By Alex Perry
After several agonizing months of waiting, Nintendo this week finally lifted the veil on the Switch, the company’s new, somewhat dazzling game console.
The idea is that you can play big console games either on your beautiful TV or on an HD tablet screen for when you’re on the go. That means the next big games in the “Mario” and “Zelda” franchises are, effectively, both home console and portable games at once.
However, the three-minute trailer left us with more questions than answers. That seems to be the natural progression with Nintendo these days.
Here are some of the biggest things we still don’t know about Nintendo Switch yet:
How much does it cost?
This is obviously going to be make-or-break for plenty of people who are on the fence about Switch. Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer to this question right now, and we don’t know when there will be one.
The price is partially dependent on just how powerful this console will be, and we don’t know that yet. Based on Nintendo’s history, it will probably be somewhere between the Wii U and Xbox One.
Until Nintendo tells us the price, all we can do is speculate. I’m guessing the most basic launch bundle (which wouldn’t come with any games or extra bonuses) will be $300, with a more expensive option that comes with more bells and whistles.
If they could get it down to $250, I certainly wouldn’t complain!
What games will come out alongside Switch?
Again, we have no idea. There were six games showcased in the Switch trailer, but we can’t be sure that any of them are coming at launch:
– “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which has no confirmed release date, is indeed believed to be a launch title.
– A new “Mario” game that doesn’t even have a name yet.
– Either a sequel to or an updated version of “Splatoon” with new maps and customization optioins.
– Either a sequel to or an updated version of “Mario Kart 8,” with new characters and the ability to hold two items at once.
– “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” which hasn’t been officially confirmed for Switch.
– “NBA 2K17,” which hasn’t been officially confirmed for Switch.
I could genuinely see most, if not all, coming at or near Switch’s launch. “Breath of the Wild” is going to be a system-seller, while “Splatoon” and “Mario Kart 8″ were Wii U gems that deserve to get new life on a new platform.
“NBA 2K17″ and “Skyrim” are both old games already.
That “Mario” game would be huge at launch, but we don’t know what it’s called or what it’s about yet. Imagine a Nintendo console launching with brand new “Mario” and “Zelda” games!
Having said all that, it’s possible (maybe even likely) none of those games launch with Switch. We’ll have to wait and see.
How long will the battery last?
If Switch ends up being the home of the next big games in the “Pokémon” series (it will), it will be hugely sought after. Handheld, 3DS-centric franchises like “Pokémon” and “Monster Hunter” are enormous, especially in Nintendo’s home country of Japan.
It’s important, then, for Switch to get a decent amount of playtime out of a full charge. Nintendo might be positioning it as a home console first, but a segment of the audience will play it mostly as a portable gaming device.
But if this thing is going to be able to play big, console-quality games while on the go, it probably won’t have the same kind of battery life as the significantly less powerful 3DS. That’s what you sacrifice in order to pack more power into such a small package.
I’m no technical expert, but I’d guess that around four hours on a full charge is the best we can hope for right now. Obviously, when it’s docked and displaying on the TV, you won’t have to worry about battery.
Is that a touch screen? Does it have motion controls?
When the Joy-Con controllers are detached, you can hold them separately and play games in a relaxed position, such as in the image above. You might notice that it looks similar to how you would hold Wii Remotes back in the day.
Three of the past four Nintendo systems have also incorporated touch screens. The Switch, obviously, resembles a tablet.
So, will those controllers detect motion and will that screen respond to the touch? According to Laura Kate Dale of Let’s Play Video Games, they will.
Dale has been diligently reporting information on the Switch from a variety of sources for a few months now. So far, none of her major reports have been proven wrong.
According to her sources, the Joy-Con motion capability is meant to eventually phase out the Wii Remote. The tablet portion also has a multi-touch screen, but since you must dock the tablet in order to play games on the TV, games will not require touch.
The current theory is that Nintendo avoided showing motion or touch capabilities in that trailer because they didn’t want the reveal of the console to be too confusing. Of course, Nintendo isn’t saying a word about whether or not it has touch or motion features.
What is the memory storage situation?
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both shipped with 500 gigabyte internal hard drives. It’s not possible to have less memory than that in either of those consoles.
Seeing as how Switch is portable and Nintendo doesn’t like to drive up costs, I can’t imagine its internal storage will come anywhere close to that. That’s not a good thing, as having just a few big games installed on your PS4 can eat up hard drive space in a heartbeat.
Physical Switch games will come on cartridges instead of discs, meaning you probably won’t have to install data to your hard drive if you own a physical copy of a game. That will help, but it remains to be seen how much data each cartridge can hold.
My prediction is the Switch will have a small amount of internal storage on board (fewer than 100 gigabytes) and an SD card slot if you want to add more. We’ll see.
Can it play old Nintendo games?
The upcoming, $60 Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition will play 30 of the best original Nintendo games on any modern TV. Can we expect any support for old Nintendo games on Switch?
We already know it won’t natively play Wii U or 3DS games. The Wii, 3DS and Wii U all had Virtual Console services that allowed players to purchase and play classic games from old consoles, but that hasn’t been confirmed for Switch yet.
Nintendo would be very smart to offer a subscription service for Virtual Console, effectively turning it into Netflix for classic games. It would also be smart to let players carry over Virtual Console games they already own from previous consoles, but I’m not betting on that.
I also wouldn’t bet on being able to transfer downloaded games from your Wii U, either, even though that would be nice.
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Source:: Business By Insider