So a little while ago the Nintendo Switch celebrated its first birthday. Its been a whole year, nearly 15 million consoles sold and a heap load of new games, the question my friends and I have asked is “is it worth £280”?
I can list off all the stats: it has a 6.2 inch 1280 x 720p LCD screen at 237ppi (but can display at 1080p when connected to a TV through the HDMI). It has an Nvidia GM20B Maxwell-based GPU… but this is all available on Wikipedia, and doesn’t tell you if it’s actually worth it!
Back in the UK I’ve had a Nintendo Wii which was ok for party play but when i chose to play serious, solo games I would always pick up my Xbox 360 controller, later this changed to my PS4. The graphics were better and the games were much more engaging. Now that I’m travelling I can’t carry around a TV but do I have the spare cash to carry around a console?
Normally I would say no but there is the first advantage of the Switch. The console and “joy-Con” only weigh 400g which isn’t a huge sacrifice for what should be a high performance, next gen console. I now have the ability to throw it in my bag (in a protective Zelda themed case of course) and take it where ever I go. Great, but it has only been out for 1 year, are there enough games to justify it?
Obviously when you pick up a Nintendo you are going to be buying the exclusive games: Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the latest release Kirby. Games like these could be considered a little “childish” with their overly bright colours, repetitive game play and censorship but for a completionist, like myself, finding every power moon, getting gold in every cup and searching out each secret keeps me engaged enough. They have also inspire new creations such as Mario and Rabids crossovers. Personally the upcoming releases are what excite me more. Recent news has reviled that Crash Bandicoot, previously exclusive to PlayStation back in the day, is due to be ported over on July 10th! Not only can this give way to more cross overs but this also means Crash and co. can be included in the Smash Bros. future release as well as getting his own Amiibo! If this doesn’t excite you and you want something a little more challenging that you have seen before then you can always look to picking up games like Skyrim or wait for the remaster Dark Souls which comes out on 25th May 2018. This is only the start, in the up-coming years more and more games will be released! You have your games, now can the hardware keep up?
As i said previously, when connected to a TV the Switch can be 1080p which is great but that is only half the time, the Switch boasts about how portable it is. This is where the Switch has to work its hardest. When you load up a game that really pushes the display, a game where you want to see how pretty everything because it is just beautiful attention to detail, it does hold up. But this takes its toll on the battery. I don’t have a TV so my Switch is never plugged in to a dock. Every time i play i spend all the battery playing and after about 4 hours have to go and do something else or stay close the a power point. I wouldn’t consider this a terrible thing, its good to have a break from time to time, but when you really get into a game just to have the battery die… it is slightly soul destroying. I thought Dark Souls would be the first reason i cry whilst playing the Switch! Smaller games, indie games like Celeste or Star Dew Vally for example allow a lot longer game play due to its more simplistic design, its less strain on the battery. But what about when it is used for things other than playing games?
Something i haven’t seen much exploitation of so far is the versatility of the Switch. If you buy one you are holding a tablet with controllers. A touch screen that can play games and so much more. Does this mean that in the future we are also going to have application use these features such as video players to watch movies or other uses for a reasonably sized touch screen? Some games, like Rayman, do occasionally use this but I’m sure there is so much more it can do! So is this all worth it?
I would say, if you are at home with your PC, Xbox and/or PS4 then there is a lot of cross over and you probably don’t leave your house enough to benefit from the portability of the console. On the other hand if you have all of that you have far too much money so why not spend a little more to get a Switch!?!
In my opinion, I’m travelling and i don’t have the ability to have a TV with me so I’m hyped that i can actually play console worthy games on a hand held device. What is more excited is the up-coming releases: in the immediate future we have Nintendo Lab joining the return of Donkey Kong, Smash Bros., Ni No Kuni II and Dark Souls Remastered. If you don’t think this is enough for now then definitely watch this space!