteration of the system(aka the patents.). Ok? Lets get started then because I’m sure this won’t be the last Switch article I write before the end of next week.
- The Nintendo Switch is a handheld/home console hybrid device, you can play it on your TV using a dock, or you can take it on the go with you everywhere.
- The primary controller features two halves, the Joy-Cons, which can either be used together as a normal controller or used singularly.
- The Joy-Cons have one analog stick each with four face buttons, one shoulder button, and a trigger.
- The Joy-Cons can be inserted into a Joy-Con Grip for a more traditional controller feel.
- The Nintendo Switch has its own pro controller similar to the Wii U pro controller, but with a layout similar to the Xbox controls.
- The handheld portion of the device has a kickstand so it can be set down when playing; the Joy-Cons can be detached from the console itself when portable.
- The system uses cartridges instead of optical discs.
- The Nintendo Switch is not backwards compatible with either the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS
- The Switch Dock provides no additional processing power; it has two USB ports, one HDMI port, and one power port.
- Confirmed games for the system are: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a new Super Mario game, a port of Splatoon, a port of Mario Kart 8, Dragon Quest XI, Sonic Project 2017, and Just Dance 2017. The indie title Seasons of Heaven has been confirmed to have not been running on a Switch dev kit and the devs are merely hoping to release the game there, as such it is not a confirmed Switch game.
- The Nintendo Switch will support Amiibos.
- The Nintendo Switch is using a “high-efficiency scalable custom NVIDIA Tegra chip based on the same architecture as the worlds top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards. The development encompassed 500 man-years of effort.” NVIDIA’s words, not mine.
- The Switch handheld device has a built-in cooling fan.
- The Switch Joy-Con controllers have an IR Camera on the bottom end of the controller, dedicated L & R buttons on the inside of the controller(Will not be visible or usable when controller is docked with the Joy-Con Grip or console itself.), pairing button on the inside of the controller, and four power LED’s on the inside of the controller.
- The Switch may support up to four individual Joy-Con controllers and two full Joy-Con pairs.
- The Switch uses USB-C for charging.
- The Switch Dock has a third USB port.
- The Nintendo Switch features two modes: Console and Portable. The system will be locked to console mode when docked, and portable mode when removed from the dock.
- The Switch’s console mode pushes the system to its maximum potential.
- The Switch handheld features a touchscreen.
- The Joy-Cons have gyroscopic sensors and rumble motors
- The Joy-Con grip recharges the Joy-Con controllers.
- There may be Joy-Cons with alternative control layouts.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition may come to Switch.
- Dark Souls III has been successfully ported to the Switch, but will only be released if sales of the system are good.
- The Switch uses SD card storage.
- Games running on Unreal Engine 4 have two performance presets: Console mode graphics are set to high settings at 1080p, while portable mode settings are medium at 720p, these are default settings and can be adjusted as needed.
- The version of Unreal Engine 4 that is running on the Nintendo Switch is the full renderer, not the mobile version.
- The battery in the Switch handheld is non-removable.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will look and perform better on the Nintendo Switch in both portable and console mode, with noticeable differences being a stable framerate, improved draw distance, and enhanced textures/effects.
- The Nintendo Switch’s portable mode downclocks to 40% automatically.
- The Switch is less powerful than the Wii U in portable mode; Conflicting rumors suggest it is actually more powerful than the Wii U in portable mode, doesn’t quite reach Xbox One levels of power in console mode, but comes close.
- The Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom Tegra Maxwell chip; Conflicting rumors suggest it’s powered by a Tegra Pascal chip. The latter is supported by NVIDIA’s own statements from October.
- The Switch’s CPU is the latest ARM chip, the ARM A73, which uses a 64bit v8 architecture.
- The touchscreen of the Switch is a capacitive screen with multi-touch support.
- The screen of the Nintendo Switch is 6.2 inches with a native resolution of 720p; in console mode the Switch can render games at 1080p, possibly 4K for videos.
- The Nintendo Switch can run games at its full power in portable mode at the cost of battery life, however this is a developer toggle, not a player toggle. The maximum battery life for full power games in portable mode is 3 hours.
- The Nintendo Switch base model will retail for USD$250 and come with 32GB of internal storage.
- The maximum supported memory is 128GB.
- Switch cartridges have a default size of 16GB with larger sizes available upon request.
- The Switch has 4GB’s of RAM, type unknown. (Note: Disadvantages of less RAM could potentially be offset by the solid state-like nature of the game cartridges and SD card storage)
- Super Smash Bros. Wii U is being ported to the Nintendo Switch for launch.
- Ubisoft is co-developing a Rabbids + Mario crossover RPG with Nintendo.
- The Nintendo Switch will feature GameCube virtual console support with the launch titles being: Super Smash Bros. Melee, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Mario Sunshine.
- The triggers on the Joy-Con’s are analog triggers which have not been used on Nintendo controllers since the GameCube.
- Switch Dock’s will eventually be made available separately and will be cheap.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will reportedly release in Japan and the US around the same time in March, but the European version may have been delayed to June/July.
- Game Freak will release a combined version of Pokemon Sun & Moon for the Nintendo Switch sometime between summer and winter 2017 with higher resolution assets; an official name has not been decided yet, but the current internal names are Stars and Eclipse.
- First wave dev kits from June/July 2016 featured a Tegra X1 chip, which is Maxwell. The dev kit did have a fan, which is something the X1 does not need. According to Laura Kate Dale, a newer, more powerful dev kit was sent out to major partners in October prior to the Switch reveal event, with a little bit of speculation that power rumors are based on the older June dev kits. (Note: Basically what is being said here is that it is entirely possible that while the sources LKD, Emily Rogers, Eurogamer, and Digital Foundry have might not be wrong regarding the power of the Switch, their information could quite possibly be based on the earlier dev kit which were running Maxwell, and not the newer October dev kit which is still a relative unknown. However, two leaks/rumors from the forum Baidu, one of which actually mentioned a newer dev kit from October before Laura Kate Dale mentioned it, claim the GPU in the system is Pascal. Supposedly this came from someone within the manufacturer Foxconn.)
And that’s all I got, at least, as far as I can remember. I have no doubt in my mind that in the lead up to the Switch event on Thursday, January 12th there will be plenty more leaks that have a lot more credibility to them than previous leaks due to the amount of information Nintendo will be sharing with its partners prior to the event. So expect more rumor articles before the event, and then an article comparing what was true, what was false, and just what was not mentioned whatsoever.