The Nintendo Switch has finally been unveiled! Welcome to our semi live coverage of Nintendo’s big press conference centered around it’s latest home console! This article has been typed up live during the conference so you’ll get all the news summarised in one place mixed in with some screenshots and my reactions to the big announcements. If you want to watch the whole conference video for yourself it has been embedded at the bottom of this article for your viewing pleasure alongside a super recap of all the biggest announcements. Please be aware I am following the UK version of the live stream so the dates and titles shown may not be relevant for your area.
Alright here we go! And we open with a laser show and techno music! Wow didn’t see that coming. We welcome Nintendo’s president to the stage and he recaps what we already know about the Switch. The big details are up first.
The Nintendo Switch launches worldwide on March 3rd! 29,980 Yen, $299.99 US. The Switch will of course offer online gaming. You can use a smart device to organize matches with your friends. The online service will be paid but offer a free trial for early adopters. Wow, I’m genuinely shocked by that one, Nintendo will have paid online. In brighter news, region locking has been done away with!
The Switch is said to be a massive amalgamation of all the great features from consoles that have come before it. Now we’re being shown a sizzle reel detailing the systems portable functionality. The Switch has a kickstand so you can play on a table using your Joycon controls. Mario Kart 8 on Switch is getting a proper battle mode.
Battery life will range by game, from 2 and a half hours to 6 hours. A USB type-c charge cable and AC adapter will be included. The screen will be a capacitive touch screen (yes, that’s the good one smart phones use). The Switch supports up to 8 systems for local multiplayer, great news for all those who still love to play on the couch.
Now we’re getting a close look at the Joycon controls. Honestly they look very small, I look forward to testing them myself. Each Joycon has an analog stick with a pressable “L3” button. The right Joycon sports the NFC reader for amiibo. The left Joycon holds a square button that is used like the Share button for PS4. You can share screenshots and later, video, over social media. Acceleromoter and gyro sensors are in each control. Finally that means no cables tying the motion controls together! On the top of the controls are L and R buttons. Apparently there’s more we don’t know about the Joycon controls though.
And what we didn’t know is that they come in two colours as well. Yay colour variations. Neon Blue and Neon Red. They also come with wrist straps that also come in different colours.
The right Joycon has a motion IR camera that can recognize motion, shape and distance of objects in front of it. An example given is that it can tell the difference between hand gestures like rock, paper or scissors. Apparently it can also convey the feelings of ice cubes in a cup… I don’t get that part. This feature is being called HD Rumble. So basically the controls will have some fancy new rumble technology. Interesting I guess.
Time for two new games being made possible by motion controls in the Joycon. It’s a western theme that I’m guessing will be based on how fast you can draw your gun. Sorry Red Dead fans! That seems to be a mini game part of a larger game called 1,2 Switch. The game is centered around dualling mini games that focuses on the HD rumble feature. The game can be played without any screen, allowing you to look in the eyes of your opponents.
Revolutionary stuff but I think most people will just see this as a gimmick. Nintendo are trying to make it a game you can take to a party, good luck with that Nintendo. 1,2, Switch will be a launch title. I was kind of thinking it would be a free pack in game honestly.
Another new game now, two people make CGI springy arms come out from their shoulders… It seems to be an 3D arena fighter where you move around and punch in real life to punch in the game, check out the video for this one guys it’s hard to explain. The game is called Arms and is being labelled a fighting sports game. It’s like boxing and shooting because you use your long arms to reach distance opponents.
You can twist your wrist to curve punches and move by tilting the Joycon. Seems interesting but I don’t know how much longevity a game like this holds. You can play 2 player split-screen or fight the computer, fight online or play two player multiplayer with two Switch systems. Arms releases in Spring 2017.
Splatoon 2! Spla-two-n? It’s confirmed the game is a new title and not a remake of the original from the Wii U and is officially called Splatoon 2. The main weapon is now a dual wielding ink gun. All brand new special weapons and stages are coming to encourage new strategies.
You can use the Joycon or Pro Controller and use Gyro controls if you wish. 4 player multiplayer is shown, no word if 8 player is supported. The game is coming in Summer 2017 and support is planned after release just like with the original.
Seems to be an all new game now. Super Mario Odyssey!!!!!!! In New York City!? There aren’t coins but Triangle pieces. The game looks absolutely gorgeous and there are many different locations all with different graphical styles. Mario can throw his hat as a weapon and to use as a platform now.
Bowser seems to want to marry Peach again and that looks like the main story for the game. Wow that was excellent! Super Mario Odyssey! Awesome name as well. Mario is going back to a large sandbox style world just like Mario 64! It seems to mostly be set outside the Mushroom Kingdom like some sort of world tour. Eyes have grown on Mario’s hat so the hat seems to be like a new character. The game releases in next years holiday season.
Monolith Soft, Looks like were getting a port to Xenoblade Chronicles. Can’t say I ever played the original but this looks like a traditional JRPG. Nice anime style graphics. No wait it’s all new! Simply titled Xenoblade 2! I know a lot of people will be glad to hear about this one. No release date announced.
