Nintendo's new Switch console to launch in March

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Source:

Associated Press

Nintendo has given the world an in-depth look at its new Nintendo Switch console, promising video game players around the world that the device will be packed with the fun features of all its past machines.

Media wait outside the venue for the presentation of the new Nintendo Switch in Tokyo.

Media wait outside the venue for the presentation of the new Nintendo Switch in Tokyo.

Source: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

The Kyoto-based maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games announced details of the Switch's release on Friday at the Tokyo Big Sight events hall.

The company said the console will be launched on March 3 for US$299.99 (NZ$420).

Customers in Europe will need to ask retailers there for prices.

In teaser videos, Nintendo has shown players using a handheld whose remote controller section detaches from the left and right sides of the main part of the device's display.

Players can use the Switch as a regular handheld, put the display on a table, or use a TV screen as a monitor.

Nintendo is promising a more immersive, interactive experience with the Switch, including online playing and using the remote controller in games that don't require players to be constantly staring at a display.

"Nintendo Switch is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes," Nintendo's president Tatsumi Kimishima told reporters.

Nintendo needs the Switch to help it recover from disappointing sales from the Wii U and the 3DS handheld and has been playing catch-up after consumers dumped older machines in favor of using smartphones and personal computers to play games.

The company also faces powerful rival game machine offerings from Microsoft Corporation and Sony Corporation.

The Switch needs to win over new, younger players, who may not be hard-core game fans and might be daunted by its hefty price tag.

Many had hoped it might sell for closer to $200.

Investors were underwhelmed, sending Nintendo stock sinking in Tokyo trading after the announcement, with it dropping by 5.8 per cent.

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