We finally have an official release date for the Nintendo Switch — March 3, 2017. So the Nintendo Switch is coming much, much sooner than I was expecting, but it’s still in line with Nintendo’s history of releasing its new consoles in the spring. Lucky for us, this Friday the 13th gives us some good news regarding the hotly anticipated console!
Nintendo Switch: What to Expect
Last night Nintendo outlined its plans for the Switch, and today they released a slew of new information and videos on the official Nintendo Switch site [link.] Obviously, we knew the Switch (formerly known as the Nintendo NX) was to be a sort of a hybrid of handheld / tablet gaming and traditional console gaming. Nintendo tried this before with the Wii U… with somewhat mixed results.
Like the past several generations of Nintendo consoles, the Switch has a hardware twist that makes playing on the system a unique experience. (Some would say “gimmick,” but I digress.)
The Switch console is “docked” inside of a base. Removing it from the base reveals what is essentially a Nintendo version of an iPad. You can then reconfigure the controller (called a Joy-Con… and that’s trademarked!) to attach to either side of this tablet, making it a handheld game system.
Check out the presentation video below for a better example of what I’m talking about.
The Joy-Con Controller: Nintendo’s New Gimmick?
As shown in the video, the new Joy-Con controller (trademarked, darnit!) is this year’s new Wii remote. Each side of the controller detaches and is configurable for a variety of game play options. It looks as if it can be used as a Wii remote, an NES controller and more. I think this lends itself to some pretty gaming possibilities… provided developers take full advantage of the configuration!
What Are the Nintendo Switch Launch Titles?
It looks like there are currently only four titles that will be available on launch day, which are 1-2 Switch (a mini-game collection… this generation’s Wii Play), Skylanders Imaginators, Just Dance 2017, and oh… some little indie title by the name of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
That’s a pretty lackluster initial lineup, aside from Zelda, but it does fall in line with other Nintendo console releases where systems launched with only a handful of titles. More titles should follow shortly including Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Skyrim and Ultra Street Fighter 2. We might all be too busy playing Zelda to really care, however!
How Much Will the Nintendo Switch Cost?
The Nintendo Switch has an MSRP of $299.99 USD. That falls in line with the initial pricing of the Wii and Wii U. Look for a price drop in a year or two… but do you really want to wait that long?
Let’s just hope that we don’t see the shortages with the Switch that we saw with the NES Classic last year. But hey, this is Nintendo we’re talking about here!