If you’ve been waiting to heart word of Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console, you’re in luck: the company has just announced the price and release date for its newest offering.
The Nintendo Switch will drop on March 3, and will be available for $299 in North America. Alongside the console at launch, there will also be a physically interactive mini-game collection called 1-2 Switch, meant to show off some of the Switch controller’s new features, as well as the long-awaited Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a new Super Mario game called Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo announced the launch date and price at its Switch keynote event in Tokyo.
The Switch marks a departure for Nintendo consoles in that it blends together home console and portable gaming into one device. The actual console is contained within a tablet-like device that can be taken on-the-go. It’ll feature a built-in 6.2-inch display with touch capabilities, The Verge reported. Nintendo says that the Switch’s battery life can last anywhere from 2 and a half to 6 hours, depending on the game.
For home gaming, the tablet can be attached to a TV or monitor via a dock, and will function like a traditional home console. The tablet’s controls can be detached into two separate “Joy-Con” controllers for multiplayer play, or fixed to an accessory called a “Joy-Con Grip” to be used as a single, standalone controller. There will likely also be similar accessories to setup the Joy-Con controllers in different configurations. For fans of more traditional peripherals, Nintendo will sell a standard “Pro” controller separately.
Alongside the console and game announcements, Nintendo said that it will be launching its own online gaming service — similar to Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus. It’ll be free at first, but will eventually switch to a fixed subscription rate later on, according to Popular Mechanics.
Rather than traditional gaming discs, the Switch’s game will be loaded onto small, SD card-like cartridges. Games are also expected to be available for digital download — at the event, Nintendo said it will offer a free classic game to users from the Nintendo or Super Nintendo Entertainment System library through the newly announced online gaming service, USA Today reported.
The Nintendo Switch is currently available to pre-order from a handful of retailers, or from Nintendo’s website.