Nintendo Switch Launch Guide: What You Need to Know

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Here is everything you need to know about the launch of Nintendo’s upcoming Nintendo Switch console, including its price, release date, launch lineup of games, and more.

Here is everything you need to know about the launch of Nintendo’s upcoming Nintendo Switch console, including its price, release date, launch lineup of games, and more.

On January 12th, Nintendo held a special presentation where it revealed more details about the Nintendo Switch, its next video game console. At the event, fans around the world learned the price, release date, and launch lineup for the Nintendo Switch, and were also given a glimpse into what the future of the console will have to offer in 2017 and beyond.

For those curious about the Nintendo Switch and want to know what to expect come launch, we’ve compiled all the relevant information about the console in one convenient location.

The two biggest questions when it comes to the Nintendo Switch are how much the system will cost and when will it be available. Luckily for Nintendo fans that can’t wait to get their hands on the company’s newest console, the wait for the Nintendo Switch isn’t going to be a long one. In fact, the Switch will be available on March 3rd, 2017, launching simultaneously in all regions.

At launch, the Nintendo Switch will be reasonably priced, setting consumers back just $299.99 USD ($399.99 CAD). This is equal to the current price of Switch’s primary competitors, and shouldn’t turn off any potential buyers. Unlike the Wii U, which had different priced bundles to choose from, the two Switch bundles will cost the same, with the only difference being one has grey controllers and the other has red and blue controllers.

Launch Titles

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A video game console is only as good as its software, and even though the Switch launch lineup is sparse, it has at least one heavy hitter that will make the price of admission worth it for a lot of gamers. At launch, the Nintendo Switch has a total of five games to choose from, headlined by the highly anticipated open world game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is without a doubt the biggest game in the Switch launch lineup. However, there is one other title that may be picked up by early adopters looking for something to fill up their library. That game is 1-2 Switch, a mini-game collection that is built entirely around the unique capabilities of the Nintendo Switch console. These mini-games are often two-player in nature, and feature things like sword fights and gun duels. Whether or not it will resonate with the public in the same way Wii Sports did on the Wii remains to be seen, but nevertheless, Nintendo has enough confidence in 1-2 Switch that it kicked off its special January 12th presentation with its reveal.

Here is the full launch lineup for the Nintendo Switch on March 3rd:

1-2 Switch
Just Dance 2017
Skylanders Imaginators
Super Bomberman R
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Hardware

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The core Nintendo Switch unit is a tablet device with the power of a home video game console. Players can place the tablet in a docking system to play games on their TV, or they can take their games on the go by switching the action to the tablet. This core hardware comes with all Nintendo Switch bundles, though there is even more included in the box.

Besides the Nintendo Switch console itself and the docking station, Switch buyers will also receive left and right Joy-Con controllers. Joy-Con controllers are small devices with motion controls that seem like the next-generation of the Wii remote. Using the bundled Joy-Con Grip, players can combine two Joy-Con controllers to create something similar to a traditional video game controller. Like the Wii remotes, the Joy-Con controllers come with wrist straps to prevent people from throwing them through their TVs.

As far as cables go, the Nintendo Switch comes with an AC adapter so players can charge their console without having to stress about its short battery life, as well as an HDMI cable.

Beyond what’s included in the Nintendo Switch box, early adopters have other hardware options to consider. Namely, the Nintendo Switch will have its own version of the Pro Controller, which should give players that dislike the Joy-Con controllers a viable alternative.

Online Services
While Nintendo has revealed almost everything there is to know about the Nintendo Switch already, one aspect of the console that remains mostly a mystery is its online services. We aren’t sure the extent to which Nintendo is improving the Switch’s online capabilities when compared to the Wii U, but apparently it’s enough to justify a subscription price for the service.

Switch’s online multiplayer will be free for the first six months the console is available. Then beginning fall 2017, Switch owners will be asked to pay a fee in order to play online. As is the case with PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, Nintendo is making the online subscription fee more worth it by providing gamers with one free game every month.

However, there’s a catch when it comes to the Nintendo Switch’s free games when compared to similar programs on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. When it comes to the Nintendo Switch, the free game will only be playable for the month that it’s added to the service. Once the month ends, it will be replaced by a new (albeit still free) title, and those that want to continue playing the older game will have to shell out the cash to buy it outright. This sounds like it offers less value than what PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold are bringing to the table, but since we don’t know how much Switch’s online services will cost, it could still be a fair deal.

It’s also worth noting that the free games will be older Nintendo titles. The Big N specifically pointed to NES and SNES games as being part of the lineup, but the games will apparently be enhanced to support online multiplayer. Nintendo’s plans for classic games in general are unknown at this point, but news on Switch’s Virtual Console functionality is expected to come before the console launches on March 3rd. At that point, fans should learn the truth behind the rumors surrounding the Switch’s Virtual Console, like the rumor that it will support GameCube games, for instance.