Nintendo Switch: The Kotaku Review

The Nintendo Switch is a fascinating new game console built around a novel and well-executed central idea. It also has plenty of problems that will doubtless be improved upon in a future version. Nintendo is yet again trying something new, and here we are to take the plunge alongside them.

Note: This review is based on a week spent using a Switch provided in advance by Nintendo. They also sent two launch games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2 Switch. The Switch day-one software update, online services and eshop aren't up and running as of today, and I've been unable to play any of the other launch games. While I can speak authoritatively about much of the overall Switch experience, this review is necessarily incomplete. Expect it, like the Switch itself, to receive at least one major update.

The Switch is Nintendo's seventh home console, arriving four and a half years after the Wii U landed in late 2012. Each recent Nintendo console has been designed around some big new idea -- the Wii had those funky motion controls, the 3DS had glasses-free 3D, the Wii U had a big touchscreen in the controller. The Switch's big idea is that it isn't just a home console; it's a portable console that can be plugged into a dock and converted into a living room console. It has a touchscreen much like any other tablet, along with two detachable "Joy-Con" controllers that can be used separately for two-player games or combined, Voltron-style, into a fully featured standard video game controller.

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That Swiss Army Knife versatility is the thing that sets the Switch apart from your iPad or your Wii U or your 3DS. In the future, Nintendo's thinking goes, this one device can split into a two-player Mario Kart machine as easily as it can act as one player's dedicated portable Zelda device. Up to eight Switches can network with one another in the wild, potentially forming the locus of a mobile multiplayer hoedown.

It all sounds plenty interesting, if theoretical. A lot remains unknown about the Switch just days before it goes on sale. Many of its most appealing games, from Splatoon 2 to Super Mario Odyssey, won't be available for a little while. Even a port of the Wii U's 2014 Mario Kart 8 won't be out until late April. A lot of the Switch's built-in software features aren't yet operational ahead of launch. Some promised features, like the Virtual Console and video capture, are coming at an unknown date in the future. And as with any new piece of hardware, it is impossible to say whether the Switch will become popular enough that Kart tournaments at the summer BBQ will really become a new tradition.

Some of those questions will be resolved over the coming weeks; others will remain unanswered for months or even years. What I can tell you, without need for guesswork, is that the Switch is a beguiling, flawed piece of hardware that isn't like any other gaming system I've owned. It executes its main idea well enough that its shortcomings are alternately forgivable and all the more frustrating. It feels destined to be improved upon in a hardware revision (Perhaps the "New Nintendo Switch" in 2019?), and this launch version will likely be remembered as a first generation console that wasn't quite what it could have been.

I predict the Switch will make a great many people happy, and a great many people angry. It is a Nintendo product, after all.

THE BASICS

The Switch comes out on March 3rd. It will run you $US300 ($469.95 here) for the base console package, which includes the tablet, the controllers, the dock, and no games. This writeup from Nintendo's recent Switch press conference is still a good resource if you want a full rundown of specs, features, and announced games.

In the box: The Switch, two Joy-Con (multicolored or grey), a dock, two Joy-Con caps, a Joy-Con grip, an AC adaptor, and an HDMI cable. The Switch plugs into your entertainment center via an HDMI output on the dock, which also has two standard USB ports and an input for the USB-C charger. You can't plug it into the TV without docking, because the handheld has no HDMI output. You can, however, charge the handheld with the charge cable directly if you only want to use it as a mobile device. Nintendo says the Switch can get 3-6 hours of gameplay on a battery charge depending on the game; I've been able to play around three hours of Zelda before I have to plug in.

Setup is fairly easy: You pop the back off of the dock and plug in the cables, then stand it up near your TV. Go through a couple of quick software setup steps in handheld mode, then drop the Switch into the dock and you should be off to the races.

It Gets Its Main Idea Very Right

Here's a feeling you probably know if you play video games: You've got a new game that you're really excited about, but you're about to go on a trip. Maybe a business trip, maybe a family getaway; doesn't matter. There's a specific ennui that sets in, a reluctance to commit to something you know you're just going to have to put on hold. Sure, you could marathon a couple of nights, but your looming travel break will be stuck in the back of your mind. You play through the tutorial, then grudgingly put the game away until you're back.

This past weekend I found myself in that very situation. I had been unable to tear myself away from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Switch's phenomenal and seemingly endless marquee launch game. In a couple days I'd be travelling to San Francisco to cover the Game Developers Conference. Repeatedly I found myself thinking, "Aw man, better get in some Zelda time while I still can!" Then I would remind myself, wait, I don't have to rush. I can just take it with me.

On the flight to SF. The fact that I can lift my Switch out of its dock and immediately be playing a handheld version of the same game I was playing on my TV is one of the most remarkable things about this device. Equally remarkable is how the Switch functions as a portable split-screen gaming console with its own attached controllers. Place it on your aeroplane tray table and you've got a portable gaming system for your next flight. Set it up in the backseat and your kids can play together while you focus on the road. Hell, bring it on a camping trip and embrace the irony of ignoring the great outdoors in favour of Zelda's rivers and forests. There are plenty of small things the Switch should do better, and I'll get into those below. But it does this one fundamental thing very well.

The Joy-Con Are Neat But Have Some Issues

On the Switch's sides are two smaller controllers called Joy-Con, which slide off the tablet screen and can be held separately or combined with an included grip and used like a standard Xbox or PlayStation controller.

Here's what the Joy-Con look like:

The plural of Joy-Con is "Joy-Con." Placed on its side, a Joy-Con becomes a simple controller with a single joystick, four face buttons, a + or - button, and two shoulder buttons up top. The Switch comes with two slide-on caps for the Joy-Con that make them a touch larger and make the shoulder buttons easier to press. You can see a cap on the left-hand Joy-Con in the photo above.

The Joy-Con are a nifty idea, though they don't always work as well as I would have hoped. For starters, I simply haven't found them very comfortable. I find that the buttons are oddly placed and the thumbsticks feel small and overly flippy. The shoulder buttons are easy to accidentally press, and I almost always hit them while sliding the Joy-Con back onto the tablet. The + and - buttons are placed high on the controller, out of easy reach of your thumb. Accessing the map in Zelda with the - button requires me to reach my left thumb up with an awkwardness that I wasn't expecting after seeing photos of the controller.

On the left, the Pro Controller. On the right, the Joy-Con combined onto the grip. I spent several days playing Zelda with the Joy-Con combined onto the controller grip and while it was serviceable, I never got fully comfortable. The shoulder buttons were too easy to hit and the triggers a little too small, the thumbsticks were a little too light, the buttons placed a little too awkwardly. Late in the week Nintendo sent along a Switch Pro Controller, a more standard game controller that can be purchased separately. While it provided an immensely better experience, it also underlined the comparative shortcomings of the Joy-Con. They're fine when they're attached to the tablet in handheld mode. They're useful for multiplayer games on the go (more on that in a sec). But, for games you'd play on your TV, they're a lacklustre substitute for a full-sized, standard game controller.

