Nintendo finally lifted the lid on its new home console, codenamed NX and now named the Nintendo Switch. The “Switch” in the name refers to the console’s portability, and the ability to turn from home console to on-the-go gaming device.
As has been the case with Nintendo consoles dating back to the Wii, the Switch’s controller is a key component of the console experience. It’s part of what separates the console from its closest competitors, and creates an element of differentiation that has always defined the Nintendo gaming experience.
The Switch’s unique design called for a unique controller, and as such we have what is called the “Joy-Con”.
In typical Nintendo fashion, the design is all about accessibility, portability, and simplicity. The Joy-Con appears to have many different uses, and despite the small design, appears to work rather well as a split controller for large scale and complex games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
As can be seen in the console’s reveal trailer (which you can watch below), the Switch dock can plug into a television and be played as a traditional console. The Joy-Con controller is joined as one for home gaming purposes. Then, once the primary Switch controller is removed from the dock, the Joy-Con can be split into two seperate pieces, and either connected to the primary docking screen — now a portable tablet — or used as individual controllers in each hand.
What we’re seeing with the Switch is a blending of the Wii and Wii U experience, along with traditional expectations of home console gaming. The two controllers present an interesting scenario where players have multiple different options to play: either as a combined controller, as a portable gaming device, or as a stationary tablet-like device with the two controllers in each hand.
There’s also the appeal of using the Switch tablet has a centralised device for multiplayer gaming, as can be seen in the trailer when people gather around the screen to play NBA 2K or Mario Kart.
And, just as was the case with the Wii U, the Switch will offer a more traditional “Pro” controller that mimics a standard Xbox One controller.
The Nintendo Switch is scheduled to launch in March 2017. For more information about the console, check out our Everything You Need To Know guide.