Nintendo finally revealed some, though not all, of the Nintendo Switch’s details during a livestream event last night. We now know that the console will cost $299.99 in North America, launches worldwide on March 3, and requires a subscription for multiplayer games.
The question of whether or not the Switch would come with touchscreen capabilities was one that had been worrying gamers, but Nintendo confirmed that the function is present in the 6.2-inch 1280 x 720 screen.
The company didn’t reveal much about the Switch’s internal hardware and its Nvidia Tegra processor, but we do now know that it comes with 32GB of internal memory. While this may not sound like a lot – and some of it will be used up by the OS – users can add more storage with a Micro SDXC card. Additionally, Nintendo revealed the Switch will not be region locked.
Battery life depends on the game, according to Nintendo. It can vary from as little as 2.5 hours up to 6 hours. Though you can charge it during play, thanks to the USB Type-C connector in the dock or a cable.
The Switch comes with built-in Wi-Fi, but accessing online gameplay for “most games” will require a subscription much like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. It also grants temporary access to a selected NES or SNES game each month. The service will be free until the fall, at which point users will have to pay for it. Nintendo didn’t reveal how much the subscription will cost.
Nintendo also confirmed yesterday’s news that Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a Switch launch title. Moreover, accessory maker Hori’s arcade stick suggested that a fighting game will be coming to the console. Not surprisingly, this will indeed be the case – Ultra Street Fighter 2 is a future Switch title.
A lot of time was spent talking about Nintendo’s Joy Cons. The two small controllers, which can connect to the tablet section of the Switch, come with an accelerometer and gyroscope that allow motion controls similar to those found in the Wii. In addition to the standard gray, they also come in red and blue colors.
The Joy Cons also feature advanced haptic feedback that is supposedly so accurate it can simulate the feeling of water being poured. Interestingly, the right controller comes with an IR camera that can identify different gestures and determine the shape and distance of objects. And try not to break or lose them: a replacement or extra pair will set you back $80, while a single controller costs $50.
Nintendo said all the Joy Cons' sensors mean there are local multiplayer Switch games where you don’t even have to look at the screen. Launch title 1-2-Switch, which shows off some the console's capabilities, includes a mini-game that lets you take part in sword and pistol duels while facing a real-life opponent.
Upcoming Switch games include Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, three different Dragon Quest titles, Skyrim, Fifa, a sequel to No More Heroes, and many more. I’m personally looking forward to Arms, a fighting game that lets you hit on-screen characters using the Joy Cons as virtual boxing gloves.
We’ll see the Switch in action at a number of public events over the coming months. You can check out more at Nintendo’s dedicated site.