Tonight, or tomorrow depending on which country you live in, Nintendo gave us a one hour glimpse at their next big hit, the Nintendo Switch. For the first time in a while, I have been able to sit down and watch a press conference from any of the major devs. I think the last press conference I watched was back in 2012 when Sony revealed the PS4, so this was a treat for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, because as we all know, Nintendo has kept us in suspense since October after the initial reveal of the Switch, and both the company and fans have kept the levels of hyped fairly steady.
Within moments, Tatsumi Kimishima the president of Nintendo, opened up the conference and let loose the first volley of ‘switch’ uses that would make a drinking game about it an absolute nightmare. Being told the release date and the price point right off the bat definitely set the tone for this conference. Upfront and honest, tackling some of the bigger questions gamers have wanted answered, well that and when Zelda was going to be released. March 3, 2017 for $299.99 sounds too good to be true, but at this point there is no poison in the potion other than the prices of the accessories sold separately are just outrageous for what you’re getting it. Otherwise, I can’t complain, in fact I am happy that the price isn’t over $400 which other consoles have run in the past generation.
Announcing online multiplayer service which will become a paid service in Fall 2017, after a free trial in the meantime. This differs from the past where Nintendo has been adamant on keeping their online services free. This is a strange turn but as the new president is more of businessman and the other consoles have ran pretty well on the pay to play idea, I’m not surprised that the Switch is moving onto this path.
Region Locked consoles got you down? Well with the next console, those issues are out the window and everyone could practically hear the cries of joy as they made this announcement. Honestly, I never had issues with region locked games, but I have seen plenty of Nintendo gamers upset by booting up their 3DS and find the game from the US can’t work in Australia. So the collective jubilation is definitely warranted.
Skipping past cringe worthy sections that reminded me way too much of the Wii Mote gimmicky games when the Wii was first released. Sure it’s Nintendo-esque, but can’t get over just how painful some of it comes across. The games 1,2 Switch and Arms (great title, 10/10), show of the awesome sounding Joycon controllers features of HD Rumble and the IR sensors. These controllers not only detach from the Grip to serve as individual controllers for two players, they also serve as advanced Wii Motes. Motion controls come back in an amazing way. The demonstration showed us the control could sense the distance from objects, could detect whether you play rock, paper, or scissors, while the other feature makes you able to feel ice cubes in a glass. I was amazingly surprised by this tech and I can’t wait to test it out for myself. I can also see some uses for VR with the Joycons, but that’s for a future discussion really.
From here we transition into game announcements, I wont go too far into it just some highlights for me as I’ve already went into great details about everything else. Splatoon 2 excites players with a definite sequel and some cool looking additions to the already great game. I didn’t get too much of play time with the first but I would like to dive into this if and when I get the Switch.
Skyrim confirmed for the Switch, and I am very happy to see that a Bethesda game will be gracing a Nintendo console. This looks beautiful, not like the remastered version just released, but still a high note all the same.
And sure there was a handful of other games shown, but the ones that standout for me are simple and probably universal from gamers all around.
Super Mario Odyssey: Oh… my… god. It was an amazing display what Mario has done and what he could do. It reminds me of Sunshine, 64, and Galaxy had a love child then took some great drugs bringing our world into his. I was excited, for the first time since Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and a long while before that. I am not sure how I feel about the real world sections of the game but otherwise, I’m stoked.
Suda 51 announced, through garbled translation, that Travis Touchdown, Protagonist of the No More Heroes games, will be showing up in a new game on the Nintendo Switch. This has my mind running in the direction of a new NMH game or if he is just cameoing in a new IP. Either way, if Travis is in it I say I want five.
And finally, the moment we’ve held our breath for, and yes pun intended, Zelda Breath of the Wild showed off some new areas and character designs, along with finally telling us when we would expect it to grace the console. March 3, 2017, Zelda is a launch title and even has pictures of a collector’s edition circulating around. This game blew my mind when I first saw it, and hearing it is a launch title makes me want the Switch so much more.
All in all, the press conference was a testament to what Nintendo is capable of in the show stopper department. They have always had the potential, sometimes they fall short, sometimes they get a bit cringe worthy, but tonight blew me away. I can’t say the console is a complete success, but for the moment it is shaping up to be the first console of Nintendo’s in a while that I really am excited about.