Virtual Console, the subsection of Nintendo's online eShop that peddles downloadable games from across the company's history, won't be available for Switch owners at launch. The news is confirmed in a Feb. 23 email that also lists the three indie games that will be available in the eShop at launch. Two of those games are Shovel Knight. There's no word on when Virtual Console titles will be available for Switch. Nintendo's email plainly states that it "will share more information in the future."
As anyone could have expected, it's more or less impossible to find a Nintendo Switch right now. The console just saw a successful launch with estimates up at 1.5 million sold, which seems to be more of a measure of how many consoles Nintendo made than anything else. Sellouts happen, especially with Nintendo -- we'll note that you still can't reliably buy a mini NES Classic Edition -- representing who knows how much lost income for the Japanese game maker. International retailers still aren't sure when new stock is coming in, and what stock US stores received has sold out within moments. It could be a problem for a company that wisely chose to launch its console in a less competitive March, but needs to be able to take advantage of the spotlight.
Nintendo's new home-and-away console has been unveiled in Japan. While we haven't got to touch those unusual controllers just yet (that'll be later today), we've got prices, launch titles, and a bunch of features that sound like a Nintendo fan's wish list fulfilled. We also have HTC's newest phone, the possibility of smartphones with folding screens, and a digital camera that leaves photo curation to AI. When our supercut of the press launch weighs in at 12 minutes, you know Nintendo had a lot to tell us about its new console. We've already told you the price and the date, but how about no more region-locking (a Nintendo'tradition'), a proper touchscreen and more.
There's only one more day until the full, worldwide release of the Nintendo Switch, and analyst firm SuperData has decided on a final prediction for how the console will perform in its first year. SuperData estimates that the Nintendo Switch will sell 5 million units in 2017, so effectively its first ten months between March 3rd to December 31st. They cite that it may be difficult to penetrate a market as a "second console" for many players, given the combined 79M install base of the PS4 and Xbox One. The report cites a "high starting price and lack of strong launch titles" which are two statements I vehemently disagree with. And the report itself acknowledges that Zelda will drive sales, but Breath of the Wild, now racking up a collection of perfect review scores, will be one of the strongest launch titles for any new console in recent memory, so I believe they may be underestimating it.
The early game lineup for the Nintendo Switch will see titles from various Nintendo franchises and soon, it could include a new Pokémon title. Pokémon developer Game Freak, via IGN, has two new job postings that hint at a new console Pokémon title. In the first posting for a 3D CG designer, the listing mentions that the role will be for a game that is a long-running and popular monster-based series. In the second posting for a character modeler, candidates need to be able to create models with visual quality comparable to a PlayStation Vita or Wii U. While neither listing outright states the new title will be a Pokémon game, Game Freak has previously said it would be interested in making a game for the Nintendo Switch.