‘Switch’ing Things Up
January 31, 2017
Nintendo fans, get excited: we finally have more information about Nintendo’s newest video gaming console… the Nintendo Switch! Before I get started, let me just say, the Nintendo Switch looks amazing.
At this time last year, for what seemed like forever, Nintendo had only been hinting at the Nintendo Switch – or, as it was known at that time, the NX. Nintendo did a great job at keeping the Switch a secret, not giving us any hardware or software information. The only official game that had been announced for the secret console was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Finally, three months ago on October 20th, Nintendo gave us our first look at this brand-new system in a trailer that showed off some of the unique and interesting features of the console. Watch the trailer for yourself here on Nintendo’s YouTube channel!
On Thursday January 12th, Nintendo held its first livestream presentation revealing the Nintendo Switch. In the livestream, Nintendo revealed more cool features of the Switch, as well as providing release date and price details for those interested in purchasing the system.
According to Nintendo, the Switch is a console that you can play when connected to your TV, but it’s also a system you can take with you wherever you go and share the fun. It’s a brand-new kind of home video gaming system that offers the player a wide variety of play styles to choose from. In the Switch reveal livestream, Nintendo provided a very detailed introduction to the Switch’s hardware and software, as well as other important details, to get fans even more hyped for the new console.
The Launch Date
The Nintendo Switch is set to launch on March 3, 2017. It is being released simultaneously in Japan, the United States, Canada, major European countries, Hong Kong, and other territories.
The suggested retail price for the Switch in the United States is $299.99.
In my opinion, this is a reasonable price for this system. For being both a home gaming console and a handheld console, many Nintendo fans speculated that the price was going to be around $250, so this price isn’t much of a stretch. Nintendo has always been reasonable with the pricing of their consoles, and are good about making them affordable for gamers, especially compared to other video gaming companies.
On the Switch, you will be able to enjoy online multiplayer gaming, like on previous Nintendo consoles. However, there is a new online feature that will release at the same time as the Switch.
When you use a smart device app that can connect to a Switch, you will be able to invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends while enjoying online matches and compatible games, all from your smart device. You will be able to try out these new Switch online services during a trial period after launch. Beginning in fall of this year, it will become a paid service. More details and features of the service can be found on the Nintendo homepage at a later date.
For those of you who don’t know, region locking is something that limits play-to-software and other games to those sold in the same region where the hardware was purchased. This means that, if you purchased a system from the United States, you could not buy or download games or other software from Japan or any other country. All of Nintendo’s previous systems were region locked.
I’m happy to say that region locking will not be applied to the Switch software! In the past, Nintendo had games that were exclusively released in Japan, which you could not download onto Nintendo systems (from other countries) unless you bought hard-copies of the games or got a Japanese system. Without region locking, you can buy and download some of the brand-new Japan-exclusive games that are planned for the Switch!
The Switch is a video game console made for playing games at home or on the go. You can connect the Switch to the TV to play or, when you want to play somewhere away from your TV, you just remove the Switch from the dock. When you attach the left and right Joy-Con controllers, you can continue playing your games from anywhere.
The Switch has been designed to be a home video gaming console that gives you the freedom to change your play style and play from wherever you are in the world. With the Switch, Nintendo has created a unique and innovative console, which is something we have never seen before from other gaming companies.
Three Different Play Styles
The Switch offers three different kinds of play styles/modes that allow you to choose how you want to play your video games. In TV mode, you can play your games on the TV in typical video game style. In tabletop mode, you stand the Switch console up using the kickstand on the back and play using the Joy-Con controllers. In this mode, you can play your games in front of a screen with others wherever you like. In handheld mode, you attach the left and right Joy-Con to the system, so that you can take it with you and play your games wherever you are.
The Switch’s battery life will range from two and a half hours to six and a half hours. When taking the Switch with you on the go, its battery life will vary depending on the game you are playing. Like with previous consoles, you will be able to use the Switch while charging it. The Switch comes with an AC adapter. While on the go, you can use any certified USB portable batteries when you need to charge the system.
Wi-Fi & Multiplayer
You can connect over Wi-Fi to play your friends or anyone in the world through online multiplayer games. If you want to play multiplayer games locally with friends, up to eight Nintendo Switch systems can be connected to your local wireless for local multiplayer gaming.
Switch Games & Third Party Support
Nintendo has many games in development for the Switch. Many of these titles are sequels of popular Nintendo games, as well as brand-new, original titles from Nintendo.
The concept of the Switch has also resonated with many third party developers. At the moment, there are over 50 companies working on games for the Switch. From these developers, there are already over 80 games in development for the system.
Nintendo is ready to offer a rich assortment of games for the Switch, both from Nintendo and a large number of third party partners. In addition to the franchises Nintendo fans love, Nintendo will also be introducing the world to new forms of entertainment. This has been made possible by the unique characteristics of the Switch hardware and Joy-Con controllers.
Go to IGN.com here for a list of confirmed Switch games, as well as their developers and release dates! The list was recently updated on January 24th.
When you purchase a Nintendo Switch, it will include:
- The Nintendo Switch console
- A left and a right Joy-Con
- Joy-Con wrist straps
- The Joy-Con grip
- The Nintendo Switch dock
- An HDMI cable
- An AC adapter
You can buy a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller separately for $70. Check out your local GameStop or superstore (Walmart, Target, etc) for
Pro Controllers, kits, or other Switch bundles.
There are also two versions of the Switch that will be available for purchase on March 3rd. One model of the Switch will come with two gray Joy-Con controllers. The other model of the Switch will come with one neon blue and one neon red Joy-Con. Both will be the same suggested retail price.
Why You Should be Excited for the Switch
There are many reasons why you should be excited for the Nintendo Switch. Firstly, in the reveal livestream, we got a wider look at the Switch’s revolutionary form of gaming and new ways to play video games. Secondly, the amazing new controllers – the Joy-Con – is a combination of all of the gamplay innovations Nintendo has come up with and adds to them.
Of course, the biggest reason why you should be excited for the Nintendo Switch is for the games and the third party support. There are many games in the works for the Switch, and some of the most anticipated games comes from third party developers.
At times in the past, Nintendo struggled with third party support. However, the concept of the Switch has resonated with many developers. Like I said previously, Nintendo says there are currently over 50 developers working on games for the system, and the list includes virtually every major gaming publisher. Though Nintendo particularly struggled with the third party support for the Wii and WiiU, I have high hopes for the Switch. Compared to the WiiU, the Switch is an easier platform to develop games for, which I hope will be desirable for third party developers.
Also, the price! At $299.99, it is noticeably cheaper than some of the other new home gaming systems out there. For everything that comes included with the Switch when you purchase it – two controllers, a dock, a charger, wrist-straps, a grip for the controllers, an HDMI cable, and the console itself – it’s a good price. It’s important that the Switch is more affordable, because sadly the prices of the games will still be around $60.
Though there are some fans and companies that are wary about the success of the Nintendo Switch, I am very optimistic and excited for the console. What I am most excited for are the amazing-looking games that are confirmed for the system.
The game I am most looking forward to is Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For as long as I’ve been a Nintendo fan, the Legend of Zelda has been my favorite franchise from Nintendo. There is a reason why it is the most highly-anticipated game for the Nintendo Switch: Breath of the Wild has amazing graphics, an advanced physics engine, an large open-world environment, great voice acting, and it lets you play through the game’s dungeon in any order. I have been waiting in anticipation for this game since it was first announced in 2013, so I cannot wait for March 3rd to get here.
What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch? Are you also excited for the newest Nintendo console? Take the poll and leave a comment below with your thoughts!