This Friday, March 3rd sees the launch of the latest Nintendo game console, the Nintendo Switch. Many of our stores are opening at 12:01 AM local for a midnight launch, allowing you to start gaming as soon as possible. This post is designed to give you an overview of the Nintendo Switch itself, the lineup of launch games, must-have accessories, and the process of getting your hands on one.
The Switch Hardware
The switch is a true two-in-one hybrid console functioning as both a home gaming system and a portable handheld device. The core of the Switch is a 6.2-inch tablet with a 720P resolution capacitive touch screen. On each side of the tablet is a controller which Nintendo calls a Joy-Con. Each Joy-Con has an analog stick, four face buttons, and shoulder buttons. You can expect to get between three and six hours of battery life depending on the game you are playing.
The Switch can slide seamlessly into the included docking station which provides HDMI output so you can play all of your Switch games on your high definition television. The process of docking or undocking the Switch takes about three seconds and you don’t need to exit or restart your game to switch modes.
The Joy-Cons slide right off of the tablet and become wireless controllers that you can use either on their own freehand or attach to an included grip accessory that turns them into a more traditional type of controller. Each Joy-Con has built in motion sensing technology, allowing them to function similarly to a Wii Remote.
The Nintendo Switch is available at launch in two configurations: with grey Joy-Cons and with neon colored Joy-Cons. Other than the color, there is no difference between the two consoles. Both are priced at $299.99.
The Launch Games
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – This is the big one. The Legend of Zelda is one of the world’s most beloved game series. This installment brings us back to the fully open world nature of the first Zelda game. It gives you a huge world to explore in whatever manner you want to explore it. It is full of the puzzles, dungeons, and items that make Zelda such a special series, and if you only get one game at launch this should probably be it. MSRP is $59.99, or $99.99 for the Special Edition.
1-2-Switch – This is to the Nintendo switch as Wii Sports was to the Nintendo Wii. A fun multiplayer experience based largely around motion controls. 1-2-Switch is a collection of minigames designed not to be played just on the screen, but face to face with other players using audio cues and rumble technology. The best part is you don’t need a second controller to play multiplayer. All you need is the two Joy-Cons that come with every Switch. It looks like a blast to play with two players, or with a big group passing the Joy-Cons around. MSRP is $49.99.
Super Bomberman R – If you’ve never played a Bomberman game, you are missing out. In Bomberman, you control one of several characters trapped in a maze. In single player mode it functions as something of a puzzle game—you need to find your way past the enemies and to the end of the maze. In multiplayer mode, where the series really shines, you and your friends are trapped in an arena where your goal is to survive. As the game progresses, you collect upgrades to be faster, have bigger bombs, and more. It becomes fast passed, frantic, and is some of the most fun you can have playing a video game. MSRP is $49.99.
Just Dance 2017— As the premiere motion-controlled dancing game franchise, Just Dance 2017 is sure to make great use of the Switch’s Joy-Cons. The most exciting part is that this is the first truly portable version of the full Just Dance experience. Plus, as long as you have a smart phone, you can use that in place of a Joy-Con to control the game if you prefer. MSRP is $59.99.
Skylanders Imaginators—The most recent version of the popular Skylanders series is launching with the Switch. Using the built in NFC sensor in the Joy-Con, with Skylanders on Switch you won’t need a base station to load up all of your characters in to the game. The big new feature in this version of Skylanders is the ability to create your own characters, and with the Switch you can use the built in touch screen to do this. MSRP is $59.99.
Extra Joy-Cons—Though in many games the Joy-Cons that come with the Switch can support up to two players, if you want to play with a bigger group you may want to pick up an extra set of Joy-Cons. Also available in Neon colors. MSRP is $79.99 per set.
Joy-Con Charging Grip – Just like the standard Grip that comes with the Switch, this will allow you to combine the two Joy-Cons into a more traditional controller. The Charging Grip’s built in battery will allow you to keep charging your Joy-Cons as you play. MSRP is $29.99.
Pro Controller – As great s the Joy-Cons are, sometimes you want a more traditional controller to play games. The Pro Controller is just that. It gives you a wireless controller in a traditional form factor with Nintendo’s classic D-pad design. MSRP is $69.99.
Nintendo E-Shop Prepaid Cards – Available in denominations of $10, $20, $30, $35, and $50 these cards will allow you to buy digital games and software from Nintendo’s E-Shop. There are a ton of great games coming on the E-Shop, from the innovative new puzzle game SnipperClips to the return to a classic franchise in Blaster Master Zero and more. And that’s all before Nintendo launches their Virtual Console, bringing many of their classic games to the Switch.
Gamers Club Unlocked – This program gets you a ton of benefits. The biggest is 20% off of all new games that you purchase from us. You’ll also get bonus trade in credit, and discounts on pre-owned video games. At only $30 for two years, the program will more than pay for itself after the purchase of just three full priced $60 games.
The Nintendo Switch is launching this Friday, March 3rd. As I noted above, many of our stores are going to be opening at 12:01 AM so you can pick up your Switch as soon as possible. Locations that don’t have a midnight opening event will be opening at the normal time on Friday. There are a couple things to know about this launch to make sure you can pick up your Switch.
If you preordered: If you made your preorder online, make sure that you have a valid photo ID and the credit or debit card that you used to place the preorder with you when you head in to pick it up. We can only release the Switch to the person whose name is on the order, and we’ll need to verify your credit card information at pickup. Make sure that you have the available balance on your card to cover the cost of your order. We don’t actually charge your card when you make the order. Instead, we check for authorization t that point and actually charge the card when the item is ready for pickup. To make sure your preorder doesn’t get canceled you should verify your available balance on your credit card.
If you made your preorder in a store, you’ll need a copy of your preorder receipt. You should be able to use any form of payment that we accept to pay off the balance of your purchase.
If you didn’t preorder: We will have limited stock at all of our stores, excluding our Best Buy Mobile standalone stores, for people that weren’t able to get a preorder. Because quantities are limited, the Switch will be sold on a first come first serve basis, so you may want to arrive early at the store to line up. We’ll be handing out tickets much like we do on Black Friday so you’ll know once we run out of Switches ahead of time. There’s a limit of one Switch per customer.