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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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From the manufacturer
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.
Top customer reviews
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It's a surprisingly well built machine, it's the first tablet I've seen with screws that would allow you to open it up to change the battery if it were to fail. The joycons feel really well built, and it's nice that you can sit back with your hands not together with normal controllers, especially if you're like me and have wide shoulders and a barreled chest. My hands are medium sized with sausages for fingers and over all I have little issue with the joycons. The biggest issue I have is the minus button on the left joycon, I cannot for the life of me reach to hit it with my thumb, I gotta use my other hand. The "dpad", is as a I thought not great. For all the Nintendo fanatics insisting "you need to try it to know" no, I didn't, it's 4 face buttons and not a pivoting dpad. It works fine for menus but it's functionality is minimal at best for platformers.
The buttons are click-y and nice overall and the sticks function well. Obviously something like the XB1/PS4/WiiUPro sticks are better for precision but, for a portable/non portable device? Totally serviceable, though if you have bigger hands you may not like the right analog stick location unless you're using the included joycon holder thing.
The screen is lovely, it's 720p but obviously when the game is scaled to match the device's screen it works nicely. Seeing the game at 900p on my 1080p TV isn't as bad as everyone makes it to be, maybe it's just Breath of the Wild's cell shaded art style (no other games to really try this with either) but it certainly isn't ugly as I've heard. Maybe on a 4k TV it's harder to swallow, I don't know. Speaking of which, the transition is pretty swift, put it into the dock, it's instantly on the TV, something I've wanted for YEARS.
Okay, I've sounded pretty positive, but now I'm going to talk about the flaws to this device, and they can be pretty severe depending on what you want to do with the unit.
The dock is a cheap pile of garbage, it's mostly hollow, really light, okay-feeling plastic. It looks nice, even hides your cables but there's one other major flaw with this. There's sliders to help guide the tablet into the dock, they are hard plastic and WILL SCRATCH YOUR SCREEN. How you ask? The screen isn't glass, it's a soft plastic that you can easily, easily scratch. Got a 3DS? It's like that. You absolutely need a screen protector, so get your credit card ready because there's more than that 10 bucks you'll be spending.
The internal storage is less than 32GB after formatting, system/game updates. Do not bother with saving games here, find a microSD card, make sure it's a fast one and get no less than 64GB. Games range from 4GB to around 30GB. You'll probably want one off amazon since I've seen 128GB cards go on sale for 50 or less.
The battery life is awful. I'm sure there's someone reading this who'll leap to defend it. If people mock the Game Gear for crap battery life, this thing lasts less than even that device playing something like Breath of the Wild. 2.5-3 hours, if you have a full, new, battery. So, more money spending if you're a mobile person! Because you can purchase a USB-C battery bank and play on the go, which is obviously less than ideal. Game Gear offered the same option and it's still dumb 20 years later.
The kickstand is useless, it's, so, useless. I have a Surface Pro 4 and had a SP2 which yes is a more expensive device but the kickstand being my point goes across the entire back flush and shouldn't be too hard. Also, if you want to play and charge in tablet mode? You can't because the USB-C port is on the bottom of the unit, meaning it can't sit while you play unless you, you guessed it, buy a stand. Or if you have a 3D printer I'm sure you can swing that.
The device is huge, if you're going to travel, you want some kind of case. There's a few of them online I've seen, all gigantic rivaling the size of the Atari Lynx model 1. This isn't really avoidable since it does have a big (and lovely) screen and the controllers fit on the sides, even if you take them off you still need to store them.
The clips that snap onto the sides of the joycons are a huge problem, it's really easy to mix them up and put them on wrong and...well just youtube how to fix it because, with a tool it's easy to get off. Otherwise, you may be stuck till you get one.
It's not a perfect system but it's getting a lot of flack I don't think it deserves. Don't get me wrong it's bloody flawed, down to the accessories being way too expensive. But if you want one, and you MUST have one, it's not a purchase I think you'd have to be ashamed of.
Rumors to talk about:
-No, the Switch doesn't get too hot. Your phone during a game could get more hot than this. 2+hours docked playing Breath of The Wild and it was very warm, and it won't get that warm when in handheld mode as trying that it was even less warm.
-The analog sticks are fine, I don't have any issues with them. They're not strange like the PSP or 3DS, they tilt and everything. The Dpad is not great though.
