|It has been suggested that this article be split into the following: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Nintendo Switch – OLED Model. (discuss)|
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March 3, 2017
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Nintendo Switch Lite:
- “Switch and Play”
- – Advertisement slogan for the Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch (codenamed the NX in development) is a hybrid video game console released by Nintendo, and its seventh major home game console as the successor to the Wii U. Despite this classification, Nintendo markets the system mostly as a home console that can be played on the go rather than a dedicated portable handheld system. It was officially announced on October 20, 2016 and was released simultaneously on March 3, 2017 in Japan, America, Europe, Hong Kong, and other territories. It costs US $299.99 in America and JP ¥29,980 in Japan. A Nintendo Switch presentation containing more information about the system was live-streamed from January 12, 2017 at 11:00 PM to January 13, 2017 at 12:05 AM EST. The Nintendo Switch had a hands-on event on six separate Sundays in six different cities across America prior to its release date, along with Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. Pre-order retail reservations started on January 21, 2017 in Japan.
On January 4, 2018, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Switch has sold over 10 million units and became the fastest-selling video game console in America within a time frame of the first ten months. As of December 31, 2021, the Nintendo Switch family has sold 103.54 million units worldwide, making it Nintendo's highest-selling home console and the fifth highest-selling video game console of all time. As of March 31, 2022, it sold 107.65 million units worldwide. The Nintendo Switch is often credited with bringing Nintendo back to financial relevance following the Wii U's disappointing sales.
The Nintendo Switch is an LCD tablet-like console that is designed to be a hybrid between home and handheld systems, though it is primarily referred to as a home console. The Nintendo Switch can be played in three different styles; TV mode, tabletop mode, and handheld mode. In TV mode, the system is plugged into a "Nintendo Switch Dock". With the system docked, gameplay footage is displayed on the TV screen. With the console detached, the footage is displayed on the console's screen. When using tabletop mode, the console uses a built-in kickstand to prop the system up. When in handheld mode, the two Joy-Con controller pods are attached to the sides of the console, giving it a similar design to the Wii U's GamePad. The Joy-Con can also be removed and used either as separate controllers, similar to small NES and SNES controllers, used as one controller together, or optionally docked into the Joy-Con Grip to give a more traditional experience.
The Nintendo Switch console uses "Game Card" cartridges, similar to the Nintendo DS line. The Nintendo Switch Dock also has two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI output, an AC adapter port, and a TV output LED light. The Nintendo Switch has built in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, a multi-touch capacitive touchscreen of 6.2-inch diagonally, a resolution of 1080p on TV mode and 720p on tabletop and handheld mode, a USB Type-C connector, internal storage of 32 GB, a microSD slot (upgradable with microSDHC/SDXC cards), a 3.5mm headphone jack, a brightness sensor, two speakers in the bottom, and a battery life ranging anywhere between 2.5-6.5 hours. For example, battery life during The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay is 3 hours.
Language and region support
Nintendo Switch does not have region locking (except the mainland China model), similar to Nintendo handhelds prior to the Nintendo DSi, and features enhanced language and region accessibility. The system can be changed to any of the nine languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese. As of January 29, 2019, it can also be changed to Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean.
There are four different region codes that the user can select from: Japan, the Americas, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. As of April 15, 2019, it can also be changed to Hong Kong/Taiwan/South Korea. Depending on the region code chosen, the dialect for the English, French, and Spanish languages will also change (e.g. setting the region code to Europe and the language to English will set the overall language to British English, while setting the region code to The Americas and the language to English will set the overall language to American English). As of December 1, 2020, setting the region code to The Americas and the language to Portuguese will set the overall language to Brazilian Portuguese.
The mainland China (Tencent) model is region-locked and users cannot change their region (China) or language (Simplified Chinese). It plays import cartridges, but does not support online multiplayer on import games or non-China eShop access. China-region cartridges cannot be played on other Nintendo Switch models.
Nintendo Switch Lite
- Main article: Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch Lite (model number HDH-001) is the second version of the Nintendo Switch announced on July 10, 2019 and released worldwide on September 20, 2019. Unlike the original, this console is smaller and is handheld only, lacking the ability to be docked. This console can only play games that support handheld mode. Games that require use of motion controls (e.g. Super Mario Party) are not supported due to absence of the IR Motion Camera (though regular Joy-Con controllers can be connected to play these games). The directional buttons are also replaced by a single directional pad. Due to only being able to play in handheld mode, the Nintendo Switch Lite can only render games at a maximum output resolution of 720p.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is the first one-screen dedicated handheld since the Game Boy Micro in 2005.
Extended battery revision
On July 17, 2019, Nintendo announced a slightly enhanced version of the Nintendo Switch with the model number HAC-001(-01), which is identical to the original in appearance, but sports substantially longer battery life; whereas a regular Nintendo Switch has only 2.5 to 6.5 hours of battery life, this version has 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life. It was first released in August 2019.
Nintendo Switch – OLED Model
- Main article: Nintendo Switch – OLED Model
The Nintendo Switch – OLED Model (model number HEG-001) is an enhanced revision of the Nintendo Switch that was announced on July 6, 2021, and features a 7-inch OLED screen, a wider and adjustable stand, enhanced audio, a wired LAN port built into the dock, and 64 GB of internal storage. It was released on October 8, 2021, and is available in white and neon blue/neon red.
