Nintendo: Next Console Detailed at Presentation
Assistant Technology Editor
Staying up late on Jan. 12 made the wait worthwhile as Nintendo held its presentation on the Nintendo Switch. The presentation detailed the latest console, which was revealed in October. The 11 p.m. EST presentation provided viewers with information on the Nintendo Switch, new games and their developers.
The Nintendo Switch inherits concepts from each of Nintendo’s past systems. It acts as both a home system and a portable system. Games can be played in one of three ways. The first is the standard mode, which involves hooking it up to a television and playing the system like a typical console. The second is “tabletop mode,” which allows the player to set the system up on a kickstand and play with the Joy-Con controllers. The handheld mode has the Joy-Con controllers attached to the system to play games on the go. It will have a battery life of 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours and can be played while charging.
The system will have a touch screen and Wi-Fi compatibility. Up to eight systems can be connected locally. It will also be compatible with amiibo figures. Players will be able to capture pictures to share on social media, and in the future, videos will also be able to be shared. The Nintendo Switch will no longer feature region locking, meaning players will be able to buy and play games from outside the area the system was initially purchased in.
Nintendo also announced that their online services will become subscription-based later this year. According to Nintendo’s website, there will be a free trial period beginning in March. Paid services will not begin until the fall. Players who subscribe will be able to voice chat with others through an external app and download an NES or SNES game once a month among other features. The subscription service will only affect Nintendo Switch’s online play. Those who want to play online on a Wii U or 3DS will still be able to play for free.
It will come packaged with two Joy-Con controllers. These controllers feature motion sensing so they can detect the location of your hands when placed in front of the controller. They also feature an “enhanced” vibration feature called HD Rumble.
Numerous games were announced during the presentation as well. “Xenoblade Chronicles 2” and “Fire Emblem Warriors” were two of the games previewed at the event, though no release dates were given. “Arms” is a fighting game using the Joy-Con controllers to try and land punches on your opponents. The game can be played solo or split screen with a friend, but online capabilities are in the works. It is slated for a Spring 2017 launch.
“Splatoon 2,” the sequel to the hit Wii U title, will be coming to the Switch. It features more modes, weapons and maps. The game will be able to be played online or face to face with friends. It is slated for a Summer 2017 release.
The next Mario game will be “Super Mario Odyssey,” which takes Mario into the real world. The trailer shows him traveling around notable real world locations such as New York City. Mario’s cap is also noted to play a role in his journey. The game is slated for a Holiday 2017 release.
Outside of the games Nintendo is working on, there are 50 developers working on 80 games for the Switch. SEGA announced they have plans to launch a game on Nintendo’s newest system. Bethseda has also announced that they plan to release “Skyrim” on the Switch. EA said that they were planning to release FIFA for the system and the game is being custom built for the console.
The Nintendo Switch will be sold for $299.99 at launch. It will come in two versions: all grey or grey with neon red and neon blue Joy-con controllers.