For weeks Nintendo fans, nay-sayers, onlookers and well-wishers have (Not So) patiently waited for January 12th. Nintendo promised an in depth look at the hardware, games and details regarding the Nintendo Switch on this date, and now that it has come and gone…boy did they come through. As we discovered a couple of weeks ago, Nintendo planned to drop this heap of information in the most Nintendo way possible: In a dedicated presentation aired from Japan at 7pm PST (which in some countries was about 3 or 4 in the morning). So we waited, queued up our streams and watched as they hopped, splatted and raced their way into our hearts again. Now, when the Switch was first announced, Atomic Geekdom and I brought you a pretty in depth look at the console and some of its features, so this time I’m going to list some of the biggest and most exciting developments from the Switch Presentation and what they meant to me. So let’s get into the meat and juices of this amazing console.
Price and Date
First and foremost Nintendo blasted out of the gate answering the two most asked questions regarding their new console. The Nintendo Switch will officially launch on March 3rd 2017 and will cost $299. To me that is a stellar deal for what we are getting. Rumors and reports the last few months had fans hopeful that the launch price would be around $250, but considering the power upgrades, the mobility and the functionality that we found out about during the presentation, the price is more than reasonable and makes sense to me. Pre-Orders went up almost immediately and have been selling out at most of the major retailers. Yours Truly managed to secure a Pre-order and will be getting my hands on it first thing in the morning on release day. I may disappear from the face of the earth for a weekend, but I think my friends and loved ones will understand.
In The Box
Out of the package we will be receiving:
- The Nintendo Switch Console, boasting a 6.2” capacitive touch screen capable of displaying in 1080p when docked, and 720p when used on the go. 720p is great for a handheld device, especially when it is also capable of running games at 60FPS.
- 2 Joy-Con controllers. Alright, this is where I feel the presentation gave us the most exciting bits of information. These things are like little super computers. Ok, so they aren’t quite the T-1000 but they do have some pretty extensive abilities. Each Joy-Con can be used as a fully functional controller complete with a full set of buttons. An IR Motion camera allows the Joy-Cons motion support that is so sensitive, it’s able to recognize hand motions and gestures (such as Rock, Paper, and Scissors). It can detect how far an object is from the controller and in what ways the object is moving. And is if that wasn’t enough, the most impressive reveal was that the R Joy-Con comes with an NFC chip for scanning Amiibo figures. A new feature called HD Rumble allows the controller to give the player different sensations such as drizzling milk or a glass of ice water being poured. I’m not sure I fully understand how this new ultra-sensitive rumble feature actually works but I am super excited to play and find out! Joy-Cons will be available in different colors, but at this time we have only seen Grey, Neon Red and Neon Blue. An additional set of two Joy-Cons will be available separately for $79. A bit steep, but for everything the controller is capable of, I’m willing to buy an extra set at launch.
- 1 Joy-Con Grip. This is the accessory that turns your two Joy-Cons into a more traditional controller. As strange as the design is, I have come to love its unique style the more I look at it. The Grip accessory that comes packaged with the Switch will not be capable of charging your Joy-Cons, but one that is will be available to purchase separately for about $30.
- 2 Wrist Straps for the Joy-Con that can also be purchased separately in different colors.
- 1 HDMI Cable. You know what these do.
- 1 AC Adapter. Hey it’s a step up from the 3DS
RIP REGION LOCKING
This is incredibly exciting. No region Locked software! Next to the features revealed for the controllers, this may have been one of the biggest bits of information. It’s a big step forward for gaming, and hopefully this will be a continued trend. Perhaps this type of development can save us from another ugly Mother 3-esque situation.
We got a nice glimpse at the new Switch game cartridges and, boy, are they small! I’m ok with this because I’m not an 8 year old boy, but some parents may need to prepare for “The Talk”. You know, the one where we learn how to respect our video games. Here’s a Peek:
Pay To Play Online
They finally did it. They joined the ranks of every other major console and announced that Online Play will be a paid service on the Switch. This is a first for Nintendo, and fans are not pleased. I can’t quite understand the outcry, though. Nintendo desperately needs upgraded servers for online multiplayer, and a paid service will allow for better gameplay. It’s the same argument I had when PlayStation took the plunge, and I stand by it now. If we want decent servers that we don’t have to complain about, a paid subscription is only natural. There is no word as of this writing on how much the Monthly subscription will cost, but we do know that during each month, players will have access to a classic NES or SNES title. The games will need to be purchased in order to play it after the month though, so while Nintendo has the right idea, Sony still has them beat on the free game bonuses.
Battery, Storage and Other Features
The Switch battery life, when detached from the Dock, will range from around 3 to 6.5 hours. Nintendo stated that when playing a game that draws a lot of power, such as Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the charge will last closer to 2.5 hours. Not bad for running an enormous game with a great frame rate. There will also be several charging devices for mobile play including a car adapter that will be sold separately. The Switch will come with 32GB of storage space right out of the box, but will be compatible with Micro SDXC cards to expand it further. Up to 8 Switches can be linked for local multiplayer, which is hopefully a nudge towards a certain 8-player fighting game being added to the roster of amazing games.
New Games Announced
Here’s where the Presentation had the most Hype in the gaming communities. Several new trailers were shown for what we have to expect over the next year. Here are some of the biggest titles that were announced during the Presentation.
