Nintendo Switch – First Games, Release Date, Price, Online Service Revealed

Henry Gilbert
Games Super Mario
Games Super Mario Nintendo

Well, after months and months of teases and winks, the secret is out. We now know how much the Nintendo Switch will cost and when it will go on sale. Not only that, but what games it will see not only at launch, but in the year to come. Here’s a list of the most pertinent facts from the live stream.

The Release Date: March 3

That one is a bit earlier than many expected to get their hands on the system. Even with a planned March release announced before, who would’ve guessed the system would go on sale on the first Friday of March? Not only that, but it’ll be launching alongside the very highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Price: $299

Nintendo Switch Price

Unlike the Wii U, there are no multiple price points or machines of different sizes or packages. Though there will be different colored JOY-CON controllers offered, every version of the Switch on sale on March 3 will be $300 (plus tax of course). That’s a bit lower than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched at, but very close in price to the Wii U. Is that low enough to engage early adopters?

The First Games

Nintendo Revealed a long list of new and returning games for the Switch during its presentation. But what are the first games on the system? Specifically, what will you be playing at launch on the console? There are five different Switch titles arriving March 3, so let’s go one by one and take another look at the Switch’s first games.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This is the make-or-break title that the Nintendo Switch desperately needed at launch. Originally announced as a Wii U exclusive, fans have been waiting years and years for this new Zelda adventure. and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks to totally change the series formula for another generation. The kingdom of Hyrule is in ruins, Link is left to explore a far more open world with less obvious objectives. Not only that but the game will feature the series’ first-ever use of voice acting (CDi titles don’t count). This is an exciting, watershed moment for one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, and it’s an even bigger deal now that it’s one of Nintendo Switch’s first games.


Though Zelda takes up a considerable amount of the spotlight, there is another Nintendo release coming on launch day. 1-2-Switch is the party game that feels like a throwback to the Wii, using the Switch’s JOY-CON controllers to create tons of funny moments in multiple goofy challenges. Milk cows, swing samurai swords and count ball bearings with multiple clever uses of the system’s marquee HD Rumble feature. As you’ll see in the above video, Fandom editors Bob and Henry had a great time with the silly minigame collection.

Super Bomberman R

Some hardcore gaming fans had thought that Bomberman had dropped his last explosive. After getting purchased by Konami, it had been years since we saw a new Bomberman title. By Switch launch that’ll all change with the brand new Super Bomberman R. It’ll have new modes and boss battles, but also makes room for Bomberman’s classic, chaotic multiplayer. It looks like a welcome return to gaming for a mascot many had been missing.

Skylanders: Imaginators

The last two of Switch’s first games are some seemingly simple ports of some of 2016’s top all-ages games. The Skylanders series has been a big hit on Nintendo systems since its launch, so it’s no surprise the toys-to-life craze will be one of the Switch’s first games. All of the series’ many toys will be compatible from launch onward. Just nine days after the Switch arrives, Imaginators will also be getting a new character pack. Not a bad March for Spyro and his friends.

Just Dance 2017

Nintendo Switch First Games

Lastly, we’ve got the most recent Just Dance release. The Just Dance series has to be one of Nintendo’s biggest third-party successes of the last decade, with kids and parents (and even President Obama) getting down to the games. Just Dance 2017 also comes packaged with three free months access to the Just Dance Unlimited service.

The Online: Free (And Then Paid)

Nintendo Switch Online

As expected, the Nintendo Switch will have online functionality, but it’s breaking with tradition from previous Nintendo consoles. Though the system will launch with a free online service, by the fall there will be a paid model. Access to the eShop, registering friends, sharing screens on social media is all free. Meanwhile, in the fall, online gaming and voice chat will be part of a yet-to-be-described paid service. And that paid account will also include free games and special deals. More details to come.

The Controllers: Multiple Colors

Nintendo Switch Joy Con Colors

Lastly, Nintendo Switch has some new cosmetic upgrades. The system will launch with both the grey attachable JOY-CON controllers, but also with red and blue models. Not only that, but there’s the promise of even more colors in the future. Of course, separate JOY-CON pairs are sold for $80 — who said being fashionable was cheap?

