The Nintendo Switch Preview Tour Visits SF

Nintendo will be releasing its latest console tomorrow. In preparation, The Nintendo Switch Preview Tour made a few stops at select US cities. Attendees to the event were able to get hands on with the console before anyone else. The San Francisco event took place last weekend and ran for 3 days. The first 2 were open to invite-only attendees, while the public was welcome on a first-come, first serve basis for the last. I was still a bit skeptical about whether or not I wanted to invest in the Switch. It wouldn’t be keeping certain aspects of past consoles like the Wii and Wii U (e.g. Netflix streaming and free online multiplayer service). Would this event convince me otherwise? Let’s find out.

Here’s some info about the Switch console:

  • Easily transition between home and mobile play using the portable handheld and Joy-Con controllers. Think of the latter as mini sized Wii controllers, except these can slide into either the handheld or the Joy-Con grip. They can also be used individually with select Switch games.
  • Play solo or with friends. If all of your group owns the console, each of them (up to 8) can be linked so you can have game time anytime and anywhere.
  • 32GB of internal memory can also be expanded via micro SD card.
  • Battery life can last up to 6 hours (varies depending on software and usage conditions)

Since I registered for the first day of the event, I was among the first group of people to see the Nintendo Switch up close. Heck yeah I was excited! After a quick scan of my ticket and handed a freebie, I was on my way. A few staff members were lined up on each side of a lit up catwalk of sorts that the attendees walked through. It led to the main stage where the host kept everyone informed about different activities taking place. The playable demos included games that would be released the same day as the Switch, along with ones that will be released within the next few months and later this year.

After circling the space, I headed to a play area located next to the stage and tried out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (out April 28) . I got to use the console as the portable handheld, which felt similar to the Wii U, except less bulky. Having the joy sticks of the Joy-Con controllers on opposite locations needed getting used to. I also didn’t get all of the button functions since the staff member explained them too quickly before I started playing. Aside from that, this was just as fun to play compared to previous Mario Kart games. The graphic output on the handheld was nice as well.

 

I was going to walk around some more afterward until I realized it was time for my demo session with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Tickets with different time slots were handed out for attendees to play a 20 minute demo of the game. This was played using the Joy-Con grip, which feels like a traditional style controller. I didn’t get to do too much in game, but I did get the gist of how the controls work. And the graphics are amazing. This is one of the games that I’d look forward to purchasing alongside the console. That is, if I decide to. More on that later.

 

Here are the other games that I played at the Preview Tour:

Splatoon 2 (releases Summer 2017) – Being a fan of the first Splatoon game, I was happy to check this one out. This version introduces new battle areas, characters, and weapons. Players can also take advantage of local and multiplayer battles using the Switch in either TV, handheld, or tabletop mode. This is another game I’d love to add on to my collection.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (release date TBD) – This game is also adding more characters to their lineup, 2 in particular being Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. Choose either classic pixel-art or updated graphics to customize how you play. Can’t take down a certain CPU player? You can now team up with a friend to show them who’s boss.

Puyo Puyo Tetris (releases April 25) – I wasn’t familiar with Puyo Puyo (think of match 3/more games like Candy Crush) prior to playing this, but I quickly got the hang of it and had a blast playing a few rounds. Do your best to clear as many lines as possible to beat either the CPU or other players. Up to 4 can participate for a competitive gaming experience like no other. This is a must have for any fan of puzzle games.

 

switchfreebies.jpg
Switch swag, FTW.

Although there was still time left before the next wave of attendees were let in, I felt confident checking off what I wanted to do at the event. I was handed even more goodies on my way out. Overall, this was quite the experience, and I had an awesome time trying out this console. I will definitely consider purchasing one, but probably not until some time after its release. The last leg of the Nintendo Switch Preview Tour will take place in Los Angeles this weekend between March 3 – March 5. For those of you in the area, I highly recommend that you check it out. More info about the Nintendo Switch Preview Tour can be found here.

Do you plan on purchasing the Nintendo Switch? Sound off in the comments.

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