Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch
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The Nintendo Switch feels like the culmination of years of hardware growing pains from both Nintendo and Nvidia. Unlike the Wii U GamePad, you no longer have to worry about being tethered to your TV. Because the Switch houses all of its processing power in its portable form factor, it truly allows you to carry console power with you wherever you go. The fact that it’s able to do that while being lighter than the Wii U’s GamePad is a bit of a technical marvel in my book.

The Switch isn’t perfect, but it offers multiple ways to play games; all of which are viable. As silly as the commercials may seem, I can definitely see myself bringing the Switch to social gatherings to play something like 1-2-Switch as much as I can see myself playing Zelda sitting alone in front of my TV.

You can find more powerful consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One on sale for cheaper than the $299.99 Switch, but you’re paying for the form factor here. There’s something special about being able to play Breath of the Wild on the big screen in the living room and then continuing where you left off 15 minutes later on the bus.

Should you make the Switch? That answer should largely depend on whether you think the system’s library of games will satisfy your needs, but Nintendo has undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a great gaming device.


As a handheld, the Switch is a powerful piece of hardware with a gorgeous screen, but it’s too large and power hungry to feel like you can really take it anywhere. As a console, it’s underpowered, unreliable, and lacking basic features and conveniences that all of its competitors offer. It’s nicely built and cleverly designed to be used in a variety of ways, but the bottom line is that the Switch doesn’t do any one of the many things it can do without some sort of significant compromise. Our testing will continue for the next few days as we try out the online features and other functions enabled by the day-one patch, but if I had to score it now I’d give it a 6.7.



The Nintendo Switch is an experimental game console from a company with a storied history of making experimental game consoles. Whether it will go down as one of Nintendo’s successes or failures remains to be seen.

Big picture: I fundamentally like using the Switch. It accomplishes its central goal admirably, and has already gotten me thinking about it differently than my other game consoles. It also has a number of irritating flaws and hidden costs, and there are so many things about it that Nintendo still hasn’t explained.

Any new gaming hardware is defined by the games it can play, and here the Switch bucks convention. It has a single sensational launch game, albeit one that can also be played on the Wii U you might already own. The rest of its launch lineup is nowhere near as compelling, but the fact remains that playing this Zelda on the Switch has been one of the finest gaming experiences I’ve had in years. I suspect that, Wii U version or no, Breath of the Wild will entice a lot of people to buy a Switch. I couldn’t fault them for doing so.

My recommendation is still to wait. Of course, if you’re excited as hell about the Switch and know that you want one, go for it. But if you’re on the fence, I say hold off. Wait and see if Nintendo addresses some of the hardware issues people have reported. Bide your time and let them release more games. In six months we’ll know a lot more about how this unusual new console works, and there’ll be a lot more things to play on it. Nintendo has made another bold gamble, and only time will tell if it’ll pay off.


Nintendo Switch: the Digital Foundry verdict

In many ways, Nintendo Switch is what the Wii U should have been, and even reprises some of the best games in its catalogue. It’s a better built machine, sporting higher grade materials, an innovative Joy-Con controller setup, and a gorgeous screen. The company’s strength in handheld design is clearly tapped into, and while it may be pushed as a home console first, it’s more appetising to see it as the successor to the 3DS. Switch rightly takes the crown as the most powerful dedicated gaming handheld right now, but the bonus is its effective, and seamless home console mode.

Certain limitations are clear though. As a hybrid console it has drawbacks on both sides of the package. In a portable state, the battery struggles to hold for over three hours in taxing titles, something even a sizable 4310mAh battery can’t avoid. Meanwhile, for the docked, home console experience, the known technical specifications do fall short of competition from PS4 and Xbox One. Don’t expect top-of-the-line third party games to reach Switch, and if they do, expect a degree of compromise in visual quality or performance.

There’s no denying this is still a compelling piece of technology. Putting aside the controller sync issues and an unconvincing stand, there’s a lot to celebrate. The Joy-Cons adapt brilliantly to any situation, and the tablet is ruggedly built in most other regards, with a smart finish, delivering games at a quality beyond anything we’ve seen on a handheld. It’s a cliché, but the value of any hardware rests on great software, and it’s Nintendo that will be the one to watch going forward. As the years roll on, we can fully expect the Switch’s potential will be better tapped into, and fine-tuned to impressive results

However, as a launch product, the £280/$300 price-point is a big ask compared to the competition, especially bearing in mind a launch title line-up based primarily on Wii U ports. There are also many extra costs too - a larger SD card is essential, the Pro controller is recommended for home use, and an external powerbank is worthwhile on the go. For now, what we have is a strong foundation to build on; it’s pricy and not without fault, but we can’t wait to see where Nintendo take the concept.

