The Nintendo Switch is set to officially launch on March 3 at a price of $299.99 / £279.99. The cost is slightly more expensive than many pundits had and fans had expected. The launch will happen in major European countries, Japan, US, Canada, Hong Kong, and other select territories.
Amongst the host of details that were released about the new console was the fact that it will feature no region locking and allow up to eight devices to connect together for local multiplayer matches. The capacitive touch screen controller has a battery life of between three to six hours, but it can be played while plugged in and charging.
The console will come with 32GB of internal memory that can be upgraded with the use of external memory cards. The accessories for the console also seem to be incredibly expensive, with a pair of Joycon controllers currently priced at £74.99.
The Japanese company has revealed some of the games that are currently in development for the system. These include the previously announced The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which will launch alongside the console, and a brand new party game called 1-2 Switch that will feature a collection of mini games similar to Wii Sports and Wii play to showcase the local multiplayer aspect of the console.
The other major highlight was the reveal of Super Mario Odyssey, a brand new game in the Mario series that has a hub world set in a realistic city known as New Donk City. Other games include Splatoon 2, a sequel to the highly rated ink-based shooter, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Arms, which appears to be Nintendo’s own fantastical take on the world of boxing.
Some third party support was also revealed during the presentation. Ubisoft, EA, Sega, and Bandai Namco are all developing titles for the system, while games such as Skyrim, Minecraft, and The Binding of Isaac will also be ported to the Nintendo Switch. However, EA confirmed that they were looking to develop a custom build of FIFA, suggesting it will not be the same release that comes to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The live presentation also detailed Nintendo’s new online service. It will feature a paid subscription model similar to Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, and players will have to pay to play online multiplayer. According to the announcement, players will get special discounts for games and be able to chat with friends online, create parties, and invite others to games.
The online service doesn’t seem to be as advanced as its competitors, however. Most of the voice and chat functionality has to be done through a smartphone app that can be downloaded from app stores. Meanwhile, subscribers will also get the ability to download and play NES or SNES game every month, though, the wording does not make it clear whether they will be removed after the month ends or can be kept permanently.
The online service will remain free until later in the year when it fully launches. Meaning that you can play online without a subscription when the console initially launches.