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Friday, January 13, 2017

Recap: Nintendo's Switch Presentation


Recap by Matt S. and Clark A.

Today’s the big day, everyone. Nintendo has finally given us all the details we need to know about its upcoming new console, the Nintendo Switch.

Previously, all we’d seen was a vague lifestyle video, showing us how we might be playing the console, which is a hybrid home and portable console, that allows you to play on your TV at home, and then continue the game while you’re out and about on the removable portable screen.

Today Nintendo did a full unveiling video, announcing price, features, and how the console itself will work. You’ll be able to watch a repeat of the video in your own time, but the key announcements made in summary are:

The Console


The Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on March 3, 2017. The console will retail for 29,980 yen, or $299.90 US.

There will be a subscription service for online

Nintendo has finally given away the region locking. For people that like importing Japanese games, this is a really good move. Well done, Nintendo.

The battery life will last between 2.5 and 6.5 hours. Not bad, especially if you happen to have a portable charger for your iPhone and such. 

The screen has a capacitive touch panel. Up to eight consoles can be linked to play multiplayer on the go.

There is an NFC read/write chip embedded right in the Joy Con controller, which also allows you to interact with amiibo.

The console has a dedicated button for sharing screenshots and video. Like the PlayStation Share button, in other words.

The Switch console will feature the following in the box: the system, left and right Joy Cons, Joy Con straps, Joy Con grips, a dock for the system, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The Pro controller will be separate. Two bundles will be available; one with grey Joy Cons and another with neon blue/red.

The Switch monthly subscription includes a free NES or SNES VC game each month. So like PSPlus, only games you've played a hundred times on a hundred different platforms by now.

Switch will have 32GB internal memory. Yes, really. Better stock up on those SD cards.

The style of box art the game cartridges will have can be seen below. They're certainly vertical.


The Games 


Of course, the console won’t be anything without the software, and Nintendo showed off the key software releases that we’ll be playing from launch, too. Nintendo claims that there are 80 games in development. Let’s see how that plays out.

1, 2, Switch. It’s a game where you don’t need to look at the screen to play this one. You look directly at another player, and then play fencing of shoot-out minigames with one another. Each player takes one of the little Switch mini-controllers (called “joycon”). It’s a launch title. It’s an odd choice for a launch title for the console, given that you don’t actually need the console to play it. If you’re able to point at someone and say “pow, you’re dead” then you’ve got 1, 2, Switch for free.



ARMS is another new IP designed around the detachable Joy Con controllers. It's a combat game in which both you and your opponent have extendable arms that you “fire out” at your opponent. It looks very bright and colourful.

Confirming rumours, Splatoon has a Nintendo Switch sequel on the way: Splatoon 2 (not the tacky-but-fun Spla2n, much to my dismay). It’s a significant update on the original game, with new weapons, maps, and ways to play. Splatoon is a very good game, and a surprise major hit for the Wii U. It’s not surprising that it’s going to be a major launch release for the Switch, since a lot of people who didn’t buy a Wii U might be interested in checking it out.

Nintendo has unveiled a new Mario game. It looks like an open world game. There’s a city section that looks like Grand Theft Mario, frankly. Super Mario Odyssey is its name. This will not be a launch release, but Nintendo seems to be lining it up for a Christmas (late 2017) date.

Next up we have a trailer for Xenoblade 2. Which is pretty, but runs at about 2 frames per second.

FIRE EMBLEM WARRIORS! Does a more logical yet awesome mashup combination exist in the gaming world? Please show me if so. 



A new Shin Megami Tensei from Atlus was revealed. Development has just begun so we don't know much beyond charming character designs, but it's encouraging to see Atlus going all out in that regard. Well, short of whipping out Persona. 

Project Octopath Traveler from Square Enix looks gorgeous. It's going to be an RPG...and that’s about all we know about it.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is 100% confirmed for Switch. That much seemed obvious, but there had been some hesitation about its status for whatever reason. 

Grasshopper/Suda will be returning with a game starring Travis Touchdown. A No More Heroes sequel or something entirely different for the character? We don't know much besides the fact that it will heavily feature pro wrestling. Still, sign us up. 

EA is bringing FIFA to the Switch this year. It will be the most authentic, social sports game "ever created", allegedly. It's custom built for the system and you can play on the go with others.



A sizzle reel depicted previously confirmed games such as Sonic 2017, but new ones like a classic-looking Street Fighter were also highlighted. We're not sure whether all these games will actually come to fruition and be properly revealed, but it seems developers are eager to bring notable IPs Nintendo's way. 

The main presentation concluded with fresh footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It will definitely be a launch title so go nuts. We got some town footage, shots of plenty new characters, and it appears to have notable voice acting. Go out of your way to watch it for yourself, honestly - a recap can't do this justice. Breath of the Wild will also have two limited edition versions with goodies.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which we saw in the previous Switch reveal trailer, is a powered-up port of the Wii U game. It features new stages and characters such as King Boo and the Inklings from Splatoon. The DLC content from the original seems to be intact.

I am Setsuna is coming to the system.

BlazBlue is coming to the Switch! Noel is looking topnotch as always.

Sonic Mania is confirmed for the Switch, which most speculated but we now know to be true.

It's taken its sweet time, but Puyo Puyo Tetris is both coming west and to Switch. There is justice in this world after all.

Super Bomberman R is the first major title in the series in far too long. Its art style boasts plenty of personality too. Count us in!



So, did Nintendo's presentation do enough to convince you the Switch will be worth owning at launch? Are you pleased with the new game announcements?

- Matt S. / Clark A
Editor-in-chief / Anime Editor
 
Recap: Nintendo's Switch Presentation
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