The Verge

the most shocking thing about the Switch might be how many obvious pitfalls Nintendo has managed to elegantly avoid. Going from playing on the tablet to the TV is completely effortless, and there’s no sense of compromise whichever way you choose to play. Once you hold and use the Switch, it just makes sense.

Great hardware alone isn’t enough, of course. I have little doubt Nintendo’s first-party lineup will be amazing — Breath of the Wild alone is almost worth the cost of admission here — but the company’s weak spots have always been continuing and expanding third-party support, as well as providing a robust online service. Those are the potential pitfalls to come.

The Switch has all the makings of something truly great. Now Nintendo just needs to support it.


The Switch is a console sandwiched between a bar of success lowered by the disaster of the Wii U and the considerable ground Nintendo must make up.

Compared to the Wii U on its basic merits, the Switch is a slam dunk. It takes the basic concept of the Wii U, of a tablet-based console, and fulfills the promise of it in a way Nintendo simply wasn’t capable of realizing in 2012. It’s launching with a piece of software that, more than anything in the Wii U’s first year, demonstrates its inherent capability of delivering what Nintendo says is one of Switch’s primary missions: a big-budget, AAA game that exists across a portable device and a television-connected portable. The hardware lives up to its name in how easily and smoothly it moves between those two worlds, in how dead simple it all is to make something pretty magical happen.

But beyond Breath of the Wild’s test run and the stunning basic functionality of the Switch lies a field of other obligations and requirements for an internet-connected gaming platform in 2017 and, thus far, Nintendo hasn’t done much to prove it knows what it needs to do to recover from years of blind eyes and stubborn avoidance of modern ideas. The best example that Nintendo has a finger on the pulse of the modern gaming audience is a mobile game made by another studio.

Nintendo has demonstrated in fits and starts that it wants to move forward, and we’re hopeful that it will. But as it exists right now, days before launch, the Switch isn’t even a fully functional console yet, and some of the hardest work the company needs to do has only just begun. As concerning, the work Nintendo is doing appears completely opaque from the outside — and Nintendo has frequently been glacially slow to course-correct when the path it’s set on has proven the wrong one.

Nintendo’s vision is clearer than it’s been in years. Now the company needs to prove it can pull it all together

Attack of the Fanboy

The Nintendo Switch is one of Nintendo’s strongest launches in both in terms of the hardware and software. The system is extremely well designed for its dual use as a home and handheld console. The Joy-Con require some getting used to, mostly due to their small size, but they server their many purposes well. The proposed launch year lineup is exceptional, with Zelda headlining the launch as an immediate killer app. Nintendo also learned from their Wii U mistakes in other ways, giving the system a definite theme and setting expectations for what this console is and how it works. It has limited uses right now, so multitaskers should likely wait. If you’re a Nintendo fan then you should already have your preorder in though, and video game players in general should be taking a very close look at the Nintendo Switch.


THE GOOD The Nintendo Switch is a versatile hybrid game console that easily pivots between a big-screen TV and on-the-go portable. Its modular Joy-Con controllers are inventive. The entire hardware feels substantial and refined. Breath of the Wild is one of the best Nintendo launch games of all time.

THE BAD Besides Zelda, there are only a handful of games and no Virtual Console. Online features are currently a mystery. Screen feels small during tabletop sessions. Joy-Con layout is cramped and crowded, and the left one can have connection issues when wireless.

THE BOTTOM LINE The Nintendo Switch is a solid piece of hardware that delivers an impressive gameplay experience in a small chassis. But a shallow roster of launch games beyond Zelda and a dearth of other features leaves the Switch feeling more like a blank slate of unfulfilled potential on day one.


A game console in 2017 is more than just a piece of hardware that runs game software. It’s also the gateway to an online service. The Switch I tested doesn’t go online yet, which stops me from being able to review fundamental aspects of the system.

What’s it like to set up a Nintendo account online, or migrate your existing account over to Switch? Don’t know. How’s the experience of buying software digitally? Can’t say. What about finding online friends and communicating with them? No idea. Online multiplayer gaming? Haven’t the foggiest.

All of these things are quite germane to a review of a piece of personal technology in 2017, but Switch doesn’t do them yet. Nintendo says it will add these features in a software update that will be released “just prior” to launch, which users will have to download before they can experience all the online features.

From what I’ve seen, I have high hopes: The user interface currently installed on the device is clean, fast, responsive, well-designed. You can tap the Power button to send the unit into sleep mode immediately during gameplay, and pick up your game of Zelda right where you left off. It seems like it’s a thousand times better than Wii U’s slow, clunky interface. You just can’t do anything with it yet besides start and stop a game of Zelda.

