[Update – This article was updated in June 2017 to better reflect the state of the below reports and rumours, and add information on reports done since the original article was posted].

Back in August of last year, Let’s Play Video Games began running a number of reports and rumours regarding the Nintendo NX, since renamed the Nintendo Switch. We thought this would be a perfect time to give a little additional info on which information came from which sources, which things  were accurate or not, and as such which as-of-yet unconfirmed rumours and reports are likely to be proven true in the coming months.

Let’s start by giving a little overview of our sources in the run-up to the Nintendo Switch reveal. I have confirmed via Emily Rogers (AKA ArcadeGirl64) and EuroGamer’s Tom Phillips, who both had different leaks regarding the system, that our sources differ. These sources are unique to my attempts to report on the system prior to reveal.

Source A – A close source to an internal Nintendo division. Will avoid specifying in which capacity they work, but they are a European source. They have a decent awareness of production, retail hardware, development hardware and marketing plans.

Source B – A source close to development at a Ubisoft studio. This should not come as a surprise considering some of my reports have had specific information regarding Ubisoft software development. They are primarily aware of development kits.

Source C – A source connected to a large indie developer.

Source D – A source connected to a manufacturing partner.

Source E – A source who helped me leak Until Dawn: Rush of Blood one week prior to announcement back in 2015.

I also, in places, conferred with Tom Phillips and Emily Rogers to see if their separate and distinct sources had heard similar, contradictory, or matching info. This was particularly useful when working with new sources.

The reason for fleshing out my sources here is so that I can clarify which information came from which sources, why it might be accurate, and where I may have slipped up in attempting to report on the system.

Announcing “The NX Reveal is Coming Tomorrow” Before the Official Announcement

This was a super last-minute piece of news to me.

I found out the NX / Switch reveal video was coming around 1 hour before it was officially announced, and tweeted about it twenty minutes later (40 mins before official announcement). This information came from Source A (Nintendo) and was backed up by others with reliable sources.

Alongside this information I was given a rundown of roughly what to expect in the trailer, but I could not find a second source, either direct or from another person with sources, to corroborate. As much as I trusted Source A, I did not want to risk running this information without double-sourcing it.

I was told the NX reveal would be three minutes long (later confirmed by Nintendo), that it would initially focus on showing off Zelda: Breath of the Wild running, that it would focus on revealing the hybrid nature of the device and would reaffirm launch month, but not date or price.

Source A told me they had not seen the trailer, but had had it described to them. As such, I was careful not to take it as gospel.

Source A also told me the Switch name. I did not run it because I only had a single source on the information, but I did spend the following 24 hours searching for domain redirects, trademarks or references in interviews to the name Switch, but found nothing. The fact I could not find corroborating evidence is the reason why I alluded to having heard a name, but why I was reluctant to share it publicly at the time. I did, however, confirm that it was not using the Wii name.

Source A (Nintendo) also told me that the trailer would reveal the system’s use of cartridges rather than discs. I was confident in this because it lined up with info from source B (Ubisoft).

A few people asked me why, if it was a hybrid, Nintendo had called it a home system in their announcement. I had an answer for that ready.

While I had worked with source A on a number of the August NX rumours, this was the moment that I began to have true, deep down confidence that they knew their shit.

The “NX to Feature PS4 -style Split D-Pad and Share Button” Report

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While above image may have looked a little silly when we posted it back in late August, it ultimately turned out to be a pretty accurate image of the retail system. The image was provided by source B (Ubisoft), based on development hardware, and functionally matches the layout of the final hardware. The above development kit drawing correctly showed the NX as having offset sticks (as opposed to the Eurogamer image which showed both sticks at the top), as well as the rough location of the home and share buttons. The January event confirmed the ability to use the button to record still images at launch, and video at a later date.

It did fail to reveal the small + and – buttons on the top of the detachable controllers. I have been told that these are not present on early development hardware.

While the buttons on the left switched from rectangles to circles to match the shape of the letter buttons on the right, my source correctly identified they would be individual buttons rather than a D-Pad for separated controller use as displayed in the reveal trailer.

I confirmed the image accuracy by running it past an additional source who confirmed it did not clash with any information they were aware of, as well as Source A (Nintendo). It was also corroborated by Source C (Indie).

