In the comments of the Nintendo Switch Presentation recap, I was asked what games would be available at launch for the Switch. It took some research, because Nintendo doesn’t seem to be making a big deal of the Switch’s launch library, focusing more on its unique hardware instead. In fact, the Switch has a deliberately small launch library as part of Nintendo’s master plan. Hit the jump to see what will be available.
Only five launch games have been announced for the Switch so far. This is a staggeringly low number compared to other consoles – the PS4 launched with 26, the Xbox One with 22, and even the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) had 18 titles at launch. Your launch titles for the Switch are:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- 1-2 Switch
- Just Dance 2017
- Skylanders Imaginators
- Super Bomberman R
That lineup may seem too small, but I’ll get back to that in a moment. Nintendo of America recently Tweeted an image, detailing their release schedule for the rest of 2017:
If we consider March 2017 to be the “launch window”, then the Switch will be receiving I am Setsuna, Has been Heroes, Fast RMX, and Snipper Clippers shortly after launch. The rest of the year sees big Nintendo titles launched at strategic intervals – Mariokart 8 Deluxe close to launch, Splatoon 2 in the mid-year gaming dry spell, and Super Mario Odyssey conveniently close to Christmas. The games with a vague “2017” release date will likely launch soon too, simply by the virtue that they have launched on other systems, and their developers have no reason not to release ports soon.
Other games not on the above image, like Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition, Minecraft: Story Mode, and Farming Simulator could also launch soon for the same reason. Of course, this is not confirmed, just my speculation. Eurogamer has a full list of the confirmed Switch games, if you feel like taking a look.
In an interview with CNET, Reggie Fils-Amie (Nintendo of America President and living internet meme) spoke about the small launch lineup. In his words, “launch day is not the be-all and the end-all. It really is the steady pacing of content that continually reinforces for the people who bought into the platform why they made a smart choice, as well as what compels people who might be sitting on the sidelines to jump in”. This ties in to my point about strategic intervals from before, and proves that Nintendo has a good sense of how to keep their fans hooked.
And as for the actual launch games, every one of them takes advantage of the Switch’s unique capabilities. Just Dance 2017, and 1-2 Switch use the motion controls, Skylanders Imaginators will use the Joycon’s RFC readers, Super Bomberman R will have multiplayer gameplay for up to eight players, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild just looks incredible in general.
The Nintendo Switch launches worldwide on 3 March 2017.