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Nintendo Switch release date and price confirmed

At a press conference in Japan, Nintendo has dated the release of its new console, a hybrid console that can be used as a home machine or handheld. The Switch will be released on 3 March in most territories worldwide.

Nintendo confirmed the Switch, known up until that point by its codename "NX", in an announcement trailer back in October. March was mentioned as the date then, but the specific date wasn’t clear.

In addition to the date, Nintendo have outlined a price for the console in the U.S: $299. Prices across Europe will vary, but somewhere between £250-300 would be a decent guess for the cost in the UK. Pre-orders will open across multiple retailers today. 

This means that the Nintendo Switch will be slightly more expensive than the base model of the PlayStation 4, the console "to beat" in the home entertainment market. Switch’s unique selling point however is not just that this is a successor to Nintendo’s Wii U, but also for Nintendo’s popular handheld, the 3DS.

Giving the press conference, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has revealed that the device will also be region free, and by 2018 all first party Nintendo development will be focussed on the Switch. This means fans of Nintendo hoping for a console Pokemon or Monster Hunter could get their wish but more importantly means that developers looking to release on the platform effectively will have to look at optimising for two different styles of play: the shorter play times of a handheld and the longer playtimes of a console, all through the same system.

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