Is the Nintendo Switch Worth Buying?

The Nintendo Switch has been out for a little more than a year now and it is readily available at every retailer. This was not the case when it was first released. It seems that everything that is hot is somehow scooped up by scalpers and then resold on secondary markets at unreasonable prices. I waited 8 months to get my Switch because I refuse to pay more than retail for something that is going to be on the market for years to come.Nintendo Switch

I am a huge fan of Nintendo. All of my best gaming memories and experiences have been due to some piece of hardware that Nintendo has released. This is not to say that I have not enjoyed other gaming systems or even owned them (honestly I never got past the initial release of the Playstation or the Xbox). A great game can be delivered on any console or platform, and I will not hesitate to play it, but I am a Nintendo fanboy and will buy just about any console that they release.

Nintendo toyed with the idea of a hybrid console in the release of the Wii U, which had a hand held controller with a large touch screen that could be played independently of the console and TV. The handheld controller could also be used as a sub map or an inventory screen for a lot of games. It could also be used as a remote controller for your TV. There were restrictions on its use. It could not be used too far from the Wii U as it would lose signal. So, no playing in a separate room from the Wii U.

This was the inspiration for the Nintendo Switch. In my opinion, they have perfected the idea of a hybrid console.

Switch Specs

The Nintendo Switch is a powerful system that has been crammed into a small console that can be played in docked mode when plugged into a TV or as a handheld system for on-the-go gaming. The specs are as follows:Mega Man 11

  • 6.2″ LCD screen with touch capabilities
  • Nvidia Tegra processor
  • 32GB of internal storage
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC)
  • Wi-Fi and Wireless LAN
  • An accelerometer
  • A gyroscope
  • A 3.5″ headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers
  • A Micro SD card slot for additional storage
  • HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB Type-C
  • 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 720p in tablet mode and up to 1080p in docked mode

There has been a lot of discussion about how the Nintendo Switch is still under powered when compared to its direct competition in the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. This may be true, but if you are a fan of Nintendo, you will know that Nintendo has never been the leader in the area of graphic capabilities. Nintendo has always been about the gaming experience. They have always made the effort to give their audience great games, innovative gaming options and solid hardware.

Gaming on the SwitchNintendo Switch with Hori Playstand

The Nintendo Switch is a versatile game system. It can be played on-the-go or at home, docked in its base. When used as a handheld system, its battery life varies from 2.5 to 6 hours, depending on the game that is being played. While this is not impressive, it is enough for most game sessions when on the move. While being played as a handheld, it does not feel too heavy and is a lot more comfortable to play than the 3DS XL, especially for those of us with larger hands.

If you choose to play the system separate from the dock, but don’t want to hold it as a handheld, it can be placed on a stand and used as if it was a small TV. One such stand that actually does a great job is the Hori Compact Playstand. When being used in this way, the Joy-Cons with a Joy-Con Grip or a Pro Controller can be used. This was my preferred method of playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild when I was unable to use my TV.

The Switch is a game console that is meant to be played at home as well. The majority of my gaming is done at home and with a Pro Controller. I don’t have they type of commute to work where I can be the passenger and take advantage of the portability as often as I’d like. When on vacation or short trips I will use the Switch instead of my 2DS XL, but that’s really it. When at home, the Switch performs as I’d expect, which is nothing short of awesome. I have not experienced the slow downs that people have complained of. Truthfully, I look at my Switch as a console that has the ability to be portable if I really need it.

Availability of Solid Games

Upon its initial release, the Switch only had a handful of games that players could test its capabilities on. In the last year, the game library has grown dramatically. Nintendo has relied upon their popular franchises to launch their new systems and this one was no different. At this time, there is no shortage of great games to play on the Switch. This includes games ported to the system from other consoles or platforms, remakes, third party games, new games based off of longstanding franchises and completely new games made for this system. Some of the best games on the Switch are:Switch Games

  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Minecraft
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Splatoon 2
  • Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
  • Hollow Knight
  • Fortnite
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2
  • Dead Cells
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Doom
  • Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
  • Stardew Valley
  • Dragon Quest Builders
  • Into the Breach
  • Mega Man 11
  • Sonic Mania Plus
  • Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy
  • Mega Man Collection
  • Mega Man X Collection
  • The Messenger
  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This list can go on and on. The last year we have had with the Switch has been good for the gamer. There have been so many great games released that no matter what type of gamer you are, there are more than a handful of games for you.

Is It Still Fresh?

The Nintendo Switch is much more available this holiday season than it was last year. It is definitely more available than it was on launch day. For me, this system is just becoming an adolescent in the gaming industry. There was a bit of a rocky start, as there always is, due to availability, lack of great launch games, online issues, etc., but right now this system is hot. It keeps delivering on its promises and has even brought back Nintendo’s charm of innovation over specs. I am referring to its design and accessories, but especially the Nintendo Labo system. Love it, hate it, indifferent… Nintendo is innovating again and the Labo is proof of that.

I think that the next few years will be great for Nintendo, especially if they continue to innovate within the realm of the technology that they have been steadily building with their systems since the Wii was released. They may not need to think about a new system for many years due to the versatility of this system. Since it is a true hybrid system, on-the-go gamers will be satisfied as long as they keep getting great new games to play and at-home gamers will continue to be intrigued by the expanding capabilities of the Switch’s accessories.

The Nintendo Switch is a Hit!

