Out to Launch

The Nintendo Switch has arrived! I’ve been excited about the console and its upcoming games since we first heard about it months ago. After a frustrating launch experience, I finally got the new console, and I’ve been playing it a lot. The big question is: does it live up to the hype? After a full weekend of the Switch, here are my thoughts on the console, controller, and launch games.

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It’s here!

Setup

The first unboxing revealed the key components of the system: the Joy-Con (L, left) and Joy-Con (R, right) controllers and the tablet-like Switch itself. Underneath lay the dock, the magical machine that delivers the system output to the television. The Joy-Grip, a makeshift controller that you can plug the Joy-Cons into, and some crucial HDMI and AC adapter cables comprised the rest of the included components.

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I love that new console smell.

Before plugging anything in, I wanted to experience sliding in the Joy-Cons to the Switch tablet. It snapped in easily, producing that satisfying *click* noise that we’ve associated with the console. I set the dock next to my TV and opened up its back to input the cables, which fit snugly. The coup de grace was putting the Switch and its attached Joy-Cons into the dock. I pressed the home button, set up the system, and installed an update within minutes. I was pleased with the snappiness of the initial setup.

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Top: Joy-Grip; Bottom: Switch with Joy-Cons attached

System

You can use the Switch as a home console or a handheld device. The first major playstyle is taking out the Switch from the dock and playing portably. In handheld form, the tablet resembles a Wii U GamePad with the Joy-Cons being your primary grip. The Switch is lighter than the GamePad, while sporting an equivalently sized screen that produces a sharper 720p resolution in comparison to the GamePad’s 480p. I was surprised by how crisp The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s graphics looked on the small screen.

The Switch is comfortable to hold, and its light weight lends itself to portable gaming sessions. As an avid handheld gamer, it’s a luxury to take the Switch and its console games wherever I want, whether to a coffee shop or on a commute. A kickstand allows the system to stand on tables too. My one gripe is the three hour battery life. You can circumvent this by adjusting the brightness and sound settings, but you won’t be playing for extended periods. Plugging it in to an outlet or power bank is also an option. For shorter trips and breaks, the Switch excels. And once you get back home, inserting the Switch back into the dock takes you back into the game instantly. The output transfer is rapid, switching between TV and handheld mode within seconds!

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Moments like this make me happy to be a Switch owner.

Controllers

When playing on the big screen, the Switch must remain in the dock, so you can’t use it as a controller. Instead, you have several options. The first is the bundled Joy-Grip, which resembles a skeleton controller until you insert the Joy-Cons. The Joy-Grip effectively holds the Joy-Cons close together, and the ergonomic handles provide a natural clutch.

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The Joy-Grip with attached Joy-Cons; Also, a puppy face.

Although the Joy-Cons are technologically impressive, I’m not terribly fond of their designs. While attached to the Switch/Joy-Grip, they provide your standard button layout with face buttons on the upper-right and analog sticks in the upper-left and lower-right sections. However, the face buttons are very small; they’re tinier than the 3DS’ buttons. The standard “d-pad” has also been replaced with the same small buttons, which is not ideal for 2D games. The L and R shoulder buttons are also very tiny and don’t feel natural to push down.

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Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R)

In some cases, like Snipperclips or Super Bomberman R, a single Joy-Con can be used on its own. As a bonus, another player can join in a multiplayer game using the other Joy-Con. For these games, you simply turn your Joy-Con horizontally, like you would hold an NES controller or a sideways Wii remote. However, the Joy-Con’s miniature size makes it difficult to grasp properly. The Switch box comes with two Joy-Con straps, that when attached to the Joy-Con, makes it slightly easier to hold. Even though my hands aren’t that big, I didn’t find the horizontal controller appealing. The Joy-Cons have asymmetrical layouts: the right Joy-Con positions the analog stick too far in the middle while the left one poses the same problem with its buttons. The configurations feel awkward when held sideways.