That wraps up that report. We were proven correct on sticks being offset, D-Pad being split buttons and the location of an additional button on the left Joy-Con Controller.

The information about the system being region free comes from sources A, B and E (Nintendo, Ubisoft and Rush of Blood). As A and B were accurate as a pair when it came to the Split D-Pad and “Share” Button report, and the Rush of Blood source has been accurate in the past, I was confident in this report. The system was confirmed to be region free during the January presentation.

The “Detachable NX Controllers Support Motion Control and Force Feedback” Report

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Much of the information in this report has now been confirmed.

In short, our rumour stated that the Switch Joy-Cons would feature motion control and advanced rumble support.

Our sources on this report were Sources A and B (Nintendo and Ubisoft). We have been given no reason at this point to suspect either source as inaccurate.

I asked Source A (Nintendo) why motion control support was not addressed in the reveal trailer. They said that the purpose of the reveal trailer was to show the console’s unique selling point in as focused a manner as possible.

Nintendo confirmed motion at the January presentation. They also confirmed HD-Rumble, a feature I very accurately described in the linked report.

“advanced vibration force feedback”

“The force feedback functionality of the controller has been described by one source as “very similar to the Vive controller, in that it alters intensity, pulsing patterns and duration of vibration to mimic the sensation of a range of different movement types. It’s not just one vibration for all situations, there’s a notable difference between the hard abrupt feedback of a sword clash or the softer, longer thud of something like hitting a tennis ball.””

The “Switch has a multitouch screen” Tweets

These tweets were based on information from Source A (Nintendo). As shown above, they knew enough to know when the reveal trailer was coming before the official announcement. This was confirmed as part of the January presentation

The “Switch dock has some additional processing power” Tweets

This information again came from sources A (Nintendo), B (Ubisoft) and D (Manufacturing). None could confirm whether the dock was a PlayStation VR-style processing box which helps power higher resolution play when docked, or if docking the console simply allowed the handheld to overclock and provides better performance that way. All sources claimed the hardware had an easier time running docked compared to when out and about as a portable.

We later updated with a follow up report, detailed below, regarding the nature of the dock and it’s role in handheld clock speed.

Switch Increases Performance Via Clock Speed Increase not Additional Tech

We put this report together as an update to our previous comments on system performance increase, based primarily on information from source A (Nintendo). While patents released in December 2016 showed that we were correct about the system increasing in clock speed to facilitate additional performance, we incorrectly stated that the dock contained an additional fan. The Patents revealed that while the system does cool better when docked, this was due to increased fan speed in the handheld.

In discussions since then with Source A (Nintendo), they have explained that they misunderstood when someone informed them that the system had additional cooling power when docked. It was a minor inaccuracy, but an inaccuracy none the less. I will accept the information I posted there was innacurate.

The “Battery Life” Tweet

Source A (Nintendo) described the Switch as having a “mediocre” battery life. Source B (Ubisoft) has said a maximum battery life of three hours. In the time since writing this article, I have been lead to believe three hours is how long the system runs undocked, at max clock speed and max settings, in developer test cases.

During the January presentation, Nintendo confirmed system battery life varies depending on software, and that Breath of the Wild runs undocked for aproximately three hours. This lends credence to the way the report came together.

How Nintendo Ensures the Switch Slots Into the Dock Correctly

While some of the specifics on positioning and shape differs, our report on the basic method for how the Switch docks correctly were accurare, with a pair of stabilisation pins used to ensure once docked the system is secure and that connectors are not damaged. This information came from Source A (Nintendo).

Nintendo Switch’s Right Joy-Con Offers IR Pointer Functionality

This report has since been confirmed accurate by the December 2016 Patents. The information came from Source A (Nintendo).

No Nintendo Switch Handheld-Only Package at Launch

This report came from Source A (Nintendo). This was confirmed accurate during the January presentation.

Nintendo Switch to Support Micro SD up to 128GB

This information came from Source A (Nintendo). Support for Micro SD based external memory was verified by the December 2016 patents, as well as during the January Presentation. While I was not accurate regarding a maximum supported size of 128GB, this may well be a difference between development hardware and retail hardware. I will accept that while I was correct on external memory format, I was wrong on maximum supported size.

