It’s been a while since the launch of the Nintendo Switch and I’ve been playing it for tens of hours. The hype has gone down, the emotion has settled and it is right that we proceed to a brief review.
This will be the first of three texts you will see in the next few days. Today we have to talk about the console, after the accessories and finally the games that these weeks I have been able to try on the new Nintendo console.
The holy grail of gaming: a home-made take-away console
The promise of a Nintendo hybrid console is met in simple terms. In the console box there is not much, the premise of simplicity in design and use is present since you open that small and lightweight package.
Within the Switch there is engineering and design work worthy of admiration. Its X1 processor courtesy of NVIDIA is the heart of the console and offers a graphics processing capability that very rarely we see in similar devices.
The truth is that it looks more like a console meant to run away from your TV than connected to it. But the first time you put the Switch in the Dock, it happens the magic of seeing the image on your TV, something that screened the first time.
The next thing you’ll notice is the ease with which you’ll change game styles depending on how and where you use Joy-Con. It will not take long to get used to most of the control settings.
Whether in TV mode or in portable mode or holding a single Joy-Con when playing with other people, I experienced no tiredness or pain in game sessions of two hours or more except using a Joy-Con in each hand.
Most buttons have a standard distribution for buttons and sticks.
Its size is suitable for small or regular sized hands (if you are big-handed, you might get cramped) but the + and – buttons force you to stretch your thumb too much to reach them which is quite uncomfortable in the long run without the support The included base for mounting the Joy-Con.
The other bold in the rice comes when we want to use the console in tabletop mode , that is to say with the Joy-Con outside and recharged on some surface with the small stand own console that has only one position.
The truth is that it is not at all a safe option since a couple of times my console fell and the support has proved not to be reliable in my experience.
The other disadvantage of this game mode is that you can not play and load the console due to the location of the USB-C connector on the bottom.
That’s why if you want to play on the go it is advisable with the Joy-Con to the sides of the console (they slide through some rails that are quite enduring) and hold it in the hands. 400 grams is a weight that will not cause fatigue or pain in a good time.
The 6.2-inch screen far outweighs the Gamepad. Although its resolution is limited to 720p, it is brighter (ideal for playing under the sun), has decent tactile capabilities and is relatively resistant to bumps and scratches according to some tests on the internet.
With a memory of only 32GB is very likely to require a Micro SD memory in a short time. Even if you plan to buy all of your games in physical format, there are some exclusive to the eshop that will make you want to make the investment. Of this we will speak in the following note.
The initial setup and user interface is all that the Wii U was not: simple, fast and clean.
The presence of “extra” elements such as Miis is quite small, and although the friend system is still running on unnecessary Friend Codes , there are alternatives to being connected to your friends if you use mobile applications like Miitomo .
Unfortunately there is no software as a sample or general entertainment accompanying the console.
If you do not buy a game, there is no way to experience the capabilities of the console. In fact, there is nothing you can do about it for now other than playing.
This goes hand in hand with the philosophy of Nintendo and, although we will soon see Netflix apps and the like, today your video game console is just for video games . There will be some who are discouraged by this decision.
Is the battery really as bad as they say?
Not that much. The Switch is a rather austere machine when compared to other consoles but actually requires enough processing power and therefore require your battery.
While I would have liked a game time three times bigger, I understand that would have raised the price, weight and size of the console.
Its construction is also admirable, since the internal fan is very efficient, quiet and keeps the console with a not too exaggerated temperature even when you hold it in the hands for more than two hours.
By watching it objectively, playing Breath of the Wild with comfortable brightness and sound settings gives you less than 3 hours of play , but it is almost the same period you have in a 3DS playing A Link Between Worlds with 3D enabled.
It is a portable experience “premium” that although it lasts little, is sufficiently efficient and entertaining to leave aside this type of details.
“Details” is a keyword, since 10 thousand pesos (more extras) is not an investment for which you want to have “details”. But I assure you that the Nintendo Switch complies with a system that does something new and does it well.
There are voices who say that the Switch is a hurried, incomplete console … That at any moment we could expect a redesign of the console, a “Dock” with additional processing power or other corrections.
It is not the impression I have. Leaving aside technical hardware issues that some users are experiencing, the Switch is a home console that you can play anywhere. The promise is fulfilled and has exceeded my expectations.
Is it worth buying right now?
It’s always worth buying for the simple fact that Breath of the Wild is one of the best games in history (but that’s what we’ll discuss later) and because a new Nintendo console always has a sense of magic that clears up very slowly .
On the horizon we have names ranging from Mario Kart and Mario Odissey to Fire Emblem and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. There are games that we are going to want to lose so easily.
No one has that much wool left over, but a console is an investment in your fun and entertainment in the short and medium term.
If you bring it to him and you can buy it: give it to him. If you have doubts or think that it is not for you then maybe you should expect a low price or some interesting offer.
The Switch fulfills the tradition of innovation about power that Nintendo wants to accost us for some years. It probably does well not to try to compete with other companies that already think of the most powerful consoles in history, 4K and VR technology.
Nintendo prefers to keep it simple and focus on experiences. The Switch demonstrates an openness to a flexible , easy-to-use and easy-to-share console.
If you can solve some details and play a healthy library of First Party and Third Party games as well as virtual console titles and decent multiplayer capabilities , we could be one of the company’s most successful consoles.
It is too early to give a numerical rating to the Nintendo Switch. There is so much that we have not tried and seen that we should wait for the console to mature, even the Joy-Con have technology like HD Rumble , gyroscopes and accelerometers and infrared camera that have not fully demonstrated their potential.
Time will tell if this vision of Nintendo’s future is as successful as it was in its time were the movement controls. Meanwhile, what do you think?