Nintendo Switch Trailer Breakdown

Nintendo decides to Switch it up this time around

nintendo-switch-display

Nintendo has had a wonderful habit of introducing unique style of game systems and software for a large chunk of its video game history. Some details become gimmick and get lost to time, while others set standards. Nintendo introduced the first look at what had been called “Nintendo NX” previously. The officially named Nintendo Switch was introduced this morning via trailer on the official Nintendo website (also seen below). I’ve taken notes and have broken the trailer down to scenes and features.

Disclaimer: As the trailer does not include the “official” names of accessories, the names have been added from an article on the official Nintendo website to elaborate.

The trailer starts with a guy playing an unseen home console game while on his couch with a controller in his hand and Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the TV screen. The controller is first seen from the side when he removes his hand from it. It has a bulky rounded demeanor that gets an up close shot almost immediately. Cut to a quick red screen with the logo: “Nintendo Switch”. He, then, stands up to take his barking dog out and walks to the small console and pulls the side grips that also include the buttons, off of the chunky main portion of the controller, called the Joy-Con Grip Accessory, with a slide motion.

He brings the buttoned side grips, called Joy-Con Controllers, down on the sides of the main console in a sliding motion and lifts the middle portion of the console out, like a file folder tray, called the Nintendo Switch Dock. It shows that he’s turned it into what looks like a thinner version of the Wii U Tablet Gamepad and then walks out of the room. As he now sits on a park bench outside, he continues to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild from only the tablet portion.

Cut to an airport scenery. Zoomed in look at the top of the tablet itself as someone inserts what appears to be a cartridge into the top of it. The cartridge looks like a slightly thicker version of a 3DS Cartridge but it’s hard to get a perfect look with the person’s fingers in the way. A random guy shows his system to a girl in the terminal and then it cuts to the airplane being boarded.

The guy from the airport pulls out the tablet at his seat and pulls a back kickstand from the back of the device itself to sit it on his tray. He inserts an aux based headset, which may or may not be an official Nintendo headset (as it’s never zoomed in on), into the top of the system, directly next to a little panel where the cartridge was inserted earlier. The panel door says “GAME CARD” on it. From his airplane seat, he pulls the sliding Joy-Con Controllers from both sides of the tablet as Elder Scrolls: Skyrim plays on the screen. He proceeds to play the game with a Joy-Con in each hand, not unlike holding the old Wii Remote and Nunchuk.

He gets off the plane and is in the back of a vehicle continuing to play Skyrim. He gets home and slides the file folder tablet into the Switch Dock of the main system base and picks up a controller that looks near identical to the Wii U Pro Controller, but it says “Nintendo Switch” in the top middle. According to official sources, it’s also called the Pro Controller. He turns on the television and continues playing his game of Skyrim.

Cut to the backseat of someone else’s van. A mount that just looks like a black bar allows the tablet portion of the system to slide into place as two guys play a new (unannounced) Mario Kart game, each holding a Joy-Con Controller as the van drives down the road to go go-karting for real themselves. The tablet supports split screen, showing Mario racing on the left, with King Boo on the right, competing in a Vs. Race on Yoshi Circuit.

Cut to an outside basketball court with a group of guys playing basketball. Two of the guys place two tablets (complete with the Joy-Con Controllers attached) battleship-style on a wooden table, with the kickstands out and two guys sit on each side, totaling four people, with a Joy-Con each in hand, showing them playing what appears to be NBA 2K17 in a 2-on-2 mode.

Cut to a young woman playing an (unannounced) Super Mario game, using the bulky controller from the beginning of the trailer, with the game on her television. Next to the file folder base, there’s five Amiibo: Yoshi, Bowser, Mario, Peach, with Luigi hiding behind Mario. Always in Mario’s shadow, little bro! Someone yells at her through the window of her high story apartment where two more women are seen calling her to the next rooftop over. She puts the sliding Joy-Con Controllers onto the tablet portion and removes it from the Switch Dock where it automatically makes the television go black. She meets up with the friends and sits the tablet on its kickstand, handing one side grip to a friend and then taking another for herself as others look on from behind them.

The final portion of the trailer gets into what appears to be an eSports scene. Four Caucasian people (in what appears to be red attire each) are sitting with their tablets on the ground in a large empty room, drawing up game play scenarios on a chalk board. Cut to another team comprised of Koreans, all with matching blue team shirts. They all have their tablets on the ground in front of them as they sit crossed legged, with Pro Controllers in hand each. They’re each playing Splatoon together in the same room, which would have been unheard of on the Wii U. Knowing about this game, I believe this is meant to focus on the fact that the game is an online multiplayer game and they’re all sitting next to each other playing it, LAN-style. Each team has a quick pep rally and hug and are ready to go compete. They sit in their chairs in the arena and slide the tablets each into their own Switch Docks.

Final shot of the logo on a red background: “Nintendo Switch”, then the words “Coming March 2017” appear on the red background.

 

Features introduced in the Reveal Trailer:

  • Tablet with a full color screen and the ability to either dock the tablet in the base system or take it on the go with the Joy-Con Controllers attached.
  • Tablet has a built-in kickstand.
  • Nintendo Switch Dock is the base that you plug a system into
    Joy-Con Controllers attach to the tablet portion of the system or the Joy-Con Grip Accessory to become a single bulky controller.
  • Tablet can handle split screen play for games which each controller will work for 2 different people, which can link up systems for 4-player multiplayer capability.
  • System allows for a LAN-based play style for multiplayer.
  • Games available on the system include Zelda: Breath of the Wind, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Remastered, Splatoon, NBA 2K17, an unannounced Super Mario game, and what appears to be Mario Kart 8 (But, King Boo wasn’t in 8, so it may be a new entry to the series altogether).

 

Questions the Reveal Trailer leaves me with:

  • What is the battery life of the tablet?
  • Will all games be in a cartridge format?
  • Will the system allow for 3DS game compatibility?
  • Has the system dropped all Touch functionality?
  • What is the power capability of the system in comparison to current generation consoles?
  • Does the performance change between playing on the television and Switch Dock vs. portable tablet mode?
  • As the tablet is portable, will the system support tablet-like functionality, such as internet browsers and apps?
  • Are the headphones seen in the trailer officially Nintendo, or was it left vague so any headphones work?
  • Will this become the next generation of portable systems as well, replacing the 3DS? If so, will this allow for handheld games, like Pokemon, to be on this system?
  • Why so much Luigi shade, Nintendo?

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Jesse Collins brings over a decade of knowledge and experience in the video game industry. In his work, Jesse keeps up-to-date and modern to the best of his ability in the ever-changing industry. With prior experience in public relations and marketing for indie development video games, Jesse has also been a journalist for several publications in the past. He doesn’t THINK outside of the box, he LIVES outside of it.

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