Thursday, January 12th at 11 PM marked Nintendo’s official launch presentation for their upcoming Nintendo Switch console. To kick things off President of Nintendo Japan, Tatsumi Kimishima took to the stage to greet everyone in attendance and everyone viewing the live stream. To kick off the reveals, Kimishima explained that the Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3, 2017 and will retail for $299.99. There will also be a version of the console with Red and Blue Joy Con controllers as opposed to the standard black color scheme. This alternate color scheme will also be available at launch.
Kimishima also confirmed that for the first time ever Nintendo will have a paid online subscription service that will be required to play games online. However, for the first few months of the Switch’s life-cycle this service will be free. The service will also include a free game each month. No details have been provided on pricing of the online services at this time. With the Nintendo Switch, region locking is now a thing of the past as the Switch will allow gamers to play games purchased from Japan or other territories even if they are using a console purchased in their home region.
After Kimishima’s announcement, Shinya Takahashi, Director of Nintendo’s Entertainment Planning and Development Division, appeared on stage and explained how the Switch combines elements of all of Nintendo’s previous consoles from the original Famicom up to the most recent console, the Wii U. From here, the presentation launched into a video explaining how the Switch dock connects to the TV to allow for on screen play when not on the go. Another video introduced the different ways that players can play games on the Switch, whether they play at home on the TV, or multiplayer games on the go with each player using their own Joy Con controller.
During this video, Nintendo also confirmed the battery life of the Nintendo Switch. The battery will last anywhere from 2.5 hours to 6.5 hours depending upon the game being played. The console can also be played while charging in handheld mode with the included AC adaptor and USB-C charge connector. It was also confirmed that the screen will use a capacitive touch panel and the console can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. Up to 8 Switch consoles can be connected for local wireless multiplayer gaming.
From there the presentation switched over (the running pun gag of the show) to Yoshiaki Koizumi, the General Development Producer for Nintendo Japan. Koizumi offered more insight into the functionality of the Joy Con controllers, confirming motion controls and other new features, as well as the first software reveals for the Switch. The NFC reader/writer for Amiibo functionality is included in the right Joy Con controller. The left Joy Con includes a square “Capture” button allowing players to quickly capture and share gameplay screenshots. Later, after the Switch launch, players will also be able to capture and share video content as well. Each Joy Con also has its own gyrometer making independent motion control for each Joy Con possible. Both the right and left Joy Con controllers each have their own shoulder buttons.This allows each Joy Con to be used as a fully functioning controller.
After his demonstration of the controllers on stage, Koizumi appeared in another video to show off the attachments and color variants for the Joy Con controllers. There will be a Neon Red and Neon Blue color variant for the Joy Cons and a wrist strap attachment with more prominent shoulder buttons will come included with each Joy Con controller. The right Joy Con controller has a motion IR camera that can sense the shape, size, and distance of objects in front of it. It can even tell the difference between Rock, Paper, and Scissors. It can also tell how far away the hand that threw it is, making for unique new control options. The Joy Con can even convey the feeling of ice cubes being shaken around in a cup thanks to HD Rumble.
From here, viewers got the first glimpse of the Switch games that will take advantage of these new controllers and their unique functionality. First up is 1-2 Switch, what looks to be a party game that anyone can play and does not require both players to be looking at the screen. After a brief trailer for the new game, Kouichi Kawamoto, Nintendo Switch General Director and Producer on 1-2 Switch, appeared on stage to explain a bit more about this new title. 1-2 Switch will release alongside the console on March 3rd.
Up next, was the game ARMS. ARMS is a new boxing game that features characters with springy arms battling it out in various arenas. Kosuke Yabuki, Producer on ARMS, then appeared on stage to explain more about the game. After a short demonstration of how the Joy Cons can be used to play the game, Yabuki showed a gameplay demo of what a match in the game looks like. Yabuki also confirmed that ARMS will launch for the Switch this Spring.
