With the continuing hype storm Nintendo has created over their new hybrid console, The Nintendo Switch, The question of whether you should get one probably crossed your mind numerous times already (Unless you already got one).
As a somewhat late adopter, I also contemplated on whether I should join Nintendo’s party or not, and eventually, I busted in dancing and here to tell you all about it.
First, for some personal background, the last Nintendo console I owned was the SNES and since then I was almost completely detached from the Nintendo universe, only feeding on news stories and game trailers, and to be honest, I never really understood the fascination over Nintendo’s renowned IP’s.
Although I didn’t get why these well-established franchises still continue making waves throughout the gaming industry, I was sure damn curious, and that was my first step towards owning my first Nintendo console in years.
So why did I take the plunge? And more importantly, why should you consider doing the same?
The golden price
The first thing that got me going straight in was the price.
For just 299$ you can have this bad boy in your hands and for me, it was an affordable price for a fairly new console.
Yes, games on the Switch cost more on average and yes, You will probably need to purchase a few extra things like an SD card, a carry case or even that pricey pro controller.
But still, considering the PS4 launched at 399$ and the Xbox One at 499$, I feel that it’s a very good price for a new console that more, in my opinion, compared to the other two competitors in the market.
That’s what the Switch is all about, no?
A home console that you can just pop out of its dock and put it in your backpack, that sounds like a dream! Surprisingly so, it simply works like that.
To be honest, I didn’t pay too much intention for the mobility of this console before I purchased it, Handheld consoles just always felt unappealing to me and I much prefer sitting on my couch in front of my big screen TV when I play my favorite games.
Well… saying I was wrong is an understatement.
Playing the Switch on the go is an experience I haven’t had before and even after a few good months with it, it still manages to surprise me time and time again.
Playing the Switch on my sunny balcony with my morning coffee or closing off the day with the Switch in bed is just so convenient.
Being also a handheld console, the Switch made me play more games even in the busiest times. Dropping in and out of any game takes just a few seconds with the sleep mode working smoothly and quickly, allowing me to squeeze quick play sessions whenever I get the chance.
On top of that, the Switch made traveling much more exciting.
Got a boring train ride ahead? a lengthy flight? don’t worry! The Switch’s got your back.
A gateway to Nintendo’s treasured first party games
Out of the three contenders in the console market, Nintendo has always been the most exclusive of the bunch, Walling off their beloved franchises only for their own platform, and for a good reason.
Back in 2013 the late Satoru Iwata, formerly Nintendo’s president and CEO, Summed up in an interview to CVG about Nintendo’s approach to their first party games.
“What I believe is that Nintendo is a very unique company, because it does its business by designing and introducing people to hardware and software – by integrating them, we can be unique. And because we have hardware and software developers in the same building, they stimulate each other”
He then continued – “And those kinds of conditions have enabled us to create something that no other companies can create. Those kinds of backgrounds are there behind the fact that such a number of great Nintendo franchises exist, and those great franchises always shine for people around the world.”
Basically, Nintendo’s key to success, according to Iwata, Is the integration of their in-house developed hardware and software, which shines oh so brightly on their new console.
Having the chance to play some of the most well-known franchises on the Switch was a unique experience I haven’t had in years.
Roaming through the wondrous land of Hyrule in Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the go, Racing against my buddies in some of the most imaginative tracks in Mario Kart 8 or spending hours in bed trying to collect every single moon in Super Mario Odyssey.
These are just a few of the many joyful experiences the Nintendo Switch offers that no other console can.
With only one year in the market, Nintendo managed to release some of the highest ranked first party games in history and that alone, for me anyway, is a good enough reason to get this console in your hands.
3rd party embrace – share the love
One of the most substantial revisions in Nintendos marketing strategy is the highly improved 3rd party support for the Nintendo Switch.
This is something Nintendo notably struggled with in the past few years, having limited game titles from other major studios on the Wii and Wii U, but this time around it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Since its release, The Nintendo Switch’s library grew bigger with a slew of titles from the biggest publishers in the industry like Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda and more, delivering some exciting franchises and reviving older titles we never thought we would see on a Nintendo console and 2018 doesn’t seem to disappoint on that aspect either with a robust release schedule to keep us on our toes.
Apart from dishing out a plethora of re-releases and ports to major game franchises we all know and love, Nintendo displays a refined initiative working out with other developers to bring new and exciting titles that are tailor-made for the Nintendo Switch.