I've also run into a frustrating issue where the left Joy-Con momentarily loses tracking and stops responding to my inputs. I'll be playing Zelda with the two Joy-Con combined on the grip, and the left thumbstick momentarily detaches from the game. It might leave Link running forward for another 3.05m before stopping, or occasionally have him stand still even though I was pressing the stick to make him move.

It appears to be an issue with a body part or other object blocking the Joy-Con's view of the docked console, and I was able to make it go away by moving the Switch closer to where I was sitting. But the issue has come up for both me and my colleague Jason in the course of normal play, and I've seen it reported by several other reviewers over the last week. GameXplain made a video isolating the problem using the Switch controller calibration tool, and their findings reinforce that it's an issue with body parts blocking the Joy-Con from the console's view. This should not be an issue for a game controller in 2017, and it's pretty annoying. Late last week a rep for Nintendo told us Nintendo is "aware of the reports and is investigating," but we're still waiting for a more substantial update.

1-2 Switch will likely be the Switch's less talked-about launch game, though it actually makes a more compelling case for the Joy-Con than Zelda. It's a collection of silly minigames mostly designed for two people, and it's meant to be played without looking at the screen. You prop up the Switch screen between both of you and, as the game will repeatedly instruct, you both look away from the screen and into each other's eyes. You then engage in safe-cracking speed tests, quickdraw shootouts, dance competitions, yoga showdowns (!), and cow-milking competitions (!!) guided entirely by audio and your controller's vibration.

Each 1-2 Switch minigame begins with a goofy demonstration video. In this one, you're entering safe combinations. That vibration is a crucial part of the experience, and the Joy-Con provide enough detailed vibratory feedback to make the games in 1-2 Switch much more fun. Thanks to carefully controlled vibration, your Joy-Con goes from being a cup full of dice to a ticking dial on a safe lock. While some minigames are more fun than others, they collectively paint a picture of how Nintendo's designers could creatively use the Joy-Con in the future. I'm sceptical this sort of game will actually catch on, but Nintendo has created the technology to allow it.

The Joy-Con will also work for more straightforward multiplayer games like Street Fighter, Mario Kart and Bomberman, with each player holding one controller while sharing a view of the system's screen. The Joy-Con are small but they will likely work nicely as simplified portable controllers. I could also easily see myself having a great time linking up with a second Switch to play against a couple of friends in a four-player game, and suspect it will be nice to be able to do so around the dining room table rather than clustered around the TV. I've been unable to test much of how the Switch's local co-op will work, but given what I've used of the console I can easily see it being a selling point.

There Are Small Annoyances Aplenty

The Switch handles the big stuff well, but the hardware has noteworthy shortcomings.

  • The kickstand on the back of the Switch is flimsy and seems destined to snap off. It props up the screen at a steep angle unsuited to a lot of situations and generally feels unsteady. It also doubles as a cover for the MicroSD card slot, so if it does break, your memory card will be exposed.

  • Both the Joy-Con grip and the Pro Controller lack a headphone output, putting the Switch behind the PS4, Xbox One and even the Wii U in terms of allowing you to easily listen to game audio on headphones from your couch when you're using the console to play a game on the TV.
  • The charging port is on the bottom of the Switch, which is fine when you're holding it but means you can't prop up the screen on a table while charging it, because the plug gets in the way.
  • The release buttons you use to detach the Joy-Con are small and hard to press without accidentally pressing other buttons as well.
  • The caps that slide over the Joy-Con when you're using them separately are oddly tricky to get on and off.
  • There's no HDMI output on the tablet, so if you want to plug the console on a TV at a hotel or your relatives' house, you'll need to bring the dock with you.
  • There's no support for bluetooth headsets, which feels like an omission in a high-tech tablet device in 2017.
  • If you want to use the included AC adaptor to charge the console on the go, you have to open up the dock and remove it before taking it with you.
  • The included HDMI cable is a hair under 5' long, a foot shorter than the 6' that I've come to think of as standard and too short to use in my entertainment center. Apparently Nintendo likes shipping things with cables that are too short.
  • The included Joy-Con grip doesn't charge the controllers, so if you use the Switch for TV gaming and want to charge the Joy-Con every night you'll have to disassemble the grip controller and re-attach the Joy-Con to the handheld in the dock. It's an awkward process, and your only alternative is to buy a Pro Controller or shell out $US30 ($39) for a nearly identical "charge grip" with a USB input.
  • The console apparently drains some of its battery even when docked -- I'll put it in the dock at 100% charge, play for a while, and when I take it out, it will say it's at 88% charge. My colleague Jason and some others I've talked to have reported the same thing. It never goes below 88%, and I don't believe the battery can run out in the dock. Still odd and a little annoying.

Each of those things isn't really a big deal on its own, though they will be a bigger deal for some people than for others. Even when taken together, they don't undermine how much I like the Switch for what it does well. But they're all noteworthy shortcomings, and I can't shake the feeling that many of them will be addressed when Nintendo launches a new Switch model in a couple of years. This is how it always goes with new, ambitious technology. These sorts of shortcomings are perhaps an inevitable tax on early adopters, but they are a tax nonetheless.

I Really Like How It Does Screenshots?

I realise I just listed a lot of gripes, so here's one thing I really like: The screenshot button. Nintendo has followed Sony's lead and added a dedicated screenshot button to the Switch. It's responsive and easy to reach on the left Joy-Con; the onscreen notification pops up much faster than the PS4, even.

You'll have to imagine the satisfying "click" sound that plays. It makes a nice sound effect, and it's easy to browse through your stored screenshots. In the future it will be possible to upload your screenshots to social media straight from the console and even apparently to capture videos, but for now, it's just nice that the feature is built-in. I love being able to take screenshots while I'm playing, and I'm glad Nintendo included it.

The Hidden Costs

Three hundred dollars will get you a box with a Switch in it, but if you want to have the best experience, you're going to have to cough up quite a bit more. Let's tally the hidden costs.

First and foremost, you're going to need to get some games, since the Switch comes with no bundled software. Zelda will be a natural choice for many, and that goes for $US60 ($78). Let's assume that's the only game you get.

The Switch comes with 32GB of onboard storage space, which is going to fill up extremely quickly. Physical games on carts thankfully don't install to the hard drive, but if you want to download more than a couple games from the eshop you're going to need a microSD card. (In fact, there's already at least one game so big that it won't even fit on the Switch's built-in storage.) 256GB cards go for more than $US100 ($130), so let's say you get a 128GB card for $US40 ($52).

I also highly recommend getting a Switch Pro Controller, which costs $US70 ($91). Not only does it not suffer from the Joy-Con tracking issues I ran into, it's more comfortable and easier to use than the Joy-Con mounted on the grip. The Pro Controller also makes it much easier to use the Switch to "switch" seamlessly. You pop the console into its dock, pick up the controller, and play. If you want to take it on the go, pop it out and you're ready to rock. Without a Pro Controller, you have to disassemble and reattach the controllers each time you go from TV to mobile, as well as anytime you want to charge the Joy-Con. It significantly slows down an otherwise pleasingly snappy process.

