The latest Nintendo Direct video presentation saw the game maker deliver on a huge slew of holiday-timed announcements for first- and third-party fare. Arguably its biggest news came in the form of Overwatch, the mega-popular team-shooter game from Blizzard Entertainment. Nintendo confirmed that we can expect a Switch version of Overwatch on October 15.
Though the game's reveal footage was marked with a "not real gameplay" disclaimer, it at least included confirmation that Blizzard will lean into the Nintendo Switch's unique gyroscope options. Aiming some of the game's combat superpowers, including Junkrat's RIP-Tire attack, can be assigned to rotating the Nintendo Switch or its Joy-Con controllers (though we don't have firm confirmation that this can be disabled, if you prefer to restrict controls to joysticks). The announcement included no information about the potential for cross-play between other platforms.
As has become standard in game-announcement surprises, today's Overwatch news was spoiled by a leak. This one came from a goof-up at Amazon. As spied by the deal-hunting Twitter account Wario64 last week, the site accidentally revealed a new Switch carrying case smothered in Overwatch logos (along with a detailed zipper pull shaped like a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller). The accessory listing was almost immediately deleted.
In what might be the most hoped-for update to the Nintendo Switch's retro-minded side, the system's paid online subscription service will finally get support for another library of classic video games: the Super Nintendo. A full suite of 20 SNES games will land for all Nintendo Switch Online subscribers starting tomorrow, September 5. And while Nintendo was mum on how many other SNES games to expect in the future, this opening slate is pretty killer, with a surprising launch of Stunt Race FX—a "Super FX"-powered classic that has never seen a re-release on other platforms until now.
Nintendo took the opportunity to announce a "coming soon" piece of hardware: a wireless SNES controller for the Switch, priced $29.99 and exclusively available for NSO subscribers. Nintendo placed the same restriction on its Switch-compatible NES controllers last year, but unlike those, the Switch SNES pads will have near-complete control parity with the Switch. (It lacks a joystick, but it does include tiny ZL/ZR buttons.)
In addition to details about Nintendo's three biggest first-party games of the season—Luigi's Mansion 3, Link's Awakening, and Pokemon Sword/Shield—the presentation included a mix of confirmations and surprises. On the first-party front, we learned that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's onslaught of new characters will last longer than originally anticipated. The game's existing Character Pack DLC will conclude with five characters in all (including, as revealed today, Terry from SNK's Fatal Fury.) But now we know there will also be an open-ended slew of additional, paid characters once that five-character pack is fully released.
(If you've been keeping track of Smash Bros. Ultimate, you know a release tied to the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie is coming, and Nintendo confirmed its launch date. You can purchase and download the beloved Rare characters to your Smash Bros. sessions starting today.)