WATCH: 5 Things to Know About the Nintendo Switch

5-things-nintendo-switch

Nintendo is getting ready for the big launch of its next gaming console, Nintendo Switch, later this year. Now, gamers eagerly waiting to wrap their hands around the new Joy-Con controllers have a lot more information to go on beyond the cryptic release slot.

The company held a special live-streamed event on Thursday for the grand unveiling of cost, functionality, new games coming to Switch, and (most importantly) the official release date.

In a nutshell, Nintendo Switch can either connect to a television set like a regular console or be used as a portable device with its high-definition display screen. The Joy-Con controllers can be used jointly by a single player or two for a multiplayer experience.

You can watch the full hourlong presentation on YouTube (below), but here’s a breakdown of the key facts.

1. When does it come out?/How much does it cost?
Nintendo Switch will hit shelves on March 3, 2017, with a retail price tag of $299.99. Pre-order at Gamestop, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and more places.

2. How is it different from previous gaming systems?
Some of the functionality is similar to systems like Wii U, but there are many nuances.

To use as a home system, players slide the Switch console screen into a loading dock connected to the TV and attach the Joy-Cons (similar to the Wii wands) together to form the controller, the Joy-Con Grip. To play remotely, there are multiple options.

You can slide off the Joy-Cons and attach them to either side of the console screen to create a hand-held device. In this mode, up to eight players in close proximity can link together via wi-fi for multiplayer games. You can also form what’s dubbed Table Top Mode by propping up the console screen on its stand like a tablet device and use the Joy-Con controllers to maneuver.

The Joy-Cons also offer their own recording button to capture screenshots and, at a later time, gameplay.

The other big functionality shift from the DS, the 3DS, and the Wii U is the capacitive touch screen, which allows for the same sort of finger functionality you find with most smartphone devices.

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SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly, Nick Romano