And right now, that’s about all one can say about Switch: It has a new Zelda, you can definitely play it in handheld mode, and you might be able to play it in TV mode if you’re lucky. Switch has the potential to be all things to all people: TV console, next-gen Game Boy, wacky motion controls, traditional hardcore game machine, even multiplayer-in-a-box. But today, with just hours to go before launch, Switch is lacking some basic functionality.

New York Magazine

So my advice for most people is simple: wait.

Wait for more titles to come out. Wait to see how Nintendo handles whatever hardware difficulties it seems to be facing (or if these issues are just some pre-launch jitters). Hold off until it’s clearer how online multiplayer will shake out, and if you’re okay with paying an annual fee for the right to play other people online. Wait to see what sort of holiday bundles Nintendo offers. Wait to see if Nintendo actually manages to get its supply chain in order, so you’re not throwing elbows at a Target, like during the really bad days of the Wii shortage. Breath of the Wild is a fantastic game, but it’ll still be just as good a few months from now.

With both Sony and Microsoft moving toward a future of endless console upgrades that make living-room consoles just slightly-easier-to-use gaming PCs, Nintendo’s continued dedication to trying audacious new things in consoles is admirable. In the Wii U, their reach outstripped their grasp, and they were left with a confusing mess of a system. The Switch leaves those bad memories behind — it feels much more focused, much more promising, and has the real potential to be a good living-room console and a game-changing mobile console. But it needs some more time before I’d say it’s a must-buy for anyone besides Nintendo diehards.


The Good

Extremely thin portable form factor makes the system quite easy to pick up and play.
6.2-inch, 720p screen is easily the most beautiful display ever on a portable game console.
Breath of the Wild is a potential system seller, even if it’s available on another system.
Holding two Joy-Cons completely separately in two hands is a revelation.
HD rumble haptics are a cute party trick.

The Bad*

Three-ish hours of portable battery life on high-end games could have you hunting for outlets.
As a TV-based console, the system is underpowered compared to similarly priced competition.
Extremely tiny shoulder buttons get in their own way.
Holding the Joy-Con horizontally is an invite to hand cramp city.
The left Joy-Con frequently disconnects when playing on a docked console.
Initial software support is neither deep nor broad, and the future is uncertain.
The incredibly flimsy kickstand can snap off quite easily.

The Ugly

Having to wait a few more months for the true Super Mario 64 follow-up we’ve been craving for years.

Verdict: Definitely don’t buy it as your first and only console. As a second console, consider holding off until the end of the year unless you simply can’t live without a fully portable Zelda right this very moment.


Final Thoughts

The Nintendo Switch is a fascinating device. It redefines what a console is and blurs the line between home console and handheld. The Switch takes big risks by sacrificing power, surely cutting out some high end AAA third-party games, but the trade-off is very Nintendo in that it offers more ways to play, and therefore more types of fun. The Switch is the console you’ll want with you at parties, when friends come over, when you’re on the road or even when you want to relax at home. It’s the console that sacrifices high-end gaming for a broader range of gaming. At the same time, its unique features don’t feel as “gimmicky” as in the case of the Wii or Wii U. It feels natural, modern and like a sophisticated gaming system.

The Nintendo Switch strikes a very nice balance between the innovative and the familiar. A Frankenstein monster this is not. The Nintendo Switch is a very attractive piece of gaming hardware; just as any other console, however, it can only be as good as its software library. All Nintendo needs to do now is deliver a solid line-up of first party games while enticing third party developers to bring their franchises to the platform. If they manage that, the Switch could become the best-selling console of all time.


Nintendo is selling a promise

With the Switch, Nintendo is essentially selling a $400 promise. The console has issues, including what will likely be an underpowered processor, a possible lack of third-party support — though Nintendo claims to have 50 developers and publishers on board with the console already — and a minuscule 32GB of internal storage. Get ready to buy a MicroSD card if you’re planning on downloading games digitally. The overarching, take-a-console-experience-with-you-anywhere direction of the Switch, however, is just too compelling for me to not be excited about.

For some, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild will be more than enough reason to pick up the console. Despite its slow-down issues, draw distance problems and the disappointment that it doesn’t look great running on a television, I expect the latest entry in the Zelda franchise to sit at the top of most game critic’s game of the year list come January this year.
For everyone else, however, waiting until Christmas 2017 as well as to see what the Switch’s Virtual Console and online multiplayer features actually look like, is a more sensible plan of action.