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Joy-Con (L/R) horizontal orientations

In games like 1-2 Switch, you hold the Joy-Con vertically as you would a Wii remote. Additionally, you can hold both Joy-Cons vertically to play nearly any game, as if you were operating a Wii remote and Nunchuk. Though I prefer a traditional playstyle, it’s wonderful to see an array of options depending on preference. Improved gyro motion control and HD Rumble capabilities enhance the experience for select games, too. Though I didn’t test out the HD Rumble that allegedly allows you to feel separate sensations within the controller, gyro aiming works wonders for Breath of the Wild. I look forward to seeing these interesting concepts utilized in future games like Splatoon 2.

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Match the symbols, unlike what you’d do for batteries.

A word of warning: pay attention to the straps’ alignment when you’re attaching them. The straps are interchangeable, so they will slide in regardless of orientation. However, if you don’t correctly match the “minus” and “plus” symbols on the straps to the Joy-Cons, they will get stuck. Due to the small sizes of the strap and Joy-Con, it’s hard enough detaching them normally. But when they’re mismatched, you have to yank them off, risking damage.

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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

I saved my favorite controller for last. The Switch Pro Controller isn’t included with the system and costs a hefty $70, but it’s one of the most comfortable controllers Nintendo has made. Any criticism I have of the Joy-Grip is fixed with the Pro Controller. The grip curves inward a little, providing that satisfying ergonomic handle. The face and shoulder buttons are large and easy to reach. There is an actual d-pad. There is some clear inspiration from the standard Xbox controller, though it weighs less than its competitor. The matte finish is sleek, and the modern technological design is icing on the cake. It’s easily my ideal way to play. That said, I can only recommend it if you are willing to pay premium. Otherwise, the Joy-Grip is sufficient.

User Interface (UI)

The home menu is simple, though may strike you as a little empty compared to the Wii U’s. Sporting a solid white or black background, the menu displays a singular row of all your games and demos. The upper left shows your profile(s). Clicking on a profile lets you change your friend icon, which you can choose from dozens of Nintendo characters or your own Mii. The Mii maker has several new color options, as well as an array of facial expressions and poses.

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Yes, I’m friends with THE Link and Zelda.

The lower menu on the home screen has icons for system options and Switch news. It also gives you access to the eShop and a photo album. The digital store is simple to use and loads more quickly than in previous systems. Currently, there are no options for video streaming services such as Netflix. There is no Virtual Console either, but Nintendo has assured that retro games will arrive in the future. A much welcomed capture button lets you take game screenshots and share them on social media.

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If you’d like to add me, here’s my Switch Friend Code! SW-3611-4684-6706

The Switch also marks the return of Friend Codes, those lovely 16-digit strings that you input to befriend someone. While you can’t simply search for someone by typing in their name, the FC process has been streamlined. When you add someone as a friend, it will show up on their systems, so they need only accept your friend request to add you back. It’s a nice compromise. As a bonus, using the connectivity of the My Nintendo account system, you can add people that you’ve befriended in games like Fire Emblem Heroes, Super Mario Run, and Miitomo.

The UI is easy on the eyes and as modest as possible. The lack of music is a shame, considering how catchy the Wii U’s system jingles are. Otherwise, I have no issues with the user-friendly interface.

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Open your eyes, Link.

Games

Although I won’t harp too long on the games for now, I can say I’m enjoying the launch lineup. Nintendo, its third-party partners, and indie developers have delivered quality over quantity. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the big one, consuming most of my Switch playtime. I am awed by every moment of discovery. Snipperclips is a surprising hit for my wife and me, and we love solving its creative and goofy puzzles. We also like snipping and clipping each other, out of love, of course… Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is another solid 2D platformer into the Shovel Knight DLC compendium. Finally, Super Bomberman R is a fun revival of a multiplayer classic, though I will have better insight when I play 8-player online. If you have the game, please feel free to play with me! I will share more detailed reviews in the weeks to come, so please look forward to them.

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My Day One haul: Of course I got the amiibo!

