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About the product
- Introducing Nintendo Switch! In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles.
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Play at Home
At home, Nintendo Switch rests in the dock that connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room.
Lift Nintendo Switch from the dock and instantly transition to handheld mode for on-the-go gaming.
Flip the stand to share the screen, then share your Joy-Con controller for instant multiplayer fun.
'… the perfect gaming system for everyone in your family.' – PopSugar
Huge Library of Games
With over a thousand games on Nintendo Switch, there's a game for every gathering.
'It’s not just that the Switch has great games – it’s that games are better when they’re on the Switch.' – The Verge
Introducing Nintendo Switch, the new home video game system from Nintendo. In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system can be taken on the go so players can enjoy a full home console experience anytime, anywhere. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system, with unprecedented new play styles brought to life by the two new Joy-Con controllers.
Home Gaming System
At home the main unit rests in the Nintendo Switch dock, which connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room.
Lift Nintendo Switch from the dock and instantly transition to handheld mode for on-the-go gaming. By sharing Joy-Con, players can go head-to-head while away from home. You can also enjoy the same great games in tabletop mode by using the included stand to prop the system up.
New Play Styles
Remove the detachable Joy-Con from either side of Nintendo Switch for more play styles:
- One player can use a Joy-Con in each hand
- Two players can each take one
- Multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options (additional Joy-Con sold separately)
- Slip a set of Joy-Con into a Joy-Con grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
Bring together up to 8 Nintendo Switch systems for local face-to-face multiplayer.
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My first impression of the console was, wow, this thing is little. The joy cons are actually tiny. I'm a full size adult. But I slid the joy cons onto the sides of the tablet portion of the console and powered it up, created a Nintendo account (on my phone), signed in and did an update to the console and controllers. Neither took long. I never once used the touch screen and it took all of a minute for me to acclimate to the size and shape of the controls. It feels good even with full size hands which was surprising.
Next I popped in the physical copy of Super Mario Odyssey that I preordered alongside my new console. I can't believe how tiny the game cards are, even smaller than 3DS cards. Anyways, the game was ready within a minute or 2, which is a huge relief from the long installs on a lot of PS4/Xbone games. The game fired up fast and runs great, and I played it for quite a while in portable mode before realizing, hey, I could be playing this on my TV.
That's a big point, because the portable mode feels almost completely natural with no restrictions. This is truly the game changing feature it's marketed as. Playing the game with the entire system in your hands makes the Switch's versatility a huge added benefit vs. other consoles. The screen looks fantastic and definitely not too small. Granted you're dealing with significantly less technical power than other consoles, but the Switch makes up for it with polish. Everything I've done so far has worked excellent, and I can't wait to explore more of the Switch library.
I never imagined that coming from gaming on the big screen to this would feel so good, but the Nintendo Switch is probably now the easiest recommendation I could make to anyone looking for a new game console.
Needless to say, I love having a... whatever you want to call this combination. As expected, being a console, it sucks power from the battery (which is actually bigger than my drone's, in capacity) faster than a pure handheld. As a console, its graphics are never going to e photorealistic in 4k, because it's a handheld. Tradeoffs and compromises: you can hear about these in any Switch review that's thorough enough to address them.
But I like this large handheld/small console because it delivers on the "switch" feature: I can play it on TV and when I need to go somewhere, I can simply lift it from the dock, put on the Joycons (more comfortable to use in any configuration than they look) and take it with me.
Too large to fit in my pockets with Joycons attached, I can still get it in one with them detached and in a different pocket or elsewhere.
Uh... miscellaneous thoughts:
Get a screen protector. Tempered glass. Feels nice to the touch.
Haven't run out of battery once yet, even playing Zelda for 2+ hours handheld (I use about half brightness on any of my electronics, and on it this Switch screen still works well outside, unless in direct mid-day sun). Batteyr lasts longer on indie games or things that aren't Zelda.
Switch gets warmer when docked and playing, but it's never harmed itself or felt dangerously hot to me. As a handheld, not even Zelda heats it up that I've noticed, except that one spot behind the kickstand where the case is thinnest.
Not sure how helpful this review is, but I do know I'm loving my new game system, and if you get it for MSRP, I highly recommend trying some of these games. Here's looking forward to more games than either Wii U or 3DS had, since as I understand it they're now the same department in Nintendo.
TL;DR version: Loving it. Imperfect console, but the early hardware glitches seem ironed out. Room for improvement in future revisions, but I'm left wondering why no one built a first-party portable console like this long ago. I hope everybody makes portable versions of their systems as at least an option in the future.
Update July 12 2017: Found out that the Joycons have a little recessed power button right where they slide in to the grip or tablet. If one of your Joycons suddenly isn't responding or even lighting up when you press its buttons, give this little button a press to check that it's not just somehow been turned off. Happened to me by accident, storing the Switch as a handheld with one Joycon on the bottom.
Update August 25, 2017: It has now been on vacation with me as a handheld, starting the day Sonic Mania came out. Its battery life is pretty dang good with sprite-based games like Sonic: battery lasted 5 hours before arriving at the vacation house and plugging it in at 36%. Wi-Fi in the vacation house was weak on my phone and laptop, and was rarely detected by the Switch- so do note, it's not the most powerful reciever, but if your wi-fi is at least 50% connection strength, it'll likely work just fine.
The high humidity of northern Wisconsin by the Great Lakes in the summer caused me some concern at first, but even under the load of Zelda, the moisture in the air didn't cause the system any problems.
I still don't see the need to buy a Pro controller, being a handheld kind of guy, but I still enjoy kicking back with the Joycons in front of the TV, grip or no. And if I want to watch TV while Link explores or Sonic & company collect things, it's still darn easy to do.
I can't speak for others, of course, but the hardware is holding up well with no blemishes or damage- and that's with several quick play sessions daily, in and out of pocket, detaching and reattaching Joycons.
Update, June 1 2018: Still having fun with this. Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, etc. are nice, but so is the indie scene. The e-shop is "basic" to be extraordinarily kind about the interface, and the vast majority of improvements from system updates have been under the hood and not consumer-facing, but I'm happy we'll be seeing cloud save backups soon. The Switch still looks new, and I play it both in and out of the dock daily. It has no carrying case, just the screen protector, and I take the Joycons off it and put them in another pocket of my pants or bag when taking it out and about. Battery life is still as stong as it ever was. (Read above- not saying it's long battery life, but no worse than it was when new.) I still love my 3DS, but even aside from one of my 3DS's buttons being broken, I don't feel the urge to play it as much anymore, with this thing around. To quote somebody else, "As a console, the hardware can't match the competition, but as a handheld, it is basically god."
1) the screen has never gotten a scratch after hundreds of hours of use. Even with some fairly casual handling a couple of drops. Not a scratch. Maybe I’m lucky, but IMO, the plastic seems sufficiently durable.
2) The joy-con connectivity problem is well-sorted at this point.
3) Online play is cheap enough to not be a bother ($20/year) and I can’t make judgments until it goes live.
4) I don’t know if I’d call this console “cheap” anymore. For its price point, it is extremely sturdy and well-made.
5) The library is growing fast, with great content. A good library is an important point for a console.
6) Most importantly: It is my all-time favorite gaming system. I’m a Nintendo fan, for sure, but I’ve been primarily a PC gamer for the past few years. I hardly play PC games much right now.