Why it matters to you
The Nintendo Switch will launch next month in Japan with its first touchscreen-only game, revealing mere days before the console’s worldwide launch that some Switch games will not be playable on user TVs.
Japanese indie developer Flyhigh Works will be the first studio to attempt a portable-only Switch release with VOEZ, a rhythm game that requires players to tap the device’s touchscreen in time to a backing music beat.
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Revealed late last year, the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid gaming device that attempts to bridge the gap between gaming portables and dedicated home consoles. The platform serves as a typical gaming console when connected to an HDTV via an included docking peripheral, and at any point, players can remove its touchscreen in order to take their games on the go while keeping their progress intact.
Few details regarding the platform’s capabilities and online features were revealed in the months leading up to launch, and until this week, pre-order customers were given no indication that some Switch games are not playable on connected TVs. In the upcoming VOEZ, for example, input is mapped to the Switch’s touchscreen, requiring players to remove the Switch from its dock before playing.
While it’s currently unknown whether VOEZ will eventually make its way stateside, its developer warns that controller input is not an option, making it the first officially licensed Switch game that requires the console to be in portable mode when playing.
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Nintendo itself has not revealed any upcoming Switch games that require touchscreen input exclusively, though the North American launch title 1, 2, Switch largely focuses on the capabilities of the platform’s bundled Joy-Con accessories, making on-screen action a secondary concern. Neither Nintendo nor its third-party licensees have revealed any additional games that require the platform to be removed from its dock during gameplay.
VOEZ will launch digitally for the Nintendo Switch in Japan on March 3. A North American release has not been announced.