The only carrying case guaranteed to keep the Switch warm when camping. You'll also need a carrying case if you're going to take the Switch anywhere. You could go for my colleague Stephen's wool sock method, but that won't keep the Switch all that safe, and the system definitely feels pretty fragile. There are already a ton of third party options, but let's stay first party and go with Nintendo's carrying case, which doubles as a stand and comes with a screen protector. That costs $US20 ($26).

Lastly there's the issue of power. I've mentioned how much of a pain it is to unplug the AC adaptor in order to take it with you when you travel, so most people are going to want to buy a separate USB-C wall adaptor to charge the handheld on the go. I found a Motorola 5V 3.4A charger that does the trick. Be mindful that you won't be able to charge and play at the same time if you only use a USB-A to USB-C cable plugged into, say, an iPhone wall adaptor. That will charge the Switch slowly when it's turned off, but in my experience it doesn't provide enough juice to charge while you're playing. You'll need a dedicated adaptor capable of putting out a lot of power if you want to charge and play at the same time. The adaptor I got ran me $US15 ($20).

There are other accessories you could buy, but let's cap it there for now. That's around $US200 ($261) worth of stuff, none of which I would call an extravagance, even the Pro Controller. That puts the true cost of the Switch at $US500 ($652), and you've only got one game. (One really good game, but still.)

Speaking of that game…

It's Got One Hell Of A Launch Game

Most new video game consoles arrive alongside a couple of big budget launch games. Rarely do those games make much of a lasting impression. (Anyone up for some Ryse: Son of Rome or some New Super Mario Bros. U? Wanna play a little Knack?) With the Switch, Nintendo is bucking that convention and harkening back to their Super Mario 64-driven Nintendo 64 launch by offering an unusually small launch lineup dominated by one spectacular game.

That game is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it is a stunner. I'll leave the actual reviewing to my colleague Jason, who has finished the game and will run his full review tomorrow. Suffice it to say that this latest Zelda is an astonishing demonstration of what Nintendo's best creative minds are capable of. At times I have had to consciously separate my adoration for the game from my more complicated feelings about the system on which I'm playing it.

Breath of the Wild, which is also coming out for the Wii U, doesn't take advantage of most of the Switch's unique features. It doesn't have local multiplayer, nor does it require you to detach the Joy-Con. It has motion controls, but they're nothing special. However, my 30-ish hours with the game have still illuminated some things about the Switch.

For starters, it is a mild shock to the system to play a console game of this scope and depth on the go. I know that some tablets and portable PC gaming devices have offered similarly uncompromising portable gaming in recent years, but because the Switch actually is the same console I plug into my TV, it feels subtly different. I've played Breath of the Wild in the back of a cab, while waiting for the doctor, and on an aeroplane. I've also played while lying in bed or reclining on the couch.

I've always drawn a line between the games I play at home and the games I play on the go, and the Switch blurs that line in a welcome way. Because Breath of the Wild is so massive and engrossing, it's helped reinforce how much I enjoy popping the Switch out of its dock and picking up immediately where I left off. I want to play this game on the go, and now I can.

You have to be careful about lightning in this game. You'll see. Breath of the Wild looks and performs noticeably worse when plugged into the dock than it does in handheld mode, a potentially worrying indicator of how the Switch's graphics processing hardware will hold up over time. When I play on the TV, I notice frequent dips below the game's 30fps frame rate, sometimes to the point that it's genuinely distracting and makes it harder to play. Any time I'm running in tree-shade on a sunny day in Hyrule, zooming in for a closer view, or moving quickly through the rain, it feels like things drop into at least the 20-25fps zone.

If I pop the console out of the dock and start playing in tablet mode, everything immediately runs more smoothly. The frame rate is solid in the same places (with a few exceptions), and the overall image is crisper. The disparity is likely because the Switch runs at 720p resolution in handheld mode and bumps up to a more demanding higher resolution (1080p in general, 900p in the case of Zelda) when plugged into the TV.

Breath of the Wild is a massive open-world adventure with numerous complicated simulations running on top of one another. It's the most technically ambitious Nintendo game I've ever played. I understand why it would be a challenge to get it running smoothly, but it's still a shame that it suffers when played on a TV. Furthermore, it's worrisome that Nintendo's own developers have been unable to get their top-billed game running equally well on TV and in handheld mode. Hopefully it will be less of an issue as the people making Switch games become more familiar with the hardware. It's not a reassuring start.

On the whole, though, playing Breath of the Wild on the Switch has been a treat. The game is also available on the Wii U, and although we haven't yet tried out that version, it's something people should keep in mind when weighing it as a reason to take the Switch plunge.

… And Some Other Less Exciting Launch Games

Zelda will dominate the discourse surrounding the Switch, but new Switch owners will have a handful of other admittedly less exciting games to choose from as well. Several are games we've already written about that you can already play on other systems, the lovely if slightly uninspired JRPG I Am Setsuna and the fantastic side-scrolling throwback Shovel Knight among them. There's also a new Just Dance game as well as a new Bomberman, the latter of which should be a good showcase for mobile multiplayer. I've yet to try the new Switch-only co-op game Snipperclips, though I've heard good things and look forward to playing it.

The only non-Zelda Switch launch game I've played is Nintendo's 1-2 Switch, the oddball local multiplayer game that I detailed earlier. I like it enough to want to break it out when I'm over at a friend's house, though I sense the novelty will soon wear off. It's a great demonstration of some of the Switch's more distinct features, but it really feels like it should have been bundled with the console rather than sold separately for $US50 ($65).

The upcoming port of Mario Kart 8 will have some new characters, including Squid Girl from Splatoon. I'm guessing that won't really soften the blow of having to buy it for the second time in three years. The Switch has a few promising games on the horizon for 2017, which should keep people occupied while they wait for Nintendo to stop screwing around and announce a new Metroid. April's Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will likely be a required purchase for anyone looking to play games on the go, though it is galling as ever that Nintendo would ask us to re-purchase a game many of us bought just a few years ago. This summer's Splatoon 2 will doubtless be a good time, and the winter's Super Mario Odyssey looks like a blast. There'll also be a variety of ported indie and third-party games on Switch over the coming months, including Bethesda's 2011 role-playing game Skyrim in the fall and a healthy collection of good indie games like Stardew Valley, Thumper, Overcooked, Runner3 and The Binding of Isaac at various points throughout the year.

All that means 2017 won't exactly be a barren wasteland for new Switch adopters, but the fact remains that exciting Switch-only games will be few and far between and will predominantly come from Nintendo. The majority of the Switch's third-party software will consist of games that've been playable on other systems for years. As with any new hardware launch, expect a fallow period after the initial glow wears off. Even a game as tremendous as Breath of the Wild can only carry a new console so far without help.

