Nintendo Switch – Hands-on Impressions

I got my hands on the Nintendo Switch at a midnight launch, and made the mistake of booting it up “just to see what it was like.” It’s an absolute miracle I got any sleep at all.

Flash forward to Monday, where 8 hours at work felt more like 8 years, as I desperately tried to avoid thinking about Hyrule.

I have probably clocked in about 20 hours on Nintendo’s latest console offering, and have compiled my formats in the classic format of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

 

THE GOOD

– Screen is great, definitely a massive step up from your average portable.

– Docking is just as quick and easy as you would think. No marketing spin here.

– I have honestly played it almost every way they say you can, organically. Docked on my couch, handheld on the floor (while watching the Football on TV) and tabletop. Although tabletop was more like bedtop.

– Zelda is an absolute blast. There may only be a handful of launch titles, but I will spend much longer playing Zelda than I would have spent finishing a generic FPS and Action Adventure launch title.

– The charge seems to hold pretty well. Having one Switch docked and one on Handheld, I managed to run two consoles from 10AM to midnight with only minor breaks by swapping over whenever one got low. My Pro Controller also lasted from Friday night until Sunday evening with no charging.

– It was touched upon in marketing stuff leading up to launch, but the Switch coming with two controllers out of the box is spectacular news for anyone with friends. If you have a mate drop by unexpectedly, hand them the second Joy Con and away you go. It’s just that easy.

THE BAD

– If you have a Pro Controller and a Dock, you need to either unplug the dock to charge the controller or buy a new USB-C cable. Joy Cons and consoles charge at the same time, but anything outside of that and you are out of luck.

– The kickstand hasn’t actually failed on me, but it definitely feels a bit too flimsy for me to trust my $470 console with it. Luckily, the official case also doubles as a separate stand.

– If you don’t like Zelda, you might want to wait until Mario Kart or Splatoon.

– The included Comfort Grip seems to be the weak link (heh, Zelda jokes). I found the Pro Controller and Handheld modes to be perfectly comfy, but the halfway point of the Comfort grip just felt like the worst of both worlds. It’s not a terrible option if you don’t have the funds for a Pro Controller.

THE UGLY
– The cartridges really do taste truly, truly awful. Also it means you would probably Glen 20 any preowned games to get rid of that residual Youtuber spit.

– Once I finish Zelda, I think I will be putting my Switch back in the case until at least April for Mario Kart.

So the burning question: Should I get one? I honestly think there have been more articles about whether the console is worth buying than the console itself. My best advice is, go see one in person. Find a mate who has one, give it a shot, try out moving from docked to handheld.

If you aren’t a Zelda fan, you don’t need to care for another few months anyway. If you are, I think you will agree after trying it out that picking up a Switch is a significantly more worthwhile investment than buying Breath of the Wild on the now-defunct Wii U.

Otherwise the future is bright for this little wonder, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Mario Odyssey all due to release this year. If you aren’t getting one now, you will certainly be considering it at Christmas time.

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