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There really won’t be that much to play on the Nintendo Switch when it launches

Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon
It’s a lot of fun—if you like Zelda.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

On Friday, March 3, Nintendo will do something that no major video game company has attempted before: launch a console that you can play at home, and on the go. The Nintendo Switch is a $300 tablet console with removable controllers that connects to a dock that lets you play games on television screens. While this new style of gaming is surely going to excite Nintendo fans—the console is sold out at many online retailers ahead of Friday’s launch—there won’t actually be that much to play when they get their hands on their Switches.

While it’s not the most meager launch Nintendo has ever had—the Nintendo 64 launched in the US in 1996 with just two games—it’s definitely one of the smallest in recent memory. Nintendo will launch the Switch globally with just 12 titles, but even that number is somewhat inflated, as the list includes three versions of its newest Zelda game, and two Shovel Knight games from indie developer Yacht Club games. One of these games, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, along with Skylanders Imaginators, and I am Setsuna, have also already been released on other consoles.

That leaves just six new titles for the Switch launch, and arguably only three of them make use of the new control options available on the device. 1-2-Switch is like a modern version of Wii Sportsthe exceedingly popular package of short games that showed off how to use the controllers that came with the Nintendo Wii. Snipperclips highlights how two people can use the tiny controllers connected to the Switch to play games together on one machine. Lastly, Just Dance 2017 is pretty much a game where you dance in time with music, shaking the Switch controllers as needed.

Here is the complete list of games launching with the Nintendo Switch on Friday:

  • 1-2-Switch
  • Just Dance 2017
  • Snipperclips
  • Super Bomberman R
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Master Edition
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Special Edition
  • Fast RMX
  • I am Setsuna
  • Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
  • Skylanders Imaginators

Nintendo plans to launch popular new titles in its franchises, including a new Mario game, a new Mario Kart Racing game, and a new Tetris game, later this year. There are also plans to launch other popular titles on the Switch, including a version of Skyrim, a new Sonic game, a FIFA soccer game, Minecraft, and Street Fighter, but none of these have specific release dates on Nintendo’s website.

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