How The Nintendo Switch Works
Today Nintendo revealed the Nintendo Switch, via a preview video that showed how the system combines at-home and on-the-go functionality.
The switch consists of a home cradle unit, a screen, and a Joy-Con controller. When you're playing at home on your TV, it works like a normal system.
When you want to take it out of the house (initiating portable mode), you slide out two components of the controller (which can be unified with a grip accessory) and attach them to either side of the screen. Each part of the controller has a bank of four buttons and an analog stick. It appears that each section has its own shoulder button. There is also an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
The Joy-Con controller sliding out of the grip accessory
Games can be started at home and continued in another location with the screen. It appears by the video that a memory card is needed, and it's unknown if there is any internal storage.
When you're playing the Switch remotely with the screen, the two controller sections can remain attached to the screen or removed (with each section being held in either hand). A kickstand props up the screen, which also has a headphone jack.
Multiplayer – both local splitscreen and local involving multiple Switch screens – is allowed with each player using a section of the Joy-Con controller, holding it sideways.
Of course, as much as we know about how the system works, there are still a lot of questions regarding the system, not the least of which is price and release date. The battery life for the Joy-Con controllers and the screen, the online multiplayer network configuration (which hasn't been a strong point for the company), and the size and functionality of the memory card for portable play are just a few of the questions remaining.
Note: The original story used the word touchscreen to describe the Switch unit. This is unknown at this time. We apologize for the mischaracterization.