The Nintendo Switch was originally codenamed the "NX" during development, which was not believed to have meant anything in particular. The development of the NX was first mentioned by Satoru Iwata on March 15, 2015 during Nintendo and DeNA's Business and Capital Alliance Announcement, where it was discussed how Nintendo was aiming to "construct a bridge between smart devices and dedicated video game hardware". Later that year, the new Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima elaborated by saying that the NX was not going to be another version of the Wii or Wii U platforms, rather "something unique and different".
In 2013, Nintendo chose to merge the handheld and home console development teams into a single Research & Development division, due to the emerging possibility of integrating the software used by both platforms. Satoru Iwata said that it was important to "take advantage" of the established architecture of the Wii U while developing a future system, because of the ability to use common ways to program a handheld display and a full-size television display. At the time, Iwata stated that Nintendo was aiming to change the situation of developing separate versions of games for both handheld and console versions. He expressed interest in developing new hardware using the common programming of Android software, which would help alleviate the time taken to port the same game between separate handheld and home console releases.
Yoshiaki Koizumi, the general producer of the Nintendo Switch console, made sure that the hardware development team included experience from "various different sections and disciplines", including both handheld and home console design. He wanted to make sure sure that there was a high potential of "mixing and matching" those different areas of experience, to reach a single product. Many different hardware designs were proposed and considered, including a patented elliptical touch-screen controller capable of 3D display, as well as a controller which uses a camera to sense the player's hand actions. The NX's vision was to appeal to the on-the-go lifestyle of today's consumers, and adapt to their needs. This lead to the concept of "switching" between a home console and a handheld.
Shinya Takahashi, the general manager of the Entertainment Planning & Development Division at Nintendo, described how the early brainstorming stages focused on the essential functions of a portable home console. The team also looked back at the accessibility and popularity of the Wii when developing the Switch, while still retaining features from other past Nintendo consoles, such as the handheld screen of the Wii U. Early on, it was also considered important for the system to come with two controllers that can be attached and brought on the go for two players to easily play together (in a similar way to how the Famicom docked two controllers on the system), although still providing a "full and satisfying single-player experience". Reggie Fils-Aime stressed the concept of "constant engagement" during Nintendo Switch planning, and appeal to an "anywhere, anytime, any way" approach. The use of color was recognized to have been emphasized by Nintendo's systems in the past, notably with the Nintendo GameCube and Super Nintendo's multi-colored buttons. This inspired the use of red and blue Joy-Con for the Nintendo Switch, whereas the alternative gray design was aimed to appeal more to a "core gamer who is looking for something more sleek".
A notable challenge during development was "packing" all of the required technology and features into the Joy-Con's desired weight and size, such as the IR Motion Camera, while still focusing on "communicating" the value of that technology through the software. The HD Rumble, described by Yoshiaki Koizumi as a form of "virtual reality", required a lot of collaboration and trials between the hardware and software teams in order to utilize it within game design.
In 2015, Satoru Iwata spoke about how the need for region locking was not entirely due to consumer actions, but of the seller in global vendor licenses and different circumstances between countries. Iwata acknowledged that there were advantages for both the consumers and Nintendo in lifting region restrictions, and if future hardware were to use region-free games, then such problems would need to be pre-determined and subsequently solved. On January 12, 2017, Nintendo announced during a livestream presentation that the Nintendo Switch's games will be region-free.
The name "Nintendo Switch" was decided due to the ability to easily switch from a television screen to a handheld screen, as well as being akin to flipping a switch to "change the way people experience entertainment in their daily lives."
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Nintendo Switch.
- The Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo console since the Nintendo GameCube to not be backwards-compatible with its immediate predecessor. However, some games have been ported over to the Nintendo Switch.
- The phrase "THX2 ALLGAMEFANS!" can be found written on the Pro Controller's motherboard, just above ; the message is viewable by holding down and peering through the transparent plastic in the surrounding socket.
- A copy of 1984's Golf was embedded in the Nintendo Switch firmware. Activating it requires the internal system clock to be set to July 11 – Satoru Iwata's death anniversary – and performing his iconic "directly to you" hand gesture with both Joy-Con controllers on the main menu. If successful, a voice clip of Iwata from a Japanese 2012 presentation will confirm the input, and an emulation of Golf with added motion control support will promptly boot up. Golf has significance as one of the first video games Iwata programmed himself for Nintendo while working at HAL Laboratory. This version of Golf was overwritten as of the 4.0.0 update, making it unplayable.
- The Nintendo Switch actually has an internet browser, though hidden. To open Internet Browser on the Nintendo Switch, set the Primary DNS to
18.104.22.168in Wi-Fi settings on the Nintendo Switch and wait until registration required screen appear, then press A button and this opens an internet browser. However, since the 10.0.0 update it will close automatically after 20 minutes.
- Official Japanese website
- Official American website
- Official UK website
- Official Australian website
- Official Korean website
- Official Hong Kong website
- Official Chinese Tencent website
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"[...] let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename 'NX'."
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