Nintendo Switch Sports: How to play the sequel early, pre-order bonuses, and more

Nintendo Switch Sports

Update: Walmart is now throwing in an extra free exclusive steel water bottle with pre-orders on physical copies of Nintendo’s upcoming Switch Sports title at $49.99 – the same price pre-orders sell for at Amazon and elsewhere without the bottle. 

It has been a big month for Nintendo fans after an exciting Direct presentation, a series of upcoming Mario Kart 8 courses, and more, but now it’s time to dive into the new Switch Sports. As a sequel to the best-selling Nintendo game of all-time, Wii Sports, Nintendo is looking to re-capture some of the magic from its motion-controlled blockbuster from way back in 2006 with an updated version for its current-generation hardware. After selling well over 82 million copies, and now that Switch has finally overtaken the console it was made for in sales, it seems a fitting time for Switch sports to make a triumphant return. Head below for more details on the upcoming title, how to play it early, and more details on how to score the leg strap.

Nintendo Switch Sports

Nintendo introduced a new iteration of its Wii Sports game at this week’s Direct presentation, aptly titled Switch Sports. It will ship in a familiar form with a series of different sports gamers can enjoy with friends and family via online multiplayer and more. While it’s hard to imagine it reaching the heights of what was the novel motion-controls that fueled the Wii-era version’s success back in 2006, it will be a great addition to the Switch library – it’s almost hard to believe it took Nintendo this long to release a Switch version. 

Switch Sports will include bowling, tennis, and chambara, just like the original, as well as badminton and volleyball, with soccer and golf being added as free updates later this year. The base version of the game is set for release on April 29, 2022, with the aforementioned add-on content set to enhance the experience a couple of months later. 

However, folks keen to give the new Nintendo sports title a go early might have a chance to do so:

To prepare for the launch of the Nintendo Switch Sports game on April 29, we’ll be conducting an Online Play Test to evaluate various technical aspects and help improve the quality of the game by testing out online random matches for Tennis, Bowling, and Chambara…

Registration for the Nintendo Switch Sports Online Play Test starts on February 15, 2022, at 5 p.m. PT (presumably right here on this landing page, about half way down) and there’s no telling how many folks will get a chance to get in. Just make sure your Nintendo Switch Online membership is in order before the signup date.

The Online Play Test will take place from February 18 to 20 with set play windows available on each of the three days:

Does Switch Sports ship with the leg strap? 

Update: Target now has physical pre-orders live at $49.99 with the leg strap.

As we mentioned above, Nintendo will add soccer and golf events to the experience starting “in the summer” and later “this fall,” respectively. 

While much of the experience, as you’re likely imagining, is a motion-controlled one with the Joy-Con you already have, Nintendo will also be “expanding the Leg Strap accessory compatibility to Soccer matches” a few months after the initial game’s launch as well. 

Physical copies of Nintendo Switch Sports are reportedly shipping with Nintendo’s Leg Strap accessory, but the digital pre-orders now available will not. 

On the official Nintendo Switch sports site, it says gamers will be able to “use a Joy-Con with the included Leg Strap accessory to kick the ball in a Soccer Shoot-Out.” This presumably means the Leg Strap you saw in our Ring Fit Adventure review that ships with Nintendo’s fitness package will get support in its soccer Switch Sports event, and a simple third-party solution will likely do the trick. While the physical pre-orders of the game on Best Buy’s site don’t have any direct information on it just yet, it might be worth going with the boxed copy considering it is the same price as the digital variant.

Catch up on everything from this week’s Nintendo Direct presentation here and head over to our console games roundup for all the best deals on Switch games.

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