Nintendo Switch: 9 Things You Should Know Before Buying
With the Switch releasing today, it’s important to know what the console has in store for gamers. We present to you our list of the 9 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy the Nintendo Switch. Let’s start with the Specifications Nintendo takes pride in bringing HD gaming and portability together. So what is the Switch actually made of? Let’s start with the basics. The Switch has a inch multi-touch LCD screen with a maximum resolution of 1280×720. But if you attach it to a TV with your HDMI cable, you can enjoy resolutions of up to 1920×1080 in glorious 60fps. The console will have about 32 gigabytes of storage space built in. With the operating system and all, that would leave you with about 25-gigs of free storage. A little disconcerting, yes, but it does have a Micro SD and SDHC card slot that can support up to 2TB of space. It also has bluetooth and wi-fi to connect you to its online store, and to play with friends. Now, to more technical terms.The Switch is powered by the Nvidia-customized Tegra X1 with an ARM Cortex-A57 CPU, Maxwell-based GPU and 4GB RAM.
This puts focus on mobile-use and low power consumption common on smartphones and tablets. And since it uses a different instruction set from modern consoles, this might make ports from consoles like Xbox and PS4 a little difficult for developers. This might also explain the reported drastic performance differences between its portable and docked mode, clocking at speeds that are even lower than the 1GHz that most expected, plus another 40% reduction on its portable mode. While the Switch seems a little underpowered on the GPU side, its CPU is a lot more consistent with docked and portable modes clocking in at the same speeds. If you’ve seen the reveal, Nintendo, once again, focuses on couch gameplay.
On top of the online multiplayer, ad-hoc connectivity supports up-to 8 interconnected Switches. We’ll have to wait how creators will put this into use. Spec-wise, it’s a little underwhelming but from the trailers we’ve seen, the Switch doesn’t seem all that bad either way. Next we go to their Controllers Of course, the coolest parts of the Switch are its controllers. These detachable remotes are central to the console’s portability and multiplayer aspects. The JoyCons are built with a haptic feedback system called the HD rumble which indicate the movements and actions using intricate vibrations, allowing players to feel the resistance, weight, and sensations of its virtual objects. It’s perfect for the mini-games of 1-2 Switch, but we’re wondering how this will affect their more traditional titles, as well as future game development.
On its right Joy-con controller, it has a motion IR camera that can tell a target’s motion, shape, and distance. The technology allows for character creations, and more motion-based gameplay. For owners of the Nintendo’s adorable figures, the right JoyCon also features support for the amiibo using the NFC sensor on its analog stick. These JoyCons are gonna have to be charged too. If they’re not attached to the Switch, the JoyCons will last about 20 hours. It comes with a layout that may take some time to get used to but it’s built for different kinds of gameplay. Hold them upright like a wiimote, or sideways as a mini controller for multiplayer gaming. There’s even a button to capture images in-game. Get them in zany blue and red, or in sleek gray. Of course, there’s the new Pro Controller sold separately. Recent reports have shown this controller working with a PC. And to those wondering, Nintendo hasn’t announced backwards compatibility with controllers from previous generation consoles. What about Battery Life? The Switch comes with a Lithium ion battery, expected to last between to 6 hours depending on the games you’re playing.
For power-hungry games like the new Zelda, it might last about 2 and a half hours. Put it on airplane mode and lower the brightness and it might last a little over 3 hours. While it doesn’t seem like much, it does match other portable consoles like the PS Vita and the 3Ds. Once it loses battery, you can charge it up again through its USB Type C port. You might wanna store up a few of those cables, just in case. Charging up to full battery will take about 3 hours. You could also charge while playing using the AC adapter that comes with the Switch.
But for long flights and commutes, it would be smart to get a portable charger. Another thing, is that the batteries are non-replaceable. But, Nintendo will eventually be a just call away since they’re planning to offer paid maintenance of the system. Now for the juicy part, the games… Unlike the Wii U, the Switch has plenty of games on offer, from Nintendo IPs to third party projects. Currently, 16 titles have launched with the console, about 60 more scheduled this year, and many more to come later. You can check our Switch video, linked in the description box below, to know more about the upcoming games. That’s a lot compared to the Wii U’s. For the Switch, Nintendo has done away with CDs and went with a faster and more durable media storage. Physical copies of games come in “game cards”, modern versions of “cartridges”. They look more like SD cards than the classic gaming cartridges. Once you install the day one update, you can purchase and download games directly from eShop. There’s no backwards compatibility with older Nintendo consoles. Bummer. Nintendo did do away with region-locking.