It’s Nintendo’s best-looking console to date >7.5/10


As of now though, the sky is the limit for the Nintendo Switch. Despite its relative lack of power, its functionality and multiple ways to play make the Nintendo Switch the real deal. I just wish the initial fee to get started wasn’t so expensive. Still, as a piece of hardware, Nintendo fans should rejoice that the house of Mario is finally taking their home console seriously again.

The Nintendo Switch is a pretty revolutionary piece of tech despite the upfront cost and relatively uncomfortable controllers.


We got this covered

Purely from a hardware perspective, it’s not even close: the Switch is the slickest machine Nintendo has ever built. Being able to take massive titles like Breath of the Wild along with you feels like a game-changer, but there are a lot of questions remaining that the Japanese giant has yet to answer.

Nintendo Life

Every Nintendo console is important in some way; the NES established the company as a major player in the domestic hardware arena, while the N64 introduced analogue control to mainstream players. The Nintendo DS gave an entire generation of players touch input, and the Wii will go down in history as the console which kick-started the motion-control craze. Despite all of these past successes, it’s no exaggeration to claim that the Switch is Nintendo’s most important hardware release, ever.
The reason is twofold; this is a console which unifies the company’s previously separate portable and domestic hardware interests, a significant change for a firm which for so long as utterly dominated the handheld market – a market which is arguably shrinking due to the popularity of smartphones and tablets. Secondly, the Switch comes at a time when Nintendo is more marginalised in the industry than ever before; Sony and Microsoft now preside over the “core” gamer market, with Nintendo almost alone in choosing to cater for younger players, families, and those seeking a different gaming life from that given in the multi-platform ‘Triple-A’ market. With that in mind, the Switch is a very sensible call; it has been built from the ground-up with local, social play in mind and should hopefully build upon what the Wii achieved in this area.

While it sounds like a cheap parlour trick, the Switch’s ability to effortlessly transition from home console to portable is a revelation; to be able to play a AAA adventure like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the big screen and continue that quest on public transport without any loss of scale or immersion is a truly remarkable selling point, and one which Nintendo is wisely pushing in all of its marketing efforts. However, that’s not the only trick this console has up its sleeve; those delightful Joy-Con are perfect for impromptu local multiplayer sessions, with Super Bomberman R already proving the surprising potential of this particular arrangement. With titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and FIFA 18 on the way, this hardware configuration could prove to be as appealing to the mainstream public as the Wii’s waggle was back in 2006; it’s basically like having a portable TV set with you at all times, offering scope for multiplayer fun no matter where you happen to be. Couple this with the unique feature set of the Joy-Con controllers – HD Rumble is something we can see Nintendo’s rivals copying in the near future – and you’ve got a wide selection of elements for developers to leverage over the next few years.
Nintendo and its third-party partners stumbled with the Wii U and failed to present a convincing case for second-screen gaming; we’d be surprised if the Switch suffered a similar fate, but nothing in the world of gaming is certain. While the intrinsic charm of its hardware is already blindingly obvious and the USP of the system – play anytime, anywhere, with anyone – is easy to communicate, it remains to be seen if Nintendo’s most important hardware release yet will resonate with consumers; what we’ve seen so far, however, certainly fills us with confidence.


For me, specifically referring to the launch, the Switch lacks a certain type of “wow factor” that I’ve had previously with Nintendo systems out of the box.

Take the Wii U: when my wife and I popped open that console, we showed off Nintendo Land to multiple groups of friends. Not only was it a fantastic pack-in, but it sold people on the Wii U and gaming in general, much like the free Wii Sports did before it. The idea of having one person use the GamePad to play was something entirely different, and just about everyone had four Wiimotes on hand for multiplayer.

But I’ve found that the Switch, especially right now, is mostly a solo affair. Its portable nature caters more towards playing by yourself on the go with the Joy-Con attached, and at the moment, its heavy-hitting multiplayer games are still waiting in the wings. It’s nigh inconceivable that 1-2 Switch isn’t a pack-in, as it would be a perfect lead-in for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe next month and Splatoon 2 later this summer.

For Nintendo, that gamble may yet pay off though. It has already built a large amount of hype behind the console, and is already pushing it twice as hard as it ever pushed the Wii U in its entire four-year-ish lifespan. Over time it’ll have a respectable library, the freedom it allows will facilitate new kinds of experiences, and the price of the controllers will drop.

While I would pick one up at launch, don’t feel bad if you’re waiting for the right time to do so.

