What is this console?
Nintendo’s newest console, the Nintendo Switch, released on March 3rd, 2017. This new device combines the portability of the 3DS with the power of the Wii U. It has a 6.2 inch screen with a 720p resolution. It runs with a custom Nvidia Tegra CPU/GPU and has a battery life ranging from 2.5 to 6.5 hours, depending on the game that is played. Along with the console itself, it includes two controllers, dubbed “Joy-Cons”, that will easily slide onto the sides of the console. These Joy-Cons aren’t just controllers, but have a proprietary “HD Rumble” feature that will give realistic haptic feedback. Another feature included in the Joy-Cons are the hidden IR cameras that can detect how far away the controller is from a surface, and can identify the surface as the body, hand, or furniture. Soon, developers can take advantage of this feature and develop some neat games like how Nintendo did with their launch title “1-2-Switch“. Wanting to integrate the Switch into your gaming den? No worries, the Switch comes with a dock. The dock includes 3 USB ports, a power port, and an HDMI port. When connected to HDMI, the console will perform at a higher clock speed and the resolution will be bumped up to 1080p.
Why go Switch instead of Xbox or Playstation?
Something the Nintendo Switch does excellent that other home consoles don’t is portability without sacrificing major performance. To lengthen battery life, the Nintendo Switch clocks down the processor speed, and downgrades the resolution to 720p. If you’re not the type that usually plays on the go, you can use the Nintendo Switch dock to get a higher clock speed, better performance, TV output, and a 1080p resolution. Another reason to go with the Switch, although it may vary from person to person, is exclusives. Games like Mario Kart and Pokemon aren’t on any of the competing platforms.
The Nintendo Switch had a small list of good launch titles including:
- Just Dance 2017
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Skylanders: Imaginators
- Super Bomberman R
- I Am Setsuna
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
- Fast RMX
Games like TES V: Skyrim, Minecraft Switch Edition, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are a couple of the many titles that are soon to be released later this year. With every console release, comes bugs and glitches. There have been reports and videos of the Joy-Cons getting stuck on the Switch, the screen not working, the dock not working, and a piercing screeching noise when the device is turned on for the first time. If you are looking to buy this device, I recommend waiting a month or two before purchasing the console. Another big issue with the Nintendo Switch is the placement of the charger port. It is a USB-C port placed at the bottom of the device. This makes it very difficult to use the device and charge at the same time.
To conclude my thoughts on the Switch, the device is an innovation to gaming consoles. It combines the power of a home console and the portability of tablets. It has a different controller, the Joy-Cons, that have an advanced way of showing haptic feedback, and either both controllers can be used by one person, or it can be used by two people depending on the game that is played. It has a strong, but small list of launch titles. Day One launch problems include the screen and dock not working, a loud, ear-splitting sound played on startup, and bad placement of the charger port. Overall, this console seems like the fit for you if you play games on the go a lot or like Nintendo’s exclusive games. Will you get switched to Nintendo?
Disclaimer: I’m voicing my thoughts solely on information I have found on the Nintendo Switch from YouTube and other media. I do not actually have the Nintendo Switch.