Nintendo unveils the ‘Nintendo Switch’

Posted at 10:30 AM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 10:30:00-04

In a three minute trailer posted Thursday morning, Nintendo finally revealed the mystery behind its long-awaited new home video game system — codenamed “NX.”

The Nintendo Switch is a new system that operates as both a handheld system and a console. Nintendo says the system “enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose.”

Many fans have been eagerly awaiting word on the new system since Nintendo slipped a passing mention of the new device into its quarterly financial report in April.

Other than a planned release date of March 2017, the Japanese company provided little information about what it called “a brand-new concept.”

Investors seem to be hoping the new release will help turn around Nintendo’s fortunes. The company’s stock gained as much as 4.6% in Tokyo after the preview announcement.

Nintendo’s share price more than doubled in July following the release of the hugely popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go. But the stock later gave up some of those gains after the company said the game would have only a “limited” effect on its bottom line. It got another lift last month after Nintendo said it would release a new Super Mario game in Apple’s iOS store this year.

But Nintendo’s previous home video game system, the Wii U, was a big flop. Only around 13 million Wii U consoles have been sold since its November 2012 release, a fraction of the more than 100 million sales clocked up by its smash hit predecessor, the Wii. The company posted a loss of around $237 million for the three months through June.

Consoles launched a year after the Wii U by rivals Sony and Microsoft have comfortably outsold it.

Those two companies also have new machines on the way. Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro, an upgrade of its current console, goes on sale next month. And Microsoft has dropped some hints about its new device, known as Project Scorpio, which is expected to come out around the 2017 holiday season.