Last evening Nintendo at last revealed all in regards to their upcoming Switch console/handheld hybrid. We didn’t get answers to every question, but we heard enough to hope we can get in a preorder for one of the fifty or so units they’ll ship nationwide.
The Switch will go on the market March 3, 2017, and retail for $299. The detatchable screen will have a battery life of 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the CPU needs of the game it’s running. Two different models will be offered, but their only difference will be the color of the Joy-Con controllers: one package has grey ones and one has red and blue ones. The paltry SSD size will remain the same in each (but you can stick Micro SD cards into it and vastly increase the space).
Nintendo was the solitary console maker that didn’t charge you to play online. Now, nobody does that. They spoke of a revamped, more robust online program more in tune with the competition that works in tandem with a phone app, but more specific details weren’t shared. Speaking of sharing, the Switch controllers now have buttons that instantly beam screenshots and videos to social media, just like the other guys.
The Joy-Cons not only function together as a controller when locked into the Switch’s various devices, but function as two mini-Wiimotes when held separately, complete with little wrist straps. The only thing about the Joy-Cons that isn’t tiny is their price — sold separately, they are $50 per Con or $80 for two. They also look very easy to lose. If third-parties can accurately mimic the Joy-Cons and sell them at a lower price, they are going to make like bandits.
Then, the games. The infamous disconnect between Nintendo and the fanbase that devotedly follows them was on full display here as Big N spent the entire first half of the conference showing off casual, motion-centric titles to the disgust and boredom of everybody watching at home. 1 2 Switch, they boasted, was not even a video game — through the sensations of “HD Rumble,” it was something that could be played with the Joycons without even looking at the screen. Yeah, fine, whatever, next game please, if it is one. Then as Nintendo moved on to another motion-based game called “Arms,” viewers got a sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs that this was all they were going to be shown.
It took nearly thirty minutes for the first familiar face to pop up — the squid-kids of Splatoon. Splatoon 2 was confirmed for Switch and it’s coming this summer! Things got much better from there as wish after wish was granted.
And the biggest wish was for the next big Mario game. We got it in Super Mario Odyssey. For the first time, Mario escapes the sugar-coated fantasy land he’s lived in for so long and travels all over the world — the real world. He’s shown wandering about a desert town, a lush realistic jungle, and most jarringly, hopping and bopping around a New York-like city called “New Donk City.” And his friggin’ hat is alive! We’ve got a really good feeling about this one, the kind we haven’t had since the first Mario Galaxy.
The Monolith Soft logo appeared and we were given the first trailer for Xenoblade 2! And you thought Xenoblade Chronicles X was Xenoblade 2…..so did I. This is more of a direct sequel that takes place in the same world. The graphics are less realistic this time around, but as long as the gameplay is solid who should care?
Bethesda confirmed Skyrim would be available on Switch. This we figured, but the most important thing will be if online play is possible outside of your house. Wi-fi was mentioned, but what about some kind of 4G data plan for when you’d like to play Skyrim in the back of a car or on an airplane? As long as we’re paying for online now, why not? (No one ask about mods. You know the answer to that.)
Square-Enix revealed the team behind Bravely Default is at work on something tentatively called “Project Octopath Traveler.” We expect the final title to be the same except without the word “Project” because that would just confuse people. That wacky Suda 51 showed up to reveal he’s bringing back Travis Touchdown, central character of the Wii’s two No More Heroes games, for a third outing. And Atlus showed off an early trailer for their next SMT game.
As things were wrapping up, we got a “sizzle reel” of also-ran titles, mostly pre-existing ones from other systems. A port of Mario Kart 8 was shown, as well as a deluxe version of Disgaea 5 (I know what’s gonna be eating up all MY traveling time), a Dragonball game, a Sonic game, a Switch version of I Am Setsuna, a Bomberman game (I missed Bomberman) and Skylanders Imaginators. But where was Zelda?
After drowning us in nothing but Breath of the Wild footage for months and months, the much-anticipated title was almost completely absent from the Switch presentation, making everybody nervous about a delay. They knew what we were scared about and trolled us by waiting until the very, very, VERY last second to reveal BotW’s release date……March 3, launch day of the Switch. You guys…
That date was prefaced by one of the most amazing trailers the game has gotten to date. Since there are so many, the trailers from Nintendo’s Switch presentation will be posted in a follow-up article. Stay tuned…..