Nintendo Switch: Live Stream Impressions

So today saw Nintendo flesh out the previously released information about the Nintendo Switch console which is launching on the 3rd March. 2016 was a huge year for games if not consoles, but 2017 is shaping up pretty huge in that regard as well.

Some initial impressions:

1. The controller, whether in the ‘normal’ play mode or when pulled into its component parts, seems too small / flimsy to me. I like the dedicated screen capture button (with video capture apparently coming down the track) and the HD Rumble system appears to be a big improvement on the Wii and Wii U functionality as far as vibrations.

2. The 1-2 Switch game looks fun, think Wii Party on steroids. It launches on March 3rd as well.

3. The Arms game looks even better – I can see this one being a huge hit. I can also see each player’s wrists getting a very heavy workout. Solo and versus player options out of the box with online battles coming – no set release date except ‘Spring’

4. Splatoon 2: I would have been surprised if this franchise hadn’t made it onto the Switch and it is indeed there with a new game with extra weapons and new battle zones. Not launching until ‘Summer’

5. Super Mario Odyssey: sandbox world – looks huge and is cited as the first big successor to Mario 64. Coming 2017 ‘Holiday season’ so at end of year.

6. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: looks impressive, not a lot of detail though, no launch date.

7. Other games shown briefly or announced: Dragon Quest 10 and 11 (Japan only), Dragon Quest Heroes, Project Octopath Traveller, Skyrim, EA Sports Fifa,

Overall, Nintendo have shown they have a substantive platform in the Switch. Like a number of their previous console launches, there remains a concern over launch titles. As fun as Arms and 1-2 Switch look, I’m also wanting a big title to play with. Zelda is confirmed as a launch title but unfortunately it looks like we will have to wait a while for the other big games. I’m honestly dumbfounded that Mario Kart didn’t get a mention at all aside from Mario Kart 8 being shown in the initial introduction.

The live stream hasn’t changed much for me: I’m keen to use it, but I’m worried about what games I will be able to use it with. Maybe I need to become a bigger Zelda fan.

2016 was a huge year for games if not consoles, but 2017 is shaping up pretty huge in that regard as well – I just hope the Switch ends up being a big part of that.

For ongoing Switch coverage, check out Polygon, IGN and CNET to name three

To finish off, here’s some assorted pictures from the live stream:

Wii U Australian Release Date Confirmed

For those like me who love a bit of Nintendo action, you’ll be pleased to know we have some more info on the Wii U and its release date and pricing in Australia. It’s an iconic console and it seems that’s not about to change with the latest update to the franchise.

A launch was held at midnight last night, with the following snippets provided:

1. 30th November 2012 is the release date

2. There’ll be two ‘packs’ you can buy. Either:

A Basic pack which includes a
– Wii U Console (White)
– Internal flash memory 8GB
– Wii U GamePad (White) x1
– Wii U GamePad stylus (White)
– Wii U AC Adapter x1
– Wii U GamePad AC Adapter x1
– HDMI Cable (1.5m) x1
– no sensor bar included – but you can use one from your old Wii or buy one separately
PRICE: AU $349.95


A Premium Pack which includes:

– Wii U Console (Black)
– Internal flash memory 32GB
– Wii U GamePad (Black) x1
– Wii U GamePad stylus (Black)
– Wii U GamePad Cradle
– Wii U GamePad Stand
– Wii U Console Stand
– Wii U AC Adapter
– Wii U GamePad AC Adapter
– HDMI Cable (1.5m)
– Sensor bar x1
PRICE: $429.95

3. As far as games go, the only confirmed available for launch day itself is Nintendo Land, but a bunch more games are due out pretty soon afterwards: New Super Mario Bros U, Rayman Legends, Zombiu, FIFA 13, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Wii Fit U and SiNG

4. You can play “almost all” Wii games on the Wii U

5. Other features of the console include:


Miiverse is a brand new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content.

Using their personalised Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing.

From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favourite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.

TV Remote

The Wii U GamePad may also function as an infrared TV Remote, whether users are watching TV or playing a game.
Near Field Communication (NFC)

The Wii U GamePad has the ability to communicate wirelessly with objects that are held above it. This allows for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities.
Nintendo eShop

The digital storefront for Wii U will be available at launch and offer a variety of content for people to download and enjoy. Consumers will also be able to purchase and download select games that are also available at retail stores.

There are plenty of ways to discover new games on Nintendo eShop:
you can watch trailers, view charts based on popularity, or search for games using a variety of search filters.

Video Entertainment

Nintendo is working with other partners to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience. Additional details will be released at a later time.
Video Chat

Using the built-in camera of the Wii U GamePad, people can communicate with other Wii U owners in real time.
Internet Browser

Wii U comes with a browser that lets people with a wireless Internet connection surf the Internet from the comfort of their couches. Using the simple controls on the Wii U GamePad, it’s possible to display your favourite web pages on the TV to share with family and friends, or just browse the web on the GamePad without using the TV. You can even use the browser when you are in the middle of a game!
Compatibility with Wii games

In addition to being able to play almost all Wii games you already have, you can also continue to use your controllers and other accessories such as Wii Remote Plus (and Wii Remote) controllers, and Nunchuk controllers.

Please note: excludes some software and accessories.

I for one am counting the days until I can play the next iteration of Mario Kart. Please Nintendo, tell me you’re working on that as we speak… I’ll also now have no excuse not to play Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty – aside from money to buy the damn games of course.

Over to you: how appealing is the Wii U to you?

[via Nintendo AU]