(Editor’s Note: I came in to the live show a little late, so I’ll give my personal thoughts at the end, but everyone please welcome to the crew Justin Smith, who I have been friends with since High School. Justin is as big of a gamer as I am and I’m excited to have him on board giving his insight to Video Game Spectrum, here are HIS thoughts on the Nintendo show)
Well it’s here. The Nintendo Switch. Just under 2 years from the announcement of the code named, “NX”. The Switch will release on March 3rd, 2017 for $299.99 with 2 different color variants. An all gray variant or a variant with a neon blue and neon red joy-con controllers. The Switch at launch will include the Switch console, the Switch Dock, an hdmi cable, wrist straps for each of the joy-con controllers which attach to the top of each and a micro USB adapter. No announcement of any bundles with any games.
Going on about the new Joy-Con controllers, they now have a sensor in the front that can not only sense direction but also distance and certain objects. The demonstration showed the controller recognizing the hand signs of rock, paper and scissors. Joy-Con controllers also now have HD Rumble. No real explanation other than you being able to tell that there are ice cubes in a glass. This certainly continues the Wiimote motion controls. There were demos of everything from two players playing table tennis to having a Wild West standoff. Sounds familiar? Except this time you don’t even have to be looking at your switch and instead you look directly at your competitors eyes.
Games were most definitely the most featured item. Yes, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ended the show and will be a launch title. Super Mario Odyssey debuted. Splatoon 2 was a fun addition. Bethesda revealed Skyrim and there was much, much more. Over 80 games from over 50 3rd party developers are said to be in production. A positive note was that there were many games not officially announced but shown in a quick flash of the hardware. A few I spotted were Street Fighter, Bomberman and Minecraft. Unfortunately very few release dates were given.
Now lets say you want to play online. You still can, but starting this fall, Nintendo’s online service will now be a paid subscription. This is after a trial period, free to everyone, starting at launch.
Accessories were not heavily shown but prices have immediately came out and are as follows.
Switch Pro Controller – $69.99
Individual L/R Joy-Con controllers – $49.99 or you can buy a set for $79.99
Joy-con charging grip – $29.99
Joy-con wheel (set of 2) – $19.99
Switch Dock (separate) – $89.99
Quick thoughts: The presentation was rough. Clunky at best. Started really strong, reeling me in as they showed off the hardware, but as the hour went on I found myself not as engaged. I quickly noticed the lack of details in the hardware and release dates. The Switch will release slightly more expensive than the base models for each of Nintendo’s competitors. About 50 U.S. dollars more than most expected. Not a deal breaker but unless I’m dying to scratch my Legend of Zelda itch I don’t feel as though this is a day 1 purchase. I personally will take a wait and see approach especially with Super Mario Odyssey coming this holiday season.
Again, I came in near the end of this, but I agree with Justin that this presentation was dull, I’m going to use the word “sterile”. Also, I’m pretty sure the guy translating for Suda 51 was just reading from Google Translate, that was TERRIBLE and a show-killer.
Looking at the positives, the Nintendo Switch does open up a lot of opportunities for unique experiences, something Nintendo has been well known for. I’m glad so many developers and studios are on board with this because you figure that SOMEONE will come up with an awesome way to implement all these new features.
The price point itself isn’t too shocking, I was predicting the $250 – $300 range like most people so I’m ok with it. What I do find odd was the only difference between the two versions being the colors of the poorly-named “JoyCons”, I guess I figured the difference would be hard drive space, with the lesser one being $250 and the bigger one being $300.
The games that really stood out for me were the obvious ones, Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, but I got real happy when I saw a Street Fighter game (which looked a lot like Super Street Fighter II HD Turbo Remix) and I am TOTALLY on board for a new Bomberman game.
My biggest gripe is this new paid, online service. Nintendo was the last flag bearer when it came to free online gaming, and if you’ve seen how Nintendo handles the internet when it comes to online gaming, I REALLY don’t want to pay for that. Here’s hoping Nintendo does some MAJOR work when it comes to online server stability. Of course, there will be tons of news and announcements coming between now and March 3rd.
I will be getting one asap though, mainly to make content, but also because I’m that guy who needs to be on the ground floor of everything. The Nintendo Switch looks like a neat thing.