It all Began with address from Kimishima the new President of Nintendo. The first announcement was March 3 for a worldwide release.
Prices were announced at Japanese 29980 Yen, $299 American dollars, Europeans were advised to Check retailers.
Switch will have modern online services, with online multiplayer services, interact with smart phone apps. Here they mentioned chatting with friends which would be a departure from how Nintendo has approached online recently.
Online will be free at launch until fall 2017, then it will become paid much like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. No word on how much it will cost.
The biggest announcement for me being a New Zealander is that the Nintendo Switch is region free. Which gives me a way to get games cheaper by buying from America.
Shinya Takahashi the software development leader was the next to come out, and he talked about how the Switch is intended to be a legacy system that builds on all previous Nintendo innovations from d-pad to analog, to motion controls.
Nintendo Switch is supposed to be a home console gaming system that can be taken on the go. Rather than a portable that happens to connect to a TV.
It will work in three modes. TV mode when it is connected via the dock to your TV, tabletop mode where the portable unit sits up with the stand and can be played via the disconnected joy cons. Finally, portable mode where it is used as a traditional handheld device.
The new joy cons can be disconnected and used as player one and two controllers. Of course it can be played in portable mode while charging the system.
The screen is a capacitive touch panel that will allow for touch interaction that Nintendo is used to working with from the DS to the Wii U.
Eight Switch consoles can be connected together for local wireless multiplayer, much like the DS family of systems can do.
General Development producer Koizumi was next out and he had the most screen time of anyone from Nintendo for the whole conference.
He began by describing the Joy Con controls and the ways in which they work. The square Joy con grip is considered the basic way of playing in the TV mode style. Although the pro controllers are also available.
Apparently Nintendo telling us that the joy cons have clickable analog sticks is important, but they quickly got to some more interesting features.
The Right JoyCon has an NFC reader for Amiibo support, which is located near the home button that is on the right JoyCon.
Left controller has capture button, much like the share buttons that are on PS4 and Xbox one today. Capture button will initially be for screenshots only, though they have said video will be coming later.
There are accelerometers for motion control type games in each of the controllers, and each controller has Land R buttons so they can be used as fully functional multiplayer controls.
Color variations of neon blue and neon red were announced next, so more should be on the way if history is anything to go by. Wrist straps slide onto the controllers like the controllers sliding onto the Switch itself. Straps make each JoyCon into larger controllers with larger L and R buttons being part of the straps. Straps also have neon red and blue colors for people who want to be color coordinated.
Right controller has an IR camera for hand movement tracking. They demoed it being able to recognize rock, paper scissors. So we will see what comes of that.
They talked about the Left controller on has precise “rumble” for a kind of haptic feedback. Nintendo is calling it HD rumble. They demoed it by showing Koizumi being able Feel ice cubes dropping into and rolling around a glass.
Next up was the announcement of Two new games focused on the JoyCons
The first game is Called “1-2 Switch” looks to be all about reaction times tied into party mini-games like Wii Play, such as a quick draw competition.
1-2 Switch developer and Nintendo Switch hardware director Kawamoto came out next to talk about his game. It can be played without looking at a screen, it’s all focused on staring down your opponent without looking at the TV screen.
1-2 Switch will be a Launch game on March 3rd.
The second game announced is a long-range fighting game with new characters that have springs for arms. So of course the game is called Arms. Kosuke Yabuki Producer for Arms then came out to talk about his game. He likened it to a fighting/sports game with characters that have extendable arms, so that boxing becomes similar shooting. The mascot characters are called Spring man and Ribbon girl.
Arms will have Online battles as well as solo, split screen and multiple switch console play. Is out in Spring 2017 (Autumn 2017 if you are in the Southern Hemisphere).
Splatoon 2 was then discussed by Hisashi Nogami who played the part of a “Squid Researcher” which was a bit awkward but very Nintendo. He discussed new weapons which also includes special weapons that activate after spraying a certain amount of Ink, essentially super/ultimate moves. Splatoon 2 is Planned for launch in summer 2017 (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere).
A new 3D Mario game was up next, which began in a world modeled after real life, then switched to Mario style worlds. Mario was shown throwing his hat, and riding a cat statue.
It is called Super Mario Odyssey. With his hat being the new mascot similar to FLUDD in Sunshine or the Lumas in Galaxy. Koizumi is Super Mario Odyssey’s producer. And talked about how Odyssey is supposed to be a sandbox type world like 64 and Sunshine. Which I love given that the directed worlds of Galaxy 1 and 2 didn’t work as well for me.
Super Mario Odyssey is coming Holiday 2017.
I am super excited that they announced Xenoblade 2, which looks fantastic and featured shots that make it look much more like Xenoblade Chronicles with massive world sized creatures. It also seemed to have the main character wielding a new form of the Monado sword.
Next up a New Fire emblem game called Fire Emblem Warriors was teased by Koei Tecmo.
Then they began to drop development stats. So they have 50 partners and there are 80 games currently in development for the Nintendo Switch.
Dragon Quest 10 and 11 has been announced for the switch in Japan. Dragon quest Heroes 1&2 was also announced.
A new Atlas title is an Unreal 4 powered Shin Megami Tensei game which is celebrating 20 years of Shin Megami Tensei. It has only Just started development, and the cinematic was prepared specifically for this presentation.
There is a New Square-Enix title on the way, called project Octopath Traveler (Seriously what’s up with Square-Enix names).
Toshihiro Nagoshi from SEGA came out to talk up the new system and how good it will be for gamers.
Todd Howard from Bethesda Games was next to confirm Skyrim for Nintendo Switch. He talked about being excited to work with Nintendo for the first time.
Suda 51 from Grasshopper (No More Heroes, Killer 7, Lollipop Chainsaw). He is bringing Travis Touchdown back on Switch, but didn’t actually call it No More Heroes 3. He went on to discuss Switch being an exciting platform to develop games for as an Indie developer.
Then came Patrick Söderlund from EA, to announce that Nintendo Switch will be getting FIFA later this year in a game called EA Sports FIFA.
Koizumi signs off, just before a trailer where the mandatory montage of games trailer dropped and showed a lot of new and ported games.
There is Telltale’s Minecraft, Dragon Quest, Disgaea, a proper Minecraft port, possibly a new Sonic game and many more.
The console will launch with 2 JoyCons, 2 JoyCon straps, a JoyCon grip, the Dock, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. There are currently two options at launch, one with grey JoyCons and one with a set of neon Red and Blue JoyCons. Each option costs the same.
Satoru Shibata of Nintendo of Europe. Appeared on video to announce events for people to try Switch around Europe before launch on March 3rd
Reggie Fils-Aimé then made a similar announcement for America
He then briefly talked to Mario creator Miyamoto about switch and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Eiji Aonuma jumps out and is asked about the launch date for Breath of the Wild he throws back to the stage for Kimishima to make the final announcements.
Last up was a fantastic new trailer for Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, it began by showcasing a few new environments then dropped into a story trailer. We finally get a look at this games Zelda and there seems to be a bit more emotion in this Zelda which looks much darker than recent editions. We hear Link being asked to save someone’s daughter, presumably Zelda
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Will be out on the Nintendo Switch Launch day of March 3rd 2017.
Some of the peripherals were given prices just after the conference ended. The pro controller will be 69 USD, the JoyCons are 49 USD each, or 79 USD for both.
Honestly the conference dragged a bit, and didn’t really make me any more excited for the Switch. At this point I will wait and see what other games will be out at launch or very close to launch before I think of buying one. Although if some of those games are ports of Wii U games that I missed, like Mario Kart 8, or Smash Bros U that could easily make me pick up a launch system.