Nintendo Switch Dock Doesn’t Support External USB Drives

We were told by Source A that the Switch doesn’t support external USB drives because Nintendo doesn’t want any barriers to undocking the Switch instantly. This was confirmed in January. Nintendo may allow support for external USB drives in the future, but does not currently.

UK Retailer GAME to Price Nintendo Switch from £199.99 (Inaccurate Report)

This one is a doozie. We based this report on Source A (Nintendo) informing us that UK retail chains had been provided wholesale pricing information for the Switch, and at a similar time being reached out to by a source claiming to be employed at retail chain GAME telling me that they had recieved wholesale pricing information. The GAME source told me that the company was aware of wholesale pricing and, based on that knowledge, expected the system to retail at an entry point of £199.99. It was not made clear what the wholesale price was or how much profit the retail chain expected to make on each unit sold.

We mentioned in this report a pack in title, which we will get to later.

Source A (Nintendo) never directly gave us pricing information for the retail chain.

Of note, when we posted this report GAME PR contacted us initially threatening legal action in an attempt to get us to pull our post. They later contacted us with an appology for the thretening tone of their first message.

While this source definately did work at GAME, the information they gave proved to be entierly inaccurate. I have no defense here. I trusted a source and got stuff wrong.

Ubisoft Developing Rabbids & Mario Crossover RPG

This report about the Mario Rabbids RPG has in many ways been my most left field report.

This information came from sources A (Nintendo) and B (Ubisoft). I go into further details on this report below.

The “Beyond Good and Evil to be NX Exclusive, 2018 release, semi reboot” Report

Beyond-Good-and-Evil

This one entirely came via Source B (Ubisoft). Back in March they initially confirmed to me reports that the game was in talks to be an NX exclusive funded by Nintendo.

Source B (Ubisoft) was unclear if a deal was made in the end, but was able to show verifiable evidence that a meeting took place to discuss making the title exclusive to NX.

The timetable of events as I now understand it from Source B (Ubisoft) is that the past six months have been legal and pre-development discussions of budget and direction, project scope, and how much of previous development efforts could be salvaged. The October art teases, as I understand it, were a result of the project reaching a point where all parties were confident they could re-announce it and not have it be another announcement that didn’t ultimately lead to a release.

In January, I was informed by Source B that the title would be a timed exclusive on Switch rather than a full exclusive. I address this aspect of the report below.

At E3 2017 the game was revealed to be a prequel reboot rather than a sequel.

Rayman Legends Port, BGE2 Exclusivity info and Rabbids RPG Name.

Sooooo, this was a bit last minute.

I was reached out to by a verifiable Ubisoft source regarding this info. The source was able to show verifiable evidence of the information in these tweets. They are the most up to date information I have on these projects and I believe this is currently the most accurate information available on these projects.

Rayman Legends port coming in Q2 was confirmed in the January presentation and a follow up press release. I also stated before the presentation that Ubisoft would reveal a Steep port which proved accurate. I still trust this Ubisoft source.

The “Kingdom Battle” title proved accurate, and my report that the title would release in September was only three days out from the game’s August 29th release date. This three day discrepency has been explained to me as being a result of extrapolating release month from projected sales data, with September being expected to be the first month where the game appears on internal sales reports.

Grant Kirhope Composing for Rabbids Mario RPG

I was told this by Sources A (Nintendo) and B (Ubisoft) in December 2016. It was revealed accurate at E3 2017. I was the only person to report this information in advance of the reveal of the project.

Mother 3 Q2 2017 on Switch

Yep, the one that has broken the percieved credibility of many a leaker before me. I have heard from a source at Nintendo (Source A), and two sources I will not at this stage comment on, that Mother 3 is ready for Switch and will be releasing in Q2 2017. The game features a new translation rather than the existing fan translation and has been sat ready to publish for multiple months. Emily Rogers and Tom Phillips past attempts to report on the existance of the project for Wii U were not inaccurate through fault on their part, the game was done and ready to go, but it was shelved to drive interest in the Switch once it became apparent the Wii U was not going to recover steam.

I firmly believe we will see the game release on Switch in Q2 2017. I am well aware that many before me have tried to report on this game without sucess, so I do not undertake this lightly.

 

So, there you have it, that’s the whole story of my involvement in the NX leaks running up to the Switch reveal. Hope this helps folk have faith in my reports going forward, and offers some understanding into how these kinds of reporting happen.

Laura's gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them.

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