Conclusion

The Switch is a technological marvel with the ability to output crisp HD visuals to the television, and with a snap, transform into a handheld tablet device that you can play on-the-go. The Joy-Cons aren’t the most comfortable to hold, but they are versatile and perform their roles well. As with any system, the games will determine the Switch’s future. I hope that Nintendo continues to deliver its first party offerings in concurrence with big third-party games and “Nindies.” Overall, despite any gripes I have, I love my new console. With hybrid capabilities that help it stand out from the pack, the Switch has immense potential as Nintendo’s next heavy-hitter.

What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch? Did you pick it up at launch, or are you planning to pick it up later (or not at all)? How have your experiences been with the system thus far? What do you like or dislike about the Switch? Please share any questions or thoughts you have in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!

Note: Here’s my Switch Friend Code: SW-3611-4684-6706

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61 thoughts on “Nintendo Switch First Impressions

  1. I’ve been intrigued by the Switch’s design since it was announced. A console and handheld gaming system all in one–wowzers! I love it’s sleek design and how lightweight it is. I definitely agree with your thoughts about the Joy-Cons. They sit fine while attached the the Switch tablet, but they feel awkward to hold by themselves, even in my small hands. I do like having a built-in 2-player function without needing to buy extra controllers. And being able to take it anywhere is awesome! I haven’t tried bringing it on a long trip yet. Will certainly bring some back-up power supplies when I do. I’m loving Breath of the Wild so far, it looks beautiful on the TV and the Switch screen. Snipperclips is quite fun too. Can’t wait to see what other games are in store for this system!

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    1. Thanks for your awesome comments! The Switch is really something else so far. I’m enjoying it more than I did with the Wii U at launch, though that’s mostly because Breath of the Wild has been amazing thus far! I’d agree that it’s a pro that at least you can play 2-players with one set of Joy-Cons. It’s definitely cheaper than having to buy $70-80 controllers each time. I didn’t mention this, but I wish the peripherals and extra accessories weren’t so expensive. I’m sure lots of people think that, but it’s such an uphill climb to be fully equipped for the system. At least a pair of Joy-Cons, the grip, and the Pro Controller will be sufficient for now, along with the great launch games! I can’t wait to see what else in store too! Thanks again!

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  2. Consoles generally aren’t so good at launch; even the NES got off to a slow start. Granted, it had more to do with those titles not aging well more than anything, but I think my point stands. The Super NES and GameCube had pretty decent libraries a few months after their launches, but like other platforms, they wouldn’t shine until a few years later. As for me, I think I’ll hold off on getting a Switch until that new Mario game comes out.

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    1. Agreed! Consoles aren’t usually as good at launch. Either they have less games or incomplete system hardware. Regardless, I can’t help but get excited whenever Nintendo launches a new console. They usually come through with at least one great game, obviously Breath of the Wild in this case. And I simply like seeing what new features Nintendo innovates with, which is why I don’t usually mind. I’m enjoying the Switch as much as I did with the Wii and Wii U, which isn’t a bad thing. And I’m certainly enjoying it more than I did my launch 3DS. I think the Switch has the opportunity to have a great first year, if it can keep up a steady stream of their announced titles and indie surprises. If it shines years later, then all the better! Holding off definitely isn’t a bad idea, especially when Super Mario Odyssey will be the real hot commodity for the system soon. I look forward to that game most! Thanks for sharing your great insights on console launches!

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  3. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the Switch! It sounds like it was worth all that trouble you had to go through. As you know, I’m lucky enough to have one as well and I’m really loving the new Zelda. I may have to get a Pro Controller soon. You make it sound very impressive! I will have to wait until my bank account recovers first though, haha.

    I can’t wait to play an multiplayer game with you soon! I’m thinking a new Mario Kart or Smash Bros. game would be awesome 🙂

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    1. Thank you very much! I always appreciate your kind words and feedback! It was worth going through my launch experience to get it, and the fun factor removed some of that irk already. I love the Pro Controller too! Honestly, I didn’t play much with the Wii U Pro Controller because the GamePad was sufficient for me. But a combination of the weak Joy-Con buttons and the clear superiority of the Pro Controller’s feel and finish have converted me to a Pro-user. Without trying to sound snobbish, the controller gives me a satisfying feel that I’m not even getting with the PS4 controller at this point. It’s that awesome for me, and I wish Nintendo included it in the box, just so people would have this excellent option already. It needs to be in more players’ hands!

