The Nintendo switch launched earlier this month, it burst onto scene as the seventh major gaming console developed by Nintendo. The “hybrid’’ console which retails at AU$470 was officially announced on October 20 of last year, since then die-hard fans of the company have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Well, it’s here…so what’s it like?
The switch is comprised of three main components, the ‘’Switch Console’’, ‘’Switch Dock’’ and the ‘’Joy-Con’’ controllers, together allowing for three playable modes. TV, tabletop and handheld. As Nintendo boasts, “the switch is designed to go wherever you do”. I found it incredibly satisfying to go from playing a game in the comfort of my home to almost seamlessly taking the game with me as I left the house.
In handheld mode, both ‘’Joy-Cons’’ are easily attached to a 16cm battery powered LCD screen capable of supporting ten-point multi-touch capacitive sensing and resolutions up to 720p. Slip off the ‘’Joy-Cons’’ and place the tablet in its provided charging dock and via a HDMI cable your game will almost instantly appear on a TV, significantly increasing the resolution capability.
In tabletop mode, the kickstand on the tablet allows for easy placement on most surfaces while the ‘’Joy-Cons’’ can be used separately with one in each hand or they can be fitted either side of an extra grip to resemble a more traditional PS or Xbox controller. In tabletop, multi-player mode, the “Joy-Cons’’ can be used separately in co-operative or competitive games, however the diminished screen size can quickly become an issue. A single switch console can support up to eight “Joy-Con’’ connections, though handheld mode is required for such gaming.
It’s probably no surprise to you, given the late Nintendo Wii and Wii U console, that the controllers are packed with motion sensitivity technology. This is one of the best pieces of motion tech I have encountered, both left and right “Joy-Cons” are fitted with accelerometer and gyro-sensor meaning that individual motion control is possible. Each controller also has a camera but the right ‘’Joy-Con’s’’ is infrared, allowing it to detect the motion of nearby objects, their shape and distance from the controller. In my experience it’s been incredibly precise, picking up even the slightest movements. What’s perhaps more impressive is the HD rumble tech included in each controller, it’s not a new feature for Nintendo but it’s infinitely more detailed, the vibrations are so sensitive for example that with a bit of practice and skill, you can feel and guess the number of fictive pinballs rolling around inside the controller.
One of the major complaints of the switch is the limited line-up of games currently available, a problem which will surely be overcome in time, but frustrating nonetheless for current players. But of the six games available right now there aren’t a lot with decent reviews ‘’1-2 switch’’ basically serves as a demo for the switch with not much replay value. ‘’Just Dance’’ has been hailed as fun but just far too limited on the switch with not much varying gameplay. It’s really only with the ‘’Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’’ that gamers can finally get a chance to stretch out the legs of the Nintendo switch. It’s a shoe-in for game of the year but importantly is a perfect creation for the switch. Taking the adventures of link with you wherever you go is sure to hold fans over until the release of future titles, including the much anticipated ‘’Mario kart 8 Deluxe’’ and ‘’The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim’’.
There have been numerous reports of the switch glitching or producing a high-pitched squealing noise forcing them to reboot the console, some users have found their device unable to recognise game cards while others haven’t been able to turn it on at all. The left ‘’Joy-Con’’ has also been found to randomly disconnect with the switch. Nintendo has insisted that widespread technical problems are non-existent but are working to fix all issues.
The Nintendo switch is a good console, with the potential to be great, but if you don’t already have one perhaps it would be best to wait until some confirmation of a 100% functional console is produced and more titles are released. You might also benefit from a cheaper price tag.