Since March 3rd, the Nintendo Switch has been a hot topic. I often answer the phone at work expecting to finish my spiel with “and we are out the Nintendo Switch company-wide,” just because it sells so quickly. I went on about the Switch in an earlier article mostly ranting about the issues with Nintendo (and now there are component manufacturing issues slowing down distribution), and though I still believe Nintendo has a lot of issues to fix, I will still back that they make excellent products.
The biggest complaint I hear about our little baby Switch is “but it has no games!” Well, duh! It’s been on the market a little over three months with only two real games to accompany it-Breath of the Wild and Snipperclips. Now there are quite a few games after only three full months, with some highlights being the recent ARMS, Has-Been Heroes (on PS4, Xbox One, and PC as well), and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are so many amazing planned games for this year and next, many of which I talked about after the Nintendo E3 video conference. Not to mention, the Switch is so incredibly warm to indie games both digital and physical, so I can imagine that it opens a world for gamers and developers.
There are a good deal of pros to offset that one con, too. The console is not only super portable, but would never feel out of place if it never left its dock and you only ever used the Pro controller with it to play. I mentioned that the system was indie-inclusive, which totally opens up a whole variety of games, but even the AAA titles have a lot of freedom. The recent fighting game, ARMS, is a lot like a traditional fighting game in that it’s 1 v 1 and you need to be able to use strategy alongside reflex to meet the challenge of even the AI, but this time you’re throwing the punches. You actually use the Joy-Con in your hands to throw punches, block, and move. It at least feels incredibly innovative, and shows the possibilities left for developers. On top of all that, the battery life is surprisingly good. When I went on my first road trip with the Nintendo Switch, I was concerned that I didn’t have a car charger, but for the first three-hour leg of the trip, I had no issues. It charges a bit slowly, but that didn’t matter much as I was able to play Breath of the Wild for three hours without so much of a “low console battery” warning.
Now, there are more cons than “not much for games right now.” The Joy-Con, for starters, is ridiculously expensive. I’ve been wanting to pick up a second set, but that would put me out around $100. I’m not joking. The Joy-Con are $50 a pop, with pre-packaged sets costing about $90 (that is, if you can find them in a set). The Pro controller costs a reasonable, expected $60, but that’s not good for all games. The controller cost alone makes it difficult for it to become a family console. Joy-Con price aside, the dock isn’t very portable. Say you travel between two locations often. You have two realistic choices: buy another dock and leave it there ($80), or take it with you. The dock isn’t very portable and although it’s relatively small compared to most consoles themselves, it’s a bit difficult to find a neat way to wrap everything up and tote it along. Finally, it’s not readily available. Like, anywhere. The excuse we give for only having it in bundles (that is, when they actually let us sell bundles), is to ward off the evil resellers because in order to return the games with the bundle, you have to return the whole bundle, so it makes it difficult for resellers to sell the console itself and justify the price. This, in turn, limits availability and makes it hard for real consumers to justify the markup on it. Granted, they save in the long run on games and accessories, and the bundles are only $400-500 in comparison to the normal $300, but it still limits those on a budget.
So, what would I recommend? Now, I did receive the Switch as a gift, but had I been purchasing it myself, I would have waited a bit longer. There are going to a huge number of games dropping around the holidays, and with the upcoming gifting seasons, it will most definitely be more accessible and there will be a larger variety of bundles available on the market. I definitely recommend it to not only Nintendo fans, but also almost everyone. There either is or will be a variety of games for almost any type of gamer out there, and the system will fit in with a variety of lifestyles as well. The console itself is reasonably priced, and if you play alone, having the one set of Joy-Con and the Pro controller is more than enough.
Let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions for other articles! I love reading comments and talking with you guys!