"Switch and Play"— Nintendo Switch advertising slogan
The Nintendo Switch is the seventh major video game console developed by Nintendo and released worldwide in March 3, 2017, as part of the eighth and ninth generation of gaming. It is the successor to the Wii U.
The Switch is designed as a "hybrid system" which can be played as either a handheld system or a home system.
Why It Rocks
- It has lots of excellent first-party or exclusive games like:
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Splatoon 2
- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Kirby Star Allies
- Mario Tennis Aces
- Fire Emblem Warriors
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Yoshi's Crafted World
- Octopath Traveler
- Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
- Super Mario Maker 2
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Astral Chain
- Ring Fit Adventure
- Luigi's Mansion 3
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Paper Mario: The Origami King
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
- Third-party developers are also giving it a lot of support, which is even more than the Wii U since it's much easier to make games for the Switch than its predecessor. Nintendo has been doing a very strong push to bring more mature/M rated and AAA games to the system, and unlike Sony Interactive Entertainment which has faced controversy for censoring games on their consoles since their rebranding in 2016, they stated not doing this practice anymore and that they will allow rating systems to determine whether or not a game is appropriate for a child to play. Some examples of great or impressive third party games include:
- DOOM (2016) and its sequel, DOOM Eternal
- Mega Man 11
- Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- BioShock Infinite
- Dragon Ball: FighterZ
- Rayman Legends
- Resident Evil: Revelations, and its sequel, Resident Evil: Revelations 2
- Tales of Vesperia
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)
- Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole
- There are many great indie games or retail budget games, like:
- As the name suggests, you can use the Switch in several different ways, allowing you to seamlessly switch how you're playing depending on your needs. The main modes to use the Switch are:
- Handheld: With the Joy-Cons attached to the tablet.
- TV mode: With the tablet inserted to the "dock" unit and using either a Pro Controller or the Joy-Cons as a regular controller.
- Tabletop: With the tablet standing on a table with the kickstand and with detached Joy-Cons.
- It has impressive technical power for a portable game system. Most of the hardware is on the tablet (which itself is the main unit); the dock does nothing except plug in cables, display the image on the TV, and recharge the tablet's battery.
- The Joy-Cons are very versatile controllers, their "HD rumble" feature is a great feature and the motion controls are often completely optional. Modes in which Joy-Cons can be used include:
- Attached to the sides of the main unit in handheld mode.
- Placed in a controller grip to use them as traditional controllers.
- Separately with Wrist straps to use them like Wiimotes.
- Two players can hold each Joy-Con horizontally to use them as separate mini controllers in multi-player games, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
- The Joy-Cons come in a plenty of different colors for more customization. Notable colors include neon blue and red, black, yellow, and neon pink and green.
- Local multiplayer can be done both by having up to four controllers connected to a Switch, or by having up to 8 Switches connected via Bluetooth in handheld mode much like how the Nintendo DS does.
- Nintendo has been reviving many of its IPs like Metroid, Kirby, Yoshi, etc. for Switch and its other franchises like Legend of Zelda have been taking new directions, which those franchises were almost completely absent on the Wii U which instead mostly got Mario games and spin-offs.
- While it doesn't have backward compatibility with the Wii U, Nintendo ported and remastered a big amount of Wii U games to the Switch, which is more helpful when you consider that many of them missed their shot at accumulating a large audience due to the Wii U's underwhelming sales.
- Ports of games from previous consoles often add extra content and/or DLC for free (examples include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Fate/Extella).
- Nintendo Labo is a very creative concept. Maybe it makes a huge impression, because it was made of cardboards that really work well.
- It uses a non-proprietary USB-C port for battery charging.
- After a firmware update in October 2017, all manner of USB controllers are supported in docked mode (and tabletop mode through a USB-C to USB adapter). Even the Wii U's GameCube controller adapter was made compatible.
- Ironically, this makes the GameCube adapter a far more useful accessory on this system than the originally-intended one where it only worked with Super Smash Bros..
- It helped get rid of cross-gen/handheld versions of games being released on the old/outdated PS3/Xbox 360 along with 3DS and PS Vita as the Switch took over all of those said systems and help the 8th Gen next-gen potential after many games that suffered for various reasons.
- It's Nintendo's very first region-free console that can be hooked up into a TV. Not counting their handhelds excluding the 3DS. This finally encourages game importing since so, which wasn't possible in Nintendo's home consoles before the Switch.
- A second model, the "Switch Lite" intended to be played strictly as a handheld system is available as a more affordable and cheaper option. It's also smaller than the regular Switch, making the "portable console" advertising fair.