Now for a new Koei Tecmo game, I’m fully expecting a Warriors style game similar to Hyrule Warriors. This time the franchise is mixed with… Fire Emblem!!! Oh hell yeah! We didn’t get much footage of that one unfortunately. I believe that is Chrom’s blade Falchion being picked up there. No release date announced.
Third Party support time, apparently over 80 games are in development solely from third party developers. Square Enix has Dragon Quest 10 and 11 coming to the Switch and now Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2 are also making their way over.
ATLUS flashes up in some unknown trailer. Seems to be Shin Megami Tensei related but I’m not familiar with the series. Development has just begun on the new Shin Megami Tensei game, it has no confirmed name at the moment.
Now Square Enix again. Project Octopath Traveller, a brand new fantasy JRPG with little footage shown. It will feature a large world and unique art style which seems to be sprite based mixed in with basic 3D models. The battle system looks turn based. No launch date on this one.
SEGA is up now, I think we’re gonna see some Sonic news. Nope nothing… just an announcement of future news. Well that pointless. I don’t even have a picture I can put here…
Now Bethesda. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming to the Switch. The big deal here is that the game is now portable so I’m guessing it won’t be getting any extra features. Bethesda are excited to work with Nintendo so you might be able to expect new games from them on the Switch. Looking around online it seems this could just be the PS3/360 version though, not the recent remaster.
SUDA51 and Grasshopper up, wow Travis Touchdown! No More Heroes 3!!! Actually the title hasn’t been decided yet but it will star Travis. The translator has fallen behind here haha, Suda is just too much for him. The pro wrestling aspect will remain as an inspiration.
EA up now. The representative from EA gave his first born the middle name Luigi out of love for Nintendo. The worlds most popular sport game, FIFA 17 I’m guessing, will be coming to the Switch. The game will just be called FIFA on the Switch apparently and will be custom built for the console. No footage shown or release date.
That’s it for third parties I guess, another sizzle reel. I saw Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 in there!? Minecraft was there too. Bandai support, Ubisoft support. This is all going too quickly. I’ll come back to this in a second.
Games I could pick out from the sizzle reel that haven’t been mentioned above include:
- Sonic Project 2017 (Sonic Mania has also been confirmed for the Switch)
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Bomberman R
- Fast Racing Neo
- Steep (Recent snowboarding game from Ubisoft)
- Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
- Lego City Undercover
- Disgaea 5
- Ultra Street Fighter IIL The Final Challengers HD
- Just Dance 2017
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Mario Kart 8 enhanced port was shown as well (official title is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe). The new battle mode looks much improved and King Boo is a new character alongside the Inklings, Bowser Jr. and Dry Bones. It seems there will also be new race tracks with one of the arena’s from Splatoon being made into a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe track. All DLC seems to be included as they made sure to show off all the DLC characters and tracks.
Now they are detailing how you can buy the Switch. The system will include the Switch itself, left and right Joycon’s in colour, the grip, wrist straps, the dock, a HDMI cable and an AC adapter. The Pro Controller will be sold separately. You can choose to buy the Switch with the coloured Joycon’s or the black ones. That is the only difference between the two packs.
This seems to be the end of the presentation. No hard drive size announcements? No Zelda? No Virtual Console announcements? Barely any launch games? More information will be available on the official site apparently but outside of Mario and some surprise announcements I have to say that was a little too basic and underwhelming. I would have liked to see $50 knocked off the price as well personally but it’s not a terrible launch price.
Wait of course they wouldn’t ignore Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Will it be a launch game? Surely? We’ll have to wait for some more teasing and a trailer. Damn Zelda is looking nice. That’s how you save a presentation. So much to talk about in this trailer wow, some great performances from the Japanese voice actors. There it is! It’s coming at launch, March 3rd! And that’s how the presentation ends. That trailer is going to need a few re-watches it was breathtaking.
Zelda and Mario really saved what was a pretty average show there, it seems the Switch might have a very thin lineup initially. I’m really baffled why the new Mario Kart port was just glossed over. Perhaps they wanted to steer clear of showing off ports.
Here’s a quick recap of the most important info:
- The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3rd, 2017, worldwide.
- Cost $299 US. European and Australian pricing has not been officially unveiled yet. It should not be more than $400 AUD hopefully. EDIT: The official AUD price is in and set at $470, unfortunately much more expensive than predicted.
- Online service will be paid.
- Up to 8 Switch can communicate at once for local multiplayer.
- Confirmed Launch games at the moment include Zelda and new party game 1,2 Switch.
- Nintendo have garnered plenty of third party support with over 80 games in development from third parties.
- Splatoon 2, Xenoblade 2 and Super Mario Odyssey were the major game announcements but there were many others including new IP’s.
- This wasn’t in the presentation but the system will have an internal 32GB hard drive with MicroSD card support.
Tomorrow we go hands on with the Switch at a private event held by Nintendo so check back in the coming days for our personal impressions of the event and what we though of the Switch in action. I’m definitely excited to experience this for myself.
Full Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 – (Skip to 33:00 for the start of the show)