Everything We Know About Nintendo Switch

The big day is almost here: the Nintendo Switch live event from Tokyo is inching towards its January 12th day. Ever since the October reveal trailer, leaks and rumors have been coming out of the woodwork, to an unprecedented degree. There’s been too many rumors to count, frankly, which is why it’s been hard to constantly keep up with it through news posts.

In response, we’re collecting all of the most relevant rumors together into one piece. Do keep in mind that not everything is confirmed as fact and may be speculation based on multiple sources.

What features will the Switch include that Nintendo hasn’t announced?

The Switch turned out to be exactly as previous rumors suggested: a portable/console hybrid with detachable controllers (Joy-Cons). But there’s also plenty more that Nintendo has not talked about, if the rumor mill is to be believed.

Among other things, the Switch will support the Wii LAN adapter through USB, and support dual-band wifi and Bluetooth (802.11b/g/n/ac on 2.4 and 5ghz). FCC tests also detail more specific BRD, ERD, and Low Energy Modes for Bluetooth.

Like the Wii U, the Switch will also support voice chat. This time, voice chat will work via bluetooth (for wireless) or the headphone jack. On Wii U, voice chat was on a game-by-game basis, but details for the Switch’s voice chat may vary (perhaps system-wide as with other consoles).

With all the Switch’s features at maximum, the Switch’s battery would last for three hours. The USB port in the dock will charge the Switch easily and quickly.

What games can we expect for the Switch?

There’s also the highly rumored crossover between the Super Mario and Rabbids franchises, an RPG entitled Rabbids Kingdom. And who should be composing the game’s music but Grant Kirkhope.

Capcom may be bringing the upcoming Resident Evil 7 to the Switch, complete with VR functionality. However, Capcom has allegedly struggled to render VR images on the system due to a low pixel count, as well as struggle with motion controls.

Koei Tecmo (aka Tecmo Koei) is also said to be working on a new -Warriors title for the Switch. According to source Laura Kate Dale, it would involve neither Zelda or Star Fox, but a different IP.

A “lot” of Unreal Engine 4 games are also expected to come to the Switch, as the console supports the graphics engine. One of these games, Dragon Quest XI, has long been confirmed for the Switch and was built on Unreal Engine 4 tech.

So what games won’t be coming to the Switch?

We do know Mass Effect: Andromida, Persona 5, and Yakuza will not be coming to Nintendo’s new console. On Mass Effect, producer Michael Gamble explained, “We’re not planning on it. If the Switch launches and everyone’s just yammering for Mass Effect, who knows. We never want to close doors like that.” Otherwise, Persona and Yakuza will be restricted to the realm of PlayStation hardware as exclusives.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will also not be coming to the Switch, according to Laura Kate Dale, due to the rocky relationship of Rockstar and Nintendo. Blizzard’s popular shooter Overwatch falls into the “maybe” pile, as it won’t make launch and would require an overhaul due to its always-online nature.

When’s the Switch supposed to come out?

Nintendo’s only word thus far is that the Switch will launch worldwide in March. As we get closer to January 12th, multiple retailers have posted listings suggesting a specific date. A German retailer (via Reddit user LaxoBeat) is pegging the Switch for a March 19th release, which falls on a Sunday. In the UK, the Metro newspaper cites a March 17th release date, which is a Friday, the new “normal” release date for Nintendo products worldwide.

How much will it cost?

The rumored pricing on the Switch has been all over the place. Officially, Nintendo plans to price the system similarly to past Nintendo consoles and to not sell at a loss. Laura Kate Dale says the Switch may retail in North America for as low as $249.99, the same price as the Wii in 2006. A more premium bundle, with a pack-in game, would also be available at $300.

Over in the UK, where retailers generally set their own prices, retailer GAME may ship the system for £199, lower than the expected £250 (which, through exchange rates, would mean UK gamers would pay much more than North Americans). On the other hand, UK’s Metro newspaper claims the Switch will launch at £245, while GameSeek has Switch pre-orders open for £198.50.

Of course, nobody knows the price of the Switch for sure. Japan’s Nikke newspaper ran a story claiming the Switch will cost 25,000 yen, but this was a piece of speculation. In short, nothing is certain until January 12th.

When can you pre-order the Switch?

If you live in North America, the odds are that GameStop will open up pre-orders beginning January 13th. As is wanton for Nintendo products lately, quantities will be limited per store. No word has been given on the particulars of bundles yet.

How can fans try out the Switch before it launches?

Nintendo is providing ample opportunity for fans to try the Switch before they buy in March. In North America, Nintendo will be touring the Switch across multiple cities, including:

  • New York – Jan. 13-15
  • Toronto – Jan. 27-29
  • Washington, D.C. – Feb. 10-12
  • Chicago – Feb. 17-19
  • San Francisco – Feb. 24-26
  • Los Angeles – March 3-5

Of note, these tours will be open to the public on the last days respectively. The first two days are invitation-only affairs. The Switch will be brought to other public venues, however. PAX South in San Antonia (Jan. 27-29), PAX East in Boston (March 10-12), and SXSW in Austin, Texas (March 16-18) are confirmed to have a Switch demo booth present courtesy of Nintendo.

Over in Paris, France, fans can try out the Switch on January 14th through 15th at the Grand Palais. Fans have a chance to win attendance through Facebook and Twitter.

How can the Switch be purchased at launch?

As far as bundles, we don’t know. A Switch port of Splatoon is said to be bundled with the “premium” edition (much like Nintendo Land was originally bundled with the 32 gig Wii U).

The Switch would only be available at launch in a default grey color. There’s a slight chance for more colors later on. Remember that the Wii U was only ever available in either black or white, though. The Switch’s Joy-Con controllers will also be available to purchase separately, unlike the Wii U GamePad, which was ultimately too expensive to sell on its own.

And as for storage?

The Switch is rumored to carry 32 gigs of on-board storage for games and apps: the same amount on-board the premium Wii U unit. However, micro SD cards up to 128 gigs are supported for extra space.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.