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the Switch! And I’m also glad that we’re Switch friends! I so look forward to playing any multiplayer games with you, whether it be Mario Kart or Smash Bros! I do hope that Smash Bros. comes out on Switch, even if it’s just an upgraded version of the Wii U one with more characters. Besides, we need an excuse to finally get those Cloud, Bayonetta, and Corrin amiibo we’ve been waiting for!

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      1. Not snobbish at all! Gamers have refined tastes in video game controllers 🙂 I’m looking forward to getting this awesome controller.

        I’m happy to call you a Switch friend too! 🙂 There are 3 empty spots on my Amiibo shelf that are just screaming for Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta, haha. It’s been so long since I heard any info! Hopefully they come soon, along with the Switch version of Smash. You know what would be so awesome: If Square Enix let Nintendo put Lightning in the new Smash Bros. game! That and seeing her as an Amiibo would really make me extremely happy, haha.

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      2. I would love to see Lightning in Smash! We never could have guessed that Cloud would be in Smash and have a potential amiibo (that’s still happening, right?), so why not Lightning? In fact, I honestly wouldn’t mind if Nintendo just opened the floodgates and included lots of third-party characters, with numerous from the bigger series like Final Fantasy. We have classic Smash Bros. and Melee for Nintendo-only rosters, so why not just go all-out and make it a huge gaming celebration? I think Sakurai has already called it quits for the series, so we unfortunately won’t get to that point, but I like to dream. 🙂

        At the very least, Square Enix should get into the amiibo business. Could you imagine if Dissidia or Theatrhythm made it to Switch, and we got amiibo for every FF lead, from Warrior of Light to Lightning, and even FFXV’s Noctis? I’m drooling at the thought now. I hope amiibo continue well into the Switch’s life, for our sakes. 😉

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      3. I’m holding on to hope that Sakurai changes his mind! But so much yes to all of that! Square Enix really should make a line of Final Fantasy Amiibo. I want all of the characters in Amiibo form now, haha. With so many addicts like us around, I’m sure companies will keep the Amiibo supply going for years 🙂

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      4. I’m not surprised how well amiibo did before and how it’s still thriving now with the most hardcore collectors. Awesome, occasionally underlooked Nintendo characters at a cheap price? I was sold on amiibo when they first announced it!

        Square Enix amiibos would be so awesome. It’d be cost-effective for us, but probably horrible business for the company’s toy partners, because amiibo are so much cheaper than the expensive figurines, yet still look great and have functions in Nintendo’s games, You can’t beat that, which is why I get excited when any third partner gets an amiibo! Though come on, Cloud and Bayonetta… Get here already, even if a Switch version of Smash has to push you out!

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  4. The battery life sounds comparable to a laptop. That is a shame for longer trips, but it seems like the pros mitigate that. I’d definitely want to drop the $70 for that controller, but ugh, you know they made the price that much because they expected lots of people to have issues with the Joy-Cons. It does look comfy though!

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    1. I know right? On the one hand, the controller feels oh-so-wonderful. On the other, it exists at that high price because they’re not offering traditional control in the first place. The Joy-Grip is a decent substitute, though I imagine more gamers would take the Switch seriously if it had a traditional controller bundled in, especially one as amazing as the Pro. I don’t normally speak so positively about Pro Controllers. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Wii U one and actually preferred using the GamePad in most cases. But the Switch’s Pro Controller feels too good for people not to experience.

      The battery life is indeed comparable to a laptop, which is a shame for longer trips. I have Power Banks (thanks Pokemon GO), so I’d probably be fine since you can plug the Switch into those. Though it shouldn’t be the case that we’re required to always be around an outlet or Power Bank. Still, as much as I gripe about that, the 720p display looks so gorgeous, especially with Zelda. I can only imagine how much the system is chugging despite being relatively silent! It’s the quietest console I’ve purchased in a while!

