Nintendo revealed many new details about its next major game console late Thursday: The Nintendo Switch, as the device is being called, will be released on March 3 worldwide, and go on sale in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $299.99. It can already be pre-ordered at Target, Best Buy and GameStop.
For that price, consumers are getting a handheld console with a 6.2-inch touch screen that looks very similar to a tablet, and comes with a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels — enough to watch 720p HD video. The switch also comes with a dock, which makes it possible to connect the device to a TV for more traditional console game play (hence the name Switch).
The Switch’s internal batteries will last up to six hours, depending on use, with Nintendo reps telling reporters that players should expect about 3 hours of game play for typical use.
Each Switch comes with two so-called Joy-Con controllers that can be attached to the left and right side of the screen for on-the-go play, but also detached and used as wireless game controllers. Combined with a special grip, the two make up a full-featured game controller similar to those you’d use with Sony’s PlayStation or Microsoft’s Xbox.
Nintendo said Thursday that more than 80 games are in development for the new console, but some major titles, including “Super Mario Odyssey,” won’t be available until the holiday season. There’s also no word yet on whether the console will support common media apps like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now.
What we do know is that Nintendo is preparing its own paid online service, which will be necessary to play online multiplayer games. Paid users will also get access to a monthly game as part of their subscription fee. It’s still unclear how high that fee will be, or what kind of other benefits are going to be included in the subscription.