Nintendo Switch Review

Editor's rating:
9.7
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Reviewed by Brankica Ivanova
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We like

Solid build

Easy to set up, use and switch between the three modes of play

You can play games in three modes: TV, tabletop and handheld

Bright and colorful screen

We don’t like

The Joy-Con grip does not charge the Joy-Cons

Expensive games to be purchased additionally

How it works

Who doesn’t like playing games? Microsoft and Sony with their powerful hardware have designed PS4, Xbox One or PC for different shooting, racing, and action games. So if you are a fan of PlayStation 4 or Xbox One you will definitely like the new gaming system of Nintendo. Nintendo decided to explore new and interesting concepts and take a new path in gaming so it designed a game system that is fully functional at home but on the go as well. So, from the first launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has become a must-have console for playing great games and when we say playing we mean everywhere because Nintendo Switch has three play options: on TV, handheld and tabletop. The Switch is home to many games among which the most popular seems to be Super Mario Odyssey but you can always choose other among many fantastic titles. This Switch provides playing for multiplayer because it has two Joy-Cons thus making it a great option for family nights. So if you are still thinking about it read our review of Nintendo Switch – Gray Joy-Con to learn something more about the Switch.

What is it?

What is it?

Nintendo Switch is innovative hybrid console that makes the perfect combination of comfortable home gaming console and on-the-go handheld console. It is a gaming system that allows you to continue playing the game that you have started at home even when you are no longer at home. What you have to do to continue the game is just take the console, insert the controllers in it and you are ready to play. The Nintendo Switch includes Nintendo Switch Console-which is a tablet-like system, Switch Dock, left and right Joy-Con controllers, Joy-Con Grip which holds the controllers, Nintendo Switch AC Adapter, HDMI cable, and Joy-Con Straps.
The Switch

The Switch

The Switch console is a tablet system that can be plugged into HDMI cable. It is 6.2 inch and 1280x720p capacitive touch screen which compared to the usual 1080p of many moderns tablets may not seem much, but considering that we are talking about gaming device it is actually impressive and displays excellent colors. The Switch console has a slim and slick design with metal finish, which gives modern but at the same time classy touch. Its measures are 4.0x6.8x0.5 inches and weigh 10.6 inches.

The weight and thickness of the Switch add to the feeling of solid and sturdy construction. On the left and on the right side of the tablet there are metal rails for the Joy-Con controllers that you can easily slide in and make sure that they are attached after you hear a click (first digital and then mechanical click) or reverse the process i.e. slide out the controllers if you want to take them out by just pressing a button on the rear part of each of the Joy-Con.

The Switch has many features among which a vent at the top of the console to keep the system cool and does not make much noise, and a kickstand at the back of the console that is intended for standing or propping the Switch up for tabletop gaming. On the left top side of the Switch, there is a small power button and a button for volume and on the opposite side, there is a headphone jack and a card slot for SD cards for games. At the bottom of the console, there is a USB-C port that is used to connect it to the Dock and to charge it. The position of the USB-C point for charging makes it extremely difficult to charge the tablet while in tabletop mode. However, you can charge the Switch directly with the Nintendo Switch AC adapter or you can plug the adapter in the Switch Dock when the Switch is in it for charging the whole system or when using the Switch to play games on TV.

On the rear part beside the kickstand that we mentioned, there is a pair of speakers with surprisingly good quality of loudness. The weakest part of the Switch is definitely the kickstand because it does not offer stability and can make the console fall back because it is pretty thin and flimsy and when the console is propped up for tabletop gaming it allows only one viewing angle.
The Switch Dock

The Switch Dock

The Switch Dock is a block-shaped matte black plastic device. Its dimensions are 4.0x6.8x1.9 inches. You can slide the console in the dock easily although there have been a very few complaints of users who claim that sliding in and out resulted in scratching the screen. On the dock, there are sockets for the adapter so you can charge the system, HDMI cable for connecting the dock and console to the TV and three USB 3 ports for different types of accessories and storage. When you insert the console in the dock the output transfers automatically to HDMI. One thing worth mentioning is that the USB ports cannot be connected to a USB hard drive or USB memory stick but can be used for example for Joy-Con charging accessory.
Joy-Cons

Joy-Cons

While the console and the dock are available only in black color the left and the right Joy-Con controllers come in two color options: the first option is both the controllers are grey and the second one is blue and orange Joy-Con. The Joy-Cons are wireless controllers with dimensions 4.0x1.4x0.5 inches and have gamepad look and they are definitely lightweight. They can easily be inserted in the Switch that holds them in place. They are made of plastic, they feel solid and sturdy and have rounded edges and rounded grip. On the side, there is an attachment rail. It is great that you have two Joy-Cons because it gives an option for multiplayer but also if you are a single player you can easily insert them in the Joy-Con grip.

