I haven’t had a games console or played too many computer games in a long time. My last console was an XBox 360 at University and in the last five years, I think I’ve bought 5 games (only two weren’t iOS games). Well, that all ended a couple of weeks back when I grabbed the Nintendo Switch.
What Makes the Switch Different
Since the Wii, Nintendo has tried to go down a different path than the other big name consoles. Where PlayStation and Microsoft focus on power and graphics, Nintendo tries to focus on interesting gameplay and a unique touch. With the Wii, it was the controls and with the Switch, it is that this device is both a portable and a home console.
In a standard switch box you get the main tablet (housing all the smarts and with a 6” ish touch screen) two joy-cons (these can either be attached to the side of the device so it becomes a portable device), attached to a “grip” so they are like a more traditional controller, or used more like the Wii’s controllers, held in hand and pointing at objects.
You also get a dock along with a charging cable (USB C) and an HDMI cable to hook up to a screen. This dock actually boosts the power of the device allowing it to output at full 1080p resolution. In portable mode, it is capped at 720p (presumably for battery life).
So out of the box, you can either play on your own on the go or play with a friend at home. You can even detach the joy-cons while playing with the device in portable mode too.
The best thing about the switch is that it can be played both on the go and at home. Its portability is a major plus and while the switch dock isn’t the most portable item, it’s still more portable than any other console, there are third party portable docks and it can still be used without the dock.
This makes it great for games where you slowly advance your way through collecting items and leveling up your character as well as multiplayer games.
The other key point in the switches favor are Nintendo’s games.
- “Switch 1-2-3”
As well as some indie games and classics.
There are several instances where the joy-cons aren’t the nicest controllers to use. This includes a grip where they are okay, but not fantastic, or worse still, when used on their own as a regular controller. It’s clear that this was not the way they were designed to be used even if they are usable.
The switch also isn’t as powerful as some of the more recent consoles who are now pushing 4K content and really advances graphics. You might not have a TV that could show this yet but it shows that the switch is behind (especially as most of the other consoles came out a few years ago).
Finally, while you get the Nintendo classic titles, you won’t get all the games that you can get on a PlayStation or Xbox. Personally, this doesn’t bother me that much, but there may not be a game which you want on it.
Personally, I think the switch is a brilliant games console with a few issues. You can play it straight out of the box, but if you want to play it docked, you probably ought to buy a pro controller.