After the maligned Wii U (which I actually loved), the Nintendo Switch is a huge hit. Even Playstation and Xbox fanboys have to admit that the appeal of a hybrid system like the Switch is enough to dismiss the lack of graphic capabilities on par with those systems. This is not to say that the graphics on the Switch are bad, but they are not as good as their competition. Again, this is not a deal breaker when considering what the Switch can do that the competition can’t.

With all the great games in its catalog in just over one year, and more to come, the Switch is a force to be reckoned with. If there was a time that Sony and Microsoft should be worried, it is now. Their systems, although powerful and with a catalog of great games, are becoming stale. They are monuments to the history of gaming. If they do not find a way to innovate, instead of upgrading and replicating their systems as they’ve done, they will lose their foothold and a portion of their audience. They will probably never go out of business because of this, but they will steadily watch as their sales drop and their profits decrease.

I am excited to see what the future brings for the Nintendo Switch. It would be nice to see a software upgrade that would squash the graphics debate, but as long as Nintendo keeps respecting their fans and giving us what we really want, they will stay profitable and enjoy a healthy audience.

 

I welcome questions and comments. I am very passionate about everything that I write and publish. Thanks for reading!

Just Josh

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Just Josh

I used to be a cool dude, now I'm a cool dad. I love anime/manga, comics, movies, action figures and collectibles. I hope to pass my passion for all things cool and nerdy on to my son.

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11 Responses

  1. Teri says:

    Very interesting, I have wondered what the switch was all about. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Dale says:

    This is great timing considering my grandson asked me for a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and I had no idea what it was.  So low and behold your review has explained to me what a Nintendo Switch is.

    I can quickly see why ny Grandson would want one.  Heck I even want one just because of all the old games I used to play.

    Thank you for a great review.  Now all I need to do is look at pricing and make a decision.

    Dale

    • Just Josh says:

      Thanks for the comment, also!  You are in luck this year.  The Nintendo Switch is easily available at any retailer and for the reasonable price of $299.  I was at Best Buy earlier this month and there were about 80 of them just sitting on the end cap, waiting to be purchased.

      For me, it is definitely about the ability to play my favorite franchises of old and their newer versions.  I hope you and your grandson have a great Christmas!

  3. Rose Dean says:

    How fascinating!  I’ve heard so many people talk about the switch but I had no idea what they were talking about. I used to be a big player but I’ve recently got caught up in other things. Thank you for writing this informative article!

    I loved the Wii U too! Nintendo just seems to make the best consoles! I’ll have to check out the Switch.

    • Just Josh says:

      Thanks for the comment!  I loved the Wii U also.  A lot of people were very critical of it for a variety of reasons, but that didn’t faze me.  I’m not a huge gamer anymore either.  This is one of the reasons I don’t have a Playstation 4 or Xbox One.  I like to play games that are fun and can be put down when I need to take a break and play action figures or Legos with my son!

  4. snowygts says:

    Hi josh,

     I have to agree with you in saying that the initial release had some issues but the Nintendo switch has defiantly made its way back into the spot light with all the past issues fixed and a wider range of games. 2.5hrs playtime on the low end of the battery is still quiet good for travel, if your travelling in a car then you could always use a portable charger or even a power bank for some extra game time.

    Great article on the switch definatly highlights some of the pro’s about this console, this is what the wii should have been.

    Cheers,

    Jarrin

    • Just Josh says:

      Thanks for the comment!  I agree, this system is what the Wii should have been, or the Wii U.  But, it takes time and customer feedback to see what is good and bad about something like this.  The developers and the investors will always cheer for something shiny and new, but it is the consumer that makes or breaks the product.

  5. Steve says:

    Nice article! I have always appreciated and have a special place in my heart for Nintendo. I had the original NES as a kid. I have often wondered if it would make a comeback after a string of what were seen as less than stellar outings (Gamecube, the innovative but underwhelming Wii, and the Wii U). From what you say, it seems like they are definitely on the right track. I do wonder if they can make it back to the top over the Playstation and X-Box. It would have to be on the strength of their own franchises, as third party games like Call of Duty may not look as good on it. Thanks for writing such an informative article though! Just a little note, but watch out for how your pictures change the format of your text. Not a big deal, but it’s helpful if sentences are kept together. Merry Christmas!

    • Just Josh says:

      Thanks for the comment!  I think that Nintendo is definitely on the right track to success again.  The best thing that they can do is to not give in to trying to “keep up” with the competition.  I don’t think they need to top Sony or Microsoft, rather, keep innovating and make the competition feel like they are the ones behind the curve!

      Thanks for the note, I try to keep the pictures to the right so that reading is easier, but I see what you are referring to.

  6. David Guffey says:

    I am a gamer ever since pong,  I have had the first Nintendo, I have had PlayStation II and everything in between. I have not gamed in a few years, instead I started playing multi-player war games online or poker. The unit looks be a solid gaming platform. The games now that I have gotten older move to fast and need to much eye-hand cordanation (hillbilly spelling) that when you get past PlayStation II I just don’t have it anymore. Your website has great graphics and has a easy read design, good information and website design. Sruffey 

    • Just Josh says:

      Thanks for the comment!  I am a seasoned gamer and cut my teeth on the first couple of Atari systems.  In this stage of my life, the time I get to dedicate to video games is much slimmer, so I tend to play what I find to be fun, not what is trendy.

      I’m glad that my site is appealing to you, that is ultimately what we all want from a website isn’t it?  Have a great day!

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