Nintendo Switch Breakdown
March 15, 2017
In November of 2012, Nintendo released the successor to the Wii called the Wii U. The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics alongside debut titles like “Splatoon” and “Super Mario Maker” in conjunction with sequel titles like “Super Smash Brother 4” and “Bayonetta 2.” While the Wii U had a variety of games, it wasn’t enough for fans to justify it as their main console. Thus the Wii U was known as a side platform and never got Nintendo to rival against Microsoft and Sony.
Fast forward to March 2017 and Nintendo has released their newest console, the Nintendo Switch. The console has been on the market for over two weeks with some critics suggesting this is Nintendo’s last chance to make it in the market. Can the Switch make up for the Wii U’s issues or will Nintendo end up like Sega and become a third-party game maker? After having some time to play with the Switch here are my thoughts.
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid video game console, with the main system comprising the Switch Console, Switch Dock, and the Joy-Con controllers. The main unit of the Switch is the Console, tablet-like monitor that comprises a screen measuring 6.2 inches. The Console includes an audio jack, stereo speakers on the bottom of the unit, a USB-C port for charging while out of the Dock, and a kickstand on the backside. Right out of the box, the player can expect to find the Switch Tablet, two Joy-Cons, a dock for the Switch as well as a docking controller gamepad for the two Joy-Cons, two straps for the Joy-Cons, and an HDMI cord.
The Console, with or without Joy-Con attached, can be placed into the Switch Dock, and through the inputs of HDMI can display all actions on the tablet to a TV set. Here lies the true reason for the name Switch. Players can game on their TVs at home and then pick up the tablet and continue their gaming session on the go.
The controllers can be used in four ways: attached to the Switch Console via the side rails, removed and used separately by a single player in each hand, attached to a frame called the Joy-Con Grip to provide a gamepad or used as individual controllers for two players. A single Switch console can support up to eight Joy-Con connections. The controls also have a feature called “HD Rumble” which is supposed to mimic the feeling and weight of any item in the world. For example, a player would be able to get the same feeling they would get if they shake a cup of ice. The weight of said glass plus the movement of the ice is simulated through the control which can be used the make video games even more immersive.
The Switch is an amazing system, but there is some downfalls with owning one as of now. First, the friend list system. Friend codes are back again and this is disappointing considering how many people have voiced against these back during the Wii’s life cycle. To make it worse, players can’t even interact with their friend at this time of publishing which is much different than the Xbox One and PS4. That is, if you can even see your friends online due to the system not logging a player online until they start playing a game.
Another big disappointment is the lack of games in Nintendo’s E-shop. With a company that has literally every big hit from their past via the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS shops, why isn’t this available at launch? The games have already been converted into digital format for other systems, so why not have that ready and have the biggest library of the game ready to play day one?
Overall, as a Nintendo fan, I am very happy with how the system works and the creative ways the Switch can change the gaming landscape in the future. That being said, if you aren’t a fan I would wait on a bit more games to come out before getting your hands on one. My reason being that “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is one out of three games that are worth the cost of the Switch right now.
I recommend anyone even remotely interested in going out and trying a demo unit out to see how the system works. Even with a small library of games out right now, it’s exhilarating to see what will become the Switch in the future. Whether that is the excitement of seeing Nintendo bounce back into glory or burn out is still up in the air. As of now, I feel like I did back when I got my Nintendo 64 back on Christmas day ‘96 and I wouldn’t trade that for any high-performance PC, PS4 Pro, nor Xbox’s Project Scorpio.