The world's been patiently waiting for details about Nintendo's new console for months, and after the company revealed the name and confirmed the dual console/handheld approach last October, it was only a matter of time before we had a release date and a price. That changed during a presentation in Japan this evening, where Nintendo revealed the Switch would arrive in the United States, Japan, and several other countries simultaneously on March 3 for $300.
The accessories aren't cheap, though. A Pro Controller will run you $70, an extra Joy-Con Con controller is $80. Wanna buy those Joy-Con controllers (left, right) separate? $50 each.
As we already knew, Nintendo intends for people to play their Switch both at and away from home. One massive concern, however, has been battery life. At the event, Nintendo said people can expect between "2.5 and 6 hours" of battery life, depending on the intensity of the game. Nintendo says you can get about three hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo's slowly dipped their toes into online services with their past few machines, but they're apparently making a bigger investment with Switch; the company will be charging for it—starting in the fall. It'll be free when the Switch is released in March, but that'll change. It's unclear what Nintendo will be using to justify a subscription, nor what the price is. (I've always hoped Nintendo would charge for a Virtual Console subscription, but I know that's unlikely.) We do know that subscribers will get access to free NES/SNES games each month, and Nintendo will be adding online play to multiplayer ones.
In Nintendo fashion, they put an emphasis on the hardware's unique qualities, such as "HD rumble," an advanced take on the company's once-pioneering rumble technology. To illustrate, they unveiled 1,2 Switch, a game primarily played by "face-to-face interaction." In other words, you're not spending time looking at the screen—you're holding the detachable JoyCon controllers and judging the next move based on what your opponent is physically doing. 1,2 Switch will be available when Switch launches, though it (sadly) doesn't seem like a pack-in.
Another JoyCon-focused game was called Arms, a fighter where players trade punches by swinging their separate JoyCons back-and-forth. It looked simple, cute, and very Nintendo. Plus, it's a game called…Arms?? That's a spectacularly weird name. It'll be out this spring.
If you're wondering where the "real" games are, don't worry.
The company announced a full-fledged sequel to their breakout hit, Splatoon 2. I remain so pleasantly surprised that Nintendo managed to make an incredible third-person-shooter, but if you haven't given Splatoon a chance, you're missing out. It's full of style and super fun to play. The sequel is coming this summer,and like the first one, there'll be plenty of updates post-launch. (Those updates were free the last time around. Will it be the same this time?)
And as expected, there's a new Mario game: Super Mario Odyssey, aka GOTY 2017. This time, he's left the Mushroom Kingdom and appears to have jumped into a world similar to ours; Mario is shown hanging out in New York-like locations called New Donk City, where straight up humans are helping Mario…jump rope?? I'm still getting over New Donk City. Unfortunately, despite rumors suggesting it was almost done, it's not coming until late this year.
Nintendo didn't stop firing after that. It also announced Xenoblade Chronicles 2, albeit with no date, meaning people should probably temper their expectations…
…and teased a new collaboration with Koei Tecmo, Fire Emblem Warriors, also without a date.
Other rumored Nintendo games, like Pokémon and Smash Bros., didn't show up.
Later, it walked through a number of third-party collaborations, including Square Enix's Dragon Quest Heroes 2, Dragon Quest 10, Dragon Quest 11, and a new 2D game called Octopath Traveler. Atlus also brought a tease for a new Shin Megami title, though without any details on whether it was exclusive or what to expect. (It was definitely a cool teaser, though! Demons!)
Sega designer Toshihiro Nagoshi, best known for the Yakuza series, said he and the company would be producing games for Switch, but nothing was announced. And while we already knew it was coming, based on the original video, Bethesda Game Studios confirmed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming. (Something tells me there won't be mods for this one!)
Designer Suda 51 also appeared, revealing a new No More Heroes is in the early planning stages. If you're a fan of the eccentric series, it sounds like you should start being really patient. As with other announcements, there wasn't much to say.
As per every Nintendo event, Electronic Arts showed up to promise support, including FIFA, and a trailer montage hinted at other games coming to Switch, like Minecraft, Mario Kart, and Street Fighter.
Most importantly, Nintendo confirmed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an open world take on Zelda the company has been working on for years, would be available at launch. And if you weren't already excited for Breath of the Wild, you probably will be after this great trailer:
A new Zelda game in a few weeks? Hell yes. I'm buying a Switch. Are you?