Nintendo Switch: Everything You Need to Know
Author: Sam Tree | Posted: 13 January 2017, 14:35

The Nintendo Switch has been the subject of many rumours and speculations for the last few months. Since Nintendo revealed its name along with a short trailer back in October, fans have waited with baited breath for more information on the portable/home hybrid. The wait is now over.

In a short presentation at an event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan and the home of Nintendo, the company revealed a lot more information about the Switch. The presentation can be viewed in full below, but we have collected together what we feel are the most important bits for your ease of access; including price, release date, games and preperials.

The Presentation

The Release Date and the Price

We’ve known for a while that Nintendo is aiming for a March 2017 release date; this has now been confirmed with a worldwide release date for the 3rd of March 2017 in the US, Canada, Japan, “major European countries,” Hong Kong, and other territories.

Depending on where you purchase the console prices may vary, but the recommended prices are:

What’s in the box?

Two packs will initially be available at launch containing the Switch console, the dock, two Joy-Con controllers as well as two Joy-Con straps, a power adapter, HDMI cable and Joy-Con grip. The bundle will not contain any games but players will have a choice of either a version with a set of grey Joy-Con, or a version with one neon blue and one neon red Joy-Con (images below).

The Switch Console

During the presentation, Nintendo revealed a number of features of the Switch. The new console will feature NFC built into the right Joy-Con, WiFi, a 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen as well as a share button – much like the PlayStation 4 – which will allow players to take in-game screenshots to share on social media. Nintendo has confirmed that this feature will also expand to include taking video at a later date.

The console will come with 32GB of internal storage which can be expanded with a microSD card while games can be purchased either digitally or physically. Physical copies will come on a proprietary cartridge, much like the 3DS. Thankfully, Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch will not be region locked, meaning players can import games from other regions.

The Joy-Con

In addition to NFC, the right Joy-Con also houses a number of other features; including an IR sensor which is capable of not only detecting the distance, shape and movement of nearby objects. It can, for example, “it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape”.

Both Joy-Con also include HD rumble features. this allows the controllers to provide much more subtle feedback to players.

Both Joy-Con include advanced HD rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the vibration of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. With HD rumble you can experience a level of realism not possible through sights and sounds alone.

Due to the versatility of the Joy-Con’s design, there are a number of different play styles for the Switch. From using it at home with the Joy-Con and Joy-Con grip to using a single Joy-Con for multiplayer fun to using it as a portable console.

The Battery Life

As we all know the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console, offering not only a home console experience but allowing players to take it with them when they’re out and about. A major talking point for any portable device is the battery life, with the Switch being no exception. Nintendo has said that the battery will last between 2.5 and 6 hours depending on what software is in use.

Battery life can last for more than six hours but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge.

Granted, this isn’t great, but the Switch will be chargeable through its USB Type-C connector which means no more propriety cables. Nintendo even hinted at external battery packs during the presentation which could potentially extend the console’s battery life while on the go.

Online Gameplay

As is the norm the console will support online multiplayer gaming. Nintendo has announced a new online gaming service, much like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This service will be free at launch but will incur a charge beginning in the autumn. Prices for this service have not yet been announced. It is unclear at this moment in time how adding other players will work, but we hope they have again taken a leaf out of their rivals book and allowed for username based friend requests.

For parents conscious of the amount fo time their children are spending online and gaming, in general, Nintendo has developed a companion app of sorts wich will allow parents to limit the time spent playing as well as certain features of the console; such as online interactions and chat.

The Games

As it stands, Nintendo has confirmed there are over 80 games currently in development for the Nintendo Switch. Confirmed games for the console include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyrim, Mario Odessy, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as well as the new IP, Arms. FIFA has also been confirmed for all of the football fans out there.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will provide players with a landmark Nintendo Switch experience on the console’s launch day on 3rd March, and will be available as both a standard solus game for £59.99 on the Nintendo Official UK Store and as a Limited Edition, which contains the game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sound Selection CD and a Master Sword of Resurrection figure, for £89.99 on the Nintendo Official UK Store.

1-2-Switch: This is the first Nintendo video game in which players compete in fun activities while staring into each other’s eyes instead of at the TV screen. From Wild West gunslinging to copying each other’s dance moves, the games in 1-2-Switch make creative use of a broad variety of Nintendo Switch features to liven up parties with anyone, anywhere, at any time. 1-2-Switch will be available for £39.99 on the Nintendo Official UK Store alongside the Nintendo Switch console on its launch day on 3rd March.

ARMS: Featuring a unique multiplayer fighting sport that lets you trade blows using extendable arms, this game includes elements of both boxing and shooting games, plus an all-new cast of characters. After customising a character with a variety of arms, the player holds one Joy-Con in each hand and throws left and right punches at the opponent. Characters can jump and dash, and players can bend their punches by twisting their hands as they swing. As players learn the game and improve their skills, they will discover a deeper level of advanced tactics. Players can compete against the computer, against a friend on a split screen using a second set of Joy-Con (sold separately), against worldwide rivals online, or with two Nintendo Switch consoles over a local wireless connection. ARMS will be available this spring.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: With Nintendo Switch, fans can enjoy the definitive version of Mario Kart 8 anywhere, anytime, even with up to 8 friends in local wireless multiplayer. All your favourite tracks and characters return from the Wii U version, plus all DLC tracks and characters, and new characters join the roster, too: Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl from Splatoon, King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr.! Plus, battle Mode has been revamped and includes Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast, with all-new courses such as Urchin Underpass and Battle Stadium, and returning ones like (GCN) Luigi’s Mansion and (SNES) Battle Course 1. Players can now carry two items at a time, including new items returning from previous Mario Kart games such as Boo, the item-stealing ghost, and the Feather, which gives you a high jump in battle mode. Players can even choose to use a new Smart Steering feature which makes driving and staying on the track easy for novice players and kids, even at 200cc. Play in TV mode in up to 1080p. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches on 28th April and will be available for £49.99 on the Nintendo Official UK Store.

Splatoon 2: Traditional 4-on-4 turf battles return in this full sequel to the original breakout hit game, along with new stages, new fashions and new weapons such as the two-handed Splat Dualies. Players can compete on the TV or on the go. Whether they use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (sold separately) or Joy-Con, players can aim their ink using gyro controls. Splatoon 2 supports both local and online multiplayer matches. The game will also support voice chat using the new Nintendo Switch smart device app (a free, limited version of the app will be available this summer), and will add new stages, fashions and weapons after launch, as the original game did. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch this summer.

Super Mario Odyssey: This is the first sandbox game that allows Mario to fully explore his world since Super Mario 64 on Nintendo 64 and Super Mario Sunshine on Nintendo GameCube. Mario jumps out of the Mushroom Kingdom and embarks on a journey through mysterious new places and new experiences, such as sailing between worlds aboard an airship and the ability to throw Mario’s cap. Super Mario Odyssey is scheduled to launch during the 2017 holiday season.

More trailers can be found on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel

So there we have it. We now know a lot more about Nintendo’s upcoming console. Will you be picking one up on launch day? Or will you wait a little while to see how the console fares in the wild? Sound off in the comments below.

For our hands-on preview, click here.


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