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Making the switch

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March 3 will mark the day that all gamers have been waiting for – the release of Nintendo’s newest gaming console, the Nintendo Switch.

First publicly hinted at on March 17, 2016 during the announcement of a partnership between Nintendo and DeNA, a mobile commerce company, the system (then referred to by its codename, the “NX”) and its sudden first-time mention of its existence puzzled many people. For months, there was speculation about what it could be. With the financial failure of the Wii U, the system’s predecessor, everyone did agree that it was important that the NX be announced soon.

Finally, on October 20, 2016, the Nintendo Switch was officially revealed with a trailer that was broadcasted live to Twitch and YouTube. The Internet completely exploded. Reddit’s front page was filled with reposts of the announcement trailer, Twitter’s trending tweets were doing the same, as was Facebook. Floods of people proclaiming that Nintendo was making a huge comeback after the failure of the Wii U. People were truly excited.

Then, on January 12, 2017, Nintendo struck back with a special hour-long presentation, broadcasted live to Twitch and YouTube from Tokyo, Japan. This event made the hype for the Switch absolutely skyrocket. At the presentation, many things were finally revealed and expanded upon – the launch date of March 3, the price of $300, the much-anticipated lack of region locking (which normally restricts people from playing games of another region on a separate region’s system), the special abilities of the Joy-Con controllers – but most importantly, the games. It was announced that more than 80 games were currently in development for the Switch and that well over 45 third-party companies would be supporting the system.

As for the launch titles, the games that would release on the same day as the system, the lineup was revealed to a mixed reception, with the exception of one game – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  The game has been anticipated to unimaginable amounts. In development for more than five years, with several trailers releasing over that time, Breath of the Wild is the first in the Legend of Zelda series to incorporate full voice acting and an entirely open-world style of gameplay.  Breath of the Wild alone is expected to make the Switch sell many units within the first weeks of launch.

There were no shortage of other games announced, either – from sequels to an entirely new IP (intellectual property). Some of the games revealed at the January 12 event included Splatoon 2 (a sequel to the hit Wii U title, Splatoon), ARMS (Nintendo’s new aforementioned IP, a cartoony boxing game), 1-2-Switch (a new party game by Nintendo, meant for demonstrating what the Switch’s controllers, the Joy-Cons, are capable of), Super Mario Odyssey (a brand new open-world Mario adventure), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (an enhanced version of the Wii U title Mario Kart 8), and Octopath Traveller (a new JRPG game developed by the creators of the Bravely series for the Nintendo 3DS), just to name a few.

As soon as the presentation ended, pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch were put up on online retailers across the globe and all sold out within the first hour. Since the event, it has been nigh impossible to grab even a single pre-order for the Switch. Anytime a new stock arrives for a store, they are all bought out within the first few minutes. This stands as a testament to just how much people are looking forward to the system.
The future looks very bright for Nintendo. With the Switch’s launch a mere two and a half weeks away and pre-orders sold out everywhere, one can have nothing but optimism for the success of the system. Soon, it will be time for us all to make the switch.

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The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School
Making the switch