Nintendo Switch: Review

Written by: Karen Benitez

Tech | Mar 8, 2017

Joy-Con Nintendo Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is an amazing piece of hardware. It is the upgraded version of both the Wii and Wii U, combining the best features of both consoles into one amazing hardware.

It's also a lot smaller than I thought it would be. At most, it looks like a large phone that you can attach gaming controllers to. And to each their own, I think the Switch is beautiful. As The Falcon in Captain America: Civil War said, "Everyone's got a gimmick.", and I can see people would be pointing that out with the Switch.

The Wii U was an experiment that costed Nintendo quite dearly. However, it gave Nintendo further insights as to what a tablet hybrid console can do. It allowed them to experiment on the kind of games that they could develop, and the Switch has stripped down all the senseless things introduced by the Wii U.

You can play in the Switch's tablet mode or you can dock it and play on the TV; it's really that simple. You can buy multiple docks and have them stationed in different locations in your house if you have the money, though Nintendo is actually encouraging a more mobile sharing approach. You can take your Switch on a visit to a friend and use their dock, assuming they own a Switch as well. And even if they don't, the dock is really small and easy to carry.

Speaking about the dock, the technology behind it is nothing amazing. It's just a dock with an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a power adapter port. All the real technology supporting the Switch rests in the tablet.

Now, people will criticize the Switch's 720p display (this is an age of 1080p and 4K displays, after all). Truth be told, 720p looks good enough and it really depends on the type of screen used, and the Switch has this pretty much nailed down. Breath of the Wild and 1 2 Switch look really sharp and are both visually appealing. If all Nintendo games are going to look like this, I'm hyped for the future.

As for third-party developers, it's really great to see Nintendo actually opening its doors to more partners like Square Enix, EA, Activision, From Software, and a whole lot more. This could mean that more games will be ported over to the system, as well as a wider variety of games for the Switch and exclusive titles.

The Switch's Joy-Cons are the evolution of the Wii Remote. They pair smoothly and the motion sensitivity is, for the lack of a better word, amazing. Just slide them onto the Switch and you've got yourself an amazing new handheld device.

You can also slide off the Joy-Cons and attach them to the grip controller. This form of the controller feels quite small for my hand, making it too cramped and tightly-spaced. It feels far more comfortable to simply have the Joy-Cons separated inn each of your hands while you relax with them on your sides.

The Switch's kickstand could have used some improvements. It is just odd that placing the console on rough surfaces or simply tapping it can cause the Switch to topple over and ruin your gaming day.

There will be people out there who will continue to criticize the Nintendo Switch. So far, the biggest flaw of the console is having one worthy game to play, which is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The next big entry, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, won't be out until April (which is just an updated port of an older Wii U version), Splatoon 2 will be released sometime in the second or third quarter of this year (which GameGulp's Assosiate Editor Zoto claims is wasted potential and should had been called "Splatwo"), and Super Mario Odyssey won't even be out until the holidays, assuming the game won't be delayed.

I was able to play Breath of the Wild for under three hours before the battery started crying out, and to me, that's just about right. You can take your Switch and play it in public when waiting in queue or while stuck in traffic. The Switch, according to Nintendo, will not replace 3DS. However, I can see the transition of fusing the two products as a possibility.

As of now, the Switch will be going through a number of updates as early adopters continue to play it. It's an amazing piece of hardware, and if you really want to jump into playing Breath of the Wild, then by all means support Nintendo. But if you're leaning on the more practical side, then I suggest you wait for a year or two when more games for the Switch will be available.

About the author: Karen Benitez

Skater, musician, carpenter, gamer. Karen is interested in culture, science fiction, and Cthulhu. She participated in MMA bouts, got her ass kicked many times, and ended up with broken bones. Life is good.

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