So, my birthday is coming up, and as a surprise my boyfriend decided to buy me a Nintendo Switch. Before I describe my extreme level of excitement in receiving this gift, I should make it known that it has been 8 years since I have owned a next-gen console. I have been contentedly gaming on my Xbox 360 since 2004, and lost my beloved PS3 in a divorce. Long story short, I was pretty psyched. I had read next to nothing about The Switch, other than that they were impossible to find in the wild and outside of my price range, which was enough to deter my interest. I am here to say, that my lack of information about this console, only made unboxing it that much more enjoyable. It was like the day I unboxed my first Nintendo as a kid, a magical experience.
If you are not familiar with the Nintendo Switch, it’s basically a console the size of a small iPad with detachable controllers called Joy-cons. It can be played as a handheld, or placed on the charging dock to be streamed to your TV, or stood up on a kick stand and played with a friend, or plugged into your friend’s TV…there are a lot of possibilities! I have been mostly playing it as a handheld, since my TV needs to be replaced.
When I posted that I received a Nintendo Switch, I was immediately bombarded with warnings about poor battery life, slow frame rates, uncomfortable controllers and shitty graphics. I am here to lay some of those claims to rest.
I have been playing Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and I have to say that there is some truth to this claim, but it’s really not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. In the hand, the console will last about 3-4 hours per charge. I can see how that might be problematic if you are gaming on the go, but if you are playing at home popping the console on the charging dock while you take a break is no big deal. If you are traveling, the console takes a common C connection, and can be charge with a portable battery or wall charger. I haven’t tried to play with it plugged into the wall, but I have only received the battery warning once. I’m willing to accept that this is not going to operate like my DS and play all day. In the end, it is a portable console and was never meant to stand up to the battery life of smaller handhelds.
Slow Frame Rate
I have not seen this one at all. ZBOTW plays seamlessly on The Switch. I’ve played it for hours on a TV and as a handheld without a single glitch. Camera motions are seamless, movements are smooth and graphics are sharp. I did read that Nintendo made some adjustments to the 2nd round of consoles after release. I am guessing that is the reason I dodged this problem.
I have to say, I don’t hate the joy-cons. I know, I am the minority here. I am not saying I love them, but as long as they are attached to something (ie: the console or the joy-con holder accessory) they are very comfortable to use. I will say that on their own, they can be a bit awkward. I tried free handing the joycons with my Switch sitting on the coffee table kick-stand and it felt extremely awkward. I haven’t tried playing with a friend, but I imagine using a single joycon can be a bit cumbersome. All and all, I am not sure I would list this as a flaw.
I can’t believe we are still trying to compare Nintendo consoles to their more powerful (and more expensive) competitors. The Nintendo Switch was never meant to compete with the PS4 or Xbox One in terms of graphics, in the same way that the Wii was never meant to compete with the PS3 or Xbox 360. That being said, while games on the Switch may not be as pretty as games on the PS4, ZBOTW is still pretty fucking beautiful. The artistry put into this game shines through on the Switch more in the hand, than on the TV screen. Is it the prettiest console on the TV…no. Is it the prettiest console in the hand…yes! Focus on that.
All and all, I love my Switch. It was the perfect early birthday gift and a fantastic way to welcome me back into the world of next-gen consoles. I know, I didn’t pay for it, but to me it is worth the money.
Check back for my review of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. Spoiler alert, it’s amazing!