By Sean Gannon
NINTENDO HAS revealed that its next console will be a handheld/home console hybrid called the Switch.
The new device can be played either through a TV like a traditional games console or independently and on-the-go like a Gameboy or smartphone, and will act as a successor to both of their current gaming devices, the Wii U and the 3DS.
The gaming giant unveiled the Switch in an introductory video released last week, showcasing its capabilities and playability options.
In a press release, Satoru Shibata, president of Nintendo of Europe, said: “I hope fans are already imagining the possibilities of having the freedom to play when, where, and how they want to. Our teams at Nintendo, and many other developers, are all working hard to create new and unique experiences, and we look forward to showing you more.”
The reveal follows months of rumours and secrecy, during which the only concrete information about the console was its codename, NX – though its status as a hybrid device had been speculated for some time.
First impressions from the gaming community have been positive, as many gamers are eager to see more.
A spokesperson from retailer GAME said: “There’s quite a lot of interest. Of course, we only have the video of the product, so we only have a rough estimate, but people are very excited.”
Games critics and commentators have also praised Nintendo’s new system. Among them was Leeds-based blogger Mark Brearley, who said: “As usual, Nintendo march to the beat of their own drum, as they always do. Which is good, as they’re moving away from the traditional console war.”
However, there are concerns about the Switch’s price, technical specifications, and battery life, which have not yet been revealed.
Brearley, who works as a reviewer for Brash games, added: “Initial impressions are good, but we need some more facts.”
Investors are even less pleased with the unanswered questions – according to figures from Google Finance, Nintendo’s stock price has fallen by over 11 percent during the weekend following the Switch’s reveal, despite the company adding $1 billion to its market cap the day before.
As a result, Nintendo are likely to be hoping that the new console achieves more success than its predecessor, the Wii U, which has suffered from underwhelming sales and is generally regarded as a commercial failure.
The Nintendo Switch is expected to be released March 2017.