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      1. I’m so used to making friends with outlets due to my iPhone having the legendary low battery life of the brand, and my laptop, but when I think about the fact that I charged my DS before Christmas and it shows absolutely no signs of needing to be charged again then I wonder.

        It sounds like the system uses a lot of juice!

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      2. The Switch uses some energy in sleep mode, but it can apparently last for days unplayed on its own charge. I think the DS lasts longer, though my own 3DS will rapidly flash red after a couple of days if I don’t charge it. I have other juice-guzzling devices like an old computer that dies within an hour without being plugged in. The Switch may not last longer than some laptops, but three hours isn’t bad for being a battery-charged console!

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  5. Nice review! This is a console I’ll probably pick up, but I’m waiting both for some more funds and for a solid “used” one to hit the market (yeah, I’m one of *those* people. The first console I bought myself that was brand-y new was my PS4 and I’m fairly certain my bank account had a stroke afterwards haha).

    Anyway, that’s a great haul and I hope those amiibos you want are released!! 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and insight! I really wonder how the used market will work for this, since everything is tied to the system. Unless the system is formatted, all the old data will remain, from saves to profiles. I’m sure there’s a way to remove or transfer those, though I haven’t looked into it much yet.

      Glad you liked my haul! I’m very happy about my day one purchase, including the amiibo. I think Nintendo will keep making amiibo as long as it keeps printing money for them. With any luck, we’ll see more Zelda amiibo to complement their newest game!

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      1. No, I’m sure there will be used consoles at some point. I mean, there are used DS and 3DS handhelds. I was just wondering how to remove the data since it’s tied to the system itself as opposed to a memory card or game cartridge. Sometimes, that affects how stores like GameStop handle used products.

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  6. A 70$ Pro Controller? Whew! I’m going to wait for awhile (though how long is yet to be determined). I’m one of those people who waited until 2015 to get a Wii, ha ha, so I’ll probably be waiting for Black Friday 2020 lol

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    1. If you think that’s bad, a bundled pair of Joy-Cons cost $80. Yikes. Haha, well, if you wait until 2020, there’ll certainly be a good number of games for the Switch. Hopefully, it will also be the current Nintendo system at the time!

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    1. I think there are unofficial ones! Since it’s fanart, I doubt they’ll actually make an official version, though I people there acknowledge that the Joy-Grip is a puppy. Thanks! I’m enjoying my Switch so much!

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    1. Thanks! I was initially hoping to get the Neon red and blue Joy-Con set, but the symmetrical grey Joy-Cons look pretty good! At least I can get the neon ones separately… for a premium price.

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      1. I know what you mean. Kris and I both want the gray. I don’t know about her, but my OCD kicks in when I see the red and blue together. I’d rather have one set red or one set blue. I still want it though because it does look cool.
        Then again, at this point, we’ll take whatever we can find, lol.
        And yeah, the price for an extra set of Joy-Cons is ridiculous…

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      2. Same here, I’d rather have all red or old blue. They’re actually selling extra Joy-Con pairs that are all red or all blue, so it’s theoretically possible to get an mono color neon set now (if they existed in the wild). I’m probably going to get a pair of neon Joy-Cons just to have the colorful controllers. Plus I’d be able to play 4-player. The price for two Joy-Cons is more than a Pro Controller though, which is a bit much…

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      3. Yes, I saw those. But I also saw the price… They’re individually selling the Joy-Cons too. However, one is $50 while the set is $80. When you look at it that way, the $80 seems cheap…

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      4. Yeah… It’s unlikely that I’d ever need just one Joy-Con, so I’d probably pick up the pairs. I know there’s advanced tech in those things, but $80 is one heck of an asking price. I’m glad the Pro Controller is slightly cheaper, at least.

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      5. You never know, though. I was curious why they would bother selling them individually, but one could break while the other stays in tact. That part makes sense, but not the price, despite the technology.

