Nintendo will release Switch, its new home game console that also lets you take your gaming on the go, on March 3, 2017 for $299.99, it said early Friday morning at a Tokyo press briefing.
The console, which is in the form of a tablet that can be docked to a television set, also includes a pair of detachable “JoyCon” controllers. Each of these includes motion sensors and force feedback. The tablet’s screen will have capacitive touch functionality, Nintendo said. One of the JoyCon controllers will have a button dedicated to capturing screenshots to share on social media, with video capture coming in the future. It will also have an IR camera for sensing the motion of a player’s hand, for example.
Switch will include 32 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded with Micro SDXC cards. The battery life of the Switch in tablet mode will range from 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the game, Nintendo said. For example, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which will launch for Switch on March 3, will get about 3 hours of battery life.
That’s about all of the information that Nintendo had to share about the Switch hardware during its hour-long presentation, which was livestreamed around the world. It devoted the rest of the time to talking about a small handful of games coming to the platform. In total, about 80 games are currently in development for Switch, it said.
Standouts from Nintendo include Super Mario Odyssey, a new Mario adventure coming for the 2017 holiday season; Splatoon 2 (coming this summer), a followup to its multiplayer paint-splattering shooter game; 1, 2, Switch, a package of multiplayer motion-control mini-games that will launch on March 3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, an updated version of the Wii U game, will arrive in April.
Fans of Japanese role-playing games will seemingly have a lot to enjoy on Switch. Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei series is Switchbound, as is Xenoblade 2 from Nintendo and Dragon Quest XI from Square Enix.
Western game developers were in short supply at the event, but Bethesda’s Todd Howard was there to announce that Skyrim is headed to Switch, and Electronic Arts promised a FIFA game but didn’t show it. Nintendo said after the presentation that Minecraft is also on the way.
Nintendo also said that it will begin charging users for online gameplay via a monthly service. It will be free at launch, but you’ll have to pay to play starting in the fall. Subscribers will also be able to download and play one free retro game from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System libraries per month, and Nintendo says the SNES games will include online play.
Original post is below.
Ready to find out all about the Nintendo Switch? Just stay up a little late tonight and all your questions will be answered.
Well, they should be, anyway. With Switch pegged for a March release, it’s time for Nintendo to open the floodgates and spill everything we want to know about its new game system, which can play games both on a TV and on the go. The price! The games! The features! We want it all. Nintendo will be showing off Switch live from Tokyo early Friday morning, which equates to 11 p.m. Eastern, or 8 p.m. Pacific, Thursday night. It’ll all be streamed on its Twitch channel (embedded above) and YouTube.
Bright and early tomorrow morning, WIRED will be wide awake (hopefully) to get our hands on Switch for the first time, so stick around for hands-on impressions on then.