Nintendo Unveils Hybrid Console Switch
Nintendo unveiled its long-awaited new gaming platform, the Switch, featuring a tablet-like console that will allow gamers to play at home and on the go, according to Bloomberg.
In a three-minute video company showed gamers using the new system to play in their living rooms, but also detaching a part of it to continue playing at an airport, in a car and at a barbecue. It showed several titles from its flagship franchises, including Zelda, Super Mario, Mario Kart and a basketball game.
Nintendo reiterated in the video that the new system, originally dubbed NX, will be released in March. A price wasn’t disclosed. The company is trying to carve out a niche between casual smartphone gamers and more serious players who use consoles such as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4, according to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad.
The Switch’s portable feature puts it at odds with Nintendo’s recent embrace of smartphones. After years of ignoring pleas from fans and investors to bring its games to mobile phones, the company is planning to release Super Mario Run for Apple’s devices in December. The release follows this summer’s wildly successful Pokemon Go, which was developed by San Francisco-based Niantic with Nintendo’s help.
The company is betting the hybrid approach will help the Switch become a hit like the Wii, its most-successful console ever thanks to its motion-tracking controllers. The machine, which debuted in 2006, went on to sell more than 100 million units worldwide and helped propel the company’s market value to about $90 billion in late 2007, almost three times its market capitalization today.
How well the new hardware does may depend largely on the price, according to Macquarie Securities analyst David Gibson. In a research report last week, he estimated the device would retail for about $250 to compete with the PS4’s $299 price tag. Gibson wrote that the new hardware is likely to disappoint in terms of revolutionary features, but that a strong lineup of gaming titles will help to fuel demand at launch. He estimated Nintendo will sell 2.5 million units in its first month and an additional 10.6 million units by March 2018.