Details about Nintendo’s new Switch console are coming fast and furious today as the one and only Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage in New York City to dish the low-down about the half-portable/half-home console. Maxim was among the first tech journalists in the world to actually handle the Switch, and it left us seriously impressed.
The first thing I noticed about the Switch is the incredible build quality and versatility of the handheld screen. Roughly the size of an iPad Mini, the screen itself has a heavy duty feel to it. The Switch’s “joycon” controllers slide into either side of the screen to allow for handheld play and lock into place with a satisfying click.
Detaching the joycons and flipping up the multi-touch screen’s built-in kickstand was a simple way of being able to lean back and play or jump into multiplayer with each joycon acting as an independent controller in those multiplayer configurations.
Of course, that’s only the handheld side of things. One of biggest perks about the Switch is that it will seamlessly change from handheld to home theater by simply sliding the screen into the included dock which will immediately change the way your game displays and we watched it do so with aplomb. Though they’re not included in the box, Nintendo is also rolling out two alternative controllers.
One is a more traditional Pro Controller that looks more on par with the ones included with Xbox One and Playstation 4. There is also the Joycon Charging controller, a smaller config that lets you slide the two joycon controllers on either side when your Switch is docked and ready to play on TV. Like the Switch’s screen itself, both of these controllers had a solid, weighty build when we played with them and would be a welcome addition to the Switch’s ecosystem.
The Switch’s impressive hardware wouldn’t be anything without an extensive launch lineup of games and Nintendo, who fell short on that front when they debuted the WiiU a few years ago, has certainly learned from their mistakes.
The Switch’s launch window will also see the debut of several new first-party games like the uber-hyped Zelda: Breath of the Wild (an E3 darling and one of the most anticipated games of 2017), the exciting Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, among others.
Nintendo also knows better than to rely on just exclusive games to get through a launch and third-party devs are joining the fray to bring blockbuster favorites like FIFA, Skyrim and Street Fighter V to Switch.
With 50 third-party studios bringing over 80 games to Nintendo’s new console, Switch has all the gravity to be a primary console in its own right, though we expect it to continue in its role as a companion console to people who already own Xbox Ones or PS4s.
Nintendo’s own COO and pseudo-mascot promised the world that there’d be a constant stream of new details forthcoming about the Switch between now and it’s March 3rd launch date. But, with the price tag of $299 and beloved titles tethered to it, we imagine the Switch may be just as hard to get at launch as the NES Classic was during the holiday season.
Pre-ordering is available now so if you expect to get your Zelda on come March 3rd, you should consider plunking down your deposit immediately.