Yesterday evening was one of the most ecstatic evenings to take place within the video game industry for quite a long time, as Nintendo finally officially unveiled all the juicy details regarding their upcoming, next-generation console the Nintendo Switch.
A slew of information was revealed during their live presentation, which took place Thursday night, and was set to officially detail the console, as well as to announce the official release date as well as prices. The presentation also went into great detail regarding many of the games which are headed to the system, and as well as just how the system works in general. There’s quite a bit to the Nintendo Switch, and we mean that in the most positive way possible; so with that said, will be providing you with a run down of pretty much all of the crucial information you should know about the Nintendo Switch, before you decide to pre-order/purchase.
To kick things off, it’s important to know that the Nintendo Switch is a home console, first and foremost. Nintendo has made this clear in the past, even before officially unveiling the console; as players will arguably get the best gaming experience out of the console – from playing at home on the television.
The Nintendo Switch essentially has tow different parts, let’s start with the Nintendo Switch Dock. The dock will be used as a sort of home-station for the console to be hooked up and played on your television. The dock will provide additional Graphic and CPU support to ensure you will receive high quality, and rich visuals from the games you are playing – displayed on your high definition television.
The second part of the system, and likely the most notable, is the Nintendo Switch itself, which is the handheld tablet-like screen which you can take with you on the go. This is essentially the console in it’s entirety, as without this, you won’t be able to play any games, or anything really. This handheld part of the system is where you will insert your game cards, turn on the console, access volume controls, and more. The Nintendo Switch features a touch screen which is also pressure sensitive.
Now, if you’re not the type who enjoy’s playing games at home, or you just want something to play while on-the-go, the Nintendo Switch will suit your needs almost perfectly. The Switch can be played in two other modes aside from it’s TV mode; Tabletop Mode, where you’ll be able to kick out the back-stand of the Switch and allow it to rest on a table, as well as handheld mode, which will activate once you equip the joy-con controllers via the side rails on the console – allowing you to basically play all of your favorite Nintendo Switch titles in the palm of your hands.
The joy-cons are fairly interesting on their own so let’s touch on those for a moment. Do you remember the Wii remote that we all came to know and love so dearly? Of course you do, how could you forget? Well, basically the joy-cons are everything we know and love about the Wii mote, except much smaller, with better technology packed in! The joy-con contains their own set of motion controls, along with dedicated button to both capture screen-shots from your gameplay and record video from your gameplay, as well as a dedicated IR motion camera built into the right joy con. That’s not all, the joy con also features upgraded rumble technology which is able to simulate a sort of weight and feel to the items that you may be holding and or interacting with in a specific game title. Each joy con can be used as it’s own dedicated controller, so you’ll essentially be receiving two controllers along with your Nintendo Switch system.
There are also a few other important notes you should know regarding the Nintendo Switch when you’re playing on the go. Remember how I said the system “almost” perfectly for on-the-go play. Well, the only down-side is the battery life; as it was stated during the presentation that battery life would be mainly dependent on which title you are playing but users should expect anywhere from in between 2-6hrs of battery life. That’s a pretty big gap, so it’s definitely not something you should expect to keep it’s charge all-day. Luckily, the console will launch with a charging cable so you can charge the system on the go.
Multiplayer is going to be a huge focus with the Nintendo Switch, as during the Switch Presentation Nintendo revealed that the Nintendo Switch would receive it’s own online functionality, which will start out as a free trial in March, switching over to a subscription based model in Fall of 2017. Right off the bat, Nintendo confirmed that voice chat, and online lobby’s would be a thing; but most importantly, we’ll be able to access the consoles online features through our smart devices via a dedicated app, which is set to become available during Summer 2017. Nintendo is pretty much taking the PlayStation Plus/Xbox Live route with their Switch online system, as without paying the monthly service fee, you’ll be unable to utilize online multiplayer, lobby and voice chat, receive exclusive deals, and receive monthly game downloads. All of those are perks of subscribing to their monthly based online service.
This is definitely a different approach set by Nintendo, as they have never offered a subscription based online service before, so many are a bit unnerved about them introducing it now. It does see however, that your money will be well spent, as free games are always a nice perk, and a dedicated app to access online functionality from all of your smart devices can definitely come in handy.
As expected, the Nintendo Switch will offer WiFi support, both at-home and on-the-go, so you’ll be able to play online with your friends no matter where you are as long as you hold a solid WiFi connection. Online not your thing? Well the Switch is also capable of connecting up to eight other Nintendo Switch consoles via local-play, so that’s definitely a party if you ask me.
Software obviously is a big apart of new consoles, and while the Nintendo Switch doesn’t exactly have the strongest launch line-up on the way, there are definitely several titles that are incoming to the console that you should keep an eye out for.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is obviously a no brainier. Having been teased for a few years now, the title will mark the first ever open-world Legend of Zelda game and will likely be the largest Zelda game both story-wise, and gameplay-wise, to date.
Yet another first of it’s kind, open-world title – Super Mario Odyssey was announced during the Switch Presentation, which will be the first-ever open-world adventure Mario title, featuring Mario leaving the Mushroom kingdom and going on his biggest adventure yet in search of the (much likely) Princess Peach. The title also features some real world locations such as New York City, so you can definitely expect this to be a Mario title like none other.
These are only some of the few larger-scale titles which will be arriving on the Nintendo Switch this year. And while only one of these will be available at launch (Zelda), it’s safe to say that if you are to buy a Switch before Nintendo truly starts pumping out the big releases, at least you know that plenty of rich gaming experiences are well on the way before years end.
All in all the Nintendo Switch is set to be Nintendo’s most ambitious console to date, and quite possibly, it’s greatest. While it’s launch line-up is not exactly it’s strong-point, the company building upon what made the Wii and DS great, and combining it into one platform, in a way, is what truly makes this system so amazing. No matter what Nintendo platform you first jumped into the scene with, the Switch is set to have something for everyone, and that’s what truly matters in the end.
The Nintendo Switch is currently set to launch worldwide on March 3rd, 2017, at a price of $299. Pre-orders are currently available now on both BestBuy.com and Walmart.com and are said to be limited in pre-order quantities, so if this new console has you interested at all, you’ll probably want to secure yours right now!