Nintendo finally revealed all there was to reveal about the Nintendo Switch this week. It’d been a long, long journey. After months of teasing, and years of waiting, everyone finally got the detailed look at the Nintendo Switch that they’d been waiting for. The good news for Nintendo is that most people seem to have liked what they saw. Thousands snatched up pre-orders ahead of the console’s March 3rd release. That’s understandable, there’s a lot to get excited about.
The Nintendo Switch is a handheld console with a docking station and two wireless controllers. When docked, the handheld outputs to any paired television set. Users can take the two wireless controllers – called Joy-Cons – off the device and attach them to the left and right edges of the Nintendo Switch. Lifting the handheld with 6.2-inch touchscreen out of its dock causes it to switch into a portable gaming machine.
It’s a completely unorthodox idea from a company that’s used to trying things that other gaming companies wouldn’t attempt. Internet forums, comment sections, Facebook and Twitter are stuffed full of public opinion about the console.
There are some pretty good reasons to buy a Nintendo Switch when it arrives on store shelves March 3rd. There are some pretty good reasons not to do so as well.
Buy the Nintendo Switch: Exclusive Games
The only reason that anyone should want to purchase a Nintendo Switch at this point is because they’re excited to see some new software from Nintendo.
At the latest reveal, Nintendo announced a slew of new titles. Arms lets gamers use the motion controls in each of the Joy-Con remotes to battle their friends in an all-out brawl. Splatoon 2 introduces new tracks, new characters and new weapons into what was already a pretty fun multiplayer game.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will include all the downloadable content from the previous games, plus some updated modes and new characters specifically for the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Odyssey is an open-world platforming game.
There are definitely some upcoming Nintendo-made exclusives to get excited about.
Don’t Buy the Nintendo Switch: Inconsistent Battery Life
Ever since Nintendo first showed off the Switch, almost everyone has been worried about battery life. Those worries were found to be valid this week during the Nintendo Switch event.
The company says that battery life wildly depends on the games that you play. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, will consume the Nintendo Switch’s battery in roughly 3 hours. Some other games will consume its battery in 6 hours.
If you game during your commute, chances are you’ll need to recharge the Nintendo Switch once a day. In a worst case scenario, you’ll need to have a backup battery with you on long trips and cross-country flights.
Buy the Nintendo Switch: 1 Gaming Experience
By trying to bridge the gap between living room gaming consoles and handheld gaming consoles, Nintendo is fixing one of the things that outright doomed the Wii U. It’s also making Microsoft and Sony’s latest moves outside the living room moot.
Take Xbox Play Anywhere, for example. The initiative rewards gamers with Windows versions of the digital games that they purchase on Xbox One. Buy a powerful enough laptop, and you can experience Forza Horizon 2 and ReCore just about anywhere. The problem with Play Anywhere is that you have to make a significant investment in more hardware before the extra game is of use to you.
If you want to take your PS4 experience on the road, you need a reliable internet connection, which isn’t always available.
Nintendo gives you the same games on the go with no further investment. Switch offers a simpler way to enjoy your games anywhere, for one price.
Don’t Buy the Nintendo Switch: Launch Line-Up
Nintendo’s own studios and third-party developers announced a lot of games. The problem is that almost none of them will be available on that first day.
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild will launch alongside the console. So will casual title 1-2-Switch. Everything else, from Super Mario Odyssey to Splatoon 2, Skyrim, NBA 2k18 and dozens of others, aren’t coming at launch.
This isn’t a permanent knock against the Nintendo Switch, but it is worth noting: there won’t be a lot of games when the console launches. You might be better off waiting until the game you’re particularly excited about arrives before getting one.
Buy the Nintendo Switch: Multiplayer Options
If you like playing with friends, the Nintendo Switch is the console to have. There’s all sorts of multiplayer experiences to be had.
Some games will have local multiplayer, meaning groups of people with more than one console can play amongst each other. Other titles will support split-screen co-operative play, meaning gamers can compete against each other on the same device. This scenario is bolstered by the Joy-Cons, which can be used independently as controllers.
Then there’s online multiplayer, like what other consoles offer. Nintendo plans to charge for this, but not until sometime this fall.
Here’s to hoping these reasons help you more easily decide whether the Nintendo Switch is for you or not.
Play Games on the Nintendo Switch in the Living Room
When docked, the Nintendo Switch allows anyone to play their video games on a high-definition television. In that way, the device is every bit the replacement for the Nintendo Wii U that we were expecting. Nintendo even describes it as a home entertainment console in its marketing materials.
At first glance, the Nintendo Switch almost looks like a tablet with controller surfaces at the end – sort of like the current Wii U GamePad. Things can change quickly, though.
Nintendo calls the attachments at each end of the device Joy Cons, short for Joy Controller. Each Joy Con has four sets of face buttons, a bumper and a joystick. Gamers can leave the Joy Cons attached to their Nintendo Switch or detach them later on.
In this mode, you can remove the Joy-Con Controllers from the sides of the console and dock them with the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Grip. You can also pick up the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller for this mode and leave your Joy-Cons in place.