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      6. Exactly, I was thinking that this would only be the case if one Joy-Con got lost or broken, which is extra incentive to be careful with it. Luckily, nothing ever happened with my Wii U GamePad because those were apparently expensive to replace too, and you couldn’t just get it in stores. You had to get it repaired or get a replacement. Price is still pretty high for Joy-Cons, which I can see being a problem in families where the kids aren’t careful with the controllers.

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  7. I want one!!! Though we got BotW for Wii U so I’ll probably hold off on getting a Switch until MK8 or Splatoon 2 come out. Hopefully they’ll be easier to acquire by that time, haha.

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    1. I’m glad you still get to experience BotW for Wii U! It’s really something else. Getting a Switch around that time sounds like a good idea. I’ll be getting MK8 and Splatoon 2 as well, so if you have the Switch by that time, please feel free to add me as friend for online multiplayer! 🙂

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  8. I have not used the Switch, but I was interested to find out what new innovations have been used in this console. It seems odd to play a game on a TV screen and then continue to play it on a handheld console (I am used to games on smaller consoles being shorter, with lower quality graphics). The controllers seem a little hard to use with the game shown on a TV screen and it seems to be designed to be used more in the handheld mode.
    Does it feel different to use the game in the two modes? How does using this console compare to other Nintendo consoles? What are the most exciting games to come out?

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    1. Great questions! It does feel different to play between handheld mode and TV mode. This is because you use different controllers for each mode. In handheld mode, you play with the Switch tablet with Joy-Cons attached on either side. When you’re playing on the big screen, you cannot use the tablet, so instead, you can either use the bundled Joy-Grip or buy an additional Switch Pro Controller. For some games, you can also hold a single Joy-Con like you would a Wii remote, either horizontal or vertical.

      As for whether the games work better in handheld mode or TV mode, I enjoy using both. The handheld mode displays in 720p so it’s a bit weaker resolution than the sharp 1080p you get on the TV, but it’s still pretty impressive for a portable. The games themselves will vary, but based on the sheer depth of Breath of the Wild, there were no compromises made to artificially make games shorter for portable sessions.

      Playing with the Switch in handheld mode feels similar to using the Wii U’s GamePad, if you’ve played with that. In TV mode, it feels no different than playing with other Nintendo consoles. I’m enjoying it more than when I picked up Wii U at launch.

      I actually wrote an article on my top 10 exciting games, so please feel free to check it out if you’d like to see what I’m anticipating! https://mrpanda2002.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/pandas-picks-10-anticipated-switch-games/

      Thanks for the questions! Hope that answered them. Let me know if you have any more.

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  9. Nice write up! At the very least this sounds like they’re getting off to a much better start than the Wii-U! I still can’t believe this wasn’t delayed. Can’t wait to read about the games!

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    1. Thanks very much! The Wii U launch technically had more games than the Switch, but the overall quality of the Switch’s lineup blows its predecessor out of the water. Breath of the Wild is a blast to play, and Super Bomberman R is… shoot, I already used blast. I’m looking forward to even more upcoming games, and I’m glad as always that you’re looking forward to reading about them! Thanks!

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  10. This must be the easiest console to pickup because the box is so tiny when compared to something like a PS4. I’ll buy the Switch eventually as it is technically a handheld and I always purchase Nintendo’s portable devices.

    Shame about the battery life. Does the system give you a clear warning when the power is about to run out? Sometimes when playing my 3DS I don’t notice the flashing red light. I like how the Vita powers off when it is close to empty, so you you don’t lose your current game’s progress.

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    1. That’s a great question. While I’ve let it go all the way to about 15% after almost three hours of playtime, I’ve never gotten a warning. I’ve read on other reports that a warning appears when you’re down to your last percent, and even then you still have minutes to plug it in. I don’t believe there’s a blinking light like on 3DS though. It’s an on-screen notification. Unlike the Vita, the Switch reportedly also saves your progress upon shut-down, so you’d be fine on that front. The Switch is very light, including the plastic dock! Much lighter than even the GameCube. I have hopes for it to be a great handheld, so it’s awesome that you’re looking into possibly getting it in the future. If you do, please feel free to add me as a friend, and we can play any games online together if you’d like! Thanks for your questions and comments!