There's A Lot We Still Don't Know

The Switch is out in a couple of days and my colleagues and I have been using it for a week, but there's still a lot we don't know about it. That will likely change in the coming days, and I'll update this review as it does. For now, here are some things we still don't know about the Nintendo Switch:

How it will work with your Nintendo account, eshop and game purchases. Not only have we not tested how the Switch will work with our Nintendo accounts, Nintendo themselves have remained characteristically tight-lipped about it. We still don't know how buying games will work, and whether Nintendo will finally introduce a unified account system for all your purchases. We don't know what the eshop will look like, or how it will function.

Much of anything about Nintendo's new paid online service, network, and multiplayer. Nintendo has said that they will have a new paid online service, which we can assume will work similarly to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. They have said that we'll have to use our phones for chat, so it's fair to assume it will require some sort of smartphone app. But we don't know anything solid about it, nor do we know about adding friends, making groups, partying up, sending messages, or what if any sort of social network might replace the Miiverse.

Above: A screenshot from Earthbound, a classic game that I already own on Wii U and 3DS and that Nintendo will almost certainly ask me to buy yet again on Switch. Maybe I'll actually play it this time. Anything about Virtual Console. The Switch could be a killer device if Nintendo gets the Virtual Console right. It's easy to imagine a world where we can play a variety of old NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, and even Wii U games at home or on the go on a single system. Hell, maybe some Game Boy Advance ones, too. Unfortunately, Nintendo has made no announcements about how Virtual Console will work on the Switch, saying only that it won't be available at launch. We're not even sure which of those machines it can emulate. It's possible Nintendo will completely botch the Switch Virtual Console, and possible they will knock it out of the park. Given their history, the former seems more likely. For now, we just don't know.

Anything about non-gaming apps. It's safe to assume that at some point, the Switch will get apps for popular video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. But those apps aren't going to be there at launch, and we don't know when they're coming. Nintendo recently told us support for video services is "being considered for a future update." This is a gaming device only for now, and it's not clear when that will change.

What will be in the day-one software update. The Switch I'm currently using requires a day-one software update to do much of anything. As of this review, my Switch has been unable to connect to Nintendo's servers or download the update. The update could go live anytime, and should be available before the 3rd. For now, my Switch can't network with other Switches, it can't be used to make a Mii, it can't access the eshop, and it can't even activate a microSD card. While we know the update will add those features, Nintendo hasn't said what else it will do. We'll have to download it when it goes live before we can let you know.

The usual stuff we don't know about a new console. Some of those unknowns are unusual for a console launch, but there are also things we don't know about the Switch that are more run-of-the-mill. We don't know whether it will sell well enough to entice developers to make games for it. We don't know if it will become popular enough to catch on as a local social gaming phenomenon, or if we'll see Switches all over the place at gaming gatherings like PAX and E3. We don't know all the games coming out this year; there may well be a hidden gem or two waiting to surprise us. And of course, we don't know if the Switch games that have been announced will actually be any good.

IN CONCLUSION

The Nintendo Switch is an experimental game console from a company with a storied history of making experimental game consoles. Whether it will go down as one of Nintendo's successes or failures remains to be seen.

Big picture: I fundamentally like using the Switch. It accomplishes its central goal admirably, and has already gotten me thinking about it differently than my other game consoles. It also has a number of irritating flaws and hidden costs, and there are so many things about it that Nintendo still hasn't explained.

Any new gaming hardware is defined by the games it can play, and here the Switch bucks convention. It has a single sensational launch game, albeit one that can also be played on the Wii U you might already own. The rest of its launch lineup is nowhere near as compelling, but the fact remains that playing this Zelda on the Switch has been one of the finest gaming experiences I've had in years. I suspect that, Wii U version or no, Breath of the Wild will entice a lot of people to buy a Switch. I couldn't fault them for doing so.

My recommendation is still to wait. Of course, if you're excited as hell about the Switch and know that you want one, go for it. But if you're on the fence, I say hold off. Wait and see if Nintendo addresses some of the hardware issues people have reported. Bide your time and let them release more games. In six months we'll know a lot more about how this unusual new console works, and there'll be a lot more things to play on it. Nintendo has made another bold gamble, and only time will tell if it will pay off.

WATCH MORE: Nintendo News


Comments

    A lot remains unknown about the Switch just days before it goes on sale.

    And that is a problem.

    It feels destined to be improved upon in a hardware revision (Perhaps the "New Nintendo Switch" in 2019?)

    Ice cold.

    There's no HDMI output on the tablet, so if you want to plug the console on a TV at a hotel or your relatives' house, you'll need to bring the dock with you.

    Or you could just buy a second dock for your relatives for the low, low price of $129.95. Or hope that they are hip enough to already have a Switch :-)

    If you want to use the included AC adaptor to charge the console on the go, you have to open up the dock and remove it before taking it with you.

    Fuck! I suppose it stands to reason, given that my New 3DS XL didn't include a charger at all. Oh well, I'll just buy a Switch AC adapter for.... $39.95!!?

    Last edited 02/03/17 10:09 am

      The Switch charges via USB-C, something that still amazes me. Standard hardware from Nintendo? Pfffffft

        Apparently standard USB-C will charge it (slowly) but for play+charge you need something better.

          Probably find most people were trying 1A charges, 3A USB-C charges will probably work well.

            What's the voltage output on a 3A charger? I saw a pic of the Switch's power pack and I think it was something like 15V 2.6A for the top rating.

              The charger that came with my Pixel does 15V at 3A, to give one example, though I believe you can have 20V under the Power Delivery spec.

    Fair call, all things considered.

    However, I would hope that the AU team (Gizmodo included) take the initiative and apply their own 'AU' review or acid tests.

    Hard to relate to Hamilton when he's talking about the Switch in US terms.

    Around the traps I'm reading about the heat the system gives off, that's something that is of interest to me, for instance. Australia's a hot place.

    Separating the Switch from Zelda: Breath of the Wild for a minute:

    I highly doubt that Kotaku's outright telling us that Breath of the Wild is a Game We Must Play but at the same time Don't Play It Right Now. There's a bizarre situation there. It's confusing to readers.

    Should we expect a blitz of coverage for a Wii U game here?

      It'll be coverage of the Switch version, re. Zelda. That's the version of the game Nintendo supplied, and it's what I've got to work with. But yeah, we'll have our own impressions and pieces with the Switch, and Zelda, up over the coming days and weeks.

        If there's not video of you all playing 1-2 Switch like a pack of geese I'm going to march over there, just saying :D

          Nintendo didn't send a copy of 1-2 Switch, only Zelda. So anything re. that probably won't appear from us until next week.

    Definitely gonna wait! Wii U Zelda tomorrow for sure though.

      Wonder if the Wii U will drop a bit in price now. Probably not much since there won't be that many units in the wild. If I could buy one for about $200-$250 I'd do it.

      Yes, after reading the hidden costs, I am glad I cancelled my pre order. Saved me some dollars getting it on the Wii U

        Hidden costs? Switch + zelda = ready to go.

          "Switch Pro Controller, which costs $US70 ($91)"

          Ill just pick up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Wii U.

