We finally know when we can buy a Nintendo Switch, and how much we’ll have to pay for it.
Nintendo revealed during a streaming event today that the home console/portable hybrid will release on March 3 for $300. This fulfills the Japanese company’s promise of a March 2017 launch. The Switch will be Nintendo’s seventh major home console, following the disappointing Wii U. It will not have region locking, meaning you can play games from any territory on it — games from Japan will work in North America and Europe as well.
For comparison, a PlayStation 4 Pro goes for $400, while an Xbox One S starts at $300. To compare it with past Nintendo consoles, 2012’s Wii U launched at $300 for a basic bundle with 8 GB of storage, while the deluxe version sold for $350 and came with the Nintendoland game. Its predecessor, 2006’s Wii, cost $250 at launch. Nintendo’s systems usually cost less than its competitors because they have less powerful hardware.
The launch will be an important one for Nintendo. The Wii U failed to generate excitement or sales. And the Switch doesn’t just need to make up for the Wii U. Its portable capabilities could also make it a successor to the 3DS, an aging system that has sold over 62 million machines since its launch in 2011.
Prior to this stream, Nintendo generated hype for the Switch with a short reveal video last October and an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Even before the release of this new system, Nintendo has begun to turn its prospects around. It found success over the holidays with the NES Classic Edition, while its Super Mario Run was a big hit on mobile.
We also found out that the Siwtch’s battery life when undocked will last from 2.5 hours to 6 hours. The joycon controllers have haptic-based rumble and an infrared camera that can detect shapes and objects. It can also has an NFC reader that can work with Amiibos.
The Switch comes either all in black or with colored Joy-Cons.