After months of desperately trying to gleam every bit of information about Nintendo’s Switch console (I think I broke Google with the number of searches I made) that was formerly known as Nx, it’s now finally here! I’ve taken a full week to get to grips with the console, playing 3 different games (Review of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is coming) in different ways and checking out if the rumoured problems do exist with the Nintendo Switch or If haters just going to hate…
March 3rd seemed like such a far-off date when announced last year in October, but was good news for me personally as my birthday is March 6th – luckily, I have a generous partner who agreed to not only buy the Switch for my birthday but also agreed I could have it 3 days early! It’s now been just a week since I first opened my Switch console and I am very impressed.
What’s in the box?
Firstly, the box itself is slim, vibrant and contains the following:
- Switch console
- Joy-Con controllers (both left and right)
- Wrist straps (again both left and right)
- HDMI cable
- Power lead
- Controller Grip
Essentially, everything is there you’ll need, however, I purchased a Micro SD card (Samsung 32gb for around £17 on Amazon) as the console itself only comes with 32GB internal memory. Not a lot, but Micro SD cards can be as cheap or expensive as your budget allows – more memory means more cost!
I also purchased a charging cable C to USB – this was a bit of a nightmare for me to find whilst out in shops, you can easily get one on places like Amazon or EBay, I eventually found a Belkin one at £15. Expensive, yes but I needed to charge my Switch whilst out and had no choice – it’s much better than the whopping £28 charger from Game!
The first time setting up any new console is a glorious moment; the anticipation is almost at fever pitch to get your new console up and running and connecting the Switch was very simple. The dock stood nicely on the end of my TV unit so I hooked up the power & HDMI cable at the back (under a sort of flap). Next was the console and Joy-Con controllers (in grey) – they have a lovely click as you slide them onto the side of the screen and can easily be removed with a press of a small button on the back. I popped the Joy-Cons into the controller Grip (again nice clicks) and popped the console into the dock.
Now here is where I encountered a problem – sliding the console in and out of the dock is easy but it doesn’t feel quite secure. I would prefer a click noise like the Joy-Con controllers, a small complaint but I wasn’t sure if the console was in ok or not – even though the green light came on and told me it was charging! Though I must say, when docking and undocking the console to play games on the move, the transition is seamless. I expected there to be a slight delay or a loading screen but there isn’t. Just a simple, fluid movement from small screen to big. Or vice versa. Ah!
The Switch menu I came to wasn’t very inspiring after setting up the console, just a few blank squares and an icon for Zelda: Breath of the Wild (I promise the review is coming soon) and oddly, no music. There’s settings (with Mii creations hidden away in) the Nintendo shop, and not a lot else!
Still, the reason for buying a Switch, is to play games right? Zelda had a quick update and I was soon adventuring as Link in this beautiful new world.
At first, I mainly played the console using the grip controller – the Joy-Cons felt comfortable and surprisingly sturdy in what essentially is a plastic holder. The Joy-cons themselves are a joy to touch, the ability to turn into 2 controllers whilst sitting comfortably in the palm of your hand is one of the reasons you need a Switch. The HD rumble is great but loses its power a little whilst in the grip. Overall, the Joy-Cons are a joy and I enjoy using them.
Another grumble from many is the battery life of the Switch. This entirely depends on brightness, sound and how much preference the player has. For example, for my Switch I usually have the sound on medium and screen brightness medium. Playing Zelda with these settings an hour or so in the morning on the way into work (I get the bus each day) and an hour back, leaves my Switch at 54% charge by the end of the day. Not great, but worth noting that in comparison my iphone will be even less by the end of the day (and with a charge usually halfway through the day). It did make me feel nauseous whilst playing when travelling which is entirely dependent on how strong your stomach is, but something to consider if buying a Switch.
Table top mode is another feature that works well but I think this will entirely depends on what game you play. For example, friends and I had lots of fun playing 1 2 Switch at the weekend but struggled to play Snipperclips due to the size of the screen (1 2 Switch works because you don’t need to look at the screen much). Some friends complained the Joy-con controllers are too small for the palms, but I think they are the perfect size. Any bigger and the console would be too big.
The sound of the console itself is good, the weight of the console itself is almost perfect – the right balance, to give a sturdy and comfortable feel. I have played my Nintendo Switch for over a week, with no problems in connectivity no problems with the console itself either. I’m not saying that the Nintendo Switch is a perfect console as it isn’t perfect by any means, but does what it can do very well. For me, I prefer it docked and playing the likes of Zelda on a big screen, though it’s great that I can take the console out with me whenever I like.
Price and other grumblings aside, the Nintendo Switch Is such a fantastic idea and Nintendo have done well to pull it off. Zelda will be keeping me busy for a long time though there are surprise hits like Snipperclips that prove the console has a lot to offer. Buy a Switch and enjoy gaming again – either docked on a big screen or portable as easy as flipping a switch.