Predicting The Nintendo Switch Live Stream Event

The moment is night: the Nintendo Switch live event is happening in a matter of hours, tonight at 11 PM Eastern/8 PM Pacific. With a live stream featuring Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima and 55 minutes to spare, anything could happen.

That said, we’ve had months of rumors and speculation building up to tonight, shaping our hopes and expectations for the Switch. And now, we’re putting together what we predict for tonight’s formative event. Everything below draws its basis in the aforementioned rumors and things we already have a strong idea about.

So, without further ado:

What we will see

Launch date, price: When the Switch will launch and for how much are the number one questions, collectively, that everyone awaiting tonight has. What do we think it will go for and when? Here’s our spitball: March 17th for $249 USD, with a $300 bundle option.

March 17th makes a lot of sense as a release date. It keeps the fans waiting but not waiting too long into the month. Previous Nintendo home consoles were also released in the middle of their own release months, going back to the GameCube in 2001 (November 18th, same day as the Wii U in 2012).

And $249.99 would place the Switch in much better desirability than the Wii U was at $299/$249 back in 2012. $250 places the system in more impulse buy territory for what it is, and slightly cheaper than both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

A $300 bundle with an included game would be a fair bargain to offer, hopefully with the rumored inclusion of a new Splatoon (port).

Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the console’s signature launch release: The upcoming Zelda has been co-opted far too much in the Switch’s marketing that it is reasonable to expect the game on launch day. Zelda was in the Switch’s reveal trailer, demonstrated on Jimmy Fallon’s late night show, and is subject to accessory merchandising. Like Twilight Princess and the Wii ten years ago, Breath of the Wild will be a powerful driving force for Switch purchases.

What We Expect To See

Launch window line-up: Based on countless rumors from sources, we should expect to see the names of Mario Kart, Splatoon, and Super Mario at the presentation, guaranteed. They will also be titled and given release windows, or dates if we’re lucky. This should also include third party games, with likely appearances from Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2017 and Bethesda’s Skyrim: Special Edition. Other confirmed titles like LEGO City Undercover and Rive will be in Nintendo’s listings, too.

Additional Switch functionality confirmed: Nintendo has said there are more secrets to the Switch to be revealed, so there is plenty of assumption to believe we’ll formally learn about the Switch’s motion controls, IR pointing, and touch screen functionality. There will absolutely be a McGuffin of the Switch that gives it the patented Nintendo “twist”.

What We Want To See

GameCube Virtual Console: Whether Virtual Console is big enough to bring to a major console event is a matter for debate (not a whisper of Virtual Console was made at the Wii U’s own pre-launch event in 2012). But if we’re really not asking for too much, we’d like to see GameCube get a mention, or make an appearance tonight. With Super Smash Bros. Melee. It’d bring the house down for die hard fans and guarantee some Switch purchases.

Mother 3 western release?: The former Brownie Brown studio now known as 1-Up Studios will be attending the Switch event, as they’ve tweeted out. 1-Up Studios is also a fully-owned subsidy of Nintendo, giving some level of credence that they’ll have a project on display or announced. Could it be the fabled Mother 3, the Earthbound installment never released officially in the west? Or are they showing up in solidarity? If Mother 3 doesn’t show, we’ll be plenty disappointed in its absence.

There’s plenty more to speculate about, but we’ve kept our predictions succinct and brief. Stay tuned for tonight and the next few days for all updates on the Nintendo Switch.

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Editor-in-Chief (Former)

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.