Nintendo Switch: Release date, price and features

Everything you need to know about the new console ahead of its launch next month

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The Independent Tech

Nintendo has unveiled the Switch, the company’s first games console since the disappointing Wii U. 

As its name suggests, the Nintendo Switch prides itself on versatility, with the surprisingly small handheld/console hybrid capable of being hooked up to a TV at home or being used in multiple modes on the go.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch, ahead of its release.

Release date

Nintendo last month announced that consumers will be able to get their hands on the Switch from 3 March, with the console launching in the UK and the US on the same day. 

Naturally, the console will arrive alongside a number of games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Fifa and Minecraft.

Price

The Switch will cost £279.99 in the UK, which is slightly higher than expected, placing it in the same bracket as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Wii U was available for £100 less when it came out, and still struggled to attract buyers.

Pre-orders have already opened, which unfortunately means that the Switch is already out of stock at a number of retailers, such as GAME and Zavvi. On Amazon, the red and blue version of the Switch is sold out, but you can still pre-order the understated grey model. Tesco, however, has all bases covered.

An additional Joy-Con controller, meanwhile, will set you back £42.99, a pair will cost £74.99 and a pro controller, which isn’t included with the console, will be available for £64.99.

Nintendo hasn’t officially announced pricing for the Switch’s online subscription service yet, but company president Tatsumi Kimishima has told Japanese publication Nikkei that it will cost 2,000 - 3,000 yen per year. 

That equates to £14-£21, which is cheaper than expected. In contrast, an annual subscription to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold costs £40.

Features

The Switch is unique. A handheld/console hybrid, it works by combining a portable screen that sits in the main hub with Joy-Con controllers. 

It can either be used as a traditional console, with the hub plugged into the TV and the controllers working wirelessly, in handheld mode, where the controllers attach to each side of the touchscreen, or tabletop mode, with the controllers detached and a kickstand propping it up.

The Switch won't support streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer at launch, but Nintendo is understood to be "researching" a virtual reality element.

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