Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo Switch logo.
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For other pages associated with switches, see Switch (disambiguation).

The Nintendo Switch[1] (codenamed NX during development) is a family of Nintendo gaming consoles and the successor to the Wii U which was released on 3 March 2017. It is a hybrid home and handheld gaming console, though it is marketed as mainly being the former.[2]

Models and sales

The Nintendo Switch was officially announced on 20 October 2016, with early footage of Splatoon 2 showcased during its reveal trailer. A minor revision from around July 2018 came with updated firmware to block hacking attempts, while a revised version that was announced on 17 July 2019 and released around August 2019 includes longer battery life. As of 2024, the Nintendo Switch family of systems has sold a combined total of 141.32 million units,[3] making it Nintendo's best-selling home console of all time.

On 10 July 2019, Nintendo announced a second model of the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch Lite was released on 20 September 2019 and is a smaller device dedicated to handheld play, making it a more direct successor to the Nintendo 3DS family. It can play all Nintendo Switch games that have handheld functionality. Out of the total Nintendo Switch family sales, the Nintendo Switch Lite has sold 23.54 million units.[4]

An updated model named the Nintendo Switch - OLED Model was announced on 6 July 2021 and released on 8 October 2021. It features a larger and more vibrant screen, better audio, improved stand, built-in TV LAN support, and double the internal storage space, but no changes to processing power or output resolution. It has full functionality with all previous Nintendo Switch software and hardware. Early footage of Splatoon 3 was shown during its reveal trailer.[5] Out of the total Nintendo Switch family sales, the Nintendo Switch - OLED Model has sold 24.34 million units.[4]


The Nintendo Switch consists of a tablet-like console with a 6.2-inch 720p display (7 inches on the OLED Model) that can be placed into a docking station. When the system is in the dock, game footage is displayed on the TV screen at up to 1080p HD. When the console is detached from the dock, game footage is displayed on the console's screen. The two Joy-Con controllers, generally connected to the sides of the system for handheld play, can be removed and used either as separate controllers horizontally (similar to SNES controllers), used together as a single controller (similar to Wii Remotes), or docked into a grip to give a more traditional experience. A traditional controller, called the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, is also available. This controller has the same set-up as the Wii U Pro Controller, except for the second analog stick being set below the face buttons. This controller is compatible with Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3. As of the system's Version 10.0.0 firmware update, the ability to change button mapping for each controller was introduced.

The Nintendo Switch Lite features its controls integrated into a single, smaller device with a 5.5-inch screen. Therefore, there are no detachable Joy-Con and a traditional control pad, rather than separated directional buttons. The unit is smaller and lighter than the original with some removed features including HD Rumble and the infrared camera. The system cannot dock to a TV but additional Joy-Con can be connected for additional features.

The console, like the Nintendo DS and 3DS, uses ROM Game Card cartridges similar to the SD Card format, making it the first home gaming device to not utilize optical discs since the Nintendo 64.

Players can also locally connect up to eight Nintendo Switch consoles to each other for wireless play. Splatoon 2 uniquely allows up to ten systems to connect - eight playing the game and two spectating.

Users can also set their User icon to several different Splatoon characters or acquire icon elements from various aspects of Splatoon to create a custom user icon.

Console colors

Splatoon-themed versions

On 6 July 2022, a Splatoon 3 version of the Nintendo Switch - OLED Model was announced, which released on 26 August 2022. It includes a white dock with graffiti designs and a yellow ink splat and a console with graffiti designs on the reverse. Themed Joy-Cons are included, while a themed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and carrying case were also released alongside the game on 9 September 2022.

Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online logo.

Nintendo Switch Online is the suite of online services for the Nintendo Switch console. It was announced at the Nintendo Switch Presentation Event on 12 January 2017.

Nintendo Switch Online encompasses both the online service itself and the Nintendo Switch Online app, used for SplatNet 2 and Nintendo's online party system. The service also offers cloud saves, though not all games support this feature. This includes Splatoon 2, meaning that there is no legitimate way to back the game up, as opposed to the first game being saved to an external USB storage device.

The service was said to launch in Fall 2017 but was then pushed to 19 September 2018. Until that time, users were given free access to online play. Nintendo Switch Online has different plans and membership options. For the standard tier, individual membership is available for 30 days, 90 days, or 365 days, while there is also a family membership for up to eight Nintendo Accounts for 365 days. On 23 September 2021, a higher-priced tier named Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack was revealed, which was released on 26 October 2021. Among other benefits, this option allows for free downloads of selected DLC, including the Octo Expansion. The Expansion Pack is only available for 365 days, for either individual or family memberships.[6][7]

Splatoon 2 players who signed up for the service and choose a 365-day plan until 31 August 2022 were able to receive a special set of exclusive in-game gear, the Online Jersey and the Online Squidkid V shoes.[8] Shortly after obtaining the membership, an email would have been sent to the registered address (or the admin account if using a family plan), containing a code (eight if using a family plan) to redeem in the eShop, in which a box appears in the middle of Inkopolis Square containing the items.

Online Lounge

The Online Lounge was a feature in Splatoon 2 that offered voice chat through the Nintendo Switch Online app during multiplayer battles in Salmon Run, League Battle and Private Battle. It allowed players to send invite links from the app to social media that connected to a voice room in the app. This would then be reflected as a battle group in Splatoon 2.

The lounge held up to eight players in League Battle and Private Battle or four in Salmon Run. The feature was shut down on 28 July 2021; the icon still appears in the lobby but no longer works and the option does not appear in the Nintendo Switch Online app at all.

Missions & Rewards

Main article: User icon#Nintendo Switch Online icons
Promo for the Splatoon 2 icon parts.

On 28 February 2022, an update was released for the Nintendo Switch Online service on Nintendo Switch that added a Missions & Rewards section for members. These rewards come in the form of user "Icon Parts", consisting of a character, background, and frame. An icon can only be made when a character is selected. Characters cost 10 Platinum Points, while background and frames cost 5 Platinum Points. Each month hosts icon parts from one game, along with a special Animal Crossing: New Horizons section consisting of villagers that have their birthday set in the current month. On some occasions, another game can be added as a special reward alongside the featured game, such as Kirby and the Forgotten Land.[9][10]

Related games

Check this article for additional references.


External links