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Nintendo Switch: Information Overload, But In A Good Way

mariooddesy
Written by Mike Olsen

The $299 Nintendo Switch console will drop on March 3, execs said early this morning. And game wise, what a lineup …

aNewDomain — Information overload. That’s the only way to describe Nintendo’s last night’s pair of lives stream events about the hotly-anticipated Nintendo Switch.

But let’s not bury the lede. Pricing and Zelda were the biggest questions on gamer’s minds going into the broadcast. And Nintendo, at long last, had answers.

The Switch will retail in the US at $299. Most in the industry speculated an initial price point of $249, yet the pricing aligns nicely with the Xbox One and the PS4. Given the Switch is a hybrid gaming console and portable gaming device, I doubt many will balk at that price.

While pricing info came early in the broadcast, Nintendo waited until the end to announce the release date for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

For weeks leading up to the event most speculated the highly anticipated title would not be ready at launch. Yet days before the event the slow drip of leaks made it seem possible the game would be ready at launch, and indeed at the very end of the broadcast Nintendo confirmed its availability at launch.

This is a big deal should send demand for the console to new heights. Kudos to Nintendo to completing the game on time.

Watch the full broadcast here:

The new Joy-Con controller continues Nintendo’s tradition of innovative gameplay. There is a share button similar to the PS4 and Xbox One controllers, which allow sharing to social media, and an NFC reader allows players to link Amiibos to the new console.

The controller can be separated into two separate smaller controllers for two player games. Each has an accelerometer and gyroscope, an IR motion camera that can measure distance, small left and right buttons, and clip on straps that also increase the size of those buttons.

All the tech in the Joy-Con allows for a new paradigm in gameplay, where players can face each other instead of standing side by side and staring at the screen.

joyconThe new Joy-Con controller continues Nintendo’s tradition of innovative gameplay. There is a share button similar to the PS4 and Xbox One controllers, which allow sharing to social media, and an NFC reader allows players to link Amiibos to the new console.

When on the go, expect two to six hours of battery life, depending on the game. USB C means there should be plenty of battery accessories that will extend playing time. Up to eight switches can be networked together locally for multiplayer games.

Nintendo is really pushing the portability of the Switch and the party game aspect.

The console ships with the home dock, one Joy-Con, two Joy-Con strap attachments, a USB C charger and an HDMI cable. A pro controller and an additional Joy-Con can be purchased separately.

The capacitive screen resolution is 720p. When in the dock and connected to a tv, the games are at 1080p resolution. There is 32gb of storage, expandable with a MicroSD slot, as well as USB ports for future expandability.

mariooddesyThe hardware seems truly remarkable, but it’s the games that matter. The second launch title is 1-2-Switchs, a party game that really utilizes the unique aspects of the Joy-Con. A quirky fighting game, ARMS, comes this spring.

In April, Mario Cart 8 Deluxe drops, an enhanced version of the best-selling WiiU title. The popular Splatoon receives a Switch sequel slated for this summer. A gorgeous new Mario game, Mario Oddesy, is available this holiday season.

Beyond the games made by Nintendo, 80 games are currently in development from 50 different developers. A new Xenoblade game, Skyrim, and Three new Dragon Quest titles are coming, and, in a surprise move, there will be no region lock.

Games purchase anywhere around the globe will play on all systems.

So for Nintendo, it is indeed game on.

The event did not disappoint, it is clear lessons were learned from the WiiU, and the Switch is shaping up to be one helluva device. Preorders are available now at major retailers.

All screenshots by Mike Olsen.

About the author

Mike Olsen

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michael Olsen is a tech enthusiast and part-time freelance journalist. When not obsessing about technology, he is a staff manager at The University of Michigan. Catch his blog at http://www.techimprovement.com, email him at mikeo@anewdomain.net, follow him on Twitter @olsenmike and Google+ at http://goo.gl/EthtP.