Nintendo Switch blends home console and handheld gaming on the go

Nintendo pulled back the curtain Thursday morning to reveal, at long last, its next-gen home console (codename NX) on Thursday — 31 years and a couple of days after its first home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES, was released in America. It comes out in March 2017.

It’s called Switch. And it lives up to that name.

From Nintendo:

Introducing Nintendo Switch! In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles.

There’s a console cradle (called the Dock) for a tablet-like device (the capital-“C” Console itself, apparently), and a variety of hardware controller configurations (which are reflected a bit in the Switch logo) called Joy-Cons. There’s a left and right Joy-Con, which can be joined with a Joy-Con Grip. There’s also a Pro Controller:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, also releasing next year for Wii U, is represented:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Oh, and there’s a shiny new 3-D Super Mario title coming, naturally.

Super Mario game on Nintendo Switch
As-yet-untitled 3-D Super Mario game on Nintendo Switch
Super Mario game on Nintendo Switch handheld
Super Mario game in handheld mode

It also looks like those Inkling squid kids from Splatoon will be back! (Port, sequel, or reverse-compatibility with Wii U?)

Splatoon on Nintendo Switch
Splatoon on Nintendo Switch

Probably Definitely not Wii U reverse compatible — it appears to be cartridge-based. (3DS-compatible, then? Edit: No.) It’s called a GameCard.

Nintendo Switch cartridge
Nintendo Switch GameCard media

What you see above are all screen-grabs from Nintendo’s debut video. Below are a couple of gallery collages direct from Nintendo’s currently sparse Switch website:

There appears to be (thank the gods) robust third-party support for the system:

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