Nintendo has released the first trailer for its new console, and now we know its name, Nintendo Switch.
The trailer confirms reports over the summer that the the console will be a portable device that can also be hooked up to a TV via a docking station for big-screen gaming. The new console will be released next March.
The console will have two detachable “Joy-Con” controllers on either side. When gamers are on the move, the controllers can either be attached to the screen for a fully handheld experience or detached while the screen rests on a kickstand. When it’s time to play at home, controllers can be removed for multi-player gaming while the system is on the TV dock.
Nintendo says the system makes a seamless transition from playing on a TV to mobile mode. The controllers can be used in several ways: a single player can use both, one in each hand or docked together in a hand-held port; two players can use one a piece; or more serious players can opt for a “Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.”
The trailer showed off the flexibility of the console. In one instance a man is playing on his TV at home. In another case, a player uses a kickstand on the back of the console and removes the controllers to play it on an airplane. A couple of guys in a van slide the screen into a holder and play it in the back seat. Someone else keeps the controllers attached and uses it as an entirely handheld device. The trailer concludes with teams of four battling each other in front of a huge crowd in an arena.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO, Nintendo of America, said in a statement. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
Games shown in the trailer include Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, NBA 2K17, a new version of Mario Kart and a Super Mario game similar to Mario 64.
Nintendo says it will reveal more details about the console, including price, exact launch date, full game demonstrations and a list of launch titles, prior to its March release.
Switch is powered by Nvidia, including a custom Tegra processor. In a blog post on its website, the company said it had to build a lot of new features to ensure a smooth transition between playing on a TV or on the go.
“The development encompassed 500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform: algorithms, computer architecture, system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals. They all had to be rethought and redesigned for Nintendo to deliver the best experience for gamers, whether they’re in the living room or on the move,” according to the blog post.
Little was known about the mysterious console, codenamed NX, because Nintendo hadn’t talked about it much. But the company, which is based in Japan with its U.S. headquarters in Redmond, Wash. created a buzz this week when it announced the release of the first trailer, using a photo of its iconic hero Super Mario character peeking out from behind a curtain. The reaction was strong enough that it briefly crashed the company website as the trailer was set to debut Thursday morning.