Both Joy-Cons have an analog stick, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, plus left and right shoulder button, a pairing button and four indicator lights that are positioned in the attachment rail. However, the left and right Joy-Con are not completely the same and have some different features. The differences are in the buttons, for example, the left one has a minus button while the right one has a plus button. Both buttons have different functions, for example, the minus buttons are used to access the menu on the top and the plus button is used to pause games and access menu near the top.

The left Joy-Con has a capture button meaning that you can take screenshots. The right Joy-Con has a home button and possesses more advanced internal sensor together with an infrared camera and NFC chip reader for Amiibo. The wrist straps are plain plastic straps that are securing the Joy-Cons and placing the larger shoulder buttons over the little ones on the controller. The Joy-Cons are asymmetrical and some users consider that they are small in size and when used with the Joy-Con grip more difficult to control and manage.
Joy-Con Grip

Joy-Con Grip

The Joy-Con Grip is a plastic shell where you can slide the Joy-Cons and use both of them as a single unit that looks like a gamepad. There are four light indicators that indicate the status of the connection of the attached Joy-Cons. The grip cannot be used for the charging of the Joy-Cons but it is a simple holder. If you want to charge the Joy-Cons you have to attach them to the Switch. Quite a number of users complain about this feature that the grip cannot be used as a charger but you have to first attach them to the Switch and then put the Switch in the Dock but this can be solved by purchasing additional one that has an option for charging which of course adds to the cost.
Many ways to play

Many ways to play

This Switch offers three modes of play: the classic Nintendo gaming on TV, Tabletop and Handheld so in this context, it is really versatile device. You can connect the Switch at home with the help of the dock and start playing on a big screen. The moment when someone else wants to watch TV you can just grab the console and the Joy-Cons and continue playing in the tabletop mode in other room with the help of the kickstand on the Switch. If you have to leave and maybe travel a long time you can use the Switch in the handheld mode by sliding the controllers on the Switch.

The switching from one mode to other is pretty simple. Once when you insert the Switch in the Switch Dock it automatically displays the games on the TV and when you remove the Switch from the dock it again automatically turns on the screen on the TV. The Joy-Cons can pair automatically when you slide them into the Switch and have a wireless connection to the system. When you use the Switch in the handheld mode together with the both Joy-Cons the width is 9.4 inches which is too big for a pocket but great size for a bag, for example.
Battery Life and Convenience

Battery Life and Convenience

Nintendo claims that the battery can last between 3 and 6.5 hours. The battery life depends on what you play, the on or off mode of the Wi-Fi and the level of brightness. If the battery is low it will be indicated as low battery warning on the screen. Users that play games from experience say that the battery lasts something under three hours of play. However, the Switch can be charged with USB-C cable and on the top of that, you can always get battery pack with high capacity or fast charging ability.

Everyone has to admit and give hi-five for the extremely easy portable mode of playing. It is incredible that you can just pick up the Switch and move to another room or go outside the home without interrupting the gaming experience. The flexibility of this system is really extraordinary.
Games Display and Audio

Games Display and Audio

The Nintendo Switch system is powered by Nvidia Tegra processor with 32GB of RAM. The Display is quick at responding via the Joy-Cons. When you play a game in handheld mode and on TV configuration the quality of the game is nice in both of the cases although when compared to PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One, Nintendo is still behind but compared to Wii U it is more powerful. The graphics are displayed as sharp and eye-catching on the console i.e. the Switch and on a larger screen. The users have a complaint in the part of Switch’s ability to work with Bluetooth devices since at the moment this is not an option.

The Switch interface is simple but fast and the console turns on immediately. At the moment Switch works with headphones with a 3.5 jack which is not very practical when you play a game in a tabletop mode especially if you are in a loud surrounding. The volume and the sound is not an issue when you are playing in a quiet surrounding and on TV mode. Nintendo launched a number of games that go with the Switch but they are building their library and more and new exciting titles are to be added.

Bottom line

The Switch is a perfect game system that can be used in the comfort of the home but can be equally great for playing on-the-go. The home and portable experience are getting better because Nintendo is building a growing library of games from Nintendo but other publishers as well. The two Joy-Cons can offer a single-player option but also make it possible to play with a friend or family member without having to purchase an additional controller. Playing games with Switch is a fun and exciting experience when you can share the joy with a friend. Overall, the console is sturdy, it is easy to use and switch between the modes and offers innovative options for playing. It could be nice if you could charge the Joy-Cons on the grip and in the future users hope that Nintendo is going to built-up the portfolio of quality games so the Switch truly shows its capacities.
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