Japanese video game giant Nintendo has at long last revealed a launch date and price for its next console, Nintendo Switch. And it showed off some great-looking new games too!
Earlier today, Kyoto-based games company Nintendo finally revealed when eager gamers will be able to get their hands on its next console. Nintendo Switch, it is now known, will be released upon the world on March 3, 2017 — less than two months away, at the time of writing.
The home console/portable hybrid will go on sale for 29,980 yen in its homeland or $299.99 in the US. An official UK price was not given in the presentation, but Nintendo confirmed that Switch will launch in “major European countries” on the same day, and Amazon.co.uk is already listing the console for £279.99 which, given the current value of the pound, seems about right. UPDATE: This has now been confirmed as Switch’s RRP in the UK.
Perhaps the best news to come out of Nintendo’s conference, however, is that Switch will be region-free. Nintendo has for years doggedly refused to allow its customers to play games purchased anywhere other than the same region in which they bought their console, forcing them to wait for staggered software releases or sometimes even miss out on games entirely if they weren’t released in a particular territory. But Switch users will be free to play games purchased in other countries, finally putting Nintendo on even footing with its main competitors, Sony and Microsoft.
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But it wasn’t just hardware talk at the presentation; Nintendo also took the opportunity to show off a handful of first-party titles that will be available for Switch, including its new Mario game and a full-blown successor to Wii U hit Splatoon.
The only minor negative about the Switch conference was the news that Nintendo will now be following suit with its rivals and charging for online play, although the company will offer access without a subscription until autumn 2017, presumably to give customers a taste of the good stuff before throwing up that paywall.
Splatoon 2 looks set to up the original game’s ante with more ink-based weapons and modes to enjoy.
Switch’s first Mario game will be known as Super Mario Odssey.
The game is set in numerous locales, from lush forests to human cities.
Mario’s arch nemesis, Bowser, has never looked more pimp.
And it wouldn’t be a Nintendo console without Zelda, whose stunning scenery and art style Nintendo showed off
Switch could well be a return to form for Nintendo, following a rough few years with an underwhelming home platform in the form of the Wii U. Unlike said console, Switch’s concept is immediately clear to consumers, offering a fun and inventive solution to taking our games on the go while also providing a complete home gaming experience. Although it would have been nice to see the console launched at a slightly lower price point ($199.99-249.99 would have given the machine a genuine edge over its competitors), Switch’s MSRP seems fair, and the hardware itself looks much sleeker compared to the Wii U’s clunky tablet controller. In terms of software, Nintendo is off to a great start, too. Providing it can get — and retain — the support of enough third-party developers, not to mention tapping into its extensive back catalogue of games via virtual console, then Nintendo could be on to a real winner with Switch.
You can watch the full Nintendo Switch presentation in the video below: