New NES controllers headline announcement-filled Nintendo Switch presentation

Coming September 18, the same day as the new paid Nintendo Switch Online service, the NES Controllers two-pack will be sold exclusively at for $59.99—and you’ll need to be a paying Switch Online subscriber to place an order. These controllers connect wirelessly to Switch consoles, and they also include latches to hook to the sides of a Switch console, but Nintendo advertises this solely as a controller-charging feature.

Meaning, you won’t be able to use these NES controllers in traditional Switch games—particularly when you might prefer a traditional D-pad over the Joy-Cons’ clicky buttons.

Those NES controllers will be compatible primarily with Switch Online’s NES game collection, and we now know which 20 classic first- and third-party games to expect in the USA at launch:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 

Additionally, Nintendo teased the next nine games to expect in the line-up: , , and in October; , , and in November; and , , and in December.

As previously announced, any of these games with two-player modes can be played online with friends, but new in this presentation was a look at the game-selection interface, which is in the above gallery. Games will be presented as giant, original retail boxes.

New games, ports, and sequels

Nintendo bookended the presentation with two very brief teases of long-running series sequels. and (no subtitle) are slated to launch in “2019,” Nintendo says, and the former game received a brief gameplay trailer with hints of new mechanics slapped onto the series’ familiar capture-ghosts objective. The latter received a much vaguer tease, with nothing more than series character Tom Nook appearing with a brief dialogue passage indicating that a sequel was coming.

Nintendo also confirmed , which finally puts a title and a “spring 2019” release window on a game that was simply known as “Yoshi” for a while. The presentation also showed more of how the game’s playful “explode both sides of a level” system will work in a “2.5-D” mix of hand-crafted 3D objects and a fixed, side-scrolling plane. The publisher also rattled off news about free content updates to the games and .

The Switch port frenzy continues, as this Direct video confirmed a ton of older games coming to the system, including Nintendo’s own —a compilation of every level from the Wii U games with new playable characters—and an astonishing eight games in the Final Fantasy series. In addition to a previously announced port, Square Enix confirmed the series’ recent remaster, and ports of the original versions of , and , all in 2019.

The Direct video confirmed the first Katamari Damacy game on a Nintendo console, dubbed , coming in “winter 2018,” and it will ship with unique Joy-Con control options. We’ll also soon see a seven-game pack of Capcom beat-’em-games from the late ’80s and early ’90s arcade era, dubbed simply , on September 18.

Much of the presentation centered on games that had already been announced for Switch, including Blizzard’s , Capcom’s , Ubisoft’s toy-filled  (complete with a Star Fox cameo), and 2K Games’ . (The latter leaked a few days ago, apparently due to someone not getting the memo about Nintendo delaying this Direct presentation.) And Nintendo offered one tiny dribble of hope for 3DS owners starving for new content: , a port of the 2010 Wii platformer coming to the portable in “2019.” (What, they couldn’t hold out for the 10th anniversary?)

Japan had its own Nintendo Direct video, which was notable for a few reasons. For one, Japanese fans will be offered Famicom versions of that NES controller bundle, but also, Ubisoft sprung a surprise announcement: a “cloud version” of the upcoming adventure game . Nintendo Switch’s Japanese eShop already features a few cloud versions of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games, particularly , and these allow paying customers to stream a special version of those games off of servers à la PlayStation Now. Thus, if you’d like to enjoy that upcoming Ubisoft open-world game on your Switch, brush up on your Japanese.

Sam Machkovech Sam has written about the combined worlds of arts and tech since his first syndicated column launched in 1996. He can regularly be found losing quarters at Add-A-Ball in Seattle, WA.
Email[email protected]//Twitter@samred

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