Trying the Nintendo Switch

– Hey guys, this is Austin, and today I’m here at the Nintendo Switch event in New York City to take a look at the brand new console. Of course, big shout-out to Nintendo for inviting us out here and let’s go take a look. The idea of the Switch is very different from traditional Nintendo consoles. So while the Wii U did have a tablet, it was more of a controller.

There was really nothing going on on the tablet itself. Instead everything was being beamed from the actual console, whereas here the Switch is the console. The Switch is rocking a inch capacitive 720p touchscreen. It’s actually a really nice looking display, and of course in the demo lighting it’s hard to really get a great sense of it, but it looks sharp, it looked colorful, it looked bright. A big step up over the Wii U. So we don’t have the exact specs on it right now, however according to Eurogamer, it’s an underclocked version of the Tegra X1. This is the same processor that’s inside the NVIDIA SHIELD. What that means is, while it’s definitely going to be a reasonably powerful system, and more powerful than the Wii U, it is not going to be on par with something like the Xbox One or PS4.

It looks like it has two modes, one for when it’s running on battery power, and one when it’s docked to a TV. So the battery powered mode runs at about half the clock speed of the docked mode, which does make some sense when you consider that it’s crushing a 720p display versus a 1080p TV, however depending on the game, that could mean a performance difference. In fact it should, it’s a lot slower. Speaking of battery life, it’s decent. So Nintendo claims a range between two and a half and six and a half hours on a charge, which is a really, really big range.

So, to give a little bit more context, they say that when you’re playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild you should expect around three hours on a charge. Not great, but it’s decent and the cool thing is the Switch now uses USB Type-C, which means that you can use a battery backup or even a generic charger and completely be able to use it on the go. (circus music) The Switch dock itself is fairly straightforward. So it takes advantage of that USB Type-C connector to not only charge the switch, but it also takes the video and runs it out via HDMI. There are a couple of other features like you have a couple of USB ports on the Switch dock, so if you wanna plug in something like an Ethernet adapter, you can do that but for the most part it’s a very straightforward adapter dock thing. The Switch still uses physical media for games, but instead of disks you now get game carts like the 3DS.

So you also do have 32 gigabytes of storage built-in, and you can expand that via microSD, but don’t expect to keep an entire game library on your Switch. So if your name is Ken and you’re really into waifu games, you’ll probably be really pleased to know that the Switch is now region free, so no matter what country you’re playing games from, they all work. Ken, please don’t ruin my video right now. Don’t, no, no, no, come back, come back, I’m sorry, I’m sorry they’re not waifu games, they’re um, they’re uh. The more I play with the Switch, the more I really kind of understand why it’s such a weird hybrid between a handheld and a proper game console.

So it has 8AC Wi-Fi and you can play traditionally online, but you can also play up to eight switches locally with multiplayer. That’s something you would normally do with a console. When’s the last time you and seven buddies got a bunch of Xboxes together and had a LAN party? The online component of the Switch is a little bit unclear at this point. So at launch it should be fairly similar to the Wii U.

You can do online multiplayer and not much beyond that. However, later this year, it’s going to get some amazing new features such as voice chat and lobbies and other things that Xbox Live has had for a very long time. It also shares a yearly subscription with Xbox Live which is wonderful. I’m not totally against this, I think Nintendo has been really weak on the online side forever, so the idea that they start charging, maybe it’s going to be a more upgraded, more robust service, but we’ll have to see. It does come with some other perks, like you get a free NES or SNES game each month, which you actually may or may not actually be able to keep, and there’s some smaller things like you get discounts, but the big thing is, is this actually going to be worth the price? And we’ll have to find out later this year.

