Here is how Nintendo Switch works

The artist formerly known as Nintendo NX has been officially unveiled as Nintendo Switch. The newest home console from the legendary gaming company combines home consoles like the Wii U with portable consoles like the 3DS.

That sounds crazy, right? I agree!

Thankfully, the announcement trailer does a pretty good job of explaining how it all works. Here’s a primer:


First off, here’s what it looks like. On the left we have the new controller, which is called Joy-Con. Yes, really. The light gray portions detach from that shell. On the right we have a docking station with a tablet-like screen inside it.

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Nintendo

Here is someone playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on a TV using Nintendo Switch. In March 2017, this could be you!

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Nintendo

Let’s say you’ve gotta catch a train or a cab — or maybe you just want to have something else on the TV while you play. You detach the sides of the controller, like so …

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Nintendo

… and attach them to the screen, which sits in the dock. You remove the screen with the controllers attached …

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Nintendo

… and voilà! You’ve got a portable game console that is powerful enough to play big console games.

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Nintendo/YouTube

Here’s a guy playing “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” in the back of a cab as an example of what you can do with this thing.

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Nintendo

But the options don’t stop there. Here, a player extends a kickstand on the backside of the unit and sets it down on the tray table on an airplane.

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Nintendo/YouTube

He then detaches the two controllers on the side, plugs in some headphones, and plays the game in an airplane from a relaxed position. He’s holding those two remotes in a similar fashion as how you’d hold the Wii Remote back in the day.

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Nintendo

You can even use the detachable controllers for local multiplayer action! Here, two buddies race against each other in “Mario Kart,” with each holding one side of the Joy-Con controller.

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Nintendo

If you never want to mess with any of that portable gaming nonsense, there’s an option for you. The Switch Pro Controller looks basically indistinguishable from an Xbox One controller, and you can use it to play any game on your nice, big TV from the comfort of your couch.

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Nintendo/YouTube

One last basic thing: Instead of coming on discs, games will come on small SD-card-like cartridges. This is actually a more efficient, faster way of storing data than discs. It wouldn’t be surprising to see future game consoles adopt this method too.

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Nintendo

To see some even more wild uses for the Nintendo Switch, check out the reveal trailer below. The Switch will launch in March 2017.