I think I can finally say after one alright console, and one console that should not have even been made, Nintendo has finally outdone itself with the recently released Nintendo Switch – a very innovative creation that brings console and portable gaming together, catering to almost any console gamer.
The Nintendo Switch also allows you to practically play the console any way you want – hardcore gaming, take it on the go, or engage in multiplayer, just by switching the control configuration of the Switch. On top of that Nintendo has finally caught up with the graphics (kinda) and now plays at 1080p when plugged into the television and 720p in handheld mode. However, the Nintendo Switch is not perfect and does come with various flaws.
As the successor of the terrible Nintendo WII U, the Switch brings elements never seen before in the console world – seamless transition from home console to portable console. All you have to do is dock the Switch in the docking bay provided, or remove it from the dock for portable gaming, and you can immediately continue where you left off without any lag whatsoever.
The console also comes with a kickstand that allows you to set it down on most flat surfaces, remove the controllers and continue playing if your hands are tired of holding it in handheld mode – it does get a little uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time due to its large size. Do be warned that the kickstand is quite flimsy and could pop off it isn’t on a hard flat surface, so be extra careful where you place it, cause breaking the kick stand could be a hassle to replace.
Battery life on the Switch does vary quite a bit while on handheld mode. Battery life can vary from 2.5-6 hours depending on the game you’re playing. For example if you play ‘Zelda: Breath of The Wild’ it’ll probably last around 3 hours. Whereas if you were to play ‘1, 2 Switch’ it could last much longer as it’s less power consuming. Good thing is, charging it isn’t too much of a hassle as Nintendo has done everyone a favour and made the charging port a USB Type-C port instead of a proprietary Nintendo charging port. That means you can easily purchase a USB cable and continue playing. Charging time isn’t that bad either – it takes 3 hours to charge fully on sleep mode, which is really very reasonable considering how powerful the console itself is.
Storage for the Switch however, is quite a disappointment as it only comes in a standard 32GB storage space, which is really small considering the 500GB – 1 TB consoles rival companies are selling. But because the Switch uses cartridges for its games, space isn’t much of an issue unless you’re downloading games. Which means you might need to buy a micro SD card to store your games. However if you intend to use micro SD cards, it is imperative that you do not break your kickstand as the SD card slot is located behind it and will leave your cards with no protection!
Next lets move on to the controllers of the Switch, the Switch comes with 2 Joy-Con controllers, which are by far the most interesting and modular controllers ever created to date. Why? Because there are so many ways to use them. Firstly, you could use them connected to the console itself to form the handheld mode. Set the handheld down with the kickstand and remove the Joy-Cons and hold them in each hand and continue playing, or you could pass one controller to a friend and each Joy-Con can act as an individual controller.
If you want a more traditional feel of a controller, you can place both Joy-Cons into the Joy-Con grip that comes with the Switch giving more serious gamers a more wholesome feel when using the Joy-Con. All of these, features except the handheld mode, can be used when the Switch is in its home console mode. Charging the Joy-Cons however can be a hassle as it has to be connected to the Switch Console while its charging.
Another controller that Nintendo has created for the more serious gamers is the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which is practically is your traditional controller giving a more comfortable feel and more suited for long intense sessions gaming on your console. That being said if you do want to get more controllers prepare to be set back around $110 for a pro controller or a pair of Joy-Cons, which is really pretty steep.
Games wise, the Switch had really weak amount of launch titles, totaling less than 20 games and almost half of them were Japan exclusives and another quarter were digital downloads, making gamers (like me) left with really not much to buy as of now. But Nintendo has promised with many more titles by the end of this year, with 3rd party titles like Skyrim and NBA, I’m sure things will pick up eventually.
Lastly, since the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo has always been a family friendly console, I would like to touch on the parental control features that they have put in place for the Switch. If you are a parent and concerned about the amount of time your kid is playing on the Switch you can easily download the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app off the App or Play store, allowing you to set the amount of time your kid is allowed to play a day, and even monitor them when you’re not at home. The app even notifies you when they go over the time limit and gives you the option to turn off the Switch remotely. You are also able to block your child from online services if you think they aren’t ready for online bullies or language.
You can also track which game they play the most and talk to them about it, giving you the opportunity to talk and relate to your child over their favourite game (I think kids really do appreciate when they can share their favourite game experiences with their parents). One last cool feature for parents is if you guys are afraid your child might swallow the cartridge as it’s so small, well fret not! The cartridges are coated with a super bitter but edible chemical that ensures that they’d spit it out (I tried it and god damn it’s bitter!).
I think Nintendo has really outdone themselves with the parental factors for the Switch helping ease parents minds when it comes to buying it and worrying if their children might get too addicted.
Overall, even though the Switch has some clear flaws with the steep priced accessories and weak titles, I think its innovative and original design as well as future possibilities have finally put Nintendo back on track as a real competitor in the console market and I recommend all gamers – casual, hard core, young and old to get this truly one-of-a-kind console.