Nintendo’s long awaited console, the Nintendo Switch, finally has a release date of March 3rd.
Along side this rapidly approaching date, we learnt some new information about the console, which games and studios will be featured, along with a bigger look into the workings of the console, and – as always – some general Nintendo weirdness.
Before we go into specifics, let’s talk about the conference itself. If you’re dedicated enough to have stayed up for the conference, I tip my hat to you sir, because it aired in the U.K. at 4am. Luckily for those of us who like sleep, the full conference is available online for you to watch alongside your eggs and bacon this morning.
The conference was, in a word: underwhelming. In a few: strange, rather haphazard, and pretty empty.
Let’s just jump into it.
The console itself confirms the long known announcements and suspicions of play. You can indeed play the console on your TV, as a handheld system, on the smaller screen integrated into the console itself, and as a multiplayer device.
Though it wasn’t mentioned how, or how long, the transition from TV to handheld happens or takes place, it was shown as pretty instantaneous. Though in reality I suspect it will be a few moments, at least, before the transition occurs.
As a handheld, the Nintendo Switch boasts a battery life of 2.5 hours to 6.5 hours depending on how hard you push the platform. Given the extent of the battery life of the Nintendo DS, this pales in comparison. Especially when considering the battery power that heavy hitting games like Breath of the Wild and Skyrim will need to run.
You will also gain two controllers for the price of one! The controller – named the Joy Con – can work as a singular unit, or be split in two for true left to right motion control for the player – utilised in their first party title Arms – or as separate controllers for two players. They will also be releasing a Pro controller for the console for those who prefer more traditional methods of gaming. Though this will be sold separately.
In terms of spec, the console boasts a humble 32GB of storage, but with the option to add extra with a Micro SD slot. They are also ending the long standing Nintendo tradition of region locking their games! About time.
Alongside the Nintendo Switch’s release on March 3rd, we will also see the much anticipated release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, on the same date. We saw some more, albeit brief, gameplay footage along with some shots of Zelda herself and a few other beautifully cell shaded characters and lush environments.
From the brief trailer shown, we can see snow, desert, expansive forests, and, of course, smoke engulfed mountains.
Releasing Breath of the Wild as a launch title is a very smart move for Nintendo – on the surface. For starters, the game is also going to be available on the Nintendo Wii U on the same day as it releases on the Nintendo Switch, leaving players with the previous console no real drive to splash the cash to upgrade. Especially given the fact that there are no other confirmed titles for the console – except two Nintendo motion control titles: 1, 2, Switch and Arms – until quarter 2 2017, when Splatoon 2 – totally should have called it Splatwoon, but whatever – Sonic Mania, and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe release. You’ll need to wait until Holiday 2017 for a new Mario game named Super Mario Odyssey, and possibly even longer for the hosts of third party titles which are currently sat at to be announced release dates.
In addition to this, Nintendo are taking a page out of Microsoft’s book and charging for online play later this year. Initially the platform will boast free online access though given that there is not much to play online at launch, the free time doesn’t amount to much.
And finally, let’s touch on price.
It seems clear that Nintendo is wanting to stay competitive in the console market, but have skewed things slightly when you look deeper into it.
The Nintendo Switch itself will cost ¥29,980 at launch; which translates to $299 or £279.
At the time of writing, the Xbox One 500GB is currently sitting at £289 ($299).
While the PlayStation 4 500GB comes in at £269 ($299).
Ignoring the significantly less base storage in the console, the price is certainly in line with its competitors.
While a PS4 Dualshock controller will cost you about £40, and an Xbox controller £35, a new Joy Con will net you £45 for either a left or right Joy controller, or £75 total if you’re buying them as a matched pair – they come in red, blue, and grey.
A charging dock for the Joy Con comes in at roughly £80, while the Pro controller is priced at roughly £65.
Additionally, there is a ‘charging grip’ accessory which combines the Joy Cons together, keeping them charged at the same time, which retails at £28.
So don’t loose those controllers, kids.
Of course, there was much more to talk about and a boatload of news releasing as the day goes by but what are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch’s debut? Were you sat in the unimpressed boat with myself and so many others, or are you erring on the side of positivity?
All opinions shared here are purely my own, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! So let us know what you think in the comments down below!
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All images are promotional images sourced from Nintendo.com. Copyright of Nintendo.
Nintendo Switch Console view-able via: Nintendo.com
Prices sourced from conference, and: Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com
Further information (games list ect) gained from conference and: Nintendo.com
Featured Image (Nintendo Switch Logo) Sourced from: Wikimedia.com