Nintendo has finally unveiled key details about its coming console, the Switch, during a worldwide presser from Japan Thursday evening.
The hybrid home/handheld console will be available in the U.S. on March 3 and will retail for $299.99. "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" will also debut that day, as was widely expected.
Nintendo also announced that its new system will not be region locked -- a request the company's fans have been vociferous about for some time. The company also announced that it will launch a premium online service for the Switch, a first for Nintendo.
The console's guts are contained in what's essentially a tablet.
Controller attachments called Joy-Con hook up on either side of the portable screen so it resembles something akin to a Wii U game pad. The difference between the Wii U and its predecessor, however, is that the tablet and Joy-Cons aren't tethered to anything -- they're completely portable.
Nintendo Switch is coming March 2017! Catch the Preview Trailer and visit https://t.co/j4Unm459lg for more details. pic.twitter.com/EV7zPiVf35
-- Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) October 20, 2016
The Switch can be connected to a TV through a dock, which requires the Joy-Con controllers to detach and insert into a traditional controller mold. The dock charges the portable unit with a USB-C adapter.
A Switch Pro Controller will also be available at launch, which resembles the Wii U Pro Controller.
In its portable mode, the system can connect to eight other Switch consoles through wireless communication. The Joy-Cons can also detach while the system is out of its dock. The smaller controllers can be used in tandem by one player or by two players at the same time.
Nintendo also fired off a series of game announcements, but only two titles were confirmed for a March 3 launch.
Those two games are "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and "Arms," a boxing-shooter hybrid that uses the Joy-Con controllers in the same fashion that "Wii Sports" used the Wii Remote and nunchuck for the boxing mini-game.
The company also announced "Splatoon 2," a follow-up to the colorful Wii U shooter and "Super Mario Odyssey," the first sandbox-style "Mario" game since "Super Mario Sunshine" on the Gamecube.
Nintendo didn't go into specifics about the console's power and how it compares to the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 4.
Retailers across the country will begin to take pre-orders for the Switch on Friday. Given Nintendo's track record of meeting consumer demand for its products, it might be a good idea to reserve one sooner than later.
(c)2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at www.oregonian.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This article is written by Eder Campuzano from The Oregonian and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network.