Rumour round-up: Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:16AM EST
With the Nintendo Switch the subject of a second, simultaneous, worldwide official presentation on January 12 (Americas) and 13 (International,) fans await confirmation on several points of speculation, including a firm March release date, price, and a list of expected games.
Price and date
Leading up to Nintendo's official announcement, the Switch is expected to start at around ¥25,000 (Nikkei speculation) and £199 (Gameseek retail listing,) which would line up with a $249 USD or €249 EUR entry point.
It's thought that the Switch will be launched as two models, just like Nintendo's last console, the Wii U (or, say, flagship mobile phones since 2013).
At £249 GBP, the second model would have more internal storage and include a game (according to Let's Play Video Games.) That British pricing could reasonably equate to $299 and €299 respectively.
"Splatoon" has been named for such a bundle but it's not yet known if that's the only bundle, one of several, or a regional or retailer variation.
In terms of launch dates, March 17 has been floated as the European date (again by Laura Dale of Let's Play Video Games,) citing sources at both Nintendo and game-making partner Ubisoft.
Approximately 20 games have already been announced for the Switch with at least another half dozen heavily implied. Crucial to the success of the Switch is the timing of those releases, and the fate of tentpole attraction "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is of particular interest.
It's been a high-profile game for the Switch since April 2016, but there have been conflicting reports over whether it will be made available at launch (or indeed where, per Eurogamer.)
More certain are a new "Super Mario" game, party and fitness game "Just Dance 2017," an enhanced version Wii U favorite "Splatoon," and an edition of sprawling action adventure "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," with "Mario Kart 8" and a "Pokémon" game by the end of the year.
Nintendo could also show its intention to provide for the future by teasing something like the very long awaited "Beyond Good & Evil 2" for 2018 or beyond.
Nintendo is known for using inexpensive parts to make unusual, unique, and often era-defining consoles.
But like-for-like comparisons can make them look underpowered, so there are concerns over the Switch's supposed performance relative to the alternatives -- the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and rapidly iterating flagship phones. A minimum 3-hour battery life (Dale) could put it on a par with the 3DS (Kotaku.)
Patent filings published mid-December backed up a number of claims that the Switch would have a multi-touch screen, a record button, USB-C charging port, Wii-style motion control and pointing, and that it would work extra hard when plugged into its TV dock.
There was even a patent for a head-mounted display accessory, like the Samsung and Google kits for mobile phone virtual reality experiences.