Nintendo Switch unveiled: Everything you need to know about the new console

A launch date of 3 March has finally been given for the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has finally unveiled its long-awaited Switch gaming console.

The hybrid device was showcased at an event in Japan this week with Nintendo revealing more details about the hotly anticipated device, along with a confirmed launch date of 3 March.

In an unexpected move, the games giant confirmed that the new console will be region-free, unlike most of its previous products.

Joy-Con controllers detach from the 6.2-inch tablet portion of the console

WHAT IS THE NINTENDO SWITCH?

First teased back in October last year, the Switch is the follow-up to the ill-fated Wii U, which was eclipsed by rival consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

The Switch is a hybrid that can be used at home as well as on the move. It looks like a tablet and has two detachable Joy-Con controllers on either side.

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima speaking at the launch of the new console (Rex)

The controllers can detect movement, similar to Nintendo’s Wii remote, thanks to built-in accelerometer and gyroscope sensors. Each Joy-Con has standard buttons and can be used as a standalone controller.

The two Joy-Con controllers can be attached to a Joy-Con grip and used as one controller.

When used at home, the tablet, which has a touch-sensitive screen, slots into a dock, which forms the main console and connects to a TV.

The touchscreen tablet can also be used as a portable console and features a 6.2-inch screen and a claimed 6 hours of battery life.

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They’ll be two versions of the Switch available – one with grey Joy-Con controllers and one with one blue and one red controller.

The console features 32GB of storage which is extendable with a MicroSD card slot, along with multiplayer online gaming which will initially be free, but will come with a fee later on.

WHEN WILL IT LAUNCH?

The Switch has a global release date of 3 March.

The console can be pre-ordered from a number of retailer including Game, Tesco and Amazon.

Nintendo Switch General Producer Yoshiaki Koizumi shows how the Joy-Con controller works at the launch event in Japan (Rex)

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

The console will come with a price tag of £279.99 – slightly higher than the rumoured sub-£200 price – from the Nintendo Official UK Store.

It will cost $299.99 in the US and and 29,980 yen ($260) in Japan.

WHAT GAMES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT LAUNCH?

Games will come on small cartridges, similar to Nintendo consoles of the past.

Nintendo confirmed that some 50 companies are developing around 80 games, including a new title called Super Mario Odyssey which is due to land later in the year.

New title Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available at launch, as will party game 1,2, Switch, motion-based fight game ARMS, Skylanders Imaginations and Just Dance 2017. More games will follow shortly afterwards including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, NBA 2K18, and Lego City Undercover.

Unlike previous Nintendo consoles, the Switch will not be region-locked so that games can be played on all consoles, no matter where they were bought.