Previously codenamed Nintendo NX, the machine was revealed on the company’s Twitter feed yesterday and is due to be released in March.
The device consists of several detachable parts that can be configured in a number of ways. The core is a central unit that features a tablet-sized screen. For home gaming, this is inserted into a docking station attached to a TV, with the game controlled by what looks similar to a conventional game controller.
However, the controller can also be split in two, with half attached to each side of the tablet, creating a portable games device that promises to allow fully fledged gameplay from anywhere.
The screen can also be removed from the controller and propped up using a built-in stand – while each half of the controller can be separated and used by a different player, for multiplayer games.
Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, said: "Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like. It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries."
The new machine continues ideas that Nintendo has experimented with on previous devices the Wii, Wii U, DS and 3DS. The Japanese gaming giant has struggled to maintain a strong position in the games market against the competition of Sony and Microsoft’s more powerful consoles at one end, or against the simplicity and convenience of mobile gaming at the other.
The huge influence of the brand, however, was demonstrated last month when famous designer Shigeru Miyamoto made an appearance at the Apple event in San Francisco to reveal that for the first time, Apple announced Nintendo would bring out a Mario game on the iPhone – news that saw Nintendo’s shares rise 29% in a day.