            Most people didn't have a problem with the joycons with Zelda.
            But your Wii U pro controller didn't come with the console, and the Gamepad is apparently less comfortable than the joycons.

              I disagree with that, the gamepad is waaaay more comfortable to hold than the Switch in gamepad style mode. Even though it's some 95g heavier. And the joycons in controller mode aren't all that great either, especially in comparison to the new pro controller which I cannot stop gushing about.

    The hardware design sounds like it's been pretty thoroughly botched. Location of the charging port, controllers losing sync while plugged in, flimsy snappable plastic stands...

    I've learned my lesson after both the Wii and Wii-U, and will probably not bother with this one.

    Good luck everyone who's buying one.

      I'm going to take another look at christmas, i imagine they will have bundles by then. Just not enough for me to buy now.

      The charging situation is definitely a compromise. it makes sense to have the charging circuitry close to the bottom of the console because the dock connector is going to be at the bottom.

      On any other console, you might put the secondary charging port near by on the side. However, you've got the joy-con in the way for this console. Maybe you could snake some wires up to the top of the console, but space is usually tight for portable devices like this.

        Honestly though they totally could have had the charge port up on top and just make you dump the tablet into the dock head-first. Just mightn't be as pretty to look at the backs of the joycons instead of the fronts :P

        I agree, and I think it's the right compromise to make. If I'm at home, I can drop the Switch in the dock to charge. If I'm on the go, I can attach the Joy-Cons and hold it in my hands when charging. It is a problem when playing with the Joy-Cons detached (when playing something 2 player, for example), but I think the inconvenience in that situation is outweighed by how much simpler it makes docking.

    I own a Wii, but never brought a Wii U. I don't have much of a option to play the new Zelda, but buy a new console. So I'm interested in the purchase of a Switch, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Mostly as I don't preorder these days. I've got a Work Pay Bonus coming in a week, with Switch written all over it.

    While it's light on the additional adaptors and seems clunky in the way of having to remove cables if you want to charge on the go. To me it appears this is done on a purpose, more then just a cash grab (however things are hardly priced to make it a cheap option). As Nintendo obviously want to try and sell the device as they intended. Being a device you can play as a main gaming device at home, or quickly remove from the stand for a few hours play on the road.

    It's probably Nintendo Marketing working its magic (No one falls for marketing these days), but this is how I intend on using it. Play as a major gaming system at home, unmount it when I want a quick game around the house or when I take it on a road show to friends places. My biggest disappoint at the moment, is that they haven't talked much about other non Gaming apps as written above. If I'm not gaming, I'm streaming something.

      Do you really need to stream with your console? Obviously a lot of people do it but you have another option already I'm sure.

      We have a few consoles, HTPC and other devices plugged in but nothing I've seen beats a Chromecast for Netflix.

        No, it's not a show stopper for me. It'd be great to try and consolidate the number of devices I'm using.

        It's true, but to be honest I've come to prefer playing Netflix straight off the PS4.
        I've found the Chrome cast leaves me open to a little
        more lag here or there depending.

        I do love my CC though, only way to go when playing off my PC

          You are saying your Chromecast lags playing video? Just to begin with or constant?
          I've never seen that and I got one at US release so been using for years. I mean the resolution is rubbish for like 5 seconds before it buffers properly when you start it up but that's all.

    "It might leave Link running forward for another 3.05m"

    Kudos for the very precise (and metric) estimation! Note to self: always stay 3.06m from danger.

      "10 feet" in original article, likely. Equals 3.05m heh.

    Two things put a smile on my face during this piece:

    1. Buying a game for a gaming device is a hidden cost.
    2. The idea that a gaming device should have non-gaming apps. If I want to watch Netflix or Youtube, I'll: use my phone, use my computer, cast from my phone to a TV, use an in-built device found in most modern TVs. It's a poor scene when everything has to be capable of doing all-things always.

    Edit: And this line regarding all the supplementary items not necessary to experience the device: none of which I would call an extravagance

    Last edited 02/03/17 11:53 am

      It tickles me that with every announcement and subsequent critique of the latest You-Beaut graphics card we don't see the RRP-to-value ratio explored, it's always inherently 'get this and get it now, steal it if you have to, there's games coming that none of us know anything about yet that you need this for'.

      Hidden Cost is such a bullshit term.

      You don't need a Pro Controller, nor do you need a carry case to play the games.

      I got both of those with my pre-order because i wanted them, not because i needed them.

      The correct term for these are extra costs.

      True hidden cost is with things like Playstation VR costing 500 or so on its own, but then you also need the Playstation camera and two Move controllers, because the thing won't function unless you have them.

        Did you know that food has the hidden cost of you having to go to to the dentist every so often!? Shocking!

      1) Well, given the Wii came with a game, I don't think that's unreasonable to consider as part of the purchase decision
      2) Given that the predecessor console to the Switch DID have online streaming apps, and that an obvious application for a tablet device is streaming video, I actually do think it's worth noting. Not everyone has web tvs, or multiple consoles, so when making a decision between the Switch and another console it's entirely reasonable to consider these things.

        The Wii release is now a whole two generations ago, in the interim neither the Wii U nor the 3DS came with pre-installed/bundled games. It's not a thing industry-wide either, for no other device in the current generation has "I'll have to buy a game to play a game on my new game playing device" been a purchasing decision or a valid critique.

        The capability to view media is almost ubiquitous outside the capacity of a specialist device; the overwhelming majority of consumers have a phone, tablet, PC, or a laptop. I can't deny that multifunctionality may be a consideration but I can condemn the mindset that needs everything to be a spork.

          But with the switch there is no hardware reason why you cant watch streaming services, its just a software choice Nintendo has made.

          You are already carrying around the spork with you, you just aren't allowed to eat with it yet.

            That's cool. I've got a perfectly functional fork I can use.

              Not everyone can afford to have multiple dedicated devices and if a device is more than capable of doing something I cant see why you would be opposed to it.

              This is just a classic case of Nintendo being Nintendo.

                In the exceptional instance of a person who does not own a dedicated device on which to view Youtube or Netflix, and whose purchasing decision is predicated on the Switch's ability to use those apps, sure, that's a problem.

                This is Nintendo not having extraneous shit at launch, and as we've seen repeatedly in the past, that extraneous shit will come down soon enough and have minimal impact.

                The fork, playing games, really should be the greatest consideration for purchasing a dedicated game playing device.

          But it is a consideration with all the other accessories that, the author argues, you may need to buy with the console. I'd argue that having (to use the prices in the article) a console for $300 that you then may have to spend an extra two-thirds of the purchase price on to get to a point where you'd consider it "complete" a valid part of a determination of the value proposition.

          Now of course, you and I can sit here and argue about which of the accessories are essential (FWIW, game (of course) and a memory card at least would be essential, and the rest of the other stuff it's not too far-fetched to want) but it's definitely a key part of the purchase decision, and therefore worth highlighting.

            I would argue that only the game is essential, the memory card not so much unless you bought that game digitally (and even then, only really the retail games that tend to have huge file sizes, less of an issue for the usual eShop fare).

