The Nintendo Switch has been out for a little over a week, and I have had an ample amount of time to delve into Nintendo’s newest venture.
While I have had a blast playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, my very first impression of the console itself wasn’t overly positive. This had nothing to do with how well the console looked or how it performed, but everything to do with a broken AC adapter that didn’t allow me charge my Switch, which in turn meant I couldn’t connect it to my TV via the console dock. Thankfully, I was able to swap out my busted AC adapter for a new one, and the rest is history.
To start off, the layout of the Switch is very user friendly and easy to navigate; as a matter of fact, it feels very similar to that of the Wii or the 3DS, with all of the systems functions laid out in front of you at all times. After the initial console setup (which is very straightforward), you are taken to the Home screen; this is where you can launch games, adjust settings, view screenshots, read Nintendo News and access the Nintendo eShop.
The Nintendo eShop, although functional, leaves a lot of room for improvements. For starters, players have to input their password every time they want to access the eShop. With Sony and Microsoft, players login information is saved to their devices as a way to expedite purchases; I am genuinely surprised that Nintendo has not adopted this feature for the Switch, and I hope that they will add an option to save login information in a future update. My other issue with the eShop is its lack of quality titles. Of course there is the obvious choice of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but apart from a few other solid titles, such as Shovel Knight and Super Bomberman R, the Switch is very light on content at the moment. Luckily, Nintendo has Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey and many other titles coming out later this year, all of which are sure to be big sellers.
The console itself is compact, but doesn’t feel cheap. One of the biggest fears I had with the Switch was that the quality of the tablet would be subpar; this is not the case. Unlike the Wii U tablet, which was clunky and super glossy, the Switch tablet looks and feels the way a portable console should, sleek and functional. I was also pleasantly surprised with the joy-con. At first glance, the controller looked like it would be too small to fit in my hands. However, after several hours of playtime, it has started to feel just as natural as my DUALSHOCK 4. Transitioning the joy-con from the controller to the tablet couldn’t be easier; it’s as simple as sliding the left and right joy-cons off of the controller, and sliding them onto the sides of the tablet.
Because I primarily play my Switch while it is docked, battery life hasn’t been too much of an issue for me. However, I decided to play Breath of the Wild on the tablet, just to see how quickly the battery drained. As expected, the battery life dropped very quickly while in handheld mode; when I undocked the Switch it was at 100% charge, after 10 minutes of playtime on Breath of the Wild, it had dropped down to 92% charge. While the low battery life is unfortunate, it can be easily solved by buying a portable USB charger, most of which can fit in your pocket.
Overall, I am pretty happy with the Switch so far. It may not have the biggest selection of games to choose from (yet), and some of its online practices can be annoying, but the Switch has enough going for it (quality first party titles and reliable hardware) to make me excited about being an early adopter.