The Nintendo Switch is the first games console I’ve owned in years, the last was a Nintendo Wii that I shared with my brothers. I bought it last year on a whim when I was living in a flat where I had no TV and I wanted some games to play other than League of Legends. Since then I’ve spent hundreds (yes hundreds) of hours playing various games and thought it would be worth writing about my experience with it.
I love the size, feel and appearance of this console. It is both perfectly sized and perfectly weighted. The controllers - Joycons - feel great in your hand. When playing with them detached from the console they can be a little small in the hand. There are small slide on grips that make them a slightly better fit, but I never bother with these as I love to be able to drop the Joycons back onto the console in a moment.
My biggest criticism of the console hardware wise is the quality of the screen, which is fairly dark and plastic-y. It would be cool to see how good the screen could be if the Switch wasn’t limited by hitting a price point. It certainly wouldn’t be as popular and accessible as it is - but I think it would be cool to see.
The battery life on the Switch is reasonable. I believe that it’s rated to last around 3 hours on a charge for most games, which I think is fine. There is rarely a case where I want to play for any longer. Whenever I’m not playing I leave the Switch in its dock which means that it’s always charged and ready to go when I pick it up.
Nintendo, brilliantly, included a USB-C charging port on the switch. This is great for many, many reasons which you can read about elsewhere. But the key thing to note is that I can charge this using any battery pack or directly from my laptop, which is great when traveling, which this console excels at doing.
The operating system on the Switch is also brilliant. I haven’t used other modern consoles extensively, but I do know that they are cursed with long load times. The Switch OS wakes from sleep as fast as any modern smartphone and moving around the system is equally as fast. There are sound effects with most button movements which aren’t annoying - an achievement in itself.
Beyond the speed of the system, there are some things that certainly would be nice to have. The Switch comes with screenshot functionality built in, but these screenshots are incredibly awkward to get off the device - you only get the option to share to Facebook or Twitter. It would also be great to be able to have a media player on the Switch that you could sync stuff to remotely. I would love to be able to chuck films and things on it and watch them on the go. No device can switch between being portable and being on your TV like the Switch can, and I would love to be able to utilize this ability further.
Games on the Switch are great. I don’t think there’s a game I’ve bought that I regret purchasing. Here’s a quick list of my favourites.
- The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild
- Splatoon 2
- Rocket League
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
I’m currently eyeing up the new Donkey Kong game which I keen to buy as soon as Nintendo stop charging £50 it.