As holiday 2018 quickly approaches some of you maybe wondering which gaming platform will be best for you. Well you’re in luck. We decided to cover each the major platforms we use for reviews and give you a deep analysis about them. In this review we’ll look at the Nintendo Switch, and how it holds up in 2018.
Initially launched in March of 2017, the Nintendo Switch has benefited from mass success due to overwhelming adoption of the platform. The successor to the Wii U, this platform really didn’t have anywhere to go but up. It embraced a market that Nintendo has dominated for years while at the same time bridging gap between generations.
The Most User Friendly Console I Have Ever Used
With the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo created a hybrid console that offers the best of both worlds without compromising on much. Its a handheld device similar to a tablet while also serving as a home console. Users are able to play the console in a myriad of configuration making for the most user friendly console I have ever used. These include:
This has the tablet connected to the joycons via a sliding rail system to allow the user to hold it in there hands and play. This is my favorite configuration to use the console in, but it it is also the most uncomfortable way to use it. Please note my discomfort is derived from my inability to hold objects in a claw like position for long due to an injury. This may not be the same for you, but you should consider the weight of the console in this configuration. (Pro tip: placed a pillow or bag in your lap to lower the strain on your wrists)
Table top mode
In this configuration the tablet uses its kickstand to allow for multiplayer or less weight on your hands. In the ads for the switch this is shown in use on an airplane, but I wouldn’t advise using it like that. The kickstand isn’t the most sturdy and won’t be effective unless the base its on is stable. Beds, uneven surfaces, and yes, airplanes are not suitable for this mode. Its best used on a stationary table to allow for multiplayer. (Pro Tip: You can play this mode in transit by placing the tablet flat on a bag in your lap. It doesn’t offer optimal viewing angles, but its a good option for playing while in transit).
This is probably the configuration I use the least, because I don’t like being glued to my chair in front the tele. That being said I think this is likely to be popular with more hardcore gamers. By placing the tablet in the dock, users are able to both charge and play it on a tele or monitor. The display resolution is 1080p and most of the games I’ve played in this config run great. The dock has a bit of a crude design, but its functional enough to get the job done.
The performance of the platform is where the Switch impresses the most. This is essentially a 6.2″ table using an Nvidia Tegra mobile chip to offer a home console experience on a 720p screen. The platform is capable of rendering most third party games at a decent resolution with a stable framerate both docked and in portable mode. Most games tend to get about 3 hours max in tablet mode, though the platform is listed as being able to run up to 6 hours on less demanding title. The audio from the stereo speakers on the console is sufficient for most titles, however it’s best to use a headsets whenever possible.
It has a standard 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI out as well as USB via the doc. The USB mainly serves as a connection port for third party controllers, but I do think it may be possible to use it for data transfer. It would be nice if that feature was added in a future update so that copying images off the platform doesn’t require turning it off and removing the micro SD.
Speaking of micro SD, that’s the format the switch uses for storage. Its advisable to get as large a card as you can when buying a switch because the international memory is just short of 30gb. This may not seem like an issue if you buy physical games, but with DLC and updates that space can quickly fill up. Get at least a 120GB micro SD if you can. Most larger games are about 10 to 15gb on average, and they add up quickly.
When it comes to choosing a gaming platform, the most important thing to consider outside of price are the games. The Nintendo Switch features many big name third party games like DOOM, and FIFA, but where this platform truly shines is with its first party and smaller third party offerings. Games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, and Smash Bros Ultimate are some of the best gaming has to offer. They’re solid games brimming with content. Each is well developed and even their DLC is worth the asking price. Outside of those we have the gems like Ys VIII, Metropolis, and Steven Universe Save The Light. These are the smaller third party titles that don’t get as much mainstream recognition, but they are easily some of best experiences you’ll find on the platform.
The Nintendo Switch is easily one of the best consoles ever, but its far from perfect. Like any other tablet, you’ll need to get a screen protector for it. The screen has no gorilla glass so unless you like scratches get one day one.
The switch also doesn’t have Bluetooth for connecting headphones and other devices which really sucks. I have a pair of Bluetooth speakers which I use for playing games with family, but that isn’t easily usable with the switch. There are third party Bluetooth dongles, but I won’t recommend any here because third party products have been known to brick switches due to Nintendo updates. There are a few official branded accessories like PowerA’s controllers, but none that I noticed for wireless headsets.
- The system has been known to heat up and crack, but I haven’t experienced that myself.
- The menus are serviceable, lacking customization or folders.
- The on screen keyboard sucks.
- Online services work, but they’re not as robust as others.
- No voice chat or messaging service.
- Third Party chargers brick the system due to System updates.
- No local Backup option.
All in all the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic platform that has easily replaced my PS Vita and 3DS. Its got all the appeal of a portable with the capability of running regular home console titles. Nintendo have also embraced more mature games without censorship, so that means Senran Kagura, and Gal Gun in all their glory. The platform is loaded with gems, and is even getting streaming apps like the YouTube app where you can now watch all our videos on that gorgeous screen.
The switch is the best of both worlds wrapped up in a neat package, and I highly recommend picking one up if you can.