Today, Nintendo unveiled more details about the Nintendo Switch. For the first time, the company has revealed how much the Switch will cost along with an official release date and some new hardware details. Here’s everything we know so far.
Note: As we write this, the Nintendo Switch presentation is still going – you can watch the live stream here. We’ll be updating with fresh announcements as soon as they drop, so keep refreshing the page.
What is the Nintendo Switch Australian release date?
The Nintendo Switch will have a simultaneous global launch on March 3. Nintendo will start taking pre-orders in Japan from January 21 with the rest of the world presumably set to follow shortly thereafter.
How much will the Nintendo Switch cost at launch?
The Nintendo Switch will cost $US299. In Australia, the RRP is $469.95 due to the exchange rate and GST (plus a little ‘Australia tax’, as per usual.)
Is the Nintendo Switch region locked?
No. Unlike previous Nintendo consoles, the Switch will be region-free. This means you will be able to buy overseas software for the Switch. Hurrah!
How many modes does Nintendo Switch offer?
There are three main modes of play: The self-explanatory ‘TV mode‘, a ‘Tabletop mode‘ which uses the inbuilt kickstand on the back and ‘Handheld mode‘, where you play the Switch like a tablet with controllers on the side.
How long does the Switch battery last?
According to Nintendo, the Switch will last between 2.5 hours and 6.5 hours in portable mode, depending on the game. By contrast, the current iteration of the Nintendo DS has a battery life of around six hours regardless of what you play on it. (But hey, at least you don’t have to constantly fork out for new batteries like with the Gameboy.)
Does the Nintendo Switch have multiplayer?
Yep. Up to eight Switch systems can be connected for multiplayer over Wi-Fi.
What are the Nintendo Switch controllers like?
There are several controller options for the Switch, headlines by the JoyCon. There are two JoyCon for your left and right hands. Each JoyCon has an analog stick and each stick can be pushed in like a button, similar to the sticks on current-gen console controllers.
Beneath the stick is the Home button, and there’s also an NFC Reader/Writer that can read Amiibo data. There’s also a square button on the left JoyCon which can be used to capture video.
In addition to rumble feedback, both JoyCon are equipped with an accelerometer and gyro sensor for motion-based gaming. A choice of three colours will be available: standard/grey, neon blue and neon red. (Interestingly, you can buy the base console with these colours in the box.)
— Nintendo AU NZ (@NintendoAUNZ) January 13, 2017
The console supports a ‘Pro’ controller for traditional console gaming, similar to the one offered for the Wii and Wii U. Naturally, the Switch also has inbuilt controls which are used in portable mode.
What comes in the Nintendo Switch box?
The base model will come with the Switch console, two JoyCon controllers (including wrist straps), a JoyCon Pro controller cradle and a HDMI cable. Other accessories will be sold separately.
How does online work?
Nintendo has revealed more details about the online infrastructure, including details about a smartphone app that would be used for messaging friends:
“The console will support online Wi-Fi multiplayer gaming. Nintendo also unveiled a new online subscription service that will begin with a free trial at launch. The service includes a smart-device application available in winter 2017 that will let users invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with one another as the play compatible games. The fully featured paid service will be available in spring.”
Will there be a new Mario game for the Nintendo Switch at launch?
No. But there will be one in the so-called “launch window.” It’s called Super Mario Odyssey and it’s coming out in “the holiday season”, which translates to December of this year. The game features a sandbox world with some locations based from the real world.
Will there be a new Zelda game for the Nintendo Switch at launch?
Yes! The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild will be available to buy on March 3; the same day the console ships globally.
What will third-party support be like for the Nintendo Switch?
According to Nintendo, over 50 companies are currently making games for the Nintendo Switch with more than 80 titles currently in development. Confirmed publishers and developers include Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Namco, Suda51, Konami, Telltale Games, Activision, Capcom, From Software and EA.