Video Game Console Review: Nintendo Switch

Details: Released in 2017. Listed price is $299.99. You can find the official specifications on the official web page at https://www.nintendo.com/switch/

I just finished playing through Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, and I’ve tried a number of other games on the Switch. I think I’ve played enough of the system to have an opinion on it so here it is: the Nintendo Switch is a video game console that appeals to people who want to play child-friendly games. If you want a more mature, complex experience with more features and the utmost graphical power, purchasing the Switch is a bad decision.

The Nintendo Switch comes with a number of accessories. Firstly, it comes with one HDMI cable so you need a television with a HDMI port.

It comes with a joy-con controller and a number of accessories that accompany the joy-con controller. The joy-con is essentially two small controllers in one. Think of an Xbox controller, then split them in half and make them more rectangle. That’s a joy-con controller. You generally put them together to play single player games. If you split them in half, you can play with two players on certain games. If you plan on buying additional controllers, know that the listed price for these things are around eighty dollars. They ain’t cheap.

The biggest feature of the Switch is that you can either plug the thing into your television and play at home or attach the two halves of the joy-con controller and take it on the go. The Switch comes with a dock that makes it easy to plug or unplug it from your television. The Switch itself is essentially a tablet that you can attach the joy-cons to. The resolution isn’t as good as playing docked into a television, but it’s not bad.

In terms of apps, the Switch only has Hulu as of right now. No Netflix, no HBO, no nothing else. It also doesn’t have the virtual console, a feature present in prior Nintendo consoles. The virtual console just means that you can buy old Nintendo games and play them on the Switch. Again, the Switch doesn’t have that functionality.

While there is online play right now, Nintendo has been teasing a mandatory pay to play online subscription system. That means that if you want to play multiplayer games, you will likely have to pay money for it in the near future. Think of it like Playstation Plus or Xbox live.

Graphically, the Nintendo Switch is the weakest of the three main video game consoles. Playstation 4 and Xbox One are both more powerful and it is apparent in their games.

In regards to games, the Switch has a handful of original titles, but a whole bunch of ports of old games. That means they took preexisting games and just made a Switch version. Despite being out for a year, there just aren’t that many must-buy, big budget games on the Switch. There are a whole slew of independent games coming out, but they mostly aren’t as compelling as Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild. Many of them could even be considered “shovel-ware,” or games that aren’t great. The other popular games like Mario Kart and Kirby are meant largely to be party games where people who are in the room with you can play with.

So, with all that said, let’s get to whether or not you should purchase this console. Firstly, people with an excess of money do not need to be addressed because they will buy the Switch along with any other console they find. Further, Nintendo fan boys who participate in the circle jerk for Nintendo products will dish out the money as well since they are desperate for all things Nintendo.

They only consumers that are worth addressing then are those who are not biased in favor of Nintendo and who do not wish to buy all the consoles. In this case, if you are a parent or someone looking to buy a video game console for young children, then the Nintendo Switch is a great choice. Almost all the games are geared towards children and there are pretty good parental controls.

I am not a child however. I am an adult who really enjoys video games with adult themes and content. I love lengthy, story driven single player experiences as well as competitive multiplayer games like first person shooters or MOBA’s. Graphics and technical specifications matter to me. I like looking at beautiful visuals that are at the cutting edge of technology. I do not want to carry around another electronic device. My smart phone is hassle enough. Considering all these factors, I can safely say that the Nintendo Switch is not a console for me. If you are anything like me, then the Nintendo Switch is not the console for you, too. The ideal video game console for me would be either the PC or the Playstation 4.

Firstly, the Nintendo Switch just isn’t technologically powerful. It is the least powerful of all the current generation of video game consoles to a noticeable degree. Electronics makers are talking about 4k and the Switch is stuck at 1080p at best. Further, the Switch doesn’t have the ability to play blue rays or dvd’s. It doesn’t have any apps other than Hulu. That’s ridiculous considering the popularity of Netflix among other apps. Another crucial factor is the presence of exclusive games. Among the three popular video game consoles, the Playstation 4 has the most exclusive games you cannot find on other consoles. Further, those games are laced with adult themes and compelling stories, exactly what I want from a video game. Further still, since the Switch is such a unique machine, many of the recently released games (Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Final Fantasy) simply will not be released on the Switch (anytime soon at least) because the Switch simply can’t handle it. I also mostly play games from my living room so the portability for me is a nonfactor. Carrying another item around with me is a hassle.

In conclusion, if you are a child or have a child’s sensibilities/mentality, the Nintendo Switch is a good choice for you. If you are an adult with more mature sensibilities, then the Playstation 4 is clearly the better choice. The PC wins in terms of functionality and content, but not in price. The Switch costs around three hundred dollars, the Playstation 4 Pro around four hundred dollars, and a high-end gaming PC will likely cost you over a thousand dollars (especially considering the effect bitcoin has on video card prices).

Score: 7/10

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