By Tommy Robbins. The Nintendo Switch launch is just around the corner and aside from form factor and a relatively light launch lineup, we still know very little. It’s safe to say that the Switch’s roll-out has been far from ordinary and today Nintendo is doubling down and their peculiar, oh-so-Nintendo practices.
Want to milk a virtual cow with John Cena in the middle of the desert? How about counting the balls in the Switch’s Joy-Con on the side of a mountain in Aspen, Colorado? Or do that last thing surrounded by spectators and curious passers-by in Madison Square Park in New York City?
While everything I just mentioned certainly contains the absurdity of a modern Old Spice commercial, these are, in fact, Nintendo’s next three Switch showcase events. By showcasing the mobility of their latest system Nintendo is going about it in some pretty outlandish ways.
To showcase this unprecedented new style of console gaming on the go, Nintendo is showcasing the versatility of Nintendo Switch across the country with highly visual, interactive living room-inspired spaces in places you would never expect, bringing surprises to every stop. The first Nintendo Switch experience will pop up in the desert at Blue Cloud Movie Ranch on Feb. 23. Invited guests will get the chance to enter the interactive space and experience different Nintendo Switch games, as well as delight in the novelty of playing these games in a completely unexpected locale.
To make the first stop even more exciting, John Cena will be the special guest at this location. As a WWE Superstar and actor who is as versatile as the Nintendo Switch console itself, the performer (and Nintendo fan) Cena is the perfect person to kick off this unique tour. Known for his charisma and family-friendly appeal, John Cena will showcase the face-to-face off-TV functionality of 1-2-Switch, a Nintendo Switch launch game that features hilarious activities like milking a cow and participating in a Wild West duel. Cena will play the game with invited fans and YouTube influencers, highlighting how fun it is to play 1-2-Switch using the innovative new Joy-Con controllers.
The second Nintendo Switch experience will pop up in Aspen, Colorado, on Feb. 27 at the popular Snowmass ski resort. Again, the unexpected location highlights that Nintendo Switch games can be played anywhere – even somewhere as remote as the side of a snowy mountain!
The final stop on the Nintendo Switch journey will be in Madison Square Park in New York on launch day, March 3. Surrounded by excited fans and curious onlookers, the event will kick off a new era in Nintendo gaming. Two famous (and super) brothers named Mario and Luigi will also attend the final event to celebrate launch day.
So, you know… plan on being at one of those three locations should you wish to get hands on with the Switch before launch. Right.
“These unexpected locations perfectly highlight the features of the new system, as well as provide one-of-a-kind surprise-and-delight moments that Nintendo does best,” said Doug Bowser, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nintendo of America, who totally isn’t just saying that.
The absurdity of these three events, which are very much out of the way for people who don’t live in New York, Aspen, or some presumably heavily secured ranch in California, is not lost for most following the Switch rollout. These “surprise-and-delight moments” tells us only what we already knew, and nothing about the functionality of the system, of which we still remain in the dark.
Many questions remain unanswered. How will Nintendo’s new digital store interface, for one? Has Nintendo, yet again, leaned into new ideas without solving old problems? Hopes are high, but there’s little to reassure those who like to ask questions before blindly throwing $300 bucks at preorders.
Despite the ambiguity surrounding the Switch, Nintendo has undoubtedly stirred excitement in their fan base. We’re just hoping that the Switch lands on its feet and avoids the dreaded fate of the Wii-U. Cheers, Nintendo. See you in just over a week.
We are steeling ourselves for a new era of Nintendo, beginning on March 3.