I’m just making Ken work really hard right now. I’m just getting close. Yo, is that autofocus or is that Kenneth Bolido? While the Switch has a touch screen, what really pulls it together are the Joy-Con controllers. So these can either be attached to the sides of the Switch, you can use them independently, or you can use them together as part of the grip accessory. I’m surprised at how much I like the Joy-Con controllers by themselves not attached to anything. It’s nice to be able to kind of separate them, because you’re not really losing anything, and you can move your hands in any sort of way. I’m so used to having my hands together on a controller. This is actually surprisingly nice. But when we’re ready we can actually attach these to the grip accessory, so we just slide it in, it clicks into place, you can see it pops it up right there and there we go, so now we should be in with the grip.

So the grip itself doesn’t really do a whole lot. It doesn’t add any additional control, so everything is still on the actual Joy-Con itself. And it seamlessly switches over to the Switch display. So next we have the Switch in tabletop mode running Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so the idea here is that we can take up either one or both of the controllers, so for example, if I wanted to do two player, I could hand someone the other controller. You wanna try to race me while you shoot? That seems really tricky, that seems like a bad idea, I’ll take the controller back now.

So the Joy-Con controller by itself is small. It almost reminds me of an NES controller. So what happens is because a Switch display is 720p, all the games will run at 720p, obviously, on the actual display, but when you actually hook it up through the dock to a proper TV, it can go up to 1080p. For example, Mario Kart does run at 1080p/60. Each game takes advantage of the controllers a little differently. So some rely almost entirely on the motion controls, so you put one in each hand and you punch. Some games will allow you to use it sideways more like an NES controller, and still other games can use it more like a traditional controller when you actually have it in the grip. For the most part, it works really well. So you have NFC in one of the controllers, they each have the HD rumble feature, which has actual individual haptic feedback in different parts of the controller, and what was really cool was just how easy it was to dock.

So you can slide it right into the actual Switch, take it off, use them separately, and it’s all using a single button on the back. It seems very robust when it’s actually plugged in, but super easy to take off. Nintendo definitely did the controllers right here. On the game side of things, there’s a lot coming out for the Switch this year, however at launch it only has four titles. Luckily, one of those is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I got to spend about 20 minutes playing it and it looks good so technically it’s very similar to the Wii U version.

I didn’t have them both side by side to compare, but they looked very similar. The Switch might be running at a slightly higher resolution on the TV, but for the most part you’re getting a very similar experience. Now if anything, the performance might be a little bit better. I also got to try Arms, which is a game that’s coming out this spring, and no, it’s not about these arms, it’s about the arms of the game. I guess, I don’t know. It’s a cool game, it’s very, very simple. So, it’s literally all the motion controls with a couple of buttons on the actual Joy-Con. So essentially you have one in each hand and you punch. So you can use them left and right to be able to walk around and jump and all that kind of stuff, but for the most part, it really is about throwing punches, whether they’re straight, whether they’re curved, whatever you do it’s emulated in the actual game. It honestly reminded me a little bit of Wii Sports and a game that is very different and really shows off what motion controls can do, but might not have a ton of depth.

But of course, I only got to play it for a few minutes, so we’ll have to see when it actually comes out. There’s also Splatoon Two, now I actually didn’t get to play a lot of the original Splatoon, but from what I did, I really enjoyed and Splatoon Two seems very similar. So you get additional characters, additional weapons, but for the most part it’s a very similar game just ported over to the Switch. There are a lot of cool games coming out for the Switch including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a brand-new Super Mario Odyssey game, there’s Skyrim as well as FIFA.

However almost all of these are coming out later in the year. At launch, you’re really going to be mostly playing Zelda. Well, I mean, I will at least. The Nintendo Switch launches on March third for 300 dollars. So that’s a decent price point in my opinion. Yes, you can get a PS4 or Xbox One for cheaper, however, the Switch is a completely different value proposition. It very much is a gaming tablet that you can dock with your TV versus the other way around. So what do you guys think about the Switch? Honestly, I’ve got to say I’m more impressed than I thought I was going to be, specifically by the controllers, but definitely be sure to let me know what you guys think in the comments below. Anyway guys, thank you so much for watching, and I will catch you in the next one.

As found on Youtube

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