The Nintendo Switch can be best defined as a hybrid console, able to connect to your home TV via a dock and be played like a traditional home console but also undocked and played on the go like the 3DS. The hardware was developed between both Nintendo and nVidia, makers of the powerful nVidia Shield tablet and Shield TV. The system is capable of displaying visuals in 720P in handheld mode and 1080P when docked. For media the Switch uses both digitally downloaded content and physical cartridges, similar to the 3DS here too. The controllers, or Joy Cons as they are called, connect to the side of the main Switch Console itself or can be detached and used as separate controllers or slid into the Joy Con Grip to use as a more traditional controller.
The Nintendo Switch didn't come out of the gate with a ton of games back in March but what it did launch with was Zelda - Breath of the Wild. Many have called this a masterpiece while, personally, I think it is highly over-rated. As time went on there was a bit of a drought for quality games. We got a re-release of Super Mario Kart 8 with all the DLC already available, a version of Tetris and a sequel to a great new IP from the Wii U in Splatoon 2. The lineup is getting stronger, 3rd party developers are jumping on board and independent developers have truly found a home on the Switch. While an ok lineup I have to say 6-months in there's still not a ton there that is compelling. That should change soon with the release of Super Mario Odyssey.
A big strike against the Switch currently is the complete lack of any sort of Virtual Console what-so-ever. I mean even the Wii had downloadable NES games shortly after launch and the Switch still doesn't? That's grade-A ball-droppage right there. The expense of accessories is another major bummer as extra Joy Cons, the Pro Controller and extra docks are all stupid expensive. Think about this, at $90 Nintendo is saying nearly 1/3rd of the cost of the Switch is tied to the dock! That's craziness!
The Swich is full of potential right now, but isn't that what we've been saying about many Nintendo hardware releases for years? I like the ability to have console-quality gaming on the go but generally when I am on the go I'm the one driving. I rarely play in handheld mode but when I do it's a good experience. The controls work well, they're comfortable and intuitive. There are pieces missing from the Switch that I hope Nintendo fixes soon but until then there's the SNES Classic that I'll be enjoying soon too.
Why it RoX:
- It's a portable system you can play on your TV
- Nintendo first-party titles are always top notch
- Ports of Wii U games for better exposure/controls to a new audience
- Amiibo support
- Pro controller is great
What could be improved:
- A cool system needs cool games and the library is very limited currently
- No 4K option at this time
- Accessories are way over-priced
- No Virtual Console
- Online chat...via phone app? Seems like an afterthought
- While critically heralded I was not a fan of Zelda: BotW
- Small on-board storage
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