-The build quality on the joycons and actual tablet is damn nice. It's more so than the new 3DS XL. Nothing feels flimsy and the joycons do not pivot or bend on the sides of the unit. I've seen a youtube vid of a guy doing so, he dun' messed up because held even at the VERY edges of the joycons, no problem. Held by one joycon, it works fine.
-The dock does not add any special CPU or up-scaling. The dock simply provides extra power/electricity and a video out, the switch recognizes it and increases it's own CPU/GPU clockspeed. Different games will react differently. Breath of the Wild runs at 900p in docked mode vs 720p and has slightly better texture filtering at a distance.
Something to keep in mind that there's no standard for how this works with games, Dragon Quest Heroes demo (japan only) runs at 1080p 30fps (with a lot of slowdown) in docked mode and 720p and the framerate is terrible (worse than the vita version) to the point it's unplayable. (at time of writing, digital foundry did a frame analysis, demo / full release may be different. Please consider the date of this review)
-I said the kickstand is very useless and I stand by that, but it is not like a certain hardware review site depicts. Your Switch doesn't become possessed and slam itself over like one of those really goofy commercials featuring comically clumsy people. If you have a stable, flat surface it's passable. You should be very careful with it still as it's not stable on it's own. The kickstand will spring off of it (this is a GOOD thing) if pressed on so it does not break inside the unit, you can literally clip it back on.
-Yes, the dock will scratch unprotected screens. So, like any other device you buy with an exposed screen it is worth purchasing something for this because even without the dock potentially scratching your screen, it's plastic build will surely get scratched with general use, by your bag, etc.
-No, the Switch doesn't easily slide into the dock as they depict in commercials where it's super swift, you lower the Switch in carefully to not damage the USB-C at the bottom, awkwardly work to get the 2 buttons on the back of the joycons to eject them and pull them off. It's a very simple & pretty easy solution, but the way they advertised it? Not THAT easy.
-No, generic USB-C hubs with video out will not allow you to bypass the dock, there's some form of confirmation chip put in the dock to prevent this. If you want TV-out (at time of writing) this is the only way to do it.
-Cartridges have load times, they are not special magical storage devices. There's many misinformed weirdos who assume this still since...I don't know the PS/N64 days. Games have to load into memory and even Zelda sports some decent load times upon death. However they are not nearly as bad as many PS4 titles (Bloodborne and it's 30-40 second load times). I would say if you have played a 3DS game that's had to load, it's like that. (Resident Evil Revelations, Monster Hunter Generations, 7th Dragon 3: Code VFD<=please play this game if you like RPGS)
Nintendo did a pretty good job, there's some major flaws about the unit, but that said I think I could list some issues with the PS4 in a proper review. (Low HDD space, huge installs, crap load times, crap battery life on the controllers).
There's NO reason to get the Switch with this all said at the moment. It's the launch of the device, with a whopping ...what, 9 games? Only Breath of the Wild is a must have as well as Shovel Knight and the rest are either not interesting or too expensive (Bomberman). There's no virtual console list of SNES titles or whatever.
In maybe a few months when Sonic Mania & “Other Sonic Game” come out, along with Mario Kart 8 & Splatoon 2 (hopefully Freedom Planet 2) come out, yeah it'd be worth getting. But, the other thing to then consider is if you're gonna play these games online...You're gonna be forking out online fees.
Again, I will stress that the hardware, though flawed is still solidly built. If you absolutely, must have this to play Zelda portable. You will have a nice, versitile machine that will get you by. However many games are months away and though you can probably get over 100 hours of fun+ out of it, I don't like buying consoles on 1 game. (I bought mine for Disgaea 5, Zelda, Sonic, Freedom Planet 2 (possibly) and other interesting indie titles. Wish there was METROID but you know whatever.) Zelda runs fine in the WiiU if you have that.
Disclosure: I bought my own Switch and copy of Breath of the Wild. I'm not the kind of person who buys games or devices based on a company. I have PS1-4, PSP, Sega Genesis+CD, Sega Saturn, Sega Game Gear, SNES, Gamecube, Wii, WiiU, Switch, GBA SP+New3DSXL, a Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
Please review the date this review was written or edited before commenting about a feature or game running differently, games and hardware are frequently updated and I am not constantly waiting for updates & diligently testing every single one.
This device, while expensive, is very well-crafted from quality materials and it is quite durable. I purchased a carrying case, the Hestia model, which gives added protection to the unit when it is being transported. Since Christmas Day, this unit has been given quite a workout and shows no signs of breaking down. I definitely recommend this unit.
I suppose it would be an okay system if you have am only child.