              But if the console behaves like other modern consoles - ie, multi-gigabyte patches, which if the Switch is going to get multi-platform releases aren't unusual- that 32 gigabytes will fill up quickly. Hell, if you were going to use the Switch as a commuting device having on board storage would be a must so you don't need to juggle cartridges.

                That's a big "if" though. And if we're basing things on what Nintendo have done previously (as with the pack-in judgement) then that probably won't be the case.

                Also is it really that common for a commute to last so long that you're going to jump between multiple games instead of play the one thing for the whole trip? Not that "juggling cartridges" ever seemed like much of a problem when I wanted to swap something out on my DS or 3DS. It only got kinda ridiculous where I was trading multiple games between multiple 3DSes to churn through StreetPass hits at big events like PAX :P

                  But they're explicitly marketing it as a thing you take on the go- their first ad for it had people playing it in a bar of all places. Having a couple games installed on the console isn't unreasonable, and 32gb isn't that much if they're full releases.

                  We're in an age of multi gigabyte patches, and multi gigabyte installs. Nintendo's first party games might be pristine and need no patching ever, but if they want to position this as a console that plays third party (and I look at the Dark Souls 3 install on my PS4, which is about 13 gig, which is on the low end and THEN you have to have the disc in) and I see that 32 gigs filling up very quickly. Hell, my PS4 has 500gb of storage I have to manage. I just see that 32 GB as, frankly, paltry.

                  Especially for a portable device that wants to play console quality games.

                  @redartifice But then if you're moving onto specific usecase like playing in a bar without swapping carts you're moving beyond the realm of "essential". All you need to get started with one is the console and a game, and if you want to start expanding your options like doing away with carts then you set about getting the extras to make that happen. Otherwise we'd be adding the cost of getting another three pairs of joycons for some eight-player Bomberman, but that's nowhere near essential.

                  Not everyone lives in an age of multi-gig installs :P As I mentioned in whatever that other article is, the largest space eater on my Wii U is the patches for Smash at 3GB, everything else is half that or less, including third party games. If it were essential to have more than that 32GB storage to even function then it would have that storage in place, but I think it shows they're going to keep devs on a tight leash in terms of what they can include in patches. And certainly hope they do, there's no way I'm going to bother waiting for a 13GB download before I can play a game.

                  Kotaku recently reported on a game that was larger than the 32gb internal memory. Dragon something or other. So before release there were games needing external memory so I have no doubt there will be more in the future.

                  @g-man that's only if you download it from the eShop. If you buy the physical version then it won't need anywhere near that much space. And if you intend on downloading all your full retail games then you're going to run out of space no matter how much storage Nintendo would ever have put in there (and it's not like it ever would have used a hard disk drive).

            Massive difference between highlighting that accessories are available for purchase and implying those accessories are a necessary purchase.

            That's the crux, whether something is a need or a want.

          Well the 3DS did have Face Raiders, AR Games and the StreetPass stuff :P And there was Nintendo Land with the "premium" Wii U, though that did cost extra. Not that I disagree with you, I don't know why Nintendo is supposed to have a bundled game with all their consoles while the others are apparently fine without.

            Shhh, don't make things worse.

            I'd love for all games consoles to come with a pack-in, even if it is to the degree of the 3DS tech demos. That'd be great.

          You know that Nintendo can blame the failure of the GameCube on the fact that it wasn't a spork

            They could.
            In that generation the GameCube sold ~22 million units, Xbox 24 million, and PS2 at least 155 million. Could argue the GameCube failed because it was a fork and the Xbox failed because it was a spork. Wouldn't really mean anything, and it would be overlooking a bunch of factors, but you could do it.

      While I agree with you in a way. The review didnt do a very good job of writing about the extra peripherals...

      1. Nintendo consoles in the past have typically come with at least one basic game. People may not know that this is not the case this time around, so therefore it technically is a hidden cost, if not a very technical one.

      2. Its not difficult to throw a netflix app or youtube app on a console. The Wii U already has them. Also, its a portable tablet, maybe I dont want to use my phone screen for watching stuff while on the go. Right now, it's either take my android and not play Zelda, or it's take my Switch and not watch Youtube.

        NES through Wii U - only the Wii and Wii U came with a bundled game (Wii Sports; Wii Land).
        GB through 3DS - it could be argued that the DS and 3DS were released with bundled games (pictochat; swapnote and AR games) but they were tech demos.

        Two in eleven isn't what typically means.

        Last edited 02/03/17 1:43 pm

          Doesn't mean though that people don't have to consider the cost of a game in their purchase price. Especially if you're not someone who purchases consoles regularly it's definitely a consideration, and especially when it's Nintendo and the prices of the games will remain steady for some time.

            That's a given, people don't buy a car expecting to drive around without registration or petrol; there are clear associated costs in the purchase.

              Yeah, but if I buy a PS4 or a XBone, once I have a game I'm pretty set. Enough internal storage to get you going, the controller that most people will play with, all of these additional apps. That's really what the comparison is to- other consoles one can buy right now.

              Going in as in informed consumer, sure, you will expect to have to budget for additional stuff. If you're buying your first console, or buying it for your kids, and then you realise it's going to be more expensive than you initially thought to get it to a level where you're happy with the set up, that's definitely worth a discussion.

          Didn't the Wii U come with Nintendo Land?

            Not if you got the basic version (white) though.

              So basically the game wasn't a freebie then, as we had t pay more to get it.
              And bundling a game with the Switch would make the the console cost more, which is silly when so many don't want it. Bundled doesn't equal free.

                Well, not just the game. It came with a few other extra things in the package too, as well as one year of "premium" eShop something or other I never used, I dunno. Also extra storage space.

          In my day we had to buy MS-DOS 2.1 separately from our IBM JX so we could install BASIC and write our OWN games. When I got Adventures in Math I thought all my Christmases had come at once.

            In my day we snapped a switch off the nearest tree and drew our own games.

      I guess the point is, compared to the Xbox One or PS4, there are a lot of extra things you will probably want to buy for the switch to get the best use out of all its features...

        If I wanted to experience an Xbox One at launch, all I had to do was purchase the console and a game. Same with the Switch.

        Saying that a carry case, or a separate AC charger, or a second controller is necessary to experience all of the features is nonsense.

          He says that the Joy-Con is uncomfortable to use for long periods. And considering that the game everyone is going to play on day 1 is an open world game (that you'll binge for hours on end), I'd say calling the Pro controller "necessary" is a fair call. But but all mean, enjoy your Carpal Tunnel ;)

            One dude's complaint does not a widespread problem create.

      You didn't read between the lines. Reviewers usually can't write exactly how they are feeling.

      "Wow the joycon are totally fucked up: uncomfortable, flimsy, hard to use, and don't even work. You need a Pro controller to have a normal experience and not a total shit one after forking out half a grand."

        I'm not sure what you think you're responding to, but yeah, nah, I read the subtext.

