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The Nintendo Switch (originally codenamed Nintendo NX) is a Nintendo-developed hybrid console that was released worldwide on March 3, 2017. It comes with two controllers, collectively called the Joy-Con, designed for use with one in each hand. It competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.
The Nintendo Switch is based around a successor to NVIDIA's TEGRA mobile graphics chipset, and is designed to serve as both a handheld console, and a traditional home console.
The conception of the Nintendo Switch came about in reaction to several quarters of financial losses for Nintendo in 2014, attributed to poor sales of its predecessor Wii U console and the rise of mobile gaming. Nintendo's former president Satoru Iwata pushed the company toward mobile gaming and novel hardware. It was unveiled in October 2016 and released in most areas worldwide on March 3, 2017.
The Nintendo Switch consists of a console unit, a dock, and two Joy-Con controllers.
The main unit of the Switch is the Console, a battery-powered tablet-like LCD monitor that supports multi-touch sensing and includes haptic technology. The LCD screen can support resolutions of up to 720p. It includes a 3.5 mm audio jack, stereo speakers on the bottom face of the unit below the screen, a USB-C port for charging, and a kickstand on the back side. Also included in the console is a slot for game cards and a microSD slot.
The Consoled, with or without Joy-Con attached, can be placed into the Dock, a docking station with connectors to connect the Consoled to a power supply to charge its battery, and to a television via an HDMI connection for video/audio output. It also includes two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. When docked, the unit can support resolutions of up to 1080p and a maximum frame rate of 60 frames per second
The Switch comes with controllers collectively called Joy Con, but individually referred to as "Joy-Con L" and "Joy-Con R". These are attached to the console using a locking mechanism, with a small release button to allow them to be detached. When detached, they can be used as a pair by a single player, attached to a grip that emulates a gamepad form factor, or used as separate controllers by two individual players. Up to eight Joy-Cons can be connected to a single Nintendo Switch.