Nintendo Switch: Battery life, specs and other questions remain
We know so much more now about Nintendo Switch including its proper name but still, there are tons of unanswered questions.
Nintendo’s surprise reveal took the form of a startlingly effective three-minute trailer that imparted a great deal of information without actually saying anything. Many details remain a mystery, but we know a lot now about the new machine’s form and function.
Switch is a hybrid console that works in your living room, but also features a removable tablet-style device for taking your play out of the home. It’s got enough power to play games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or NBA 2K17, but it’s also got uses as a party-friendly gaming device.
Then there’s all the stuff that we don’t yet know. Yes, the price. That’s a big one. But it’s not the only one. Here are five questions that you can expect Nintendo to address before Switch arrives in March 2017.
1. What is the battery life of a Switch in tablet mode?
The portable component of Switch is what makes it so appealing. You can sit at home playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild then head out and take the game with you wherever.
How long will it last, though? Most modern tablets can deliver around 10 hours of continuous use, but that’s typically for simple tasks like web browsing, video streaming, emails and the like.
Games like Skyrim or Zelda need much more processing power, however. And on top of that, the Switch has its built-in (and detachable) controllers. How any of that impacts the battery life remains to be seen.
2. What are the data storage capabilities?
We know that Switch games come on cartridges, similar to other portable Nintendo systems. But eShop and Virtual Console are both a big deal for Nintendo, so it stands to reason that Switch will offer some manner of internal storage.
The question is, where will that stored data live? The tablet could and probably does have a built-in flash drive (or something similar), but there’s no way of knowing at this point if it’s just for save data or if you can store full games in there as well.
Then there’s the docking station that the tablet plugs into. Is there separate storage in that box? Do either the tablet or the docking station include anything like an SD card slot, for expandable storage?
3. What kind of mobile features are there?
It’s not clear if the Switch tablet is a touchscreen or not, though that’s a question many are asking in the wake of the reveal. Having one would make sense given the ubiquity of touch-based interfaces, but skipping it since you already have console-style controls would keep costs down.
Switch will definitely be able to get online in some fashion, but how? There’s a good chance the tablet supports Wi-Fi, and it’s equally possible that the docking station includes a more reliable ethernet port.
What about mobile networks? Some PlayStation Vita models supported 4G LTE, but the niche popularity of that handheld coupled with the monthly data charges made it a less popular option.
Mobile network performance has improved significantly since the Vita launched. There’s no reason the Switch couldn’t support it, though as was the case with Vita the cost of supporting mobile data might outweigh the benefits of getting online from anywhere.
4. Will any of your 3DS or Wii U eShop purchases carry over?
For a long time, Nintendo user accounts were in the dark ages compared to PlayStation or Xbox. If you bought something online from the eShop, you only owned it on that device. Nintendo support could help you move your stuff to a new machine, but it was more workaround than established process.
That is all potentially changed now with the newer Nintendo Accounts. Cross-play support is still bafflingly light for Nintendo next to what Microsoft and Sony have done on their respective platforms.
Maybe Switch will bring about a much-needed change. Nintendo fans will only buy so many duplicate copies of Super Mario Bros. 3 before they start to wonder why.
5. How about that docking station?
The Switch docking station houses the system’s tablet when you’re gaming at home on a TV, but what else does it do?
We already discussed the possibility of it including both internal storage and an ethernet port. Could the base also up the tablet’s processing power?
Let’s say the tablet caps out at a 720p display, for the sake of battery life. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance the base will at least ensure the output to your TV is at 1080p.
It’s unlikely that Nintendo will chase the same 4K gaming hype that Microsoft and Sony are betting on with the PS4 Pro and the codenamed “Scorpio” Xbox. But you can certainly expect at least 1080p performance when you output to a TV.
Read more: http://mashable.com/