The Nintendo Switch comes out March 3rd, here’s what you need to know

News

So yesterday you probably saw the internet went silly with Nintendo Switch articles. The unreasonably long hashtag #nintendoswitchpresentation took Twitter by storm, as Nintendo announced the release date, price, features and games for their upcoming console, the Switch.

Instead of bombarding your feed with articles, we thought we’d compile some of the key information into one neat package for your reading pleasure.

What is it?

The Switch has three modes, TV mode, tabletop mode, and portable mode, so it sits in the hybrid category pretty well. From what we’ve seen it will encourage alternate forms of gaming, such as with the launch title 1-2 Switch. The game will have players use the console’s Joy-Con controllers to play without looking at a screen, instead looking into the other person’s eyes. As to why that’s a good thing to have for a console, I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.

Specs

During Nintendo’s presentation the battery life of the Switch was said to be between 2.5 and 6.5 hours, which is a pretty wide margin. According to a press release from Nintendo “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge. While away from home, Nintendo Switch can be charged by plugging the AC adapter into the console’s USB Type-C connector.” So that’s not the most solid option for playing on the move, unless you can charge up somewhere as you play, but to be honest I’m really into the idea of playing Breath of the Wild in bed.

Fortunately the console can be played whilst charging, so long haul flights and train journeys shouldn’t be a hassle. However the portability of the device is more akin to a tablet than a handheld due to the console’s size, which included a 6.2 inch screen, so don’t expect to put it in your back pocket before heading to work.

Internal storage is an interesting one with the Switch, the console will only have 32gb of storage, but users can expand this by adding microSDXC or microSDHC memory cards. Seems to be awfully low, with the cost of actually being able to download games being passed onto the consumer. But we’ll have to wait and see for this one, as a transition back to physical copies of games could shake up how this is reading.

When it comes to resolution the Switch has video outputs of 720p when used as a portable and on tabletop, and 1080p when plugged into a TV via HDMI. The 6.2 inch can display 1280 x 720 resolutions. It supports 5.1 channel surround sound, and will feature USB ports for charging accessories. Up to 8 Switch consoles can be connected for wireless multiplayer.

Games

Switch will be making a departure from the Wii U by hosting a wide range of first party AND third party games. It was announced that there are up to 80 games currently in development for the Switch, including games by big names such as Bethesda, Square Enix and Activision.

Skyrim is confirmed for another release. Yay?

Skyrim is confirmed for another release. Yay?

But it’s a Nintendo console, and there’s one real reason people will buy the thing, and that’s for Nintendo games, here’s the spiel directly from the horse’s mouth:

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 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 autumn.

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.

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 winter), and will add new stages, fashions and weapons after launch, as the original game did. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch this winter.

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.

Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!: In this creative new kind of action-puzzle game, players communicate, cooperate, and use their imagination to solve basic and advanced puzzles by cutting paper characters into new shapes. Play by yourself or with a friend in the main game, then bring in a bigger group to solve up to four-player dynamic puzzles or compete in other activities. Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! will release in March in Nintendo eShop.”

Joy-Con controllers

Do want the Neon Red and Neon Blue version...

Do want the Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Cons..

The Switch’s Joy-Con controller boast a whole heap of features, including an advanced vibration pack that can simulate the feeling of holding a glass of water with ice cubes rattling around in it. As to why that was a focus point is beyond me, but I guess that’s pretty cool if you want to feel the sensation of holding a drink and don’t own any glasses. Here are the details that Nintendo sent through to us:

“The left Joy-Con has a Capture Button that players can press to take instant screenshots of gameplay to share with friends on social media. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC touchpoint for interaction with amiibo figures, as well as an IR Motion Camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. 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 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.”

Those not keen on the Joy-Con will be able to use a more traditional Pro Controller.

Price

During the presentation Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima announced the console would cost US$299.99, which left Australians in the dark as to how much the Australia tax would be. Translated directly the US price point equals roughly AU$400. However, Nintendo Australia informed us it would be costing AU$469.95.

Nintendo Switch Hardware Packshot 2

That’s a pricey meatball.

The prices for accessories have also been revealed on EB Games website, showing some pretty high costs for those wanting more than one set of JoyCon controllers.

Neon Console Bundle – $469
Black Console Bundle – $469
Nintendo Switch Dock – $129
Blue Joy-Con $119.95
Red Joy-Con $119.95
Pro Controller – $99.95
Joy-Con Charging Grip – $39.95
AC Adaptor – $39.95
Carry Case – $29.95
Wheel Accessory – $24.95
Blue Joy-Con Strap – $15
Red Joy-Con Strap – $15

Nintendo did weird things to it, didn’t they?

Yes. You already know the answer is yes. It was announced the Switch would receive an online service much like the PSN, where players would get access to free classic Nintendo games each month as part of their subscription. However, unlike with PSN the games are ONLY AVAILABLE FOR ONE MONTH.

Surely this will have to change, as consumers aren’t really into the whole crack dealer approach to buying games. But Nintendo’s backcatalogue is one of their main attractions, so parting with it for free (or a monthly subscription) may be too big of an ask.

Overall the Switch has me intrigued, on paper it has a lot going for it, and a lot that could potentially be terrible. We’ll have to wait until it comes out to know the full ins and outs. Fortunately myself and Tom will be getting our hands on one later today, so we’ll be sure to let you know how that goes!

For more Switch news follow Charlie on Twitter @clbraith and don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.

Editor/Co-owner

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