Game Revolution:

The Switch represents another ambitious piece of Nintendo hardware that is unlike anything else on the market. The good news is that it has succeeded in its effort of providing a means of enjoying games of all kinds, from indie to AAA, no matter where you are. The bad news is that Nintendo still struggles in several key areas, most notably on features and build quality. The Switch currently offers nothing outside of dedicated gaming experiences, and in non-luxurious fashion.

Even then I’ve found myself mesmerized by the Switch. I never thought I would enjoy a hybrid gaming machine as much as I have. The way I see it, it’s a perfect supplemental console. I might use my PS4 to play third-party releases, socialize, and watch Netflix, but the moment I want to relax while playing an exclusive title or am about to head somewhere where I’ll be waiting a while, the Switch is coming out without hesitation.

Unlike the Wii U, what the Switch delivers isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a complete transformation of how and where you play games. For that, it deserves your attention, even if that means being an interested spectator until more games become available.

PC Advisor


Youtube Reviews:
Digital Foundry
The Verge
Ars Technica
Go Nintendo



Ready to roll.

Sonic Mania

+1 demon dog


Well, I can officially put my foot in my mouth as I honestly thought this console would fall flat on it’s face, as I really didn’t see what it had to offer with it’s incredibly weak launch lineup, and with what I thought even a weaker holiday lineup with Mario being the only thing of interest. I was obviously the minority in that thinking, as this thing is blowing the Wii U out of the water, which provides hope for possible third party support and an empty wallet in my future. What am I missing? Why is this selling so much better than the Wii U, when it seems to be to be just as gimmicky, it not more, than it’s predecessor?


Well for one, they manufactured like a shit ton more Switches than Wii U’s.

For two, Zelda.


I find it way less gimmicky than its predecessor. The Wii U hardly needed that tablet controller, in my opinion. A few games used it interestingly, but it usually felt underutilized (a devoted map screen).

The Switch’s portability, however, is used every single day at my house. Kristen brings it to work almost always. One of us will undock it and bring it upstairs to play in bed. I was hogging the tv the other night playing Zelda and Kristen wanted to watch something, so I just undocked it and kept playing on the couch. It’s been super versatile.

But let’s be honest…Zelda is what’s selling this thing. It’s a special game. We were talking last night how we’d still be happy with our Switch/Zelda purchase if they stopped manufacturing today and canceled all future games. Still worth the cost of entry. It’s that good. That game plus the portability.


Yeah, I guess I keep forgetting that there were so few Wii U’s sold, that Zelda being cross platform doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to Switch sales.

I’m probably being unfair to it in the gimmick department because I still can’t get over those controllers made for ants called joycons. If you are mostly only using them while connected to the Switch, or using a procontroller instead, I can see how it’s not gimmicky, but as soon as you detach those things it just looks to me like a huge misstep sacrificing playability just so you can have a clever trademark.

I guess the second screen doesn’t really get me nearly as excited as I tried that a handful of times on the Wii U when I first got it, as most launch game supported it, but I just never really found much use for it unless I went out of my way to use it, but again, that says more about my lifestyle than the Switch, where my wife would just prefer that I am in another room playing a game than sitting next to her ignoring her.


I can’t say I believe this is making much of a difference as I remember Wii U’s consistently being available in retail stores shortly after launch, even on launch day in many cases. It was the first console where I actually arrived at a brick and mortar store before open to get, and was the only one to walk in to get one.


Hmm, it wasn’t really like that in my area when I was still with Gamestop. We’d go full weeks before getting a shipment of like 4-8 in and they’d sell out in the same day they arrive.


Yeah, I guess it’s all circumstantial, I just remember getting all defensive of the constant reports on Twitter of Wii U’s being on shelves everywhere, because the fanboy in me was trying to justify my purchase.


Man, the Wii U is used almost exclusively with just the tablet at my house. Granted the range isn’t very far from the TV, but it’s a common sight to see my son playing on the PS4 and TV and my daughter on the floor playing Mario on the Wii U tablet. Basically the TV is usually being used by the PS4 for either gaming or movies or streaming TV, so the Wii U almost defaults to just tablet use and that works pretty well in my house. Granted we don’t have many games for it, so I can’t speak to games that can’t be played on just the tablet. I usually play virtual console stuff when I use it. I like it, personally. And I love that it has a Wii emulator, so everything I had and could do with the Wii is still in there.


It was on reddit, so why not? It’s hard to beat that NES launch, but holy cow, was N64 really that thin???


I managed to find a Switch for myself the kids for Easter. It’s my duty to crack that thing open and test it out before we give it to them right?


Make sure to lick it to confirm ownership.


Don’t pee directly on it. Putting it in a ziploc bag first does count, though.


I can confirm the switch is in working order.