Nintendo announces Switch, a hybrid games console
Nintendo has unveiled a games console called Switch that can be used as both a handheld, portable device and as a traditional living room console.
Nintendo demonstrated the capabilities of the system in a special preview trailer posted to the Japanese gaming giant's website.
The device enables players to detach the joystick and buttons from their console controller and attach them to a smaller screen slotted into the home console to create a handheld and mobile gaming device.
The video also showed how the two parts of the detachable controller can be used without being attached to the mobile screen for a single player, and also as individual controllers for two people to play against one another.
When at home, users can place the device into a dock that charges it and outputs the visuals to a television screen.
Nintendo previous gaming system, the Wii U, was released in 2012 but suffered from poor adoption from consumers and struggled to match the success of its predecessor the Wii.
The Wii U also failed to keep pace with the popularity of Sony and Microsoft and their PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles respectively during its lifespan.
The technology giant confirmed the new console would go on sale in March next year, but is yet to reveal the price of the Switch or a full games line-up.
However, the launch video demonstrated a new Mario game running on the system as well as a port of 2011’s Skyrim which is being rereleased this year for the other major consoles.
A new instalment in the Legend Of Zelda series, called Breath Of Wind, has already been announced for the Switch.
Although no details were given about the about exact technical specifications for the device, it will be using Nvidia’s Tegra processor which is based on the same architecture as its GeForce gaming graphics cards.
A similar gaming centric device that uses the Tegra chip, Nvidia’s Shield tablet, is considered to be about as powerful as a the previous generation of consoles, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.
Since the Switch will not be released until next year, an upgraded version of the chip based on Nvidia’s new Pascal architecture could allow the console to achieve a level of graphical fidelity that eclipses the last generation of consoles even if it cannot reach the performance found on current generation consoles such as the Xbox One.