Wii U port Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may still be the most exciting thing about new console Nintendo Switch, following a lacklustre presentation at 4am this morning.
The new Zelda game was finally confirmed to be a Switch launch title.
Nintendo president Tastumi Kimishima also revealed key details about the new system, including:
- A global release date of 3rd March 2017
- No region locking
- Wi-Fi, but no mention of 4G
- A smartphone-like capacitive touchscreen
- Online gaming will be a paid service following a free trial, for the first time on a Nintendo system
- A friend chat system
- Up to 8 Switch consoles can connect over W-Fi for local multiplayer
- Capture button takes screenshots, and will capture video “in future”
The UK price was later revealed to be £279.99, you can pre-order the Nintendo Switch now.
Motion controls are back on Switch!
A few more previously unknown details about the Switch were also revealed – and they showed Nintendo hasn’t given up on Wii-like control gimmicks just yet.
Joy-Cons, the two little detachable controllers that fit on each side of the Switch, feature:
- New types of motion control and infra-red sensors, which “will make new control styles possible”
- HD rumble, which “can convey the feeling of ice cubes in a cup” or “water filling a glass”
- L and R buttons
Joy-Cons will also come in neon red and neon blue, as well as grey.
New games: 1-2 Switch and ARMS
Nintendo next showed two fairly unique-looking new games that demonstrate the new play styles made possible by Switch.
The first, 1-2 Switch, is a game that has two players pistol duelling and playing other competitive games anywhere. It’s key gimmick seemed to that you play without looking at a screen – and in fact, virtually no actual game footage was shown.
The second was ARMS, a Wii Sports Boxing-like fighting game where you hold a Joy-Con in each hand and use motion controls to punch. Extendable arms allow you to punch things far away.
Both games looked pretty odd, and it’s hard to imagine them generating Wii levels of buzz – but maybe they play better than they look.
New Splatoon 2 is a full sequel
The previously shown Splatoon port was also confirmed as a full sequel: Splatoon 2.
The new game looked very similar to the original, but features new weapons, stages, fashions, and moves were promised. It’s out summer 2017, so will miss launch.
Super Mario Odyssey named, launching “Holiday 2017”
The new Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey, was also detailed. As rumoured, it’s a kind of successor to Mario 64 with large sandbox worlds.
Odyssey is a serious departure from previous games: Mario was seen running around a realistic New York City, and has a new power-up that adds two eyes to his cap. Apparently, this new power up will take advantage of unique Switch controls.
Weak third-party support again?
Third-party support seems to be lacking once again on this new Nintendo system, just as it was with Wii U. EA showed FIFA, Bethesda showed a Skyrim port, Sega showed nothing (although Project Sonic was shown later).
Kimishima did however mention that “over 80 games are in development.”
Games from Nintendo’s own studios and close partners were also shown or announced, including:
- Five Square Enix games: Dragon Quest X, Dragon Quest XI, Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2, and a brand new RPG codenamed “Project Octopath Traveller”
- A new game starring Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes fame, which was introduced by Suda 51 on stage. No footage was shown.
- A Fire Emblem Warriors/musou game from Temco Koei
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 from Monolith Soft, a direct sequel to one of Wii’s best RPGs. Footage showed a more anime-like style.
- A freaky trailer for the next Shin Megami Tensei RPG, by Atlus, was shown
A clip reel towards the end of the conference also showed off Rayman, Lego, Minecraft, Disagea 5, Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, and others.
New Breath of the Wild trailer looked great
The hour-long presentation ended with a fantastic new Zelda trailer, which showed off a huge range of environments, good-sounding voice acting, a great score, and more story and combat then seen previously.
Watch it below:
What did you think of the Nintendo Switch presentation? Will you be buying one at launch, waiting a while, or passing altogether? Let us know in the comments.