Nintendo has dated the release of its next video game console, Nintendo Switch, at a press conference in Japan. The home and handheld hybrid console will launch on 3 March in most major territories worldwide.

In October, when Nintendo revealed the Switch with a lavish announcement trailer, they confirmed a March release, but were not specific on a date. The device will cost $299.99 in the US, with prices in Europe to specified from country to country. £250-£299 is a good guess for the UK.

The price was announced by Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima at the start of the presentation. He also announced an online service that will be paid for come the autumn, but will start out as free. The device will also be region free.

Switch is a hybrid home and handheld console that pitches itself as a device that allows players to play whatever they want, wherever they want.

Hardware details followed the announcement. Battery life was pitched as somewhere between two and a half and six hours when used as a handheld. The handheld portion will also be Wi-Fi enabled as excepted, and he screen is touch-enabled.

Up to eight Switch's can connect locally for multiplayer.

Primarily a successor to the Wii U, it will also succeed the 3DS - which still has some games in the pipeline.

By 2018, this will mean a unified focus on one device from the home and handheld sides of Nintendo's team of developers.

The launch of Switch comes three years after it was first announced under the codename NX by former company president Satoru Iwata - during a press conference at which the company also announced its intention to develop mobile games.

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