- Super Mario Odyssey: We finally learn the name and nature of the 3D Mario title that was shown during the Switch’s initial reveal. Finally, another installment in the Sandbox series. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine are considered some of the best games in the franchise and mostly due to the expansive exploration features. Mario starts off running through a highly detailed New York City, jumping and swinging through the streets like he’s right at home. Mario hops into an, as of yet unexplained, aircraft which transports him to different worlds each with a unique aesthetic. We got a glimpse at some of the gameplay features mainly focused on the use of Mario’s Hat. The Hat can be taken off and thrown seemingly as a weapon or as an aid for Mario to reach different areas. Mario is seen throwing the Hat between two buildings and using it as a platform to clear a gap. The Hat also grows its own pair of eyes towards the end of the trailer, which seems to indicate that it will be a character in its own right. Interesting and exciting stuff. And a couple of quick glimpses of Bowser in his dapper White wedding attire were enough to have me jumping out of my seat with glee. The only bummer: We have to wait until the Holiday Season to get our hands on this beautiful title. Check Out The Trailer!
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Shown during the Nintendo TreeHouse event the following day, we finally got confirmation of a MK8 port for the Switch. “Deluxe” will include all of the DLC available on the WiiU as well as additional tracks, characters, karts and gameplay features. Racers will now be able to hold onto two mystery items for maximum destruction. We also got to see a set of new racers including, my two favorite MK racers, Dry Bones, King Boo, Bowser Jr, and The Inklings from Splatoon. Nintendo seems like they are adding more than enough features to justify buying another copy of the game for the new system. My only sadness comes from no announcement of Diddy Kong who fans have been begging for since DLC ended on the original Mario Kart 8. But hey, I can cross my fingers for more DLC! Check Out The Trailer!
- Splatoon 2: BOOYA! I love this game. I can’t wait for more splatting squid action in a Fresh new installment of one of Nintendo’s most popular IPs, and I will only have to until Summer 2017. The new game takes place 2 years after the original and the Inklings have found themselves with all new weapons, colors, hairstyles, clothes, stages and more! It had been widely speculated that we would be getting a port to the Switch, but the reveal that Splatoon would get a whole new sequel was a more than welcomed surprise. Although, I can’t help but think a huge opportunity was missed not calling it Spla2n. Maybe it’s for the best… The presentation became a bit strange during the reveal, with a presenter dressed as a scientist waving squirt guns in the air. The presentation was almost as enjoyable as the trailer, which you can Check Out Here!
- Arms: This new IP looks amazingly fun and challenging. It plays like a boxing game, but the twist is that your arms are rocketed from your body across a large battle-arena towards your opponent. So timing and aim is important to landing hits and combos from across the stage. The game is colorful and chock-full of fun new characters which Nintendo excels at creating. Much like Splatoon, I can see this becoming an instant fan favorite. Developers promise immersive and highly technical gameplay that will be a great multiplayer game in the Switch roster. My only complaint…Rocket Arms? Battle Arms? Fighting Arms…literally anything else would be a more exciting name, but I’m sure I will I will be too distracted by the gameplay to yatter on about uninspired titles. Check Out the Trailer!
- 1-2 Switch: Now this is a unique new reveal. Made up of several mini-games, 1-2 Switch will be the quintessential Switch title that displays the capabilities of the controllers. Much like with Wii Sports or Nintendo Land before it, most consoles have a game that truly demonstrates what the console is all about. The game pits two players against each other in different scenarios including Quick Draw Gun-Slinging, Sandwich eating, Magic Wielding and much, much more. It makes full use of the Joy-Con’s motion camera, digital triggers and HD Rumble to create tense situations for the players. The most unique thing about the game is that it is played primarily staring into the eyes of your opponent, rather than looking at the screen. This will be a great party game and is a must have for any Switch owner. The $50 price tag may dissuade some gamers from getting to experience the title, so hopefully it will see a price drop at some point, but knowing Nintendo that is highly unlikely. It launches with the Switch and you can check out the trailer here!
So Many Games
While there may not be a whole heap of games launching with the Switch, there are over 80 games in development and set to come out either this year or in the near future. New First party and Third Party titles are set to include, but not limited to:
Super BomberMan, Lego City Undercover, Skyrim (YES!), Just Dance, Xenoblade 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, FIFA, Skylanders, Ultra Street Fighter 2 (Which I am stoked for), NBA 2K8, Rayman, Minecraft, Sonic Mania(Have you seen the Collector’s Edition? Droool), and the 2017 Sonic Project. Many, many more games were shown, leaked or teased during the Presentation and the subsequent TreeHouse event, but these were the ones that stood out the most to me. The only thing we can do now is sit back and hope, pray and beg for a Super Smash Brother announcement, which may be the only thing that could have made the Presentation any more hype.
The biggest takeaway from the Presentation were the in depth looks at the console’s specs and controllers. The new game trailers were especially thrilling, and may be the most talked about part of the show, but for me learning about the console was my main concern. Fans are concerned about the Launch Library of games, with only four scheduled releases, but release day is not here yet. Nintendo has already hinted that more games will be announced between now and the launch (We’re looking at you, E3), so we definitely haven’t seen everything yet. To be honest, April, Spring, Summer and Holiday can wait, because Nintendo saved one more announcement for the end of the Presentation. As we hoped, there will be one HUGE Launch Title, also available on March 3rd, which should be more than enough to keep gamers busy. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild officially launches alongside the Nintendo Switch and fans were treated to an incredible new trailer. Prepare yourself, because it may induce tears.
Preorders were immediately made available on Gamestop, Best-Buy, and Amazon and have since been selling out. Keep checking major retailers because preorders have been popping up here and there since the Presentation. The console is available in two different styles, one with Grey Joy-Cons, and the other with one Neon Red and one Neon Blue Joy-Con. Preorders are also available for many of the games announced as well as a whole slew of accessories including cases, protectors, controllers and chargers. If you are looking to have this amazing piece of hardware at launch, now is the time to act. Like the trailer says, Be yourself and try to have a good time because The Nintendo Switch is on its way!