Nintendo Direct Round-Up

The Switch Marches On

Nintendo’s Switch Presentation took place Friday, but that hasn’t slowed the rumor mill in the least. The long-anticipated press release revealed a lot about the Switch, including its launch date, price, day one lineup and more. Launching for $299.99 in the U.S. March 3, let’s talk about the Switch.

The Switch’s initial lineup will just include five games with only one major title. Nintendo hopes to move consoles with the next entry in the Legend of Zelda series, Breath of the Wild. With an open-world, gorgeous visuals, and new and familiar mechanics, Breath of the Wild could be the largest Zelda title yet. Following Nintendo’s trend of showing what their console can do with a collection of mini-games is 1-2 Switch. Unlike Wii Sports, 1-2 Switch looks like it will be sold separate from the console (for $49.99). Super Bomberman R returns to the top-down mechanics of the original titles, alongside ports of Just Dance 2017 and Skylanders: Imaginators.

Nintendo has more in store for the Switch, but so far only 23 games are scheduled for 2017. Super Mario Odyssey stole the show, with Mario jumping, flipping and swinging through an actual city! An open world Mario has been many fans’ dream, and will certainly sell a few more consoles on release this holiday season. Following the (comparative) success of its Wii U shooter, the follow-up Splatoon 2 will release this summer. Nintendo even has a new intellectual property, ARMS. This Mr. Fantastic/boxing mashup looks like a great way to show off the Switch’s motion controls.

True to Nintendo tradition, accessories will be at a premium. A pair of Joy-Con controllers (which attach and detach to the sides of the Switch) will be $79.99. Should you lose one, a replacement for either can be had for $49.99. It should also be noted that the grips that come with the Switch console can’t be charged, and will need to be removed before charging the controllers. If removing the grip and attaching the controllers to the console is too much trouble, charging grips will be available for $29.99.

“This next one is a big change for Nintendo, charging for online services.”

This next one is a big change for Nintendo, charging for online services. Unfortunately, the full service won’t be available until the Fall, and Nintendo is still ironing out what the service will look like. Good news, though, there won’t be any friend codes, Miiverse or Streetpass. Moving to paid online services isn’t entirely unexpected, since both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network have seen great success. Nintendo will also be rotating free NES and SNES games for their premium subscribers each month, although subscribers will lose those games at the end of the month.

Even with a few ports (Minecraft, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), remasters (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Ultra street Fighter II) and indie titles (Has-Been-Heroes, Snipperclips), Nintendo is going to have trouble keeping gamers hooked into a scarce 2018. E3 is still a while away, so Nintendo has until June to mark our calendars.