Early this morning Nintendo took to YouTube and hosted their Nintendo Switch Presentation – an hour long stream which finally put to bed all the rumours circulating around the new home-console come portable hybrid.
First and foremost, Nintendo gave us a price and worldwide release date – ¥29,980/$299.99, 3rd March 2017. In Europe that equates to £279.99, with Nintendo’s own store, GAME and Amazon taking pre-orders. There’s only two SKUs to consider, too, with JoyCon colour being the deciding factor, so you wont need to worry about finding a Premium or Base console, as with the Wii U. Retailers in
Nintendo being Nintendo, stock is expected to be limited, and retailers have introduced restrictions of one console per customer to try and combat resale – as we’ve seen with the recent NES Classic Mini – which regularly appears on eBay at 3 or 4 times its original price.
£280 is a little more than many had hoped, so, it begs the question, what am I getting for my money?
In the box you’ll find the Switch console, two Joy-Con controllers, the Switch Dock, a Joy-Con Grip, two Joy-Con wrist straps, a HDMI cable, and thankfully, and AC adapter.
If you want to buy extras, or accessorise, you’ll need to save up however, as a new pair of Joy-Con will set you back $79.99/£69.99, and a Pro Controller $69.99/£59.99.
Spec wise, we know the Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor, and will feature 32GB of built in storage, this is expandable via MicroSD, up to 2TB. Handy that, since Zelda, for example, takes 13.4GB – roughly 40% of the on board space.
The console’s battery life has been quoted as “between 2.5 and 6 hours”, dependent on the game or services in use. Typically, those who’ve already gone hands on are reporting the lower end of this range. Charging is facilitated via a USB3 port beneath the Switch unit.
We also now know the 6.2″ screen runs at 720p, and features capacitive multi-touch.
We also learnt that the Switch will not be region-locked.
Nintendo Switch’s online service will be free at launch, with a pricing model (as yet undisclosed) taking effect from from Fall 2017. Subscribers to the service will be able to download a free classic NES or SNES game each month, although access to that title is removed as a new one is Switched in. The console will feature friends lists and voice chat, with Nintendo chosing to leave behind Miiverse and Streetpass, instead opting to support existing Social Media platforms. Various aspects of the console’s online service including friend management and parental controls will be available via smartphone apps.
We’re told the console was created with three different modes of play in mind; TV Mode, in which the docked Switch outputs at 1080p on the home TV with a variety of control options; Tabletop, with the attached kickstand propping up the portable screen and Joy-Con controllers detached – for when a TV isn’t available – and Handheld Mode, with the Joy-Cons connected to the screen, operated as a single portable unit. Up to 8 Switch units can connect for ad-hoc multiplayer.
Both the left and right Joy-Con feature an analogue stick, four face buttons, a shoulder button and a trigger. These identical features mean you can use each Joy-Con as a separate pad for multiplayer on many games. The Left Joy-Con also features a Capture button, for sharing gameplay, while the right brings an NFC sensor to facilitate amiibo support and an IR camera that can determine distance and even, we’re told, shapes like rock, paper or scissors. Both will also house enhanced “HD Rumble”.
The Switch games line-up isn’t, in my opinion, perfect, but as you can see from the video above, Super Mario Odyssey looks like amazing fun. The disappointing thing, however, is that this isn’t coming until “Holiday 2017”, which may harm early sales of the machine.
The announced line up for the console’s launch month is as follows:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Super Bomberman R
- Just Dance 2017
- Skylanders Imaginators
- Fast RMX
- Has-Been Heroes
A handful of other games have also been revealed, all due later in 2017 and beyond.
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2
- Minecraft Story Mode: The Complete Adventure
- Minecraft: Switch Edition
- Arcade Archives
- Puyo Puyo Tetris
- Disgaea 5
- Splatoon 2
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Xenoblade 2
- Fire Emblem Warriors
- Dragon Quest Heroes I & II
- Dragon Quest X
- Dragon Quest XI
- Project Octopath Traveler
- Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
- Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
- Shovel Knight
- Seasons Of Heaven
- Farming Simulator
- Syberia 3
- The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
- NBA 2K
- Sonic Mania
- I Am Setsuna
- Project Sonic 2017
- New Shin Megami Tensei
- Suda 51 Project Based On No More Heroes Travis Touchdown
We also know the Nintendo Switch will feature Virtual Console support in some capacity, although aside from the NES/SNES downloads mentioned earlier, nothing has been mentioned just yet.