The Wii U era is over.
On Thursday morning, Nintendo unveiled its new console, the Nintendo Switch.
Long code-named the Nintendo NX, the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid of sorts. The system, which will use cartridges rather than discs, will work with television sets. But it also will allow for portable use — a home gaming system that will work in the family room and on the go.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president and chief operation officer of Nintendo of America.
Nintendo provided a glimpse of the system in action via a trailer, which showcased the upcoming “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” as well as an untitled “Super Mario Bros.” game.
Nintendo hopes its Switch will reverse its fortunes in the home gaming sector. The Wii U has the distinction of being Nintendo’s worst-selling console.
Since its introduction in 2012, the Wii U has sold just 13.02 million units. The original Wii, by comparison, sold more than 101 million copies, and Sony has reported sales topping 40 million for its PlayStation 4.
The Nintendo Switch has long been shrouded in secrecy and will be released in March. The company declined to bring the system to this summer’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, North America’s largest video game trade show, held each year in Los Angeles.
The Nintendo Switch will come with a dock that will connect to television sets. When removed from the dock, the Switch will transition to a portable console. Controllers are detachable and when in portable mode, will be affixed to the sides of the system.
Nintendo has yet to reveal a full slate of launch titles for the system, but a number of third parties, such as Ubisoft, home to the “Just Dance” and “Assassin’s Creed” franchises, have announced support for the console.
“With the Nintendo Switch’s unique capacities and design, Nintendo could again redefine the way we play games. The Nintendo Switch is accessible at its core and also seizes on the growing trends of sharing more experiences and playing anywhere at any time,” Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive of Ubisoft, said in a statement.
Follow me on Twitter: @toddmartens