Review | Nintendo Switch

The Switch is Nintendo's successor to the WiiU and perhaps its most innovative offering yet. The concept of the Switch is to blur the line between portable and home console - at home you can plug it via dock to the TV, and say if you want to continue playing it in bed or outside you can just dock it out and bring anywhere with you, without compromising the graphics and performance.

In short, a Swiss Army knife of the console world.

 

Nintendo's previous console offering received lukewarm response mainly due to its poor form factor, lack of power compared to its console peers and weak support from 3rd party developers. It tried to be this hybrid entertainment system but failed because it was underpowered and must be tied to a certain radius to its base.

The Switch is in a way, the WiiU that Nintendo always wanted to make.

 

This is the Switch next to an iPhone 6. It is surprisingly light and well built. I've had multiple 3 hour sessions with this console and it never felt heavy to me. 

 

The ergonomics do take sometime to get used to partially because I feel that the Joy-Con is too small. The Joy-Con is Nintendo's  name for its controller which can be taken to several ways of playing.

 

Each console comes with 2 Joy-Cons and you can slide them to both end of the main console to be used as a regular controller. This is my preferred way of playing the Switch. Overtime it feels much more comfortable to hold than say a Vita or a 3DS.

 

The Joy-Cons can be turned sideways so that multiple users can use it. It is a novel idea but it is just so uncomfortable to hold. Multiplayer games such as 1-2 Switch and the upcoming Mario Kart will take advantage of this but I can't imagine having long playing sessions with this.

 

The Joy-Cons also have an accelerometer and gyrosensors for motion movement. For example, besides using the analogue, you can wave your hand - ala the Wii - to aim at enemies and objects.

 

Speaking of Zelda, Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is probably my most favourite videogame of all time. I've never played a game which gives you this sense of wonder to just explore. I can memorise landmarks, settlements and routes in this game by memory which goes to show just how well done this game is.

Now the magic of the game does wean off after I played it for about 40 hours, and the game's story is somewhat lacking but man, this is one special game.

 

The Switch can also be docked to a TV set to be played as a traditional home console. I've done this maybe 6-7 times but for me, it feels much better to just play it on portable mode.

There's also an issue of the dock scratching the Switch's screen since there's no cushioning between the docking surfaces. 

The left bezel of my Switch does get scratched from docking so I highly recommend putting on a screen protector.

 

The Switch and its game casing is almost of the same size by dimension. :O

 

I have never licked or tasted the gamecard.

See after the Switch was launched, it became a mini viral thing to taste the gamecard of the Switch. As a safety measure to prevent kids from swallowing the game cartridge, the applied a layer of Denatonium Benzoate which is apparently one of the most bitter tasting thing in existence.

 

At launch, the Switch comes either in Grey or Neon. The Neon colorway just grows on you. I grabbed the grey because the Neon is sold out everywhere. And even if you do find one, expect to pay RM100-200 more by retailers due to the demand.

 

One thing to note is the Switch like tablets and phones, has a touchscreen. It does not however have any camera or web browsing abilities. No Netflix support either. Nintendo said they may add them in future firmware updates.

There were reports of Joy-Con synching problems online but I've never experienced any.

 

Supplied wit a 4310mAH battery, Nintendo said the console comes has a 3-6 hours of battery life depending on how graphic heavy the game is.

In my experience with Zelda, you can get approximately 3 hours of battery life.

What I do like about this machine is that it is charged via USB-C. USB-C is in short a new versatile type of port capable of transferring video, audio and power via a single cable. 

What I do not like however, is Nintendo's decision to put the charging port at the bottom of the console meaning you need to always hold it when not charging with the dock.

 

All in all if there's one word to summarise the Switch, it is "potential". You can play it however you like, portable mode or console mode - it just works effortlessly. If Nintendo can get the momentum going and keep a steady release off high quality games, on top of adding more features to the console via firmware, this has the potential to be the next big thing.