By JEREMY JULIAN @faithfulmantis
Nintendo was working on a console code named the “NX” and it gained buzz from everywhere. It was their successor to the Wii U, which many believe is a commercial and critical failure. In October 2016, Nintendo debuted the NX system and unveiled the name as the Switch. The Nintendo Switch was released on March 3, 2017 in an attempt to right the wrongs of the Wii U.
When it comes to hardware, the Nintendo Switch is somewhat of a revolutionary system. It is neither a handheld nor a home console but is in fact both. The Switch is a tablet with two controllers that Nintendo calls “Joy-Cons” that smoothly attach to the sides of the system if the player wants to use the handheld mode.
The console also comes with a dock that has an HDMI port to connect to the television. Once the Switch is docked, it will automatically go into TV mode. The best thing about the Switch’s hardware is how seamless this all is, going from handheld to dock is a great transition and can be used to take games with you on the fly.
The Switch’s tablet screen is six inches, the same size as the Wii U game pad, but with much better build quality. While the Wii U game pad felt like a cheap kid’s tablet, the Switch is slim, sleek and feels comfortable in the hand. The screen is 720p resolution and games like Zelda still look great. The Switch is obviously lacking when it comes to power but it makes up for it in its versatility.
Now for the problems, The Switch has some awesome hardware, but there are some gripes that are apparent. The main problem with the hardware is that any additional accessories can be very expensive. A new joy-con controller could cost you $80. Also, the Joy-Cons can be inserted onto a grip that turns it into one full game pad.
Unfortunately, the controller is uncomfortable and small compared to PlayStation and Xbox controllers. Nintendo does sell a much better “pro controller” but even that is pricey at $70. The issue with the Switch’s hardware is that everything is too expensive for a system that’s $299. It ends up being more expensive than an Xbox One or PS4 if you get one or two accessories.
Another gripe with the console is the lack of games on its launch lineup. There is less than a handful worth playing right now. One positive to this is that one of the games is probably the best launch title of all time, The Legend of Zelda. But the question is if Zelda will be able to hold over hard-core players until the fall.
Despite the hardware prices and lack of games, the Nintendo Switch is already a much better system than the Wii U. It has a much better User Interface even though it doesn’t have many apps, those will be added later. The system feels better in the hand and it has direction and motivation behind it, things that the last system failed at.
Hopefully Nintendo can build off of this and bring great games to the Switch. Third party support is key because there are gamers out there that are tired of seeing just Mario and Zelda. Nintendo already has a fair amount of titles for the Switch to be released in the next year so there is something to look forward to. It is a system full of great ideas that can possibly correct their shortcomings of the past generation.