Nintendo has unveiled the official release date, pricing and games ready at launch for the Nintendo Switch - so what are they?
Nintendo Switch launches globally March 3rd, 2017.
UK - £279.99
US - $299.99
EU - €329.99
Unlike previous Nintendo consoles, Switch is region-free and so imported foreign titles will work with language now being the only barrier.
Nintendo officially recommend you stick to buying games within your region for full service and support.
Up to eight user accounts can be created for a single Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo eShop will go to the corresponding region your account lists the user as being from. This means you could create accounts specifically to access the eShop in other regions such as Japan, unless you're locked to the first user's choice of region for all subsequent accounts. Further clarification is needed from Nintendo.
Backwards Compatibility & Video Streaming
There is no support for backward compatibility for any of Nintendo's library from other platforms, such as the Wii, Wii U or 3DS. Switch also won't support any of the other peripheral controllers although future updates could add support for them.
"We have nothing to announce regarding Virtual Console or other types of digital purchases at this time," state Nintendo.
At launch there will be no support either for any video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go or others. They claim to have focused on the new console as a "dedicated video game platform" first, with any video streaming support possible later through updates.
Multiplayer / Online Services
Multiplayer gaming for Nintendo Switch will also be available at launch as a "free trial period" until Fall 2017 when the paid service will come online.
"This service lets Nintendo Switch owners enjoy online multiplayer gaming as well as a dedicated smartphone app that connects to your Nintendo Switch system and helps you connect with friends for online play sessions."
A Nintendo Account is required to access online services.
Planned online services to start this fall include an online lobby and voice chat through a smartphone app - a "free, limited version of this app" will be available this summer. They will also include a monthly download of a NES or SNES title (updated to include online play) for free for a month. Exclusive deals will be offered on select games and content.
You can learn more about Online Services by visiting the official Nintendo Switch website.
If you've got that itch in your wallet already for Nintendo Switch then pre-orders are now going live. Some limitations are being placed depending on the retailer, such as one unit per customer per address due to stock allocations.
The pre-order links below are for the Nintendo Switch console with Gray Joy-Con, unless otherwise stated - no games included.
Amazon UK - £279.99 All stock allocated
GAME (UK) - £279.99
Gamestop (UK/EU) - €329.99
Gamestop (US) - $299.99
Amazon US - $299.99 All stock allocated
Walmart (US) - $299.96
What's In The Box
• Nintendo Switch Console
• Nintendo Switch Dock
• Joy-Con (L and R)
• Joy-Con Grip
• Joy-Con Straps
• AC Adapter
• HDMI Cable
Battery, Storage and Installs
As for battery life, Nintendo claims the Switch can operate between two-and-a-half and six-and-a-half hours of gameplay depending on the game being played. You'd get three hours of on-the-go play if you were enjoying The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as an example.
The Nintendo Switch also features an internal 32GB flash memory but can also support expanded storage using microSD (up to 2TB), as well as external storage through USB (2x USB 2.0/1x USB 3.0) connection - although USB connections are restricted to the Switch being plugged into its Dock station.
Should you buy games digitally through Nintendo eShop then be aware of the storage troubles you'll likely run across without purchasing a microSD expansion card. As an example, installing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will take up half of Switch's internal 32GB memory weighing in around 13.4GB. Unless you plan to expand the Switch's available storage it's best to stick with physical cartridge releases.