Japanese videogame giant Nintendo on Thursday gave gamers a sneak peek at a long-awaited new console, a portable device dubbed Nintendo Switch, which could be key to boosting its bottom line.
In a three-minute video on its YouTube channel, Nintendo unveiled a hybrid machine that can be played at home and on the go, thanks to a removable screen like a tablet with the controllers attached.
“The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles,” Nintendo said on the website.
The Kyoto-based firm, which successfully forayed into the smartphone game market with the release of Pokemon Go earlier this year, said Nintendo Switch will be rolled out in March 2017.
The new console follows Nintendo Wii U, which never succeeded in gaining fans and was outdistanced by Sony’s Playstation 4 in terms of sales.
Nintendo shares soared 4.40 percent to 27,230 yen in Tokyo on the news.
The video presentation showed clips of several of the company’s brand games on the new console, including “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Fire” as well as images from its famous series “Super Mario,” “Mario Kart” and “Splatoon”.
The Japanese firm also revealed several key software partners, including major video game developers such as US firms Activision and Electronic Arts along with Japan’s Capcom, Konami, Sega and Square Enix, as well as France’s Ubisoft.
Nintendo did not reveal the technical specifications of the new console, nor the expected pricetag.
Nintendo Switch, which uses cartridges rather than discs, could be vital for the company which is looking for a hit product to offset the disappointing demand for its Wii U console.
After years of pressure, Nintendo abandoned its consoles-only policy and entered into the smartphone game market this summer with the Pokemon Go app.
Pokemon has been popular in Japan since first being launched as software in 1996 for Nintendo’s iconic Game Boy console.
In March, the company released “Miitomo” — a free-to-play and interactive game that allows users to create “Mii” avatars — as it tries to compete in an industry that has increasingly gone online.