How to play the Nintendo Switch before it's released

You can be one of the first to get hands-on time with Nintendo's next-gen modular gaming system.

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For Nintendo fans it's been a long wait to get all the details on its next gaming system, Switch, since it teased it last October. Now the real wait begins until the $300 transforming console arrives in March.

The good news is, you can actually get some hands-on time with the Switch before everyone else. The gaming giant is going on tour with Switch to six North American cities. Each three-day stop will give people hands-on time with the modular system that changes from a handheld to a console to a tablet and probably a couple other things we're not sure of yet.

The currently scheduled cities are:

  • New York: January 13-15
  • Toronto: January 27-29
  • Washington, D.C.: February 10-12
  • Chicago: February 17-19
  • San Francisco: February 24-26
  • Los Angeles: March 3-5

The first two days of each stop are invite-only, but the Sunday date at each will be free and open to the public. Nintendo says space is very limited and attendees will be let in on a first-come, first-served basis. The all-ages event will feature different areas highlighting how Switch can be played.

While Switch isn't expected until March 2017, the company had a busy end to 2016. Its NES Classic Edition released in November was one of the hottest holiday gifts and impossible to find. And it also launched Super Mario Run, Nintendo's first official mobile game, currently available on iOS only.