Hello, and welcome to Ground Punch’s Live Blog for the Nintendo Switch Presentation that will be taking place later today (12th January) at 8pm PT / 10pm CT / 11pm ET / 4am GMT (13th January). The usual cast of cohorts will be hanging out in the blog below, commenting on and offering our opinions on all the announcements and laughing at any mishaps that may occur. Once it starts, you can also watch the event live, right here on Ground Punch. Until then you can read all about the event, including what we expect to see below, and a summary of everything we know so far regarding Nintendo’s latest console. Finally, we’ll be wrapping up with a special news summary once the event has concluded followed by a reactions podcast, posting over the course of the coming weekend.
What we know so far
Nintendo first announced the Nintendo Switch back in April 2016, a month after the company was patenting with DeNA to produce games for mobile devices. Revealed as part of the company’s earnings report for the fiscal year, at the time Nintendo was simply referring to the device by its codename: NX (A far better name than Switch in my opinion!) and details were short on the ground. The console was described as being neither a successor to the Wii U or the 3DS, however, Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be a playable title with both Zelda and the NX set for a March 2017 release (a release date that seemed liked a placeholder due to March being the end of fiscal year). This announcement was a necessary for Nintendo to make in order to reinsure customer (and investors) that the company was not abandoning hardware production for a stake in mobile games, yet it was clear that they were not ready to talk about the NX with Nintendo announcing that they would not talk about the device at (the then shortly upcoming) E3 2016.
Following the announcement, fans were naturally and extremely curious about the device, as was the media, leading to NX rumours spreading like wildfire. The most prevalent and widely reported was that the device would be some sort of console-handheld hybrid, fusing the two strands of Nintendo’s long-standing two-pronged approach to hardware manufacturing. Surrounding this were rumours concerning every element of the device; its power, battery life, input (or control) methods, and many more – most of which have yet to be confirmed or debunked.
In October 2016, Nintendo finally broke their silence on the device, releasing a four-minute trailer for the Nintendo Switch, marking the first time the device had been called as such. The trailer confirmed the long-standing rumour that the device would be a console-handheld hybrid, as well as the rumour that the device would use cartridges to play physical games. The trailer also showed the device’s ability to alternate between handheld and console mode (personal choice of phrase), and displayed the Joy-Con controllers that can detach from the device for a number of purposes. A Nintendo Switch Pro Controller was also showcased. Finally, we got a look at several games; from the previously announced Zelda: Breath of the Wild, to unannounced titles; Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, NBA 2K17, an untitled mainline Mario game, and NX versions of the Wii U titles, Splatoon and Mario Kart 8. Sadly, bar the fairly packed trailer, Nintendo was still reluctant to talk about the device. Save a few titbits, Nintendo said they would not be answering questions about the Switch until January 2017. It is also worth noting that following the trailer, Bethesda revealed that Skyrim was not a confirmed title for the device.
Nintendo did, however, reveal a list of partners who are apparently developing titles for the upcoming console. Several developers have also announced titles coming to the console, a list of which you can find below.
Cube Life: Island Survival HD
Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest XI
Dungeon of Zaar
Just Dance 2017
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Lego City Undercover
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
Untitled Nobunaga’s Ambition game
Untitled Pokémon game
Project Sonic 2017 (tentative)
The Sacred Hero
Seasons of Heaven
Sunu Ikkibu: Din Nahu
Release Dates (North America)
We did learn that the Nintendo Switch will utilise NVIDIA technology, with rumours suggesting the Switch will be powered by a custom iteration NVIDIA’s Tegra chip, the chip that powers NVIDIA’s own handheld gaming device, the NVIDIA Shield. “That entire experience is going to be very Nintendo.” said CEO of NVIDIA, Jen-Hsun Huang, earlier this week at CES, “The beauty of that company, the craft of that company, the philosophy of that company–they’re myopically, singularly focused on making sure that the gaming experience is amazing, surprising, and safe for young people, for children. Their dedication to their craft, that singular dedication, is quite admirable. When you guys all see Switch, I believe people are going to be blown away, quite frankly. It’s really delightful.”
Nintendo has announced that they will be revealing the Switch’s price, release date, and giving a better insight into the software that the device will support. We also expect to get details concerning the device’s power, what resolution it will output to its native screen and TV screens, it’s battery life, whether it has a touch screen, what Nintendo has planned in terms of online features, and if the device has any significant onboard memory/how to expand the device’s memory, amongst other details.