Excitement is building about the upcoming Nintendo Switch, with rumors swirling about the device.
Now it appears that we have some information on when the hybrid games console will be released. According to Twitter user Laura Kate Dale, the Nintendo Switch will be released on 17 March 2017.
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17 March floated as launch date for Nintendo Switch
“Being told March 17th is currently planned Switch launch day in PAL, will release worldwide that same week but not the same date all regions,” she tweeted.
If it’s true, the release may only be in PAL territories, but the claim has drawn a lot of attention online. It is the first time that an exact date for the release of the device has been mentioned.
Being told March 17th is currently planned Switch launch day in PAL, will release worldwide that same week but not same date all regions.
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) November 2, 2016
Nintendo had confirmed that the Switch would be available by March next year. Now Dale reports that the exact date will be 17 March.
Dale cites sources that she says can be trusted after they correctly told her the date that the official Nintendo Switch trailer would be released. At the same time, it’s important to remain wary of this sort of information.
LetsPlayVideoGames have a strong record in gaming news
However, TechRadar says that the report could be correct. The publication has revealed that Nintendo consoles have previously launched on Fridays in PAL territories, and 17 March is also a Friday.
There has so far been no information on when the Nintendo Switch will launch in North America or Japan. However, Dale believes that buyers in Japan will get their hands on the device a few days earlier than others, with other countries receiving the Switch in the same week.
While more information may emerge that changes this tentative launch date, it is the best information that we have to go on at the moment. Dale works for LetsPlayVideoGames, which has proven to have good sources in the past. The publication reviewed the PS4 Slim a long time before Sony made any official announcement, and also published information about the developer kit for the Nintendo Switch.
Pricing rumors put Switch on par with rivals
Given the fact that Nintendo has suggested a March release date, it would come as no surprise if this turned out to be true. Other rumors have been swirling regarding the price of the console and the launch lineup.
Some recent reports suggest that the Nintendo Switch will cost more than previous Nintendo consoles. Coming in at between $300 and $350, the Switch will cost around the same as major competitors.
“A long-in-the-works revamp to the company’s consoles — the NX, with reveal coming next week — is liable to come at a price that will result in a “major” disappointment for volume sales, the firm Macquarie says,” according to a post on investor website Seeking Alpha. “Speculation is putting the price of the new console between $300 and $350, in line with competing consoles, vs. the Wii’s former discount to rival boxes from Sony and Microsoft.”
Unique mobile/console hybrid device
If the Switch does sell for around the same price as its competitors, Nintendo could struggle to maintain market share. That certainly appears to be the worry from some commentators.
However, Nintendo does not appear to be taking on Sony and Microsoft in the high-performance console market. While the upcoming PlayStation and Xbox consoles concentrate on delivering incredible performance and 4K gaming, the Switch is a different proposition.
As a hybrid mobile/console device, the Switch will allow for innovative gameplay experiences. It will also be able to offer Nintendo games such as Zelda and Mario Kart.
The good news for Nintendo is that third-party developers have so far shown strong support for the Switch. There has been no confirmation of the launch lineup for the upcoming console, but big developers such as Ubisoft, Rockstar, and the Pokemon Company have all spoken of their intention to make games for the Switch.
If Nintendo is going to sell a lot of units, it needs to make sure that there are high-quality games for people to play. At first glance, the Switch looks like an intriguing proposition in terms of hardware, and the challenge now is making sure that the games offering can attract buyers.
For gaming fans, it looks like things are about to get very exciting. Many will have to choose between the Switch and the new Sony and Microsoft consoles. The decision will be a personal one, but hopefully it’s a tough one to make.