What We Learned from the Nintendo Switch Presentation

Wow. After watching the Nintendo Switch presentation, there is a lot to talk about! So we’re going to try and recap all of the points that were hit during the live event.

Let’s start with the big questions: price and release date!

This picture doesn’t have the release date, but the Nintendo Switch will be available for purchase on March 3rd, 2017! At $300, the Switch is priced pretty standardly for a new console, but the features it will have make this price very fair.

A common struggle to the traveling gamer is having features be region locked. But with the Nintendo Switch, that will be a problem of the past! No more region locking for Nintendo! What this means is that, no matter what region you buy your Switch in, you can purchase software from any region, and have it work just the same as if you bought the software from your mom and pop game store.

Another nifty feature that the Switch will have is that through a linked smart device, you can invite friends to join your online game, create appointments to have a game, or just chat with friends! Everyone will be able to try this service after the Switch launches, but come fall 2017, it will become a paid service. We’re not sure how smooth or immersive this will be, or how much it will cost.

Something that the Wii U tried to implement is the capability of playing on and off the screen. While a lot of games had this function – the Switch will take it to a new height. There are several different modes in which you can play the Nintendo Switch. “TV Mode”, which is basically your standard console-to-television setup. But there’s also “Tablet Mode” in which you take advantage of the Switch’s kick stand you either play by yourself or with a friend, using the Joy-Con controllers, as seen below.

Lastly, there is “Handheld Mode”. This is for when you want to take your Switch on the go, and play wherever you want to. This is what we saw when Karen went to that party on the roof, while the Tablet Mode was when that guy was taking a flight somewhere. Maybe to meet up with Karen! Who knows.

Battery life is a big issue for many gamers on the go, and it was said that the Switch’s battery can last anywhere from 2.5-6.5 hours, depending on the game. You can indeed play your games while the system is charging, using the AC adapter that will be included.

Something that the Wii U was supposed to have, or assumed to have, was local multiplayer over wifi. For the Switch, up to 8 systems can connect over wifi to truly enjoy a local multiplayer gaming session. Mario Kart, maybe a Super Smash Bros game or port – the inevitable Mario Party game! So many options for couch co-op, but without the need for a couch.

As for controllers, Nintendo really pushed the Joy-Con during the presentation. As you can see below, the two sides of the Joy-Con grip can detach to become individual Joy-Con controllers. One has the regular A/B/X/Y configuration, along with the home button.

The other controller will have the D-pad to use, as well as that funky little square button. That button, my friends, is dedicated to capturing screen shots of your gaming experiences. You can share these shots over your social media. Not only will it keep stills, but in the future it will be able to record videos of your gameplay.

Both Joy-Con controllers are equipped with an NFC Reader/Writer, for use with Amiibo, as well as gyro sensors and an accelerometer to use for independent motion control.

There are also two little buttons on the rail of the Joy-Con controllers that act as an L and R button, making each controller full and complete. Very useful for two player games!

Just in case you were thinking that all this gray and dark gray and steel coloring was getting boring – think again.

That’s right, colored Joy-Cons.

Most of Nintendo’s console controllers added something new to the table. The N64 had the analog stick; the SNES had the L and R buttons; the Wii had motion control, and the DS brought touch screen to life. With the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers, a new feature is on the way.

One controller will have a small AR camera, to detect object distance and simple shapes. The example given was the difference between rock, paper, and scissors. The other controller has an upgraded HD rumble inside of it, which was likened to being able to feel up to three ice cubes in a glass. You could feel them shaking around when you moved the controller – and could even feel the glass filling up with water! While I’m not sure what purpose these features hold, I suppose it’s better to have them and not need them, rather than the opposite.

You are probably tired hearing about these controllers, let’s get to the games! I hear you, and talking about the Joy-Cons allows me to bring us into the game portion of the presentation. The Joy-Cons unique features allow players to take part in a fun game called 1-2-Switch!

The purpose of 1-2-Switch is to not be glued to a screen while playing a game. You’ll need to watch your opponent very carefully if you’re going to beat their reaction time. It’s meant to be a party game, something simple that you could bring out at the end of a night filled with shockingly little gaming. While the exact types of games within 1-2-Switch weren’t announced, we caught a glimpse of an Old West shoot-out, table tennis, and some other little mini-game type activities. This game will be launching March 3rd.

The next game to use the Joy-Con controller is going to be a little more challenging, with apparent replayability. It’s called Arms.

It looks like a boxing game where you use the Joy-Con controllers as your boxing gloves, and when you throw a punch, a long arm shoots out from your character, aimed at your opponent.

You can throw a hook by extending your arm and turning the controller in, move your character by tilting both of your Joy-Cons to one side, or try and block an incoming attack by turning the Joy-Cons inward. You can watch the full trailer below!

Arms will release Spring of 2017.

Next up on the game list is another colorful game! However…this one is a little more messy. That’s right, it’s Splatoon 2! You can watch the trailer below.

Splatoon 2 will release this summer, and will come with new weapons, maps, and abilities!