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  11. I’m probably not going for the Switch given I’ve definitely moved away from console gaming at this point. Still, it does seem like an interesting concept and it will be interesting to see how other consoles respond.

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    1. That’s a very interesting thought. I do wonder how other consoles will respond. I don’t think Microsoft and Sony budged much to match the Wii U’s GamePad offerings, but perhaps they will look into easier ways to provide portable play. I can see Sony, in particular, merging its PSP line with its consoles to create something similar to the Switch. For Microsoft, I guess it would be interesting to see it try something in the handheld market. Thanks for your insights!

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  12. I really enjoyed reading this post! :)Thanks for giving such detailed descriptions about the Switch and its components. It’s really helpful to someone like me who doesn’t have one yet! 🙂 I think when I do get the Switch, I’ll probably have to invest in the Pro Controller. I hate to spend $70 on it, but the Joy-Cons look a little small for me. I have arthritis and it seems like it’d be a bit uncomfortable for me to hold! 😦

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    1. Aw thank you so much! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed reading my descriptions and impressions of the Switch! It’s a system worth writing about, and I’m glad to be an early adopter. I’ve been having so much fun with it so far. The Pro Controller is not only much better than the Joy-Cons, but it’s also one of my favorite controllers for anything. And I’ve only been using it for a week! I wasn’t expecting to love it so much, but it’s so ergonomic and a pleasure to hold. The Joy-Cons are quite tiny, and I wouldn’t want you to struggle with them with arthritis. The Pro Controller is great investment, and the Joy-Grip is also a valid option. Some multiplayer games require the horizontal grip at the moment, but others like Breath of the Wild are completely playable with the larger controllers. If you do end up getting the Switch at any point, I’d love to friend you and play multiplayer sometime! 🙂

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      1. I have to say that I thought the Switch was cool but I wasn’t super hyped about it until I read this post! Your enthusiasm is contagious! 🙂 I am so happy you are having so much fun with it. Of course it’s nearly impossible to get a Switch right now, but I’m a patient person, so I can wait a little while 😉 I’m even considering getting Breath of the Wild for the Wii U because it looks so amazing! Anyway, thanks for the heads-up about the Joy-Cons. I was kind of afraid they would give me a little trouble, but it’s great to know that there are multiple options to play the games with. And once I do get the Switch, I would love to be friends and play multiplayer! That would be awesome! I also cannot wait to see what other games are going to come out! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw thank you! I love to share what excites me! Breath of the Wild for Wii U would be an excellent choice too! I just finished a review of BotW that will go up tomorrow, so just teasing that there may be more excitement to come. 😉

        And of course about the Joy-Cons! I write these to inform, and I’m glad that it helped you understand what the console and its controllers would be like if you got it. I don’t play with the Joy-Cons much, but I try to get used to it when I have to in a game. The multiple options are great, and it seems like games generally allow for each option. The Wii U’s library wasn’t always the case, where some games utilized the Pro Controller, while others still only used Wii remotes.

        Either way, I love making friends on consoles, even we don’t play online for a while. It makes up for it when a great multiplayer game comes out!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yay! I can’t wait to read your review! Yeah, you definitely helped me understand a lot about the Switch so I appreciate it! I do like how there are several options when it comes to controller use- that way everyone can play the way they prefer!

