Is the Nintendo Switch Worth It?
Is the Nintendo Switch worth it? So, Nintendo hooked us up with one of the very first Switches. So I’m curious to see what we actually get in the box. So, inside we immediately get the actual Switch console itself. Now, as you can see without the Joy-Cons, this looks exactly like a tiny tablet. It’s actually not even much bigger than like a phone. So, for size comparison, this is the Switch next to an iPhone 7 Plus. You know, this actually might even fit into a pocket. Oh, yeah, but of course, we do need to add the controllers which are right here. So, these are the Joy-Con controllers. So, the way they work is they just slide onto a rail and that’s it. So, once we add both of them, the Switch definitely gets a little bit bigger but it’s a lot smaller than the Wii U gamepad.
So, inside we actually get quite a few accessories, starting with a full-size HDMI cable. So, it’s actually got a standard USB-C cable. So the cool thing’s about the Switch is that if we just plug it in here, we should be able to charge it but you can also use that USB-C to drop it on the dock or, in fact, you could probably even use something like a battery bank to charge the Switch while you’re on the go. We also have the Joy-Con grip.
So, if you want to use the Joy-Con by itself, you can just slide this guy on and it gives you better access to the top buttons, and, of course, a very, very secure and safe strap. This is what safety looks like by the way. There also is the Joy-Con grip. So in addition to being able to use them individually or with the Switch, you can also snap them in here. So, if we slide the same Joy-Con on, this is pretty similar to what you would find with a standard console controller. But the cool part is, not only can you use it like this, but we can just pop the kickstand out on the Switch. You can imagine that you have yourself a nice little portable gaming setup.
So, we’ve got ourselves a tiny little bit of paperwork, so good job on not including an enormous user manual. And what I assume is the actual dock for the Switch. So, what this guy will do is not only power the Switch but it also will give you HDMI out to a TV. So, if we pop open this door here, you’ll see this port for the AC adapter, there’s USB 3 port as well HDMI out. And on the side, there’s also a pair of USB ports here. So, what’s cool about this is that it all runs off of the single USB-C port on the bottom of the Switch. So, when you dock the Switch, it pretty much just rests in place.
So, it doesn’t take a whole lot of force to pick it up and when you’re ready to actually game in portable mode, you can just slide your Joy-Cons on and pretty much like that, you have the full Switch experience. So, even with the Joy-Cons attached, the Switch is still pretty small. There’s actually a lot going on here. On top, there’s the power button and the volume rocker. You have the exhaust as well as a headphone jack and the slot for the game cards. Speaking of games, we have the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So, if you pop it open, you’ll see that the Switch cards themselves are pretty tiny. So not only are Switch games smaller than the 3DS cards but they’re even smaller than an SD card. On the bottom of the Switch there’s not much. You had that USB-C port for charging as well as connecting to the dock. And around back you have the kickstand as well as hiding behind that, is the microSD card slot. That slot’s going to be important as the Switch itself only ships with 32 gigabytes of storage.
So, in theory you can put up to a two terabyte microSD in here but realistically right now, you’re maxing out at around 256 gigabytes which should still be a fair bit of storage for the Switch. Even though they look the same, the Joy-Con controllers are actually different. So, the right one has the XYAB buttons up top and it has the stick on the bottom, and on the very bottom of the controller, there’s an IR sensor. Take a look at the second Joy-Con and you’ll see that the analog stick is on the top. So, when you’re using them separately or together in the actual grip, you’ll find that the sticks are actually offset which feels much more like an Xbox controller than something like the PS4.
The first thing that jumps out to me is that the interface on the Switch looks so much better than the Wii U. So, not only do we have a capacitive touchscreen which makes things feel a lot better, but everything just looks clean. It looks a lot less cartoon-y than previous Nintendo consoles. So while the Switch has 32 gigs of storage, out the box you only have gigs of free space. Now, with a console like this, I do feel like I would probably be buying more physical games than digital, but if you’re planning on that you really should look into a microSD card. Since we got the Switch early, we’re missing some major features such as the eShop but that will be coming in a day one update when the console launches on Friday. So, while we can’t test everything right now, what we can do is play some games. One of my favorite parts of the Switch is just how seamless it is. So, right now I can be playing on the normal handheld mode but if I drop it onto a dock, you’ll see that almost immediately it will come right over to the TV.
So, you can imagine that you play on the TV. for a few minutes, whatever the case is, and when you’re done, you pick the Switch right up and it’s right back on the display. Out of all the modes for the Switch, my favorite might just be handheld. So, this is the Switch by itself with the Joy-Cons attached and it feels good. So, one of the biggest differences here is when you actually compare it to the Wii U gamepad. So, from the front they look about the same but when you compare the thickness especially, it is a huge difference. And of course, keep in mind that the Wii U gamepad had to be tethered to a full Wii U console. Whereas with the Switch, sure there’s a dock but you don’t need that at all. You can absolutely take this on the go no problem. You can also use the kickstand. So, if I pop off the Joy-Cons, all you need to do is kick the kickstand out and I can set it down. So, the cool part about this is that your really not losing any controls. And honestly, I kind of like the idea of having full freedom and I have to kind of keep my hands nice and tight.
The only problem is the kickstand is not the greatest. It works fine on a table like this. But if you try to set it down on something uneven like a couch, it’s gonna immediately fall over. So, some reviewers have had issues with the left Joy-Con de-syncing from their Switch. However, I haven’t had any issues. Not only has it been really reliable, but being able to drop them on, take them off, it’s all been super seamless so far.
The Joy-Cons really are one of my favorite parts of the Switch. It’s so nice to be able to just drop it on the dock, slide the controllers off and then I like kind of use these guys separately. But if I want more of a console experience, I can slide them onto the grip accessory and play it like this.
The grip controller’s decent but I feel like my hands are slightly too close together. Honestly, my favorite way of playing on the TV is really just using the Joy-Cons by themselves. It’s nice and comfortable and especially when you look at this as a full package, Nintendo’s done a really good job. There are a lot of moving pieces here with the removable controllers and the dock and everything, but it does completely work seamlessly together. Interestingly, the Switch has two different performance modes. So, when you’re playing handheld on battery, it runs at a lower clock speed. But when you drop it on the dock, it over doubles the performance. And the main reason for that is that while this has a 720p screen, when you connect it to a TV. you can run it up to 1080p. Now, while some people have complained that 720p seems like it’s kind of low, honestly this screen looks fine and I would much rather have better battery life and better performance with a slightly lower res screen than something’s that’s more high end but completely kills the battery life.
Speaking of, the Switch is rocking a 4,310 milliamp hour battery. Now, that’s decent but it’s not that much bigger than most smartphones. Now, Nintendo says that you should expect about three hours on a charge when you’re playing an intense game like Zelda, and in my testing that sounds about right. It’s decent but nothing spectacular. So, there are a couple of ways of charging the Switch. By far the easiest is to just drop it on the dock. Not only will that give you the TV out, but it will also charge not only the console but also the Joy-Con controllers. However, since it’s got a USB-C port, you have other options such as using something like the MacBook Pro charger. And you can also use battery banks but you do need to be careful that they will supply enough power. However, because of that USB-C port you have a lot of options for topping this guy off. The Nintendo Switch is hands down the most powerful portable console ever. Now, yes, some might call it a little bit gimmicky but honestly, it works and it works really well. Sure, there might not be a ton of games at launch, however, when you consider just how cool and unique this thing is, it is absolutely worth it.
So, what do you guys think about the Switch?
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