On March 3, Nintendo released the Switch, their newest console that for the first time lets players seamlessly take their gaming experience on the go. The screen itself is the console just attach the two controllers on the side of the screen and lift the Switch off its dock. After five years and the lackluster sales of the Wii U, is the Switch worth getting right now or is it better to wait?
The biggest strength of the Switch is portability. With its controllers attached the Switch is merely four inches high and a little under nine and a half inches long longer than the PSP but still very comfortable to hold. Despite its relatively short battery life three to five hours depending on the game I found myself spending a good amount of my time playing in portable mode. The dock acts as a charging and video output for the system so it is light and easy to move on the occasion that it is brought along to another location. The system comes with two controllers called joy-cons that can work separately as their own controllers. While small, they are surprisingly comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. This makes multiplayer games extremely accessible and easy to start with another person.
There were early complaints that the Switch didn’t have a big selection of games to start out with, though personally I don’t think it matters in the long run. The current list is more than enough to keep the average gamer entertained. With games like big name titles on the way like “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Splatoon 2,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Metal Slug 3” and “Fire Emblem Warriors” or current indie games like “Shovel Night: Treasure Trove” and “Blaster Master,” I don’t mind the wait.
As with all new tech, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to buy a new console and the flaws of the Switch have been discussed in the media since its launch. There have been cases of the dock scratching or leaving marks on the black trim around the screen. This can be attributed partially to design and human error. While this can be fixed with a screen protector it is an additional cost to the consumer.
The price of accessories for the Switch is higher than I’d like. The dock by its self is $90, the joy-cons are $80 together or $50 individually and the pro controller is $70. For a console that seems to be a fantastic multiplayer system the cost of additional controllers is high compared to the $35 controllers of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The last disadvantage is that game saves are locked to a single Switch. Players can back up their saves on their computers using a microSD card but if the console breaks, the saves can’t be accessed on another Switch. This is the biggest problem of the device and really needs to be changed.
Nintendo has a long history of making quality games no matter how long they take to produce and polish and that means a lot to me. However, Nintendo has been slow on using current technologies that might have helped fix some of these issues. The question I asked myself was this: Are these flaws enough reason to pass on the Switch and its games? With Nintendo’s model with games and games that I enjoy, my answer was no, but that all depends on the person.
The only Nintendo home console I have owned up to now was the GameCube. With the intention of buying “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and not wanting to work backwards on the Wii U’s library of games I chose the Switch. With recent news of Nintendo doubling the production of Switches and the hopeful corrections that should be made to the system, I would hold off on the Switch until Nintendo irons out the problems of the system.