Following the first two game reveals, Nintendo confirmed the upcoming launch of Splatoon 2 on Nintendo Switch. This time around, players can dual wield paint guns, called Splat Dualies, and there are some new control options available via the Switch as well. Hisashi Nogami, Producer on Splatoon 2, took to the stage to show off more details about the upcoming sequel. New modes, new stages, and new special attacks will offer new strategies when playing online against others. The game can be played in almost all of the Switch’s play modes and will also allow the option to aim via the gyroscope controls in the Joy Cons. Splatoon 2 will launch this Summer on Nintendo Switch.
After the Splatoon 2 announcement, viewers were treated to their first ever look at Super Mario Odyssey. This new 3D Mario title boasts an open world (reminiscent of Sonic Adventure on the Sega Dreamcast), new platforming elements, and beautiful Nintendo-style graphics. It appears Mario can now throw his hat, in true Oddjob fashion, and use it to attack enemies or reach previously inaccessible areas. Koizumi, also the Producer on Super Mario Odyssey, then took to the stage in a Mario hat with eyes, indicating that Mario’s hat may now be a living companion to the famous Italian plumber. Super Mario Odyssey will launch in Holiday 2017.
The next reveal was a teaser for Monolithsoft’s Xenoblade 2. The game appears to have a more cutesy art style as far as character design, with the sprawling open world RPG action fans have come to love. Following Xenoblade 2, viewers got their first look at Fire Emblem Warriors, which appears to be a Dynasty Warriors style game set in the Fire Emblem universe. A release date/window was not provided for either title.
For Nintendo’s next portion of the presentation viewers got a look at the planned third-party support for the Nintendo Switch. To kick this off, a slew of Dragon Quest titles were announced for the Switch. Following the Dragon Quest reveals, Atlus showed off the first teaser trailer for Shin Megami Tensei. This was then followed by a trailer for Square Enix’s new Switch game, Project Octopath Traveler which includes unique looking pixel rendered 3D environments.
From here, the presentation switched over to the third-party developers who are currently working on projects for the Nintendo Switch. First up was Toshihiro Nagoshi, Corporate Director of Sega Game Co. Ltd. to reinforce SEGA’s commitment to developing games for the Switch. Next up, was Todd Howard, Executive Producer and Game Director at Bethesda Game Studios, who confirmed that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Remastered will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. The next third party developer currently working on a title for the Nintendo Switch was Suda 51, CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc., the legendary developer behind the acclaimed No More Heroes franchise. Suda 51 confirmed that a new title featuring No More Heroes protagonist, Travis Touchdown is in development for the Switch.
Next it was EA’s turn to come on stage and show their support for Nintendo Switch. Executive Vice President of EA Worldwide Studios, Patrick Soderlund appeared on stage with Nintendo’s Bill Trinnen translating in Japanese, to introduce FIFA for Nintendo Switch. While no gameplay or trailer was shown for the game, Soderlund confirmed that Switch players will get the full-featured FIFA experience when the game launches later this year for Nintendo Switch.
That concluded Koizumi’s portion of the presentation as a montage of currently announced and upcoming Switch games was shown. After the montage, Kimishima returned to the stage to introduce the next portion of the presentation. Nintendo then confirmed what all comes in the package at launch for the Switch. The package includes the Switch console, charging doc, left and right Joy Con controllers, the wrist strap for each Joy Con, the Joy Con grip controller, an HDMI cable and and AC adaptor. The Nintendo Switch Pro controller will be sold separately for $69.99. Two versions of this package will be available, the first will include two gray Joy Con controllers. The other will include one Neon Blue and one Neon Red Joy Con controller. Both versions will retail for $299.99.
Next, Nintendo of Europe President, Satoru Shibata, offered a message via video thanking European Nintendo fans for watching the presentation and explained the Switch demo events that will be available throughout Europe. Following this, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime explained when American Nintendo fans can try out the Switch for the first time before launch in March. He also threw the presentation back over to Kimishima to reveal that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on the Nintendo Switch at launch on March 3rd, 2017. From here, Nintendo ended their presentation with a brand new, action packed trailer for Breath of the Wild.
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