When I reviewed the Nintendo Switch last year, it showed great promise and was a lot of fun to use, even though there was a severe lack of games and was hard to get. Now, just over a year since the console launched and since my review went up, let’s take a look back at how the Switch holds up.
The Nintendo Switch has an all-plastic body and the actual console is the size of a small tablet and that’s important because the Switch is meant to be taken with you.
The Switch can either be played as a handheld console, a traditional gaming console connected to your TV using the included dock or on your tabletop with the console on its kickstand and Joy-Con controllers used wirelessly. You also have the option to connect a Pro Controller to the Switch as well.
As for battery life when using the Switch in Handheld Mode, it gets about 3 to 6 hours depending on the game (I mostly played Super Mario Odyssey). But since the console charges over USB Type-C, you can easily plug it into an external battery pack.
The screen on the Switch is a 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, which does get the job but there’s no comparing the quality of the screen to some smartphone screens on the market today. The Switch’s screen is good but nothing amazing.
On the back of the console, you’ll find the Nintendo Switch logo and a kickstand which was very flimsy and came off easily when just applying a bit of pressure. Beneath the kickstand is where you’ll find the microSD card slot, which you’ll need one because the Switch only comes with 32GB of internal storage and can fill up quickly.
The bottom of the console is where you’ll find the USB Type-C port, so you’ll be able to use a battery pack while taking the Switch on the go. The top of the console is where you’ll find the headphone jack, the volume buttons and the power button.
On either side of the console, are the Joy-Con controllers which you can use in a variety of ways. Either attached to the Switch, being handheld, as two controllers for multiplayer or in the Grip that makes them more into a proper controller.
Each of the Joy-Con controllers has a joystick, four buttons that act as A, B, X & Y and a + & – button along with SL and SR shoulder buttons. They also have an accelerometer, and gyro-sensors and HD rumble for independent left and right motion controls. The HD rumble can emulate the “sensation of ice cubes in a glass, as well as water being poured.”
The left Joy-Con has a capture button that you can use to capture screenshots (and soon videos too), the right Joy-Con has the home button and an NFC touchpoint for support for Nintendo’s amiibo figures and there is also an IR Motion Camera that can detect distance, shape and motion of nearby objects.
The Nintendo Switch retails for $399 CAD (but you can find it for cheaper) and you have the option of getting it with a pair of grey Joy-Cons or one blue & red Joy-Con combo. More Joy-Cons can be purchased later on for $99.99 CAD for a pair of them, they come in Grey, Neon Blue, Neon Red, and Neon Yellow. The Nintendo Switch is available from Best Buy, EB Games, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Amazon.ca.
Nintendo also sells refurbished Switch consoles on their website in both Grey and the Neon Blue/Red combo as well as controllers and games.
Over the past year, there have been countless games that have released for the Switch and not just first-party ones made by Nintendo. Some first-party titles include Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey and Arms.
Some of the third-party titles currently available for the Switch include Skyrim, L.A. Noire, Rocket League, Doom, Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. More titles are coming out this year and beyond from Nintendo themselves and third-parties like EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Square-Enix.
If you were to buy a Switch today, you wouldn’t be worried about how there are no games available for the console.
Overall, the Nintendo Switch is a great system, one that is fun to pick and play anywhere and has a good selection of games to choose from. Like I mentioned earlier, you can pick up a Switch for cheaper than the MSRP of $399 CAD and you should be because at that MSRP, that’s getting close or more expensive than an Xbox One or PS4 which have more games and are more powerful.
But the Nintendo Switch isn’t made to compete with the Xbox One or the PS4, it stands on its own and great for those who love Nintendo games and consoles. As time goes, on the library of games will continue to grow for the Switch and who knows, Nintendo may release a slightly updated version of the console with more internal storage and a better kickstand, only time will tell.
Featured image by Daan de Beer on Dribble