    I'm picking up the Nintendo Switch at launch day tomorrow so I won't be going to the midnight launch at EB Games in Warrnambool tonight I'll be in bed getting ready for tomorrow since I can't wait to play The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild now that my pre-order for the Nintendo Switch will be ready for tomorrow along with The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and as for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe coming out in April I'm looking forward to racing as Link, King Boo, Bowser Jr, and the Inkling Boy from Splatoon.

    The 88% battery thing may be by design. LiPo batteries aren't designed to be stored at 100% charge. Having the battery stored for long periods at 88% would make it last a lot longer.

    This review pretty much confirms most of my issues with this, and also raises an eyebrow at a couple of things...

    1. The flimsy sounding construction is a big no no for a portable console. Especially the kickstand thing. It should be reasonably rugged, so that it at least has the perception of not being broken when a light gust of wind blows by...
    2. When I first saw the reveal of the Joy-con, I figured they'd probably be pretty uncomfortable. Has Ninty not figured out yet why most of the other controllers on the market all look pretty much the same? Because they are comfortable to use. Also, 1 thumb stick per controller. I'm still wondering how multiplayer goes when you transition from 2 thumb sticks (aka playing on the tablet single player) to one (2 players with one Joy-con each)? Also, the fact that the buttons are laid out weird, and some are hard to press is a turn off.
    3. The fact that Zelda has FPS drops at all is worrying (launch titles at least should generally run really well on the console), but the fact that it does it in the dock is just bizarre. This sort of points to the dock being nothing more than a HDMI passthrough/charge station, since the game must be upscaled to put on the TV. It doesnt bode well for future games if this is the case.

    After the Wii U has been a relative flop for Nintendo, I would have thought they'd go all out in getting a lot of this stuff right. However, because of the timing of the announcements and everything, this feels like they've rushed it out, and havent had the time to refine the console to some thing that could have been great. This is perplexing since the rumours for this machine have been floating around for years. Either way, this pretty much confirms I'll stay away, at least until a bigger back catalog is out...

      About #3. The dock is exactly what you describe, it is a simply a HDMI connection to the TV. There is no added processing power gained by the console by docking it. Hence the significant frame drops when it attempts to upscale to a whole 900p...

    Gah, ffs. Stupid session-expire between postings ate my post. Why can't I hit Back and get it back like I used to.

    The console apparently drains some of its battery even when docked — I'll put it in the dock at 100% charge, play for a while, and when I take it out, it will say it's at 88% charge. My colleague Jason and some others I've talked to have reported the same thing. It never goes below 88%, and I don't believe the battery can run out in the dock. Still odd and a little annoying.Sounds like a feature to me. Let the battery drain a bit so it's not at max strain when the console's firing up to full horsepower and cooking the thing, should hopefully mean the battery life isn't reduced to mere minutes after a year like all our laptops seemed to end up doing.

      My 8-year old Dell still has a decent battery life, even though I constantly leave it plugged into the power point. Runs like a dog at this point though.

        Yeah, they like to do that too :P Stupid Toshiba I used to use got to the point of taking forever just to boot up and become usable. If you can even call it that. I dunno what Mum does to her laptops though, just seems to manage to slaughter them in no time fast.

      "Feature"? You mean "somehow explaining a negative design aspect to be a positive feature"?

      Also, you're incorrect. What this means:

      - The dock is 100% passive. For a $160 (or whatever) cost, that is insane.
      - It means that the battery is used 100% of the time, even when docked.
      - As per the last point, it means you've got constant battery charge/drain activity. Your battery usable life will be worse.
      - It means that unlike an active dock, the ability to: charge tablet to 100%; disconnect charging to battery via bypass; power tablet hardware via dock power only - is not available.
      - This means it sure as hell is possible to drain the tablet completely, however it won't happen due to chip throttling.
      - It means you're leaving the house on 88% vs 100% battery charge.

      tl;dr it's a cheap ass design decision.

        Keeping it on charge at 100% is worse on battery life. Plus it's one of the leading causes of a battery swelling, leaking or exploding.

          A proper charging solution gets it to 100% and cuts it off.

      For what it's worth, that used to be a problem called memory effect.

      Please check out: https://www.howtogeek.com/169669/debunking-battery-life-myths-for-mobile-phones-tablets-and-laptops/

      "Old NiMH and NiCd batteries had a “memory effect” and had to be completely discharged from 100% to 0% to keep their capacity. Modern devices use Lithium Ion batteries, which work differently and have no memory effect. In fact, completely discharging a Li-ion battery is bad for it"

        I'm pretty sure these were all lithium batteries, not NiCd or NiMH. Also didn't realise NiMH batteries used to do it.

    Is the Day 1 update even out yet? Is it going to be live before the console is out in what, 8 hours in NZ and 10 hours in AU?

    About the 88% battery when docked ... it's actually an excellent idea to not charge a Li-ion battery to 100%. Shortens battery life. So it's most likely Nintendo employing battery conservation techniques while you're docked.

    Edit: Yeah, what Gooky said above. ;)

    Last edited 02/03/17 2:12 pm

    A very well-written and detailed review. Thanks Kirk, I'll be waiting a long time. I just shelled out an absolute mint buying (1) PS4 VR (2) PS4 Camera and (3) Resident Evil 7... I definitely can't afford to get a Switch anytime soon.

    ITT: one Nintendo fan going around upvoting every vaguely positive comment and downvoting every vaguely negative one, without commenting at all. Great job.

    On topic, I disagree that a lot of the extras are "hidden costs" in the sense that they're not required. By the same token, they are a consideration at least. They might not be a requirement, but they're definitely (for the most part)...recommended from the sounds of it. The carry case and a somewhat comfortable controller for sure.

    Also disappointed to read about the questionable hardware design/construction - e.g. the flimsy kickstand and location of many of the ports. Battery life when in handheld form is also disappointing.

    I'm also super disappointed (wow there's that word again) to hear about the flaky Zelda performance. inb4 "it's Ninty, their games don't have to run well or be graphically taxing because nostalgia".

    Other developers or hardware manufacturers are rightly criticised when their games can't even maintain 30fps at sub-1080p resolutions. Ugh. I'd rather they drop the resolution when played on TV and keep the framerate consistent, like they've done on the handheld version.

    TL;DR: I won't be purchasing early on, not at this price and not until we also learn more about some of the yet-to-be-detailed (in launch week) features.

    Will probably pick up later this year when things have settled down (e.g. patches) and it's either dropped in price (haha good joke) or someone's at least offering a decent Zelda bundle.

    God dammit I want to play that game.

    Last edited 02/03/17 2:39 pm

      The kickstand criticism is laughable and the opposite of what everyone says - it is designed to come off so it can't break.
      Big W have a Zelda bundle, and JB are price matching it.
      Go read other Switch reviews instead of judging by one that's being laughably silly.

      Yes,

      Seems like one person in particular

      @ctrlaltwalsh

      Downvotes any negative said about the Switch, Upvotes anything positive.

      Doesnt provide any comment or counter.

