Ah yes, the Nintendo Switch. It has something for almost anybody. You’d think Nintendo would stop experimenting with their consoles with the less than satisfactory sales with the Wii and Wii U. Back in 2017, they really had us when they first unveiled it.
The concept design wasn’t that different from the Wii U either, the separable Joy0Con being the distinguishing aspect. More than a gimmick, it was the main feature that really drove the hype.
What is the Nintendo Switch?
Whatever happened to the handheld console? They were like the next biggest things down the block. I want to see Microsoft and Sony get back on this, but alas, Nintendo does have a monopoly in this market with the 3DS, but how old is that? 8-9 years? With Wii U’s flop, we need something different. And Nintendo, again in the creative seat, gave us the Switch.
What’s in the box?
Out of the box, it comes with a screen, two detachable Joy-Cons controllers, and of course, the HDMI docking hub to hook up the console to your TV for some couch gaming. The hub itself has a few nifty ports, two USB 2.0 ports on the left, and one more USB 3.0 at the back behind the bottom-hinged shroud, along with the HDMI and AC power adaptor ports.
The Joy-Cons themselves are pretty standard with the AB layout and a joystick. They can either be attached to the screen or onto the included charging grip.
Nintendo Switch Online
A banger of a subscription that includes online play and tons of NES and SNES games thanks to the backward compatibility is offered in the system. You might get a unit for the exclusive native titles alone, like Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But it also has ported AAA titles, notably, The Witcher 3. It sounds ludicrous that you can play it on the go.
Probably a caveat to all this is the short battery life of about 5 hours on an already 720p screen, but it charges while it’s docked, which is great and supports up to 1080p. But you better pack a power bank if you’re going on a long haul.
Sometimes you have to wonder why Nintendo makes this stuff and for whom, but you have to admit that these are some pretty cool products.
Not a long while after the release of the Switch came the Labo. Really neat stuff for the kids. These are make-your-own cardboard accessories you can use to play creative specialty games, including VR supported ones, winning them the innovation award for Game Developers Choice.
Oh wait, did I not mention that? Yes, the Switch has VR support, albeit much like the smartphone VR, but it is a fun and possibly cheap entry into VR games.
Mario Kart Live Home Circuit
Ever thought of having your own Mario Kart game inside your house? Me Neither! But man, would I love to play it. This stuff is still pretty new and a tad bit expensive, but Nintendo is really showing off their new augmented reality game. Learn more here.
Pros and Cons
Reasons to Buy
- A Nintendo Switch is a perfect holiday gift for your kids or even for yourself. The library of games and a range of playing styles with accessories might be super fun.
- If you’ve owned a PSP, then you know what I’m talking about. The sheer experience and longevity, generally with these handheld devices, almost makes you want to prop it up like an heirloom.
- Your kid’s going to cry if you didn’t; I know I’d love it if someone got me one.
Reasons to Avoid
- Ever since Nintendo Switch’s launch, this product has been plagued with supply shortages almost everywhere. And this has been a great opportunity for scalpers and second-hand sellers alike to rack up the price, sometimes twice or thrice the MSRP. So if you’re buying one, buy it fast and maybe before the holiday season.
- You have to be a bit careful how you dock the Nintendo Switch, or else you’ll end up scratching the screen, and as of this review, the updated version seems to suffer from this pitfall as well.
A heads up, if you’re in the market to buy a Nintendo Switch, then be on the lookout for the revised version (Nintendo Switch 2020) with better hardware, with the all-red package being the telltale sign.
Who is this best for?
Nintendo Switch’s targeted towards the younger audience but is still appealing to the older folk more than being just for nostalgia. It’s perfect for people on the go who want to game a bit, whether it be on a subway, flight, or on the moon.
Check out these Nintendo Switch consoles with different colors below!