A Weekend with the Nintendo Switch
So the new Nintendo home console, the Switch, came out last Friday. Normally, I wouldn’t have rushed to pick up a console on release, especially given how hard it can be to get a new Nintendo console on launch day. But given the marvelous reviews of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild... I just HAD to get one.
Seeing as pre-orders weren’t an option, I spent Wednesday and Thursday scouring the internet seeing how I might be able to get a Switch. The only answers that I had? Stand in line for a Best Buy midnight release, or pray that I can get a good spot in line at Target for their store opening at 8 AM to pick one up. I opted to get up around 7 in the morning and go to Target, and luckily enough, I was the seventh person in line. The store only had 19 consoles to sell, so I grabbed a console with the black joy cons (what the little controllers that attach and detach from the console are called), as well as a special edition of Breath of the Wild. The special edition came with the game itself, a nice parchment map of the game (that isn’t exactly handy for getting an idea of where you are in the game itself), a selection of orchestral tracks from the game, a special coin, and a carrying case for the Switch that resembles the Sheikah Slate (an item you get in-game).
After suffering through a day at work, and going to see the phenomenal Logan with a few friends, I finally got home around midnight and was able to unbox and start playing my Switch. And off the bat, I was blown away. The console is unbelievably clean compared to both of Nintendo’s last two console releases, the Wii and the Wii U. The home screen layout is simple, without any clutter, and tells you exactly what you need to know about what’s going on with the console.
Switch(ing) between viewing the console on a television and using it as a handheld system is seamless. Just pause your game, slide the joy cons onto the system, and pick it up! If you want to use it on a television again, then you’ll just place the Switch back into the included dock, and voila! Your game is playing on your TV again.
The Switch itself isn’t that heavy either, and to me it feels like what Nintendo intended the Wii U to be in the first place. I enjoy the fact that I can take the console with me and, once some new games come out (looking at you Mario Kart 8), I’ll be able to have a friend play with me wherever I am just by detaching the joy cons from the system and handing one to my friend, while I use the other to play whatever game we’re playing!
Everything about the Switch itself just sells it to me without me worrying about it being a bad purchase. The console itself is reasonably priced at $300 USD, whereas a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One would have run $400 when they first released. The only downside that I see to the Switch is how much I feel like Nintendo is making a cash-grab with the price of accessories. An additional set of joy cons is going to set you back $80 USD, while a pro controller will set you back $70 USD. Given that I likely won’t ever need either a new set of joy cons or a pro controller though, I’m not particularly worried about that.
Aside from that, the only other issue that I’ve infrequently had is one that a lot of professional review outlets have said as well. The left joy con seems to have some de-syncing issues with the console if you are playing it on the TV. However, I found that this was only an issue if I had the Switch sitting behind the television. Once I placed the console more to the front and side of the TV, this issue seemed to have rectified itself.
Overall, my impressions playing the Switch are great. Once they’re a little easier to find in stock in stores, I definitely recommend getting one; if there’s anything you’d like to play on it, that is. Stay tuned for my review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a few weeks, once I’m able to beat it and have had more time with the game. It’s phenomenal so far and definitely worth the praise it’s received from professional outlets.