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Nintendo reveals the Switch’s price and release date.

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The Switch’s information has finally been revealed.

A Nintendo Presentation happened in Tokyo revealing a load of information regarding the Switch’s price, release date, and some new games.  The Switch will come out March 3rd of this year, and will cost $299. There will be a modest selection of launch games, but Nintendo confirmed at the presentation that more than 80 games are coming from both 3rd party and 1st party developers. The Switch will also feature a dedicated online ecosystem, something Nintendo is not known for. However online play will not be free this time around, as Nintendo will have a paid subscription service for online play on the switch. There will be a free trial from March until the fall of 2017.

The Switch’s $299 price point is on par with the current price of the Xbox One S and just $20 above the price of the PlayStation 4. This is great news for Nintendo Lovers, because not only is it affordable, but Nintendo has also future-proofed themselves by giving room to work that price downward over the coming years. Nintendo also detailed prices for the multiple controllers and docs for the Switch which you can find at the Nintendo online store, but they are less affordable than their console counterpart.

The largest problem the switch or any console faces on its release is a keeping a steady stream of launch games to keep the fans happy. The Switch’s launch lineup is smaller than many Nintendo fans would like, this writer included. With a Wii Sports-esque game called 1-2-Switch, the long awaited Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the interesting fighting game Arms, Nintendo only has 3 launch games.  More games are coming later this year, including a sequel to the colorful multiplayer kid’s shooter Splatoon, a deluxe edition of Mario Kart 8, and a new entry in the 3D Mario franchise: Super Mario Odyssey.

An online economy has not been Nintendo’s strong suit over the years. The gaming company hasn’t had a unified online store or a simple or easy way to keep an online account from system to system. People had to rebuy games online when going from the Wii to the Wii U, and the same for all the DS models, rather than just keeping them like on Xbox or PlayStation. Nintendo desperately needs to fix their online community, as online gaming is the driving force behind games these days. All the biggest and best selling series are online multiplayer games, and while this doesn’t mean Nintendo needs to make all their games exactly that, the ability for game developers to put their game online is what really matters. Nintendo could make the switch a home for indie devs, just as their competitors have done, and it only strengthens the market. The paid online might be taking a step in the right direction, by using that money to fix what problems may arise, and continually improving their online ecosystem.

This is Nintendo’s last shot at the console market, after the Wii U’s abysmal sales. Nintendo needs to take some notes from its competition, while keeping the great first party games that have propelled them all these years. As a Nintendo fan I can see they are trying to evolve in the ever changing gaming market, so I am cautiously optimistic. Hopefully this console handheld hybrid can Switch the options of nonbelievers.

 

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Nintendo reveals the Switch’s price and release date.