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Our Nintendo Switch Impressions

Mar 10, 2016

By: Max Cannon

It's finally here: the Nintendo Switch. We were lucky enough to have gotten a pre-order of Nintendo's new console and after booting it up and playing some Zelda we've got some thoughts to share.

Making the Switch is Easy

When I was waiting for my order to arrive I was only considering playing the Switch on my TV. I've loved some handheld consoles in the past but not the way I fell for consoles. After opening up my package and attaching my Joy-Con controllers to the Nintendo Switch screen I audibly said "Wow, this actually feels pretty good," and I didn't expect to say that.

Nintendo's surpisingly comfy Handheld Mode works well.Nintendo's surpisingly comfy Handheld Mode works well.Courtesy of Nintendo

Initially I was playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on my TV and noticed a bit of a lower than expected resolution but when I had decided to share the TV and remove the Switch from the dock it shifted from TV to handheld shockingly fast. Zelda was 900p on the TV, which would explain the blur on my 55" 4K TV, but it looked even better on the console's 720p screen. It looked so good that I didn't even want to return to the TV.

Resolution doesn't translate as well to TV Mode.Resolution doesn't translate as well to TV Mode.Courtesy of Nintendo

Satisfying to Share

Bringing my Switch to work to play games with fellow employees was just a break-room fantasy, but after a few rounds of Super Bomberman R it was a dream come true. Similar to the original Wii, turning your controller on its side offers a more standard controller and the left and right Joy-Con gives 2 controllers right out of the box. The controllers definitely feel pretty tiny, and the screen feels a little too small while resting on the kickstand, but hey I got paid while playing Bomberman during a slow night at work.

Tabletop Mode is held back by the size of the screen and controllers.Tabletop Mode is held back by the size of the screen and controllers.Courtesy of Nintendo

Small Problems

In addition to those Joy-Cons feeling a little small when used on their side, I think the Joy-Con grip feels a little smaller than desired. Its far from unplayable but I would be lying if I said I didn't yearn for a Pro Controller -- but those bad boys cost $70! The dock that charges your console and allows you to play on your TV feels flimsy and there are rumors of it scratching up screens while being removed. I didn't have any issues but these stories have made me cautious.

The Joy-Cons also don't charge when on the grip, which seems like a small oversight but you can buy a chargeable grip for $30. The Joy-Cons are rumored to have around 20 hours of battery life and the main console ranges from 2 and a half to 6 hours. With the consoles life being so much shorter, I never found an issue with the Joy-Con's life because when my Switch is charging my Jon-Cons are on it.

Switching between TV Mode and Handheld Mode works impressively well.Switching between TV Mode and Handheld Mode works impressively well.Courtesy of CNET

Also the kickstand is a little flimsy, not awful but worth mentioning.

My Thoughts on the Switch

The Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo console I've bought with my own money, rather than being gifted to me as a child by my parents. I love it. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is really, really awesome but I would love to get my hands on some more games. If games release at a steady pace, this could end up being one of my favorite consoles of all time.

Bridging the gap between a handheld and home console seems like a very possible reality.Bridging the gap between a handheld and home console seems like a very possible reality.Courtesy of Nintendo
Have Your Say!

Are you interested in the Nintendo Switch? Will you be playing the new Zelda? Comment below!