In less than fifteen hours, Nintendo will take the stage in Tokyo, Japan and give us all those juicy little bits about its most hyped console in over a decade, the Nintendo Switch. Right now, I’m going to take a couple stabs at what I think we’re going to hear. Because why not? It passes the time.
Here are my Nintendo Switch predictions for Nintendo’s January 12 event (which starts at 11 pm eastern, if you want to stay up and watch).
There have been a lot of rumors floating around regarding the Nintendo Switch’s price. Most say that the console will start at $249, with another version packing on additional storage for $299. If there is one thing Nintendo is terrible at, it is manufacturing enough product, and multiple SKUs aren’t going to help that. The smart move is one version of the Nintendo Switch at $299, and I think Nintendo is going to be smarter this time around.
One SKU, one storage option. 32 GB, just like the Deluxe edition of the Wii U. Here are the download sizes of some popular Wii U games (warning – this might blow your brain a little):
- Mario Kart 8 – 4.9 GB
- Splatoon – 1.8 GB
- Super Mario 3D World – 1.6 GB
- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD – 2.6 GB
- Super Smash Bros Wii U: 15.6 GB
All of those games total 26.5 GB of data. The actual usable space on the Wii U Deluxe came to around 25 GB, which means it came pretty darn close to fitting those five games on it. That’s pretty amazing. Nintendo will be just fine offering 32 GB, and with patents showing a potential SD card slot, there’s even less reason for anyone to worry about running out of space.
At this juncture, it would be foolish for Nintendo to leave out a touch screen — the DS, 3DS, and Wii U all made use of the tech. And those little detachable Joy-Cons? They’re absolutely Wiimotes. Nintendo has the potential to offer a robust Virtual Console capable of emulating 30+ years of games, and they know (and so do you) that you’re going to rebuy them all again.
There were some rumbles about VR showing up in patents. At 720p, that doesn’t seem like a great experience to me, and the VR patent feels more like Nintendo leaving the door open in the future for a more powerful Switch device.
As far as battery goes — I’m going to say that Nintendo boasts four hours of battery life. It could be capable of more, but it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver (almost every electronics company does this).
There will be no Nintendo Karen tonight in Japan.
Nintendo’s never really disappointed with third-party support out of the gate — the question is, can the Switch sustain that momentum throughout its life cycle? We’ll definitely see more of what we saw in Nintendo’s teaser. That’s more Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the new Super Mario game, Mario Kart, Splatoon, Skyrim (yeah, they’ll finally confirm it), and more. I expect we’ll get announcements for ports of Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario Maker, and a reel of additional, never-before-seen third-party titles coming to the Switch.
But here are the big ones. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a launch title. The new Super Mario Bros. game is not. Because it would be madness for Nintendo to release both of those games at the same time. Instead, you’ll see a lot of what you saw at the Wii U’s launch: one anchor Nintendo title, some big third-party names, and a bunch of smaller third-party and indie games to fill things out.
Nintendo Switch Predictions: The Recap
My predictions are:
- Price: $299
- Onboard storage: 32 GB
- Touch screen: YES
- Joy-Con Wiimote compatibility: YES
- VR: NO
- Battery: 4 HOURS
- Karen: ABSOLUTELY NO KAREN
- Games: Zelda at launch, Mario later, Skyrim is coming, ports of Smash & Mario Maker
You’ll be able to catch Nintendo’s stream on Twitch. January 12 at 11 pm eastern (tonight!).