A good example for that is Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Developed and published by Ubisoft, one of the most surprising releases for the Switch on 2017, ranking at 8.5 on Metacritic.
We just hope that Nintendo continues working with other developers as the gaming industry keeps embracing and nurturing this console in the future.
The Nindies – The best console for indies?
We already know its much more than a passing trend. In recent years, Indie developers swept the market with a gushing stream of colorful and innovative new titles, Pushing boundaries and taking risks that bigger companies cannot allow themselves to.
Starting from Steam and continuing to Xbox and PS4, the gaming industry as a whole adapted and embraced this movement and Nintendo is no different.
The Nindies – Nintendo’s initiative to endorse and nurture its indie partners continues to bring new indie titles and breath new life into older ones on it’s new console.
The Switch seems to be the friendliest Nintendo console to develop games on, as reported by many indie developers, resulting in a robust variety of indie titles on the E-Shop.
For some many reasons, playing indie titles on the Switch makes the most sense out of any of the other consoles in the market. It’s portability, ease of use and accessibility got me excited to play titles I haven’t even considered before.
These tasty and compact games fit just perfectly on my Switch, and I just can’t imagine playing them anywhere else.
The return of Couch Co-op
With almost every game on the market today having an online component, It seems like developers almost abandoned the original co-op experience – The couch co-op.
Being Couchdwellerz, we truly miss this co-op experience; being in the same room, sharing the same screen and communicating organically, no mics attached.
Check out our Playing video games as a couple article and see why this feature is so dearly close to our hearts.
Fortunately, Nintendo never seemed to neglect this beloved feature.
Sticking to its roots, Nintendo continues to develop plenty of games with co-op in mind, having multiple players share the same screen and enjoy this precious co-op experience.
First party titles like Snipperclips, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, Kirby Star Allies, 1-2 Switch and Arms all share these co-op qualities that made the Switch already a couch co-op star in its first year with much more titles to come in 2018.
Adding to this list some of the best co-op indie titles making their way into the Switch, you can see why we love this console so much.
Aside from the software aspect, one of the reasons the Switch is so great for co-op play is its hardware and design.
From the get-go, we get two remote controls so we can immediately start playing with a partner.
Although the joy-cons can feel sometimes too small and not as comfortable as a normal PS4/XBOX controller, I still feel the upsides outshine the negatives.
Having the ability to use the joy-cons as two separate controllers makes co-op much more immediate, just pop them out of their docks and join, as simple as that.
Playing together on the go is much more convenient also, not having to carry another controller in your bag and being able to play almost anywhere we want.
Whether it’s on a tray table during a flight, a bench in the park or just in bed when we are too lazy to get out, (Our most common example of the three) Just open the kickstand, grab the joy-cons and start having fun.
Why you shouldn’t
Like any other console, the Switch has some drawbacks we need to address.
As we’ve mentioned before, games on the Switch are more expensive so you need to get used to spending a little more cash on games compared with what you normally would on other consoles.
Secondly, if you plan on getting the full home console experience you will probably need to get the Switch’s Pro Controller, which is pretty expensive (60$ on Amazon) and that’s before all the other accessories you need to buy like an SD card, a case, an extra charger or a portable charger, so it can easily add up to a larger sum than expected.
We didn’t feel the need for a Pro Controller but I can clearly see why some people will want that.
Another downside is the Switch’s online features.
The Switch is great for local co-op but lacks in online functionality, especially with the missing voice chat which, to be honest, is a pretty ridiculous feature to not have these days, considering how basic it is.
Battery life is also a minor dent in Nintendo’s shining armor as the somewhat small battery limits the consoles mobility, especially if you intend on playing the more demanding games like Zelda and Mario. If you plan on taking out the Switch a lot, you should highly consider getting a powerful power bank.
The last and possibly the most concerning downside of the Switch is the relatively weak technical and graphical capabilities compared to other consoles currently.
Being portable/hybrid console with an affordable launch price means Nintendo had to do some cutbacks, mostly under the hood.
PS4 and Xbox One, two consoles that came out more than three years prior to the Switch, are significantly more powerful than the Switch and run current gen games that the Switch just cannot handle, making the Switch feel already outdated tech wise.
If you look for a console to play the next iteration of Call Of Duty, this is probably not the console for you, and it doesn’t seem like Nintendo ever intended it to be a graphical powerhouse.
For us, the Switch was an outstanding console to add some diversity to our gaming library as we own other consoles as well, but for a primary console, we suggest you also look into the other consoles.