Despite Nintendo having just revealed the Switch, rumors continue to swirl around the new device. This is mostly Nintendo’s fault for only giving us a sneak peak at the new console and then immediately going underground with nor further information. In fact, it seems as though most pertinent details, like official software announcements, release date, hardware configurations, etc. will not be revealed until early 2017.
This leaves an open void where gamers are craving any news and information they can get their hands on. Laura Kate Dale has a proven track record when it comes to Switch rumors and she published an article earlier today detailing some more that she believes will prove to be true. Go Nintendo nicely summarized these into the following bullet points:
- Switch will be region-free
- Joy-Cons will support motion control & rumble
- Switch dev kits support Wiimotes
- Motion support will be confirmed closer to launch
- Splatoon and Mario Kart games will support motion
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild will support motion control for things like gyro aiming, steering, use of the magnet ability
- Past six months have been legal and pre-development discussions between Ubisoft/Nintendo for Beyond Good & Evil 2. Discussions included budget and direction, project scope, and how much of previous development efforts could be salvaged. October art teases were the result of the project reaching a point where all parties were confident they could re-announce it
- Switch screen is a multitouch screen, used for menus, for drawing, for certain games
- All Switch games need to be playable with the handheld in the console dock, thus all Switch games will be playable without touch
- Dock will have additional processing power
- Maximum battery life of three hours
- Price, release dates for regions, launch software and spec press releases are essentially ready for release
None of these rumors are outlandish or out of the realm of possibility. I really hope the Nintendo Switch is region-free, especially since it has a portable aspect to it and it would be nice to be able to purchase games from other countries. Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have set the standard and Nintendo needs to reach parity with them.
Motion control makes absolute sense in the console itself (remember the tablet is the console). While I’d be all for the Joy-Cons having rumble and gyroscopes, I wonder if that would have an impact on their tiny batteries? This might explain how games like Just Dance will work with the new system, but let’s remember that series is also compatible with Xbox and PlayStation via the use of smartphones. Maybe the Joy-Con Grip is what will have the gyros built-in? I could also see the Pro Controller having gyros as well. Also, keep in mind that just because the development kits support Wii Remotes, that doesn’t mean the retail version will. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t, as Nintendo is making a distinct break from its prior systems, both in naming and functionality (no backward compatibility).
The multitouch screen seems like a nice move forward for Nintendo. All of its prior devices only allowed for single touch and required the use of a stylus. This could open it up for different styles of gameplay or operating system features and even better browsing capabilities for websites.
The one piece of information that I’m most excited about and hope is true is that the dock will have additional processing power. Now, IGN reported that Nintendo told them that the dock is primarily used to push the game to the TV. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t do some type of visual increase to bump the resolution from 720p to 1080p. Some astute readers have noticed that the Switch has vents on the top of it, suggesting a cooling system. This seems like it could be a huge drain on the battery, but perhaps it’s only really used while docked? Maybe the CPU and GPU are pushed harder when docked and connected to a power source to allow for a bump in graphic fidelity. At the very least, Laura thinks it will add processing power, so I’m hopeful that’s the case.
Battery life capping out at three hours is a major bummer if true. It could be that the development kits don’t have final efficiencies in place and that this number could climb. Both the Vita and the Wii U GamePad suffered from low battery life as well, so if they could squeeze it to five hours that would be amazing.
It’s entirely possible we could get some more details and nuggets of information regarding the Nintendo Switch next week at Nintendo’s investor meeting. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear the retail price, as that’s probably one of the main concerns that investors will have and most likely bring up in questions. Granted, Nintendo may just say they’re not ready to announce that information yet, but I’m sure it will be asked. Speaking of price, what do you think (knowing what we know right now) is a reasonable price point? We discussed our opinions on the latest Nintendo Times Radio episode that went up today, but we would love to hear from you as well. Let us know in the comments below!