On January 12th, 2017, Nintendo finally had their Nintendo Switch presentation. This was to be the announcement that provided more details on this new console. Until now, most of the news that have leaked were rumours. I was personally excited as I really want Nintendo to succeed.
Video from: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9s0ZYxkI90hP3ADETrHxgg
Price and Release Date
The date of release for the Switch will be March 3rd, 2017 and with the price tag of 299.99$ USD (399.99$ CAD). This is slightly higher than what most people were hoping that it would be. I personally think that they will still sell but the sweet spot was 249.99$ USD. Time will tell if I am right or wrong. The good news is that we will not have to wait long in order to try it out.
So the console comes with the main console, 2 Joy Con joysticks and a dock for the portable portion. If you want to buy the right and left controllers, the price will be 79.99$ USD. if you would like to buy them individually then it will hold you back 49.99$ USD.
There is a charging grip which you can buy separately and this will be 29,99$ USD. The docking station in case that you would like to have one at your place and one at your parents for example, will be 89.99$ USD.
Switch Online Services
Nintendo decided to offer online services. This is a similar service to XBOX Gold or PSN. Unless I missed it in the presentation, I do not think that they provided a price for this service. They did however advise that it will be free for the first few months. From March until the fall (I assume end of September or beginning of October), this service would be free to try out. This makes sense for the holiday season.
What will this offer the player.
1) Free Games Monthly: This will be a monthly game (Virtual Console style) that can be downloaded.
2) Similar to XBOX Gold: The service will be similar to XBOX Gold or PSN where paying members will have discounts on games and so on.
3) Online Chat and Lobby: This will enable the player to chat with their friends and setup gaming dates. XBOX Gold and PSN have had this feature for quite some time.
So far there is no word on what the price will be for this service. At least not that I can find. XBOX Gold is 69.99$ CAD and PSN is 49.99$. So I would take a gander and say that it will be between those 2 price points. I am not sure how enthusiastic the Nintendo crowd will be to pay for this service. I would think that the hardcore fans will pay for it. Also, keeps the players interested in the product. Hell it is one of the big reasons why I love my XBOX. I can play 3 free games every month.
The above picture is nothing new as it has been floating around since October. This is what the Switch looks like. You will also be able to buy a version with the Joy Con joysticks in blue and red. It comes with a Joy Con Grip controller where you can take the Joy Con controllers in or out. I obviously did not play with it but I would assume that the controller would feel like a XBOX controller. Nintendo has always been good at making good controllers.
There will be a dock where the new portal screen will be residing. You will be able to take the Joy Con controllers out of the Grip controller and attach them to the screen to take your games with you.
The one thing that was lacking in the presentation was to showcase how easily one can be playing on the TV and then take the portable screen. Nintendo claims that it will be a flawless transition. However, until I can see it for myself, I will remain a little skeptical.
The console itself is said to have a 32 GB hard drive, which does not seem like much. They did not really mention how this game will purchased. If the same idea exists than on other consoles, you will need to install on the Hard drive. That is not not a lot of space. I think that I read that the Zelda installation alone would take 40% of the space on the drive.
They also did not mention about cartridges. I would have assumed they would have addressed it since it was something that was leaked a while back.
It will come with an HDMI cable as well which is standard.
They are right, this console takes bits and pieces from their older systems. From the NES to the Wii. Nintendo is good at making things differently and trying to innovate in an industry that likes to streamline products and not push the envelope as much. Not sure everyone will buy into it at launch but if the games are good, people will not care about the hardware.
Hardware: Joy Con Controllers and Pro Controller
When you buy the Switch, you will have a choice of buying the grey model or the blue and red model Joy Con Controllers. Each controller can be used to attach to the portable screen for taking your games on the run. They can also be used individually to play games and local co-op.
As mentioned above, the console will be equipped with a pair with the possibility of buying more. You can purchase them individually (Left or Right) or both together,
These controllers will also have Joy Con Straps so that you will not have a controller flying and break on you. This is pretty good as most people will remember how many controllers broke on the original Wii when the console first came out.