Language localization is another problem, though. With a subscription to the online services, you can also have access to the Virtual Console. This allows you to play classic games from the SNES and the NES. You can’t own them permanently though, unless you purchase them afterwards. While it’s not available at the moment, it’s still a fun addition to the Switch. The User Interface We were only offered about three seconds of the UI in the Switch’s launch trailer. But, new details have to come to light.
For example, the white menu design we saw can actually be switched to a darker night theme, if that’s more of your style. It’s clean and uncomplicated, a bit like an improved version of the Wii U interface. Scroll through your games on the tile-based main menu, and check the time and battery status on the upper right corner — all in minimalist design. There’s also a few buttons at the bottom that will take you the the Switch’s different sections.
You can take a look at the news section, an album for all your screenshots, as well as access to the eShop. Users can make their own profile, and a maximum of 8 accounts can be accommodated. Let’s talk about the Developer Relationships and Third Party Partners Nintendo has been surprisingly more open towards independent and third-party developers. After the beloved SNES era, Nintendo hasn’t had a very friendly outlook towards them — which is how Wii U turned into the lonely Nintendo-only island that it is.
But, that’s set to change. Many Triple-A developers have announced support for the new console, including Ubisoft who has a 1-year exclusivity deal for their game Beyond Good and Evil 2. This list of devs includes Konami, Activision and Bethesda. More importantly, they’ve also been very welcoming of indie titles now, showcasing them in their Nindies program which featured Stardew Valley, Yooka Laylee, and many more. Creator of Binding of Isaac, Nicalis, has said that the Switch is easy and programmer-friendly. Nintendo has also launched a global developer program that openly welcomes new and old game creators. So we might see a surge of indie titles or ports of mobile games releasing on the Switch. Sooo… how much? The Nintendo Switch is launching with a base price of $300 dollars. A pretty hefty sum for a portable console. Here’s to hoping the price will go down, like the Wii U did in 2012.
But that seems unlikely. *sniff* The box includes the console itself, the dock, HDMI and adapter cables, its Joycon controllers and straps, and the standard grip which allows you hold the controllers like a normal gamepad. Sadly, no games will be bundled with the Switch. Nintendo seems to have inflated their pricing rates a bit. If you want to charge as you play, the charging grip is sold separately at the price of $30. And, if you wanna play on a more classic controller, their Pro-controller is up for grabs at $70. Playing with friends will be a little difficult too, seeing as extra pairs of Joycons start at $80, and $50 for the individual controllers. And that’s not counting the games yet. But let’s move on. Nintendo’s Account Nintendo’s newest account system, the Nintendo account replaces the Nintendo Network ID. It’s a multiplatform system that will be integrated to the 3DS and the WiiU.
You’ll have to use this account to use the Switch’s online services. There is one groundbreaking revelation. Previous consoles would have games linked only to the hardware itself, with no cloud to back it up. That means once you lose your console, your games are gone forever. Unless, you make a phone call to the company, which is still a bit of a hassle. But, on Nintendo’s newest console, you can finally have game purchases linked to your user account. That means you can redownload any game you bought.
So, yeah, you might probably still cry if you lost your Switch, but at least you can still have your games back, at no cost whatsoever…other than a new console, of course. And finally, let’s check on Nintendo’s Online World On launch, Nintendo is going to release a system update to enable the console’s online services. This will open up the eShop for buying and downloading games. And allow you to connect to your social media accounts so you can share your gaming experiences to the world. The update is also gonna activate online multiplayer, letting you play with other people online. It will include voice chats and lobbies to make games more fun and exciting.
But, these services come at a price, probably about 20 or 30 dollars. Subscribers to the service will have access to free offers, and selected Virtual console titles from NES and SNES. Unlike the free games for PS4 and Xbox, though, you can’t keep them forever. Also, it looks like Nintendo’s learned from its Wii U mistake by having every update download quiety in the background, letting you use the console while waiting. What do you think of the Nintendo Switch? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it. By the way guys! We’ll be covering the Nintendo Switch in the coming weeks.
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