After much anticipation and hype, Nintendo released a new video game console Friday, March 3. Dozens of people lined up at big-box retailers to pick up the console at midnight. The console, called the Nintendo Switch, is a hybrid system that combines features of a home and portable video game device into one, all-encompassing platform.
It can be attached to a dock that allows gameplay to be displayed on a television, or it can be used separately as its own portable device. The console also features two detachable controllers called “Joy-Cons” which can be attached to the Switch tablet, slid off and held in each hand, put into a holder to make a traditional game controller or flipped sideways to make two separate controllers. Overall the main feature of the Nintendo Switch is flexibility. The unique and innovative design allows for any play style or any play location that one could possibly want.
The console could fit into a young adult’s lifestyle nicely. The design is sleek and modern, the build quality is solid and the user interface is straightforward. The screen is crisp and clear, and the rest of the console has a nice black matte finish. The console feels much more like a high-end electronic device than just a kids console.
The Joy-Cons work nicely when attached to the tablet or when placed in the holding grip. When placed on their sides for two players, they aren’t quite as comfortable, but they still serve their purpose. For those wishing for a more traditional means of controller, an additional pro controller can be bought for the system, and is by far the most comfortable, high-quality way to play the system. For more casual gamers who enjoyed the motion controls from the Nintendo Wii, the Joy-Cons are equipped with a new and improved version of motion-tracking technology and feel much more accurate than the Wii ever was.
As for games, just as the system hardware is great for many different locations, the software is great for many different players. More hardcore gamers will enjoy some of the serious games the system offers, such as the expansive adventure game “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” and the fast-paced racing game “Fast RMX.” Casual gamers looking for a fun party system to play with friends and family will be right at home as well with titles such as “1-2-Switch,” “Just Dance” and “Snipperclips.” Additional games are also scheduled to be released in the coming year such as “Splatoon 2,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Elder Scrolls: Skyrim,” “Fifa” and many more.
For those whole like a more retro approach to games, owners can also look forward to the eventual implmentation of Nintendo’s “Virtual Console,” a service that allows users to play games from classic Nintendo consoles such as the NES, SNES and N64 on their modern device. While the Virtual Console isn’t confirmed to be avilable at launch, Nintendo has stated they will share more information about it in the future.
The Switch willl also offer enhanced ports of popular past games such as the upcoming “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” an enhanced port of “Mario Kart 8,” one of the most popular games on the predecesor to the Switch, the Wii U.
While not as competitive as other game consoles such as the PS4 or Xbox One in raw power, the pure flexibility the Switch gives in terms of playstyle make is the perfect fit for any young adult on the move. It’s an innovative and eye-catching piece of technology that those who love to play games shouldn’t miss. The Nintendo Switch launches with a suggested retail price of $299.
Overall, in terms of hardware, the switch gets an 8/10, with an innovative and sturdy design that shows a lot of promise. It was well worth the waiting in line on launch day to pick it up.