After over a year spent speculating on what Nintendo had planned for us with the once-named NX, the last week has seen the company give us more and more details. Firstly, the NX has been announced as the Nintendo Switch and last week saw the company release a trailer, so we knew what we were getting next year upon release. Now, we have been told that January 12th will connect the remaining dots.
Trailer shows game play; Switch release, pricing, and games will become known in January
Nintendo told the world today that it will host its Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 on January 12th roughly two months before it is released (we think). Yesterday, I wrote extensively on Nintendo’s finances and the need for the company to ship two million units following release and the end of March when the company closes its books for the fiscal year.
The event will be held in Tokyo, not its headquarters in Kyoto, and according to the company it will enlighten us on ‘the launch date and pricing for Nintendo Switch, as well as a look at the lineup of games currently in development.”
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At present, and owing to the trailer released last week with confirmation from the company, the Nintendo Switch will launch with at least The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dragon Quest XI, Just Dance 2017 and Project Sonic 2017. Whether or not Skyrim and NBA 2K will be available when the Switch is released is unknown, but each game was featured in the first and only trailer for the Nintendo Switch.
While Nintendo is forcing the world to wait until sometime in March to purchase the device, the company promised today that member of the press in both the US and Europe would be invited to numerous events where the Switch will be demoed in the days following the January announcement and the Switch’s release to the public.
While we know the date we don’t know the time of the event but Nintendo promises to post that information on unspecified social media “in the coming weeks.”
Nintendo president promises that the Switch is just a start and more is coming for the system
Eyebrows were certainly raised last week when we got our first look at the Switch hybrid gaming system, but Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima promises that what we witnessed was only the beginning.
“By no means was that everything,” Kimishima said referring to add-ons that will be made available either before or after the launch of the Switch sometime in March. These promises came in the first interview with Kimishima since the video showing the Switch went live.
Following the video, Nintendo’s stock dropped nearly 8% the next day, and Kimishima elaborated on that in this same interview.
“To tell you the truth, I was surprised,” Kimishima said. “I don’t understand why.”
I may understand why. Many analysts have been calling on Nintendo (won’t happen) to drop the manufacturer of its hardware and console systems to cater its popular library of games from Zelda to Mario Brothers to smartphones and tablets, and the Switch appeared to fly in the face of this to many investors.
It should be noted that that doesn’t seem to be the case with Nintendo finally opening up the Mario titles to smartphones in December when it releases Mario Brothers Run for iOS.
Nintendo has struggled to get things back on track financially since the Wii reinvented gaming to an extent and Nintendo has been struggling since 2009 when the decline in sales began in earnest in both its software and hardware sales. While Pokemon Go certainly helped its bottom line, that revenue is shared by the game’s developer and companies like Apple which take a large cut of in-app purchases.
Speaking to the add-ons expected next year, Kimishima who took over the reins at Nintendo last year following the death of his predecessor Satoru Iwata, said, “It may be appropriate to call them accessories. Or it might be better to call them add-on hardware. It’s probably more correct to call them accessories. You can assume that there will be a wider array.”
Kimishima also explained why the company is remaining vague about what games will be offered with the launch but vowed to show the public in January. “One thing we still can’t show is the software lineup. We want people to touch the device in January and experience the software for themselves.”
For now, it appears that Nintendo is choosing to go it along and has suggested that the company will not open up the Switch to accessories from third-party manufacturers but did rein this in a bit and hedging with “we are interested in VR.”
Virtual reality by all measures looks like the future of gaming and Nintendo’s president spoke to this as well.
“VR offers new ways of playing, but that depends on what kind of software can be played,” he said. “If you ask us whether there are any possibilities, we can’t say no. It may be that we will build VR software titles, I think that opportunity is available to us.”