Splatoon 2 can be played with the Joy-Con controllers, the Grip controller, or on the go with the Joy-Cons attached to the Switch itself. Gyro controls will be available for both TV and Handheld modes as well, if you prefer that. Pressing the X button allows you to view the map, while to perform a “Super Jump” you will have to assign a teammate to a specific button, and then press that to immediately jump to their location.


Next announced is a very interesting-looking game, that should have old fans and new players alike having plenty of fun learning and trying out all of its new features. It’s Super Mario Odyssey! This game looks incredible – from the amazing graphical effects to the jumps and attacks Mario is capable of! And of course, Bowser looking supa fly in that get-up. Check out all of the cool features of Super Mario Odyssey in the trailer below.

Coined (get it?) as a sandbox-style adventure, Super Mario Odyssey will release in the holiday season of 2017.

Those funky little eyes on Mario’s cap allow him to throw it in front of him, damaging enemies and providing a nice little platform off which Mario can jump to reach otherwise out-of-reach areas. While the game is in the Mushroom Kingdom, there are real world locations that can be seen around. However, we don’t know much about the game, or what purpose these locations will serve.


Up next is an entry in an already solid franchise – Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Watch the trailer below, and behold the beauty of a world like no other.

There wasn’t much said about gameplay, story or release date for Xenoblade, and right after this trailer ended we got another. Fire Emblem Warriors had its own short little teaser, which you can watch below as well.


For Fire Emblem Warriors, the description tells us of a Holiday 2017 release, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would be released around the same time.

As a Fire Emblem fan myself, I cannot wait until this Warriors game comes out. Fire Emblem truly has the style and diversity to make an incredible fighting game.


Up next we have a few Japan releases, Dragon Quest X and Dragon Quest XI.

There was no release date given for these games either.

 There is, however, yet another Dragon Quest game coming to the Switch, presumably to all countries.

Dragon Quest Heroes I*II! Once again, though – no release date.


Although this next game is early in development, Atlus gave us a sneak peek at this presentation, so we’re going to show it too!

The Shin Megami Tensei series will have its 25th anniversary this year, and it’s only fitting that there should be a super cool game to celebrate that!

Shown right after this trailer was another short teaser for a new RPG called Project Octopath Traveler! This game had a very cool art style; it was pixelated, but still housed in a 3D world. Think Paper Mario, but pixels.


Toshihiro Nagoshi, Corporate Director of Sega games gave us a quick blurb about how the Switch has garnered a lot of appeal from Sega, and they intend to be presenting games for the Switch “soon”.

Following him, Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios fully confirmed that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming to the Nintendo Switch. He also praises Nintendo for all that they have brought to the gaming community – a very nice gesture indeed!


Another big hitter then took the stage: Patrick Söderlund, Executive Vice President for EA Worldwide Studios. He spoke to us, and our good friend Bill translated into Japanese, about how the Fifa franchise is coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year! Söderlund promised that the Fifa game coming to the Switch will be immersive, authentic and social – not exactly a high bar to beat, given the lack of big title sports games on previous Nintendo consoles. However, this is a big step to bring a huge demographic into Nintendo’s sights.


After a montage of different games and an extremely rockin’ sax solo, we heard a very well-spoken message from Satoru Shibata, the president of Nintendo of Europe. He thanked all of the people who woke up early to watch the presentation. He also let European fans know that certain members of the media will be allowed to test the Nintendo Switch in the Frankfurt, Paris, and London. He also mentioned that in the coming months, regular gamers would be able to try out the Switch, and to look out for the dates on their official social media pages.


Mr. Shibata then handed us off to Reggie Fils-Amié in New York. Reggie told us that the Switch will be on display on six sundays before the launch, in six different cities around North America.

But he quickly got to the point: even after all the amazing things we’ve seen so far – something is missing. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

After Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma and Reggie all said they didn’t know the release date for this game, we had to go back to Tokyo to speak with Tatsumi Kimishima.

We got such an amazing trailer for Breath of the Wild, and I don’t know about you all, but I’ve already watched it a handful of times. Please do yourself a favor, and watch it below.

I’ll give you a second to recover.

Such an amazing game, after all of the delays, is only three short months away. Hearing the different voice actors and actresses added a sort of realism to this otherwise mythical game.

We got a glimpse of Zelda, Darunia, Ruto, and the Rito, or rather this timeline’s version of them. There were a few Koroks in there as well!

There is so much we still don’t know about this story, but we won’t have to wait that long, because The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is going to be a launch title of the Nintendo Switch, releasing on March 3rd of this year!

I’m not sure what relevance this shot will have, but it looks like it could be Zelda at the foot of the Great Deku Tree…

I’m also putting it in here because it took me so long to get that shot. They cut away so quickly!



What. A. Doozy.

We had so many great companies show us amazing games, and Nintendo really delivered a great presentation of the Switch and what we can expect from it come March. Pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch are live now, as well as pre-orders for the different versions of Breath of the Wild.

What was your favorite part of the Nintendo Switch Presentation? Please let us know in the comments, as well as anything we may have missed!


Lucas Corbitt

Lucas Corbitt

Lucas Corbitt is a content contributor and editor for The Hyrule Herald.

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