After months and months of speculation, the Nintendo Switch finally launched on March 3rd of this year. We are now nearly two and a half months into its life-cycle so I figured I would jot down some of my thoughts thus far.
First and foremost, in my opinion, the Nintendo Switch is living up to be everything that Nintendo promised it would be. It is a home console, it is a portable console and it is my favorite purchase that I have made in 2017. Nintendo has manufactured a device that pleases both third-party and indie developers alike. Games like JackBox Party Pack 3, Minecraft, The Binding of Isaac, and I am Setsuna have already hit the Nintendo eShop while others such as Yooka-Laylee, Stardew Valley and Overcooked are on their way sometime this year. Having the ability to play these games on a television and then keep playing them on the go is a simple and rewarding process.
The Console itself is lightweight and very portable and I’ve never had any problems taking it with me and playing it in the doctor’s office or on a car ride (as a passenger, of course). Early reviews of the system cited the battery life as a handheld as less than substantial, however, at this point, I have not had a single problem with it - not once have I never been somewhere away from my dock that I felt like there wasn’t enough battery to play whatever game I was playing, including Zelda. The screen is stunning while in portable mode as well - it is the perfect size to play on the go and each game I have played looks vibrant and clear.
The Joy-Con in portable mode aren’t as comfortable as they feel inside their grip but I still do not see any real issues with them as the size is understandable considering all of their uses. Within the Joy-Con Grip everything feels perfectly normal - the size of the buttons is on the smaller side but is also not at all detrimental to your experience and is only the most noticeable in comparison to the Pro Controller if you choose to start using that.
Where the Switch really excels is in its ability to turn one controller into two. I took my system to my college campus with me and playing it in tabletop mode with a friend is not only fun for those involved but also serves as a conversation starter for those who happen to walk by. Having games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Puyo Puyo Tetris with you and having the ability to just hand over one of your Joy-Con and play against a friend or new acquaintance without packing anything extra is an incredible and engaging feature.
Stepping away from the gaming side, I know one of the biggest complaints of the Nintendo Switch is its lack of streaming applications on the console - however, when it comes to the Switch, I don’t feel that needs to have these features at all. The Switch is doing exactly what Sony did at E3 2013 and that is focusing on their product and speaking to it’s core audience - the gamer - which is exactly what they need to do to make the console itself a success. Just about every device in most households now can stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. so having one exist that simply exists to play games doesn’t seem so bad.
The Nintendo Switch has lived up to and exceeded all of my expectations. If you are thinking about purchasing a Nintendo Switch and you haven’t done so yet I could not recommend it enough. Of course, it doesn’t pack the power of the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 but I don’t feel that it needs to as the graphical component is not what is selling this system - it is the gameplay, functionality and ease. Nintendo has always been behind on the technical aspect but that isn’t where they have ever excelled and the Wii was a perfect example of how Nintendo can still turn that into a success story because of their innovation. If the Nintendo Switch continues to provide its consumers with incredible first party titles and keep production easy for indie developers, the third parties and rest of the world that hasn’t jumped on board will follow suit. The future looks bright for Nintendo.