We finally know all about Nintendo's new platform, Switch. First mentioned in a March 17, 2015 presentation about Nintendo's expansion into mobile gaming, the then-codenamed NX was quick to receive a release window of March 2017, but not much else. Amidst hints of support from Square Enix, Ubisoft, Sega, and The Pokémon Company, Nintendo finally gave fans its first look of the system on October 20, 2016.

As expected, the Switch is a console/handheld hybrid that allows for players to connect the system to their television through a docking station, or detach a tablet-like screen and attach the sides of its controller for on-the-go gaming. Unlike the Wii U, which also uses a tablet-like controller, both screens cannot be used simultaneously due to the fact that the Switch must be docked in order to play it over your television. A full reveal presentation on January 12, 2017, gave us the finer details on the system and upcoming games. Check out the wealth of information we learned below.

The System
Even though Nintendo has yet to detail exactly how Switch works, we can gather a lot of information from the initial announcement and video. The controller is called the "Joy-Con." The Joy-Con features dual analog sticks, face buttons, and what appear to be shoulder buttons, but it differentiates itself from a typical controller with the ability to be dismantled. By sliding the two sides off of the center dock, you can attach the Joy-Con to the Switch's tablet screen so you can take the system with you. The Joy-Con can also be taken apart to create two separate compact controllers for multiplayer gaming. These different configurations are shown during the video as being used with the Switch when it is in its portable mode (detached from the docking station). In addition to these control options, players can use a wireless Pro Controller.

The reveal video also gives a brief look at the media used for Nintendo Switch. According to the video, players insert a small cartridge into the top of the screen, similar to what players currently do with their 3DS. The cartridge inserting directly into the tablet component explains how the system is able to move between its docked and portable modes seamlessly. Other smaller things to note from the reveal include a kickstand to prop the screen up when it's in portable mode and a headphone jack for mobile gaming.

Following the release of that video, Nvidia announced it is powering the Switch. According to the technology company, the Switch uses a custom version of its Tegra processor, which is a CPU designed with performance and low power consumption in mind. Any further details have been kept under wraps.

The Software
During the initial reveal video, we saw The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild more than any other title. We also received quick glimpses of other software running on Switch. Most notably for fans, a short scene showed a woman playing a new 3D Mario game. In addition, a port of Skyrim (presumably the recently released Special Edition remaster) and an unnamed NBA game (presumably NBA 2K17) were featured in the video, but the publishers have not confirmed any specific titles.

Nintendo also named several third-party developers and publishers slated to join in on Switch development. Included in the list are Activision, Electronic Arts, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Bandai Namco, Epic Games, Capcom, Telltale Games, FromSoftware, Square Enix, Platinum Games, Sega, Atlus, and more. In addition, other indie developers like Concerned Ape (Stardew Valley) and AnyArts Productions (Seasons of Heaven) have announced they are bringing their games to Switch. 

It's A Date!
At long last, Nintendo held its Nintendo Switch Presentation on January 12, 2017. Right off the bat, the company revealed the price and release date. The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, 2017. In the U.S., it retails for $299.99. The box includes The Switch, the docking station, the Joy-Con controllers, the Joy-Con grip, an HDMI cable, Joy-Con Wrist Straps, and an AC adapter.

Battery Life, Joy-Con, And No Region Locking
Shortly after beginning its January 12, 2017 Switch Presentation, Nintendo went into further detail about the unique controller, the Joy-Con. Each Switch comes with a right and left Joy-Con controller. Those controllers can be used separately for multiplayer games, or brought together and attached to the grip to form a more traditional controller. The Joy-Con controllers can also be attached to the side of the Nintendo Switch screen, which has been confirmed to be a touchscreen. The individual Joy-Con controllers each feature advanced rumble functionality, a motion infrared camera, and gyro sensors and accelerometers for motion control capabilities. The right Joy-Con features a home button and an NFC scanner that can read and write Amiibo data. The left Joy-Con features a capture button that can be used to take screenshots and, eventually, video that can be shared over social media.