The Pro Controller just looks like your typical XBOX One controller with slight differences.
This part is the most important in my eyes. Yeah we all know the machine will be less powerful but the question everyone has is, will there be any games? To everyone's joy they did show off quite a few games. They did not mention many launch titles other than Zelda. Let us go through the titles that grabbed my attention.
Super Mario Odyseey
I must admit that this game looks really awesome. We see Mario in a real world setting. From the trailer it seems that he is travelling between worlds. Nintendo did say that this was the first Mario that was made in open world style. The graphics looks crisp and I think that this will be a very big hit with everyone. This is a main title that everyone was looking for. The release date is targeted for Q4 2017. This will basically be ready for the holiday season.
ARMS is what I would call the spiritual successor to Punch Out. It is a boxing style game where you use stretchy arms to hit your opponent. I was impressed with this game and I can see how it could be fun. However we will see how practical it is to play these games when it releases.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
This has been the standard party game for generations. It is always fun and I doubt this will be any different. Even the worse Kart game is still fun to play with friends.
Xenoblade Warrior 2
I must admit that this game surprised me. It looked really good. I did not play the original but people did like it, so I assume fans will buy this title when it comes out. I was very impressed with the trailer and presentation.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild!
This is the game that everyone is looking forward to. They managed to make it look even better during the presentation. I think that Nintendo is banging on this game to sell consoles. Considering that it is one of the few announced launch games, it will sell millions.
So until now, the first party games seem to be strong. At least in the first year. Nintendo has also stated that the third party support will be greater during this generation. What did they announce?
Third Party Support
They announced Skyrim which looks pretty but I think it is too little too late. People that have wanted to play this game, have played it or they bought the remastered version. I am not sure anyone is waiting for this version to play.
They also showed Minecraft which is a game that I see fitting very well on the Switch, especially when playing it in portable mode. I think this will also be a big hit with the kids.
The one that I am the most worried about is FIFA. They announced a FIFA game which is awesome. As you know the EA sports games were not very present on the Wii U. However what worried me is that the game is just called FIFA. It is not FIFA 17 for example. This worries me cause what I assume will happen is that they will release this game close to launch and then there will be no FIFA game for a few years, while other consoles get it on a yearly basis. This is big game and sports have always been important on Nintendo. I really hope that I am wrong on this one but only time will tell. At least if they are not willing to do that, they could bring back Tecmo Bowl or Nintendo Ice Hockey. I think there would be a market for that.
We can see that Nintendo have been working very hard on this and they are really trying to make people engaged in their brand again.
There were a lot of positives, such as the look and feel of the console is cool. The Joy Con controllers can be used in really fun ways and I hope that third party developers will utilize this unique tool.
The games were impressive. There are quite a few that I did not mention but the first party games look awesome. Third party games I think is a work in progress. I hope that there will be better quality third party games. There seems to be a lot of new energy at Nintendo and it is nice to see.
There were some negatives as well. The flow of from TV mode to portable mode has yet to be tested. I am not sure how fluid this will work. Also, will this work really well on first party games and not so much on others? Some people will have their hands on this console soon and that is one of the first things that I am sure will be tested.
The Online Services were very vague. What is the price? if you download a free game, will it be yours forever like on XBOX and PSN?
The storage does seem a little low but that was not an issue on the Wii U.
In my honest opinion, I think that the price is high. I think that 249.99$ USD would have been the sweet. Although, pre-orders are already sold out so I guess it was not much of an issue.
I really hope that this console succeeds but I still see similar issues that have plagued theirn older consoles. They will have their core base that will buy it for sure but outside of that I am not sure. If I would buy one, I would wait until the end of the year. This will give the console enough time to get out all of the kinks. The Mario game is what I was the most excited about. I am not sure that it is enough for me to buy a 400$ CAD console.
What do you think? Do you think that this will be a hit or a dud?
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