Traditionally Nintendo has not been the biggest supporter of eSports. The Smash Bros scene has seen a bit of support from the publisher and competitive Splatoon is something they have always been interested in, but outside of that Nintendo has mainly stayed clear of the industry.
But that all changed when Nintendo first teased its new console the Switch. In a three minute teaser trailer a good portion was dedicated to eSports, with two teams of Splatoon players battling it out in a massive arena, with thousands of fans watching. On Friday January 13th Nintendo fully revealed the Switch, and announced the launch line up, price and release date. They also showed off a couple of games that could succeed as eSports on the new console.
So without further ado we have compiled everything you need to know about what Nintendo plans to do in the world of eSports with the Switch.
The Nintendo Switch
Release date: 3rd March 2017
The Switch, which was initially known as the NX, is a home console cross portable console hybrid. The portable part of the system is a large tablet device, and the joypad controllers can be attached to either side to make it resemble the Wii U gamepad. This part of the console can operate independently. The trailer above shows it off well. The second part of the console is a dock that allows you to connect the device to your TV. by simply dropping the tablet into the dock you can switch from portable to TV based gaming. The trailer really does show it off quite well.
After the initial trailer the console was revealed in more detail at an event on January 13th. The stream of the event can be seen below.
In the reveal trailer a significant chunk of time is dedicated to eSports, and more specifically competitive Splatoon. Two teams battle it out using the Switch, and play in front of a massive stadium audience. Then at the recent event Nintendo confirmed that Splatoon 2 is coming to the Switch. The sequel to one of the Wii U’s most popular titles will feature new maps, weapons and modes while keeping the core gameplay relatively unchanged. With the scene in the teaser trailer showing competitive Splatoon it seems that Nintendo will look to push that even more this time around. Splatoon 2 will be available on the Switch this summer.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
A report from Eurogamer suggests that Nintendo have been working on bring GameCube games to the Virtual Console for the Switch, and one of the first titles is Super Smash Bros. Melee. A lot has been said on the potential port, but if this is a true port with no lag, and there is a GameCube controller adapter for the Switch then we could see the scene adopt the Switch version of the game. This would be a massive boost to the Smash scene and could establish Melee as one of the biggest eSports in the world. Smash Bros was conspicuously absent from the reveal event, with rumours swirling that there will be some kind of announcement at E3.
ULTRA STREET FIGHTER Ⅱ: The Final Challengers
One of the bigger surprises of the reveal event was the announcement of ULTRA STREET FIGHTER Ⅱ: The Final Challengers. The remake of the classic title will feature two new fighters, Evil Ryu and Violent Ken, and will have an optional updated art style. Chances are that this wont replace Street Fighter V on the Capcom Pro Tour anytime soon, but simple local multiplayer Street Fighter will always have some kind of competitive scene.
After giving such a big chunk of time to eSports in the reveal trailer many are speculating that Nintendo will go big on eSports with the Switch. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a ton of multiplayer focused games that could function as eSports hit the new console. We know that both FIFA and NBA2K will be hitting the console later in the year, although chances are the main competitive scene for both games will stay on the Xbox One and PS4.
Nintendo were also keen to talk to us about the Switch’s eSports potential at the recent reveal event, and you can see the resulting video below.
We will update this article as more information is revealed.