What To Know About The Upcoming Nintendo Switch
Coming off the heels of their recent global presentation, we learned a few new things about the upcoming Nintendo Switch console. You probably have seen Mario running around social media quite a bit lately, so here is some info about the infamous plumber and the highlights of what's to come for Nintendo's new console.
The Switch launches March 3, 2017 and costs $299.99 US.
The price tag may not excite you as other modern consoles are similarly priced and have some more power than the Switch, However, the price comes in fairly reasonable considering the industry standards. The most difficult price to stomach are the accessories.
Colorful and Expensive Accessories!
The Switch has elements of the original Wii, the current Wii U and a few new adaptations all mixed together. There will be a familiar joystick experience with the new Joy-Con controllers. These can be easily added and removed from the main tablet of the controller, offering a mobile experience or an in-house option with docking bay for party play much like the original Wii offered. However, these new devices come in red and blue (and I'm sure many more colors to come one day!) but they added a few new features like HD Rumble and Infrared Sensors. The idea is to create some gameplay that incorporates the joysticks but doesn't feel too accessory-like and more like an extension of your body while adding new possibilities to future game development. As a parent of young children, I already expect these to be lost/destroyed/painted/thrown, etc. With the price tag of $45 each or $80 for a bundle, I ask where is the insurance policy??
No Region Lock
This is a huge step forward for Nintendo. This means every game developed for the console, in any country can be played on the same device. No more looking for the Japanese or European consoles to match which version of the game you have. In our globalized economy, it's much more common to purchase games across the globe or pick up a few on your travels. Long term, this may be a turning point for Nintendo in winning back some gamers that were frustrated by matching hardware and software and forced to run emulators.
Third Party Developers + Nintendo Classic Characters
We received confirmation the Zelda Breath of the Wild will be launched with the console is available in a bundle option for pre-order as we speak. This game may alone sell the console to weary consumers but even reticent consumers can breathe deep knowing it will also be created for the Wii U console as well. We also got a Mario sighting, as he takes to some familiar places in the world in the upcoming Mario Odyssey, set to arrive during the end of 2017. Lot's of children will receive their first Mario game next Christmas, much like the children of the 80's got him for the NES and started a legacy of fanboys and fangirls. Along with these two titan releases, there are other games confirmed to be released in 2017. Some notables are Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 extended content, Skyrim and Fire Emblem to name a few. Seeing this level of support is promising, even if the Switch is set to launch with less games than the Wii and Wii U did.
Online Service Required...Eventually
If you were like me, you were eagerly awaiting this announcement and then equally chagrined when Nintendo informed us that online service will be subscription based. However, they will not start requiring payment until the later this year so they can keep the momentum of the console at launch and likely work out bugs during the first few months. Ultimately, this makes sense for the company to charge a membership fee but they most certainly better produce a quality experience. Data centers and servers take a lot of maintenance and costs rack up when lots of users are online. I hope the fee comes with a seamless experience.
So, here we are. Pre-order? Wait and see? Gah!