The Nintendo Switch is finally here! The Switch has been out for exactly 5 days and as people are plugging it in and enjoying Breath of the Wild I wanted to take this time to review the console at hand.
Yesterday I posted a buyers guide for the Switch and whether it’s worth purchasing or waiting. Today, we’ll discuss what you get, how it runs, and overall impressions of the system.
What you get:
Inside the box you’ll be looking at:
- Switch Console (tablet)
- Joy-Con Left & Right
- Joy-Con grip ( not a Joy-Con charger)
- AC Charger
- Joy-Con wrist straps
- HDMI wire
My first impression of the console when taking it out of the box was how sleek and tiny the tablet is. It’s essentially a 6inch version of an Amazon Fire tablet. This was very refreshing especially compared to the Wii U game pad.
Compared to the Wii U game pad, which is reminiscent of a child’s toy, the Switch is portable and has the look of something that costs $300. The Joy-Cons even feel more sturdy than it’s predecessor, the Wii-mote. The system itself is light and definitely has the appropriate form factor to be a portable gaming console.
I guess the one downside of the hardware is the size of the Joy-Cons. The joy-cons are a bit on the small side which sometimes makes pressing buttons feel a bit smushed (Think PS Vita). That’s why I would 100% recommend purchasing a pro controller for TV play. Although the joy-cons w/ joy-con grip is decent, if you want to play games proper it’s worth the investment.
From home console to handheld:
The Nintendo Switch is a brilliant piece of hardware. As I’m playing through the Legend of Zelda I am completely blown away how simple it is to go from TV to handheld and how the game loses virtually nothing in the process. The fact that you can go from a big screen to laying in bed and still seeing a gorgeous game displaying in 720p and running at the same pace, if not better, than on TV mode is a modern marvel.
Although I believe most people will use this as a home console, for the first time, you have the ability to take these games portable. Ever since I can remember I’ve been longing for this ability, to take my favorite console games with me wherever. The Switch does exactly that and it’s going to be exciting to see what the 3rd party support looks like in the coming months and year.
Here’s where the early concerns are. When getting the system booted up you can see a very simplistic home screen with a few tile slots (Like PS or 3DS) and not that much else. This is good, however there’s not much to fill those tiles with. Aside from the Legend of Zelda and say Snipperclips, I cannot recommend any of the other launch titles. Although Zelda is absolutely a masterpiece in the making it’s a tough pill to swallow knowing aside from that there isn’t much else. On top of that the eShop is currently garbage. There is no virtual console out of the gates and the eShop is so bare bones it doesn’t even have music playing when you boot it up. My last gripe is with the capture button. The Switch, like Playstation 4, has a dedicated share button. HOWEVER the Switch can’t share it’s pictures with friends, only Facebook and Twitter. Lastly friend codes are back and if you are familiar with Nintendo’s online services in the past you will know this is hell. I’m sure to general consumers that’s nitpicking but it must be of note.
After spending the last 4-5 days with the Switch I can say that I’m overall very impressed with the console. It’s been a ton of fun playing in both handheld and on the TV. I will be going to Pax East in a few days and can’t wait to take my Switch with me for the traveling side of things. Never have we, as gamers, had the ability to take console quality games like a Breath of the Wild with us on the go and that in itself should be enough to excite any fan of games.
The launch lineup is bare and it seems it will be that way more or less till Splatoon this summer, and Mario this fall but for the first time in 5+ years there is hope for Nintendo fans that a Nintendo home console will make a triumphant return to Wii levels. Only time will tell, and if early weekend numbers are an indication the Switch is off to a quality start.