Nintendo’s highly anticipated presentation from Japan answered some big questions about the upcoming release of the Nintendo Switch, showed off some fantastic-looking games and left some a bit worried about the day one cost.
The Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on March 3, 2017 at a suggested retail price of $299.99. The latest home console unit from Nintendo is the most advanced system released by the company yet and incorporates features from most of its previous home and portable consoles in mind. The Nintendo Switch will launch with four games on March 3, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and already has a load of great first-party and third-party titles in the pipeline for 2017.
Here is what that $299.99 will get you:
- One Nintendo Switch console
- One Nintendo Switch dock
- Two Switch joy-con controllers (left and right)
- Two Joy-Con straps
- One Joy-Con grip
- One HDMI cable
- One power adapter
Customers will be given a choice of buying one system with black Joy-Con controllers or one left blue and one right red controller (as seen in the image above).
Separate Joy-Cons will be sold for $49.99 and the Switch pro controller will be sold for a reported $69.99 (yikes). Game swill be retailing at a price of $60, although I would suspect some titles will cost less. For example, I cannot comprehend charging the same price for a new Zelda game as 1-2- Switch or ARMS (I’ll get to those in a moment)
Nintendo offered no details about any games being packed in with the system, which is a bummer. Nintendo also announced they will have a paid monthly online service, but shied away from providing any details about how much it will cost. So stay tuned. There seems to be a lot of information that is missing for this very important price factor to be considered.
UPDATE: Since publishing these initial thoughts, Nintendo has since revealed a few more details about the Switch. The most notable tidbit may be about the storage capacity of the system. The system will come with a built-in storage capacity of 32 GB, the same as the pro model of the WiiU when it launched. The unit also has a slot for a microSDXC card, which means you should probably prepare to shell out some extra money for a decent SD card (microSDXC isn’t exactly cheap at this point in time, bu keep an eye out for a good deal. One other thing I did not mention but should from last night is the screen on the tablet unit is a multi-touch screen capable of a 1280 x 720 display.
Let’s Talk Games
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo saved this one for last, and it looks fantastic. Better yet, it will be released on launch day.
We have seen a number of glimpses of the game before now, but now we hear more of the voice acting and see Zelda for the first time. Just watch this latest footage of the game.
It is a little odd to see Nintendo launch a new system centered around a Zelda title instead of a Mario title, but when you have a game that looks as stunning as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you do just that. And speaking of Mario…
Super Mario Odyssey
That little tease of a new Mario game in the previous Switch trailer was no joke. This holiday season, Nintendo will release the next 3D adventure for Super Mario with Super Mario Odyssey.
The new look at the game shows the familiar scene and a whole lot more, including Mario in what appears to be a real-world-looking setting. Here’s hoping this goes better than when SEGA through Sonic to the streets. The game looks to have a Super Mario Galaxy feel but also shows off some familiar and new moves and features.
Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Splatoon may have been one of the biggest surprises during the now short-lived WiiU era, and Nintendo is not letting it go to waste. Splatoon 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch this summer, and the cast of the game is making the jump into an updated version of Mario Kart 8! Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will feature all of the content from the original WiiU title plus the extra DLC content, new racers and new courses and an enhanced battle mode.
1-2-Switch and ARMS
The first two games showed off by Nintendo during the presentation were 1-2- Switch and ARMS, which are essentially games that are simple and easy to play and are really just dressed up tech demos for what the Switch is capable of doing. It’s the Switch’s version of Wii Sports and Nintendo Land, which is why it was surprising to me to hear neither was being used as a pack-in game. Unless that changes, these games seem like titles that would be ideal for packing with an extra Joy-Con for your collection. The replayability looks like it will be pretty short, but they could be fun games that strangely catch on for people of all ages.
In 1-2-Switch, players compete against each other based on reflexes. The motion sensors pick up the player’s movement to determine who had the quickest draw. The demo suggested you would spend more time looking into the eyes of your opponent than you will a TV or the gamepad. ARMS is basically a boxing game in which the movement of your arms with the Joy-Con determines how far your punching arm reaches and in what direction it reaches. If you liked boxing in Wii Sports, consider this the next step in that evolution. Both sound like they could be fun for groups of people at a party or something, but these are hardly games that will much replayability once other titles come out for the system. But, easy to play and gets you comfortable with the new hardware? That’s Nintendo’s strategy. I’m just surprised these aren’t a part of the same game and packaged with the system. $60 each? If true, that will be mighty steep and probably worth passing on for now.
Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade 2
Another surprise hit for the WiiU was Hyrule Warriors, which truthfully should not have been a shock as it tied into the Zelda universe. The developers behind Hyrule Warriors and the Dynasty Warriors franchise were reportedly at work on a new Warriors game for the Switch, and it has now been announced to be Fire Emblem Warriors. The Fire Emblem series is still more well-known in Japan but has gained some traction among Nintendo fans thanks to characters from the game being added to the Super Smash Bros. fun in recent versions of the game. There was nothing shown from the game other than a tease for the title, but if it is anything like Hyrule Warriors, then it should be pretty fun.
Another popular game with a bit of a niche following is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I never played the original, but I will say the footage shown of this upcoming title looked stunning.
NBA 2k18 and FIFA are coming to Switch
Sports fans will either rejoice or proceed with caution with word a couple of popular sports titles are heading to the Switch. An Electronic Arts spokesperson was on hand for the presentation to announce a Switch-specific version of its FIFA franchise will be coming to the system this year. With the presentation in Japan, announcing the FIFA game and nothing else should not be considered a sign that EA Sports has no intention to bring a franchise like Madden NFL to the Switch. Announcing Madden NFL for a largely Japanese audience would make little sense. We’ll keep an ear out for that, and perhaps hope such an announcement would be made later this year at E3. What we do know for sure is we’re getting a FIFA title.
2k Sports is also bringing NBA 2k18 to the Switch, and here’s hoping these titles from 2kSports and EA Sports open the gates to a revival of sports titles for Nintendo fans.
More games are coming too
One game that flew under the radar was Super Bomberman R, which has huge party potential. We also know we are going to be seeing the Dragon Warrior franchise on the Switch, and Shovel Knight is coming too. SEGA is working on a Sonic game, which can be hit or miss. Nintendo is banking on the best third-party support it has seen in years, and maybe they’ll actually get it this time around.
And of course, you know Nintendo is going to be bringing some of its own staples to the Switch. In addition to Zelda and Mario, Mario Kart and now Splatoon, the fans will be begging for Metroid and perhaps a 2D Mario platforming adventure in the New Super Mario Bros. model or a multiplayer Super Mario 3D World (but we’re getting one Mario game this year so maybe hold off on those ideas). And I would be surprised if we don’t see Super Mario Maker make the leap. F-Zero has to make an appearance too, right? Perhaps Nintendo can clean up their latest Star Fox title to fix some of the issues fans had with it? EarthBound?
I don’t necessarily want to see deluxe versions of popular games like we will see with Mario Kart 8, but I could easily understand if Nintendo wanted to do that with a few titles that maybe didn’t get the audience they had hoped on the WiiU.
Nintendo looks to have its best hardware yet and it looks like there is potential for this to be a system that will turn things around for Nintendo in the home console market. We still are left without some details about the system’s internal workings though. How much storage do these systems have? Can you add more storage? This detail was surprisingly absent. We’re also left without much information about Nintendo’s new online system, although there is still time to iron out those details before March 3.
The system is going to cost more than many were probably hoping or expecting, and it seems getting everything you need on Day 1 in order to have the most optimum setup for you and your significant other or your family is going to cost a good chunk of change. So start planning out your budget if you want to jump in from the start. With just four games scheduled for a launch day release (1-2-Switch, Zelda, Skylanders Imaginators, Just Dance 2017), many may feel inclined to hold off and just pick up a WiiU version of the new Zelda title instead, holding off on making a purchase until the summer (Splatoon 2) or even the holiday season (Super Mario Odyssey). And as mentioned above, prepare to find a good deal on a microSDXC card if you wnat to expand your Switch’s storage capacity right out of the gate.
Some are going to buy the Switch regardless, and I may still fall into that category as a long-time Nintendo supporter, but at the Day 1 price tag for a system, one game (that may only be a single-player game) and potentially an extra controller, it is easy to understand why some may not feel the itch to pre-order or line up at the store the night before the launch.
What do you think? Will you be placing a pre-order or planning on getting the Nintendo Switch on day one? Or will you hold off and wait for a good deal or a possible price drop? Share your reactions and opinions in the comment section below.