        I’m excited to see what multiplayer games come out for the Switch! I bet Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be a lot of fun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m very glad! Thank you! I’m also looking forward to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! I enjoyed it on Wii U, and a proper Battle Mode is really selling me on a double dip! Hope you enjoy the review! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh my goodness, the Battle Mode looks awesome! I remember when I was a kid, my neighborhood friends and I would spend hours playing Battle Mode for the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES… it was so fun! 🙂 Glad to see it making a comeback on the Switch! I have Super Mario Kart 8 as well, but I may have to pick up Deluxe when I get a Switch and it comes out 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. The original Battle Mode for Super Mario Kart was a classic! I loved using the Feather item to jump over obstacles too. Mario Kart 64 also had an amazing battle mode, thanks in part to 4-player mode and its well-made arenas. Battle Mode hasn’t been as great since, but I have a feeling MK8 Deluxe will be the one to bring it back. I’m excited!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Unfortunately I’m still waiting to get one but will definitely get one in a few months. I did however play on it extensively at an event and I felt the same way about the configurations of the controllers when playing Super Bomberman R. Also the fact that theres a capture button is so refreshing, taking screenshots through miiverse is a horrid process. Really sad about the 3 hour battery life as you said but there’s going to be pro’s and cons I guess. Nice write up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! And it’s great that you played it beforehand to know what it’s like. I rarely took screenshots with Miiverse. And even when I did, there wasn’t much I could do with those. The capture button is an elegant solution to that problem. I wish the battery life were longer, but the system must be chugging to play these games in handheld mode, so I’m impressed that it lasts at all. Luckily, the Switch can be charged while you’re out, both while you’re playing and while you’re not. Thanks again for your nice comments! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t have the Switch since I got a Wii U less than a year ago, but I do have a few thoughts on it. The launch lineup looks weak to me personally, though I’m admittedly a tough crowd. Without backwards compatibility, the lack of more titles is a bigger hit than the weak launch of the 3DS, for example. There’s nothing to get in the meantime if you only want one, maybe two of the current offerings. Plus,Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild are available in largely the same form (I guess Nintendo might prove me wrong on the former) on the Wii U already. It also seems pretty spendy when you consider there’s no pack-in and the extra controllers cost an arm and a leg AND the eventual online fee. I still stand by my opinion that they should’ve waited until this holiday season and put out all of these games that are going to come out this year at the same time as the launch to make it a real powerful launch that appeals to even more gamers in at a more appealing time. They should be able to pump games out faster on the system because they no longer need to make games for two different systems at the same time anymore. So I’m hoping that makes the pace better at least, and thinking of it like two systems in one does make the price seem a bit more reasonable. However, I also think the general design isn’t that well-suited to portable gaming. It doesn’t fit in your pocket, nor does it fold shut to protect its own screen and buttons. So you need some kind of specialized case for it or throw it into a bag to take it somewhere. The battery life doesn’t sound great, but given the power of the system I suppose that’s a sacrifice they had to make to be cutting-edge. Ultimately, while I don’t think the Switch is quite there yet, I’m sure it’ll eventually get there once more games come out for it. At this point I’d say it’s more geared towards people who passed on the Wii U, possibly even the Wii, or kids looking to get their first system. And obviously anyone that got a review system or is a super fan was going to get it anyway so it’s not like that’s a fair market to count, haha. I’ll have to wait for Nintendo to impress me before I bite. It took them Mario Maker to sell me on the idea of the Wii U. And honestly, it might take a bit more than Yooka-Laylee to convince me this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The launch lineup is not the best, though they rarely are. I’m very happy with my Switch and have been playing fun games that interest me like platformers and puzzle games. As far as portability goes, I always had to carry my 3DS XL in a bag anyway, so I’ve already accepted that portables aren’t quite as easy to transport anymore. The Switch is much larger than a 3DS XL, but I love being able to play BotW or anything else on the Switch on the go. The nicer, larger screen makes a difference.

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      1. I guess I’m just old fashioned in wanting to be able to carry it around in my pocket, one of the reasons the New 3DS and XL variants seemed so silly to me. I didn’t have much issue with the smaller screen until a few of the most recent games, as they were likely designed with the New 3DS in mind unfortunately. And heck, if I need to bring a bag around to play stuff on the go… well that means the Switch is going to be in competition with gaming laptops as well, whereas the 3DS was more in competition with mobile devices. It’s a shame that handheld gaming is disappearing 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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