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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Nintendo Switch: A game console that transforms into a portable handheld game machine.

Here's our first look at the final hardware, days ahead of its March 3 release -- and some surprising size comparisons with previous Nintendo systems.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

With a bright, colorful 6.2-inch touchscreen at 720p resolution, the Switch looks like what the Wii U Gamepad should have been.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

All the same buttons in all the same places... plus a few extras. (The little plus sign is a start button.)

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Just because it's portable doesn't mean it has a flush, fiddly sliding joystick like the Nintendo 3DS. There's some depth, and the sticks have their own clicky buttons inside when you press down.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

But here's the big surprise: The side controllers can snap right on and off. (It's a satisfying snap, too.)

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

That's because the two Joy-Cons, as they're known, are wireless motion controllers with their own internal batteries, advanced haptic feedback and more.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

You can prop up the touchscreen tablet by itself, and play without the Joy-Cons connected.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

There's a handy (if limited and lopsided) kickstand to keep the tablet upright, and rigid metal attach points on either side to keep the Joy-Cons relatively rigid once they're snapped into place.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here's the button you press to unlock the Joy-Cons and slide them out. There's one such button on each side.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A closer look at the metal groove.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A closer look at the Joy-Cons. They have dedicated home and social sharing buttons, too.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Each has a bumper and a trigger. They're shallow and clicky, without a lot of pull.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

There are buttons on the inside of each Joy-Con, too, so you can use just one and give the other to a friend.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Or, you can snap both of them into a Joy-Con Grip for a larger, more traditional-feeling controller.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

While the buttons are different, the grips feel a bit like a GameCube pad.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

One of the Joy-Cons has an IR camera for detecting motion, and another has NFC for connecting Nintendo's Amiibo toys.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

An SD card slot is hidden beneath the kickstand.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here's the power button and volume rocker, on the top edge of the system.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

You'll also find the headphone jack and cartridge slot there.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here, we've popped out the spring-loaded cartridge bay.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

My, how Nintendo's removable media has shrunk over the years!

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The game boxes are smaller and sleeker, too.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here's the main vent, next to the headphone jack on the top edge.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

If you angle it right, you can see a copper heatpipe inside that likely keeps the Nvidia Tegra chip cool.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The dock has a folding door at the back. You can see it routing cables in the next slide.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

And inside you'll find an extra USB port.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

There are two more USB ports on the left edge. You can connect a USB ethernet adapter, a gadget to charge or presumably some external storage.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

If you want to charge the Switch and attached Joy-Cons without the dock, you can plug the standard (!) USB-C cable directly into the Switch instead.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here's what the connector inside the dock looks like.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Together with the dock, the Switch is still far smaller than the already-small Nintendo Wii.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here it is, properly blocked off for a size comparison with the Wii and GameCube.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

All of these Nintendo game systems are barely bigger than the original Game Boy.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Bet you didn't think you'd see this comparison, huh?

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

But it's the thickness where Switch has OG Game Boy totally trounced.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Speaking of which: if you thought the Switch was the size of the Wii U Gamepad, think again.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

So much thinner.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

It's practically tablet-thin.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Sure, you lose a little height on the sticks and buttons compared to the Wii U Gamepad.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Nintendo's motion controllers have evolved. No more nunchaku-like tether needed.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Press two Joy-Cons together, and they're roughly the size of an NES Classic pad.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

The history of Nintendo controllers (at least, the main ones without screens attached).

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

Here's the Switch next to Nintendo's 3DS XL. Not so big, eh?

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Four generations of portable Nintendo consoles.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The Switch makes the Nvidia Shield portable look chunky and awkward by comparison. Both house Nvidia Tegra chips.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Only Nintendo's own shrink ray can make the Switch look gigantic by comparison. The Switch dwarfs the $60 NES Classic Edition.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

One last picture of the Nintendo Switch.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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