Watch: Nintendo’s First Super Bowl Ad Is All About The Switch
Man. I had no idea that Nintendo has *never* run an on-air ad during the Super Bowl. But the company is breaking with tradition this year, rolling out an advertisement to promote the Switch.
Nintendo is showing how serious it is about promoting its next console, the Switch, with its first ever Super Bowl commercial. The spot will make its on-air debut during Super Bowl 51, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, Feb. 5 on Fox.
An extended cut is available online ahead of the big game, however, and it’s a two-minute showcase of everything the Switch can do. There’s ample time devoted to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is easily the system’s most eye-catching launch title.Games due later this year, like Splatoon 2, Arms, Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also get airtime, as does the minigame collection 1-2-Switch. There’s even a never-before-seen minigame shown off from the party-focused launch title toward the end of the ad, with two players squaring off in what looks like a fencing duel.
While it’s fun to see the Switch in action again ahead of launch, the video’s isn’t quite as bombastic as one may expect from a Super Bowl commercial. Considering how big a deal Super Bowl ads are — CBS reportedly charged $5 million for a 30-second spot last year — it may be disappointing to some that Nintendo didn’t go bigger with its inaugural appearance.
It’s also notable that Nintendo considers this Switch commercial to be its first Super Bowl ad, considering the Pokémon series starred in a moving live-action one in 2016. That spot was meant to promote Pokémon’s 20th anniversary. Although Nintendo publishes the Pokémon games, the Pokémon Company produced last February’s big campaign.
The Switch launches just shy of a month after the Super Bowl’s latest victor is crowned. The $299 hybrid home and handheld system hits retail on March 3.