After months of anticipation, amid the roiling waves of rumour after rumour, Nintendo finally revealed details about its new video game console on Thursday evening.
If you haven’t already seen it, this is the Nintendo Switch:
You may have already noticed that the console (above, on the right) looks like someone shoved a tablet into a plastic toaster. The “toaster” in this case is actually a dock — you dock the tablet and, voila, it’s on your television.
What you see above is how the console looks when you’re playing it on a television, but that’s not the only way to use the Switch. The tablet can be lifted out of the dock and two controllers get attached.
It’s a home console; it’s a portable console. It’s both, actually!
On Thursday night, Nintendo announced the price and release date of the Switch: It’s $299, and it arrives on March 3. On top of that, Nintendo announced that a brand new game in the “Legend of Zelda” series will launch with the system — it’s called “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” and it looks fantastic.
So! All of that said, if you’re thinking about buying a brand new Switch console… maybe don’t. Not yet, anyway. Hear me out!
When the Switch launches on March 3, it will have a single major game: “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” And in fairness, it looks like an excellent game. But if you’re one of the 13 million people who own a Wii U, you can play it there, too.
And if you’re not one of those people, are you willing to spend $300 to play a single game? If you don’t play the new “Zelda” game in March, it doesn’t sour. It will still be there if you decide to buy the system later, waiting for you. And there are tremendous benefits to waiting, like several other games coming out that look fantastic.
“What games?!” you ask. Well let me tell you!
This is “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” and it arrives on April 28. It’s a game that already came out on the Wii U (where it was simply called “Mario Kart 8”), but the version coming to the Nintendo Switch includes all the additional (paid) content that came out after the game launched, as well as a revamped Battle Mode.
To be clear, it looks excellent. When I played it briefly at a press event in New York City on January 13, it was a ton of fun. But if you played it already, it’s not a brand-new game.
That said, even if it thrills you, it’s not there at launch — it arrives nearly two months later.
After that, in the summer, “Splatoon 2” arrives (seen above).
Like the first “Splatoon,” it’s a third-person shooter that’s focused on competitive play over, say, a traditional single-player campaign. Simply put: You play “Splatoon 2” online against other people.
Like “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Splatoon 2” is a ton of fun to play — I also played it at the January 13 event in New York City. Also like “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Splatoon 2” doesn’t release with the console at launch on March 3. It doesn’t even have a solid release date actually, just “summer 2017.”
Last up, “Super Mario Odyssey” is the gorgeous, sandbox-style 3D Mario game that fans have wanted for years. Just look at that grinning Mario above. His excitement is infectious!
While “Super Mario 3D World” on the Wii U was an incredible 3D Mario game, it failed to capture the same type of exploration and wonder that games like “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Galaxy” did. When Nintendo debuted “Super Mario Odyssey” at its Tokyo event, the reaction was near-universally positive.
Frankly speaking, it looks incredibly good.
And here’s the rub (of course there’s a rub): It launches in “holiday 2017.”
Are you starting to catch my drift? Let’s say you wait until holiday 2017 to buy a Nintendo Switch instead of rushing out to buy one in March. You’ll be buying a console that has several great-looking games instead of a console with one great-looking game, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll get to enjoy some of the benefits of waiting — like a potentially reduced price from the intro price of $299.
By all means: Go out and buy one in March if you feel the need. You are, after all, the Koopa Troopa of your own future. But if you asked me — and, admittedly, you didn’t, but you got this far! — I’d say wait until the holiday before snagging the Switch.
NOW WATCH: Here’s the gorgeous trailer for ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ — the first Mario game for Nintendo Switch
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