During that same presentation, the company delivered a more in-depth look at the Switch and its unique Joy-Con controllers. One of the biggest questions going into the presentation was with regards to how long the battery life would last, While Nintendo admits that the life varies depending on the game you're playing or activity you're doing, they confirmed that the Switch's battery lasts between 2.5 and 6.5 hours when it is not connected to the dock. 

Nintendo also confirmed that it was changing its policy on region locking. Beginning with the Switch, Nintendo is doing away with region locking, meaning players can enjoy games from different countries without needing to buy imported hardware.

Online Functionality
The January 12, 2017 presentation also clarified what players can expect from the Switch's online functionality. The Switch can connect to WiFi to access multiplayer functionality, but players can also connect up to eight Switch devices by taking advantage of the system's local multiplayer features. The Switch is the first console that requires players to pay a fee to play online. Since the paid online subscription will not be ready until fall 2017, all players have the ability to play online on a trial basis until then. 

Nintendo also announced that players who subscribe to the premium online service will receive one free downloadable NES or SNES game that may have added online play. Unfortunately, it came out after that these free downloadable games are only playable during that month. After that month, players are able to buy the game in order to keep it permanently. 

The Game Lineup Takes Shape
The Switch Presentation on January 12, 2017 also gave players a much better idea of what they'll be playing and when they'll be playing it. The opening of the presentation introduced players to 1-2-Switch, a motion-controlled collection of multiplayer minigames where players don't need to look at the screen in order to play, and Arms, a zany multiplayer motion-controlled fighting game. Nintendo then went on to announce Splatoon 2, the follow-up to its surprising Wii U shooter, with new maps and weapons for release in the summer. Nintendo continued to play off of popular first-party properties by unveiling a new 3D Mario game called Super Mario Odyssey, which is set to launch during the holiday 2017 season.

Nintendo also ran down several other games coming to Switch, including Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Shin Megami TenseiMario Kart 8 Deluxe, Fire Emblem Warriors, and NBA 2K18. Ubisoft also announced three games for Switch, while Bethesda confirmed that Skyrim is coming to Switch. After the presentation ended, more details released about other games coming to Switch, including Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, Super Bomberman R, and Sonic Mania. EA announced that it is bringing FIFA to the Switch, while Suda51 announced a new game from Grasshopper Manufacture starring No More Heroes' Travis Touchdown.

Nintendo also finally confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is launching alongside Nintendo Switch on March 3. The announcement also brought two special editions into the picture, as well as new Breath of the Wild Amiibo figures.

Accessory Pricing
One of the final pieces of information to come out of the January 12, 2017 event was a list of Switch accessories and how much they'll cost. For one Joy-Con controller (one side of the controller in the image above), you can expect to pay $49.99. For two Joy-Con controllers (both sides of the controller in the image above), you can expect to pay $79.99. For the Switch Pro Controller, you should set aside $69.99. A Joy-Con charging station costs $29.99. An extra dock for the Switch will cost $89.99. Finally, a Joy-Con steering wheel costs $14.99.

Playing the Memory Game
Shortly after the reveal, it was announced that Switch has a 32 GB internal hard drive. On the January 13, 2017 Treehouse Livestream, it was revealed that the memory is expandable to 256 GB using Micro SD cards. On January 14, 2017, a Nintendo representative told Game Informer that the Switch supports Micro SDXC cards up to 2 TB.

Here We Go Again!
A few days following the big reveal, the Switch was already nearly impossible to pre-order. Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop [Disclaimer: GameStop is Game Informer's parent company.], Target, and Toys 'R' Us all list Switch as "sold out" or "unavailable." GameStop in particular is claiming to have sold through its allocation of Switch pre-order units.

 

As with all of the Switch-related events to this point, you can expect to see every piece of news, analysis, and impressions to come out of these reveals on GameInformer.com.