Fandom’s original Nintendo Switch story follows…

[UPDATE] Nintendo was deafeningly silent after first showing the Switch in the below trailer. And it seems like information on the Nintendo Switch will be very light for the next couple months. Nintendo confirmed via tweets that the world will learn more about the Switch in a special presentation on January 12.

Will this be similar to Nintendo’s usual Directs? Nintendo did confirm the stream will have hands-on, and finally reveal the price, specific launch date, and the launch games. As for the rest, we’ll just all have to wait patiently until the new year. Until then, let’s reexamine what we already know.

The original Nintendo Switch story follows…

In the wake of the reveal of the Nintendo Switch, a number of new details have trickled out. Nintendo has been talking to the worldwide press and confirming/denying things left and right. For example, in an interview with Japanese publication Famitsu (translated by Destructoid), Nintendo confirmed the Switch isn’t backward compatible with the Wii U or the 3DS. Not only are Wii U discs and 3DS carts incompatible with Switch hardware, but apparently digital downloads of those console games won’t work either on the console.

Meanwhile, Nintendo has refused to comment on most other aspects of the Switch. As Kotaku reported, Nintendo wouldn’t confirm if the Switch has a touchscreen or not. Nintendo was also silent on price, on the battery life of the tablet, or if the system will be region-free. Nintendo even hinted to other outlets that new Nintendo Switch info won’t surface until 2017. Though given how many leaks happened before Switch’s reveal, I bet we’ll hear something before that.

Switch it Up!

It’s time to switch up what you’ve been calling the next Nintendo console. The NX is no more. In a reveal this morning, the world first got to see the Nintendo Switch. Check out the impressive trailer.

Console Features

This video confirmed so many things we had heard before. The Nintendo Switch is a console/portable hybrid you play at home or on the go. There’s a stand to play it on your TV, but you can also attach controllers to the side of the tablet screen and take that same processing power with you on the go.

Nintendo Switch Console Hub

The trailer also quickly confirmed multiple ways of input. There’s the Joy-Con controller that holds the two side inputs together.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller

There’s also playing it like a Wii U GamePad by putting the left and right Joy-Con’s on the side of the controller. Or you can use each side of the controllers separately, or some games can even be played Wii Remote-style with just one in your hand.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller On Plane
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller NBA
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Mario Kart 8

There’s also an option for a “real” controller with what looks to be a Joy-Con Pro.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Pro

Nintendo Switch Games

Portable/home hybrid hardware is nice, but the Nintendo Switch will be defined by its software. Of the games we saw in the trailer, the biggest new one has to be an all-new, unnamed Mario game.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Mario Game Reveal

It has the graphical style of the recent Super Mario 3D World, but with a close camera right behind Mario. Bonus points to anyone who notices the amiibo under the TV there, confirming amiibo functionality will carry over to Switch. We also saw The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 which appear to be Wii U ports, along with the upcoming Skyrim Remaster and an NBA title. Check out the new Breath of the Wild trailer.

Not only that, but it was confirmed the games are on cartridges similar to 3DS games.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Cartridges

The system runs on the NVIDIA Tegra processor. It’s a custom GPU made by NVIDIA for powerful mobile gaming. Here’s more of the technical details on the Tegra. Also, Nintendo also teased out a list of the publishers currently making Nintendo Switch games.


When Does Nintendo Switch Hit Stores?

The lengthy trailer then ended with one last bite of news. Nintendo Switch will be out next March. That was the previous window of time.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Release Date

That’s all we can currently deconstruct from the trailer. Check out our full analysis video below. As we learn more, we will update this article, so keep checking back.

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Henry Gilbert
Henry Gilbert is Senior Games Editor at Fandom. He's worked in the gaming press since 2008, writing for sites as diverse as GamesRadar, IGN, and Paste Magazine. He's also been known to record a podcast or two with Laser Time. Follow him on Twitter @henereyg.