The Nintendo Switch Presentation Event streamed live at 8pm PST on January 12th and it was as eventful as the laser light show it kicked off with. Tatsumi Kimishima, President of Nintendo, initiated the event and jumped right to the basics that people have been dying to know about the upcoming Switch.
- Launch Date: March 3rd 2017
- Price: $299.99
- Online services: free trial period at launch but paid service in Fall
- No Region Locking
Really, the only thing that came as a surprise was the newly added online fee, which I’m somewhat disappointed about. But it has worked for Sony and Microsoft so it’s likely it will work out well for Nintendo.
Shinya Takahashi, the Director of Nintendo software, came out briefly to discuss the past of Nintendo consoles and how they have inspired the Switch and it’s Joy Con controllers. He called it a home console gaming system with freedom to change play style. There will be 3 play style modes:
- TV Mode: standard play style of most consoles
- Tabletop Mode: prop up console on the kickstand and use Joy Cons with friends
- Handheld Mode: take the Switch with you and either attach the controllers or share the Joy Cons with friends
Other features of the console include:
- 2 ½-6 ½ hours battery life
- USB charger adapter allows charge while playing
- Connect up to 8 consoles through Wi-Fi for multiplayer mode
Yoishiaki Koizumi, the General Manager of Development, took the stage to give us a more in-depth look at the Joy Cons. The console comes with a left and right Joy Con as well as a Joy Con grip for basic TV mode. The Joy Cons are equipped with:
- NFC reader/writer that can read amiibo data
- Capture button for screenshots (gameplay capture available later)
- Internal Accelerometers and Gyroscopes
Each Joy Con was made to be a fully functional controller on it’s own with it’s own joystick, button pad, L and R buttons and wrist strap and is able to sense different hand motions and distance. The controller has an inner sensing and vibration that can give the player a more realistic gameplay experience. It can replicate the feeling of ice cubes in a cup, the different number of ice cubes, as well as the feel of water filling a glass. It sounds like this controller truly lives up to Nintendo’s reputation for innovation.
Next up for the presentation were four games to be released by Nintendo in 2017: 1 2 Switch, ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey. The first two announced were created with the Joy Con controller in mind.
- 1 2 Switch: A unique game that requires players to look at their opponent rather than at a screenCreated to promote more face-to-face interaction where you look directly at the other player and try to read their next moveCan be played indoors or outdoors using the tabletop mode and separate Joy Cons
- Releases March 3rd
- ARMS: a sports game that combines boxing and shooting to create a fast and active fighting game
- Both players hold a Joy Con in each hand which senses and replicates your motions onto the screen
- You can battle alone against the computer, split screen with a friend, or battle two consoles along side each other in tabletop mode
- Online multiplayer mode to come at a later date
- Releases Spring 2017
- Splatoon 2: a sequel to the popular competitive game where you spray the ground with ink in your team’s color
- New dual spray weapon that can also project your player into the air
- Game can be played in all three modes: online, local, and multi console multiplayer
- Stage and weapon updates available after launch
- Releases Summer 2017
- Super Mario Odyssey: an open world sandbox Mario game
- Includes journeys to a mysterious world, the real world
- Game trailer included clips of what looks like New York City
- Brand new mysterious cap character (Mario’s classic red hat with eyes)
- Releases Holiday 2017
The game I think I’m most looking forward to here is 1 2 Switch. The gameplay style reminded me a lot of Nintendo’s Wii game WarioWare: Smooth Moves, where two players compete in short random tasks of competition. Except this time you play without a screen. Although Super Mario Odyssey is a close second due to it’s open world format.
The presentation shifted into mini presentations of titles coming from outside developers. They announced that there are currently 50 developers working on games for the Switch with over 80 games already in development. Some of the titles announced are:
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 from Monolith
- Fire Emblem Warriors from Koei Tecmo
- Project Octopath Traveler from Square Enix
- Content in development from SEGA
- A new Travis Touchdown Game from Grasshopper
- FIFA for Switch from EA
- Skyrim from Bethesda
My favorite announcement came from Tod Howard at Bethesda who confirmed that Skyrim will indeed be available on the console which was rumored after seeing gameplay footage on the teaser video.
Tatsumi Kimishima came back to the stage to confirm what exactly will come with the $299.99 purchase:
- Left and Right Joy Cons
- Joy Con Grip
- Wrist Straps
- HDMI Cable/AC Adaptor
You have the option of purchasing the grey controller model or the red and blue controller model at the same price. The Nintendo Switch consoles will be on display in 6 major cities across the country available to demo and as of now a very limited quantity of preorders will be available Friday, January 13 at 9am ET exclusively at the Nintendo Store in NY. Other than that, there has been no other mention of when preorder will be available in the US.
And just as I was about to throw a tantrum over no mention of Legend of Zelda whatsoever, they closed out the event with a beautiful game trailer and release date for Breath of the Wild. It will be a launch title with the release date of March 3rd. Nintendo gave us a closer look into the story line for Breath of the Wild as well as a glimpse of Zelda in the game, which is one thing I have been anticipating since the teaser. And it was on this high note that they announced the presentation had ended. Personally, I was pleased with the demonstration Nintendo had put on for their latest console and I received most of the answers I was looking for.
Some things I’m still wondering:
- What will be the price point for online gaming?
- When will we see the next installment of Super Smash Bros?
- Are they using standard disks or is the cartridge rumor true?
Regarding this last question, I looked on their website and noticed that the console will indeed make the switch to cartridges. They didn’t make an announcement on it as most of the presentation revolved around the Joy Con, but photos confirm the switch. With all of this taken into consideration, I am on board with pre-ordering myself a Nintendo Switch.