      Most likely a salty ninty fan

      Last edited 03/03/17 4:21 pm

    Still seems like a pretty niche device to me - can't see it selling gangbusters in a post-iPad world. Especially since it can't actually replace an iPad.

      Yep. I can't see parents buying one of their kids atleast. Ipads play 'games' too, why would they be interested in buying this thing that doesn't do most of the stuff their childs Ipad does already?

    lowmem32 .run /format flash card -NBN

    ie the memory is quite low and you gonna be downloading most the time instead of playing

    This is hilarious. "But StickMan, you can't laugh about a major consumer hardware device!" Oh, right, you're right, in that case it's highly depressing, sad, and curious.

    Every single point of concern I raised earlier, is confirmed (and then some) in this review. And then we have extra new issues on top. This is worse than I expected, and I actually expected bad. That's...bad.

    Not gonna write out the details of all the reasons why this is a laughable effort (buckle up kids, IT/hardware enthusiast essay levels if you REALLY want it), but: this is a $460 console that's had 5+ years of product development to look at around itself, and launches with one game, shitty 'controller', at a hundred bucks more than the competition (which blows it away as a 'home console').

    The only way to justify this is:
    "I want a handheld too" In which case you'd probably be better off buying two devices for the same price.

    and/or

    "I love Nintendo games" which can't be argued with as it's something like religion, and you're entitled to that opinion. This is the entry fee.

    Any other reason to buy this should be looked at with disbelief and "are you sure???".

      Most other reviews say mostly the opposite.

        How can they say the opposite of facts?

        Does it come with one AAA game, yes or no?

        Are the joycon in horizontal position pretty shit to use, as evidenced by the last 15 years of gamepad design?

        Is 32GB lower than 500GB?

        Can I play bluray on this?

        Sure the conclusion might be different but the facts remain the same.

        Reviews are merely opinions. People have many. Reviews praising the switch does not mean negative opinions of the switch are instantly false.

        Yeah but you are so blinded by your fanboyism you cant objectively review this console at all

      Way i see it is the console has some serious concerning issues, but just like the 3d feature on 3ds flopped and kinect has been killed if the switch gets enough good first party games it'll be a success despite it's issues. Not a must have unless you want nintendo games though, I don't see how it can keep up third party AAA support considering it struggles running a first party wii u developed zelda at launch though. I'll likely get one later in the year once it has a library worth playing

    Actually not charging when it's at 100% will protect the battery and prolong its life by a considerable amount.
    And everyone else says the joy cons are fine with the wrist straps.
    The kickstand is designed to come off so it doesn't break - it feels like the review made a mistake with this.

    I think this would be cool if it came with the pro controller for about $300.

    As it is, with a few essentials you mentioned and 1 game, it'll cost more than I've spent on my 1tb xbox one and 10 games!

    Also I've previously read that the batteries in the controller aren't replaceable so you'll be spending $130 on a new pair of joy cons every year or so.

    Yeah..no

    Gonna give this console a miss. Zelda does not interest me what so ever and if i want a mario fix ill just pull out my 3ds.

    Good luck to nintendo but i think this will be a repeat of the Wii-U

      Tbh the main thing keeping Nintendo in relevancy for years was the 3DS. This thing is eating into their own market share. Is it supposed to be the 3DS replacement? If I was an investor all of these things would be making me dump all stock.

    Just quietly.....but I think this will be one of nintendo's most successful console. It has all the trappings of a classic, now they just need to follow through on the content.

    Plenty of classic titles to play, great new games to have on the go and an easy and good online component. It ain't about graphics horsepower with ninty. They abandoned that a long time ago and it works. We don't buy nintendo products for bleeding edge power, but rather unique experiences and simple plain FUN

    So many negative Nancy's...

    Got my unit today, and I'm thrilled with it. The screen is great. The UI is snappy. Zelda is phenomenal. FAST RMX is brilliant. Bomberman is Bomberman. I've tried to replicate the Joycon issue, mine doesn't seem to be affected at all.

    I'm no Nintendo fanboy either. I'm just genuinely excited there's a new bit of hardware on the market that isn't the same flavour of Xbox One or PS4. I love my Xbox One, but I rarely play it anymore. I guess the library (bar a few titles here and there) doesn't seem skewed to my tastes at the minute? The Switch, and what's looming on the horizon for it, does. It'll definitely be my go-to for Indie games, and I'm pumped for the arcade racers that are planned for the thing.

      I'm with you. The sheer amount of negativity (generally from people who don't own one and claim to have no intention of getting one) is suffocating.

      I'm not a fanboy either, but I watched the original announcement and though it looked cool so I got one. Absolutely loved it so far, more so than my PS4 and Xbox 360 on release (not to say they weren't great consoles either), but I think BotW has helped that.

      Definitely looking forward to some Stardew Valley.

        Complete agree - it really is suffocating, that's the right way to put it.

        All I know is that, rather surprisingly, almost all of my gaming friends - in the real world - picked up a Switch. Regardless of their gaming background (SEGA, SONY, NINTENDO, PC), they're all super, super stoked with it, as am I.

        Never got around to trying Stardew Valley, I might finally bite when it gets released on the Switch! I'm personally *hanging* for Monster Boy, and Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. Being a SEGA nut, these games, along with Sonic Mania, of course, have got my name written all over them :)

          I wouldn't say it's negative nancies, i'd say the console has been rushed and has some design flaws. It's lucky zelda is so amazing because the console it's needs some addressing.

            Some things were rushed yeah, but I can't remember a single console launch since the PS2/Xbox/Wii days that went off without some sorta hitch. I'd still say negative Nancies though, as everybody I know who went out and actually purchased one has nothing but praise for the system so far. The ratio of people who own the thing complaining, and people who don't own it and are complaining are two totally different things.

            There's 100 million things that I don't like, but I don't jump into every thread or article about them to complain about it. Healthy discussion is one thing. A barrage of bandwagon 'me too' comments that repeat ad nausem are another.

            I'm just saying, if you own the thing, and have issues (like the Joycon thing, lack of games that appeal to you at launch, whatever), then that's totally cool. If you didn't buy it, and never planned on buying it, but still feel like shouting about how horrible it all is, and how much of a fail the Switch launch is, then whatever.

              Stop being so sensitive. There's massive threads with people putting felt and covers to stop scratching. People aren't making fun of the switch they are just expressing their opinion that they are waiting or not happy with the launch. It has design flaws. I am waiting for nintendo to address these and get more games out before i look at it. Im entitled to my opinion on the console just like you are. I am not saying its terrible in not making things up about it i am just expressing my opinion and talking about the news of its launch. If you don't like people having a negative opinion on something go post on a nintendo fanboy forum where everyone denies the minor issues it has that seem to bother you so much

                Dude, I made this one post stating my opinion, and you're the one getting all huffy and puffy about it. I'm not denying the problems. I literally just said this:

                "I'm just saying, if you own the thing, and have issues (like the Joycon thing, lack of games that appeal to you at launch, whatever), then that's totally cool."

                If you're holding out on the system for your own reasons, that's fine.

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