- Unlike the PlayStation 4 which uses a USB cable to charge the DualShock 4 controller which is a bit
- Can be modded to install various game mods on it. Albeit unofficially, you can also run Android (and Linux) Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) on this console. While this is an unofficial way to bring backwards compatibility to this console, this may result in your console being banned due to running unauthorized software, or even bricked, however.
- The Start and Select buttons on Nintendo's previous consoles are finally completely replaced by the + and - buttons respectively, making the button layout on its main controllers more modern without the outdated Start button which aren't even the only way
- The Joy-Cons, while comfortable in handheld and wrist mode, aren't very ergonomic in controller mode attached to the grip and sideways mode. Their buttons are also fairly small and the left Joy-Con uses buttons as a D-Pad similar to the Nintendo 64 controller's C buttons.
- Their analog sticks are also prone to erroneously move randomly or be stuck, often known as drifting (especially for the older Joy-Cons).
- The chargeable version of the Joy-Con grip isn't included with the Nintendo Switch, instead, you have to buy it separately in stores. Keep in mind it is optional though, Joy-Cons can also be charged by leaving them attached to the Switch when it's docked.
- Despite being an impressive handheld console, the Switch's hardware is still rather weak compared to its competitors. Because of that third-party games often need some watering-down to run on the Switch. For example, Sonic Forces and Doom run at half the resolution and frame rate of other versions.
- Speaking of weak/underpowered, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S had just launched, and since the Switch came out only three years prior despite being underpowered to eighth-gen consoles, this will make porting next-gen games very hard.
- Some Switch versions of multiplats are only playable through cloud streaming, such as Hitman III and Control: Ultimate edition. Some of these cloud games, such as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, were only released in Japan.
- Due to the Switch using their own cartridges, it makes it a little more expensive to make games for it, which is why many multi-platforms are $60 even if they're ports of very old games, like Diablo 3 and Skyrim.
- Some North American cartridge labels have the game logo off-center due to the ESRB requiring them to include the game's rating.
- Mobile game ports and shovelware have made their way to the eShop.
- Very limited internal storage of only 32GB (of which, 26GB is available to the user), practically forcing you to get a microSD card, and literally requiring the use of one for some games such as NBA 2K18, Doom (for the game's multiplayer features), L.A. Noire, and Mortal Kombat 11 even when using the physical game cards, as they require a download for the missing content on the game card and the downloaded data can only be stored on the microSD Card.
- Unlike the Wii U's online service, the Nintendo Switch Online service doesn't offer much and worst of all it's not free anymore (fortunately and thankfully, though, it's a bit cheaper than Xbox Live and PlayStation Network).
- It is currently lacking certain features that most gamers expect modern consoles to have, such as a web browser (which the 3DS and Wii U had, but it however can be accessed by entering a DNS address), media streaming apps (it only has Hulu, Funimation, and YouTube, so far) and especially ways to back up save data (though cloud saves were eventually implemented, albeit locked behind the Nintendo Switch Online paywall), which even previous Nintendo consoles had.
- It isn't backward compatible with any of the previous home and handheld consoles other than remasters of Wii U games.
- The Virtual Console, which allows users to download classic Nintendo games, is absent too. However, it has been superseded by Nintendo Switch Online's included emulation collections of NES and SNES games.
- A lot of first-party games are ports of older games and not new-style games.
- It's also lacking an application where you could change the home menu's background, similar to the Theme Shop from the 3DS.
- Its sports game library is quite lacking compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, but fortunately, it isn't as small as the Wii U's.
- You can transfer your save data to another Switch, but you need to log into your Nintendo account on both Switch consoles before doing so.
- Also, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the very first Switch game to not have cloud saving which means if your Switch breaks, you can't recover the save data on the game (unless it's on a microSD card). Even when you put multiple hours on the save file.
- Although it does not require a proprietary charger, it requires a proprietary USB-C to HDMI adapter and is not compatible with display over USB-C.
- For whatever reason, the limited editions of first-party titles like Super Mario Maker 2, Daemon X Machina, and the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening with steelbooks are only released in Europe, and are not localized in western regions.
- The charging cords for the controllers and the AC adapter are extremely short, and often make you sit really close to the TV while charging a dying controller, or get a power strip in order to reach a power outlet that's too far away from the AC adapter.
- Additionally, the Switch's AC adapter has a big box at the end of the plug, instead of the ones that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have, which can take up space between other plugs in the outlet.
- There are so many missed oppurtunities that were even present in Nintendo's previous consoles:
- For the cartridge drive to be able to fit Nintendo DS and 3DS games for backwards compatibility.
- For the home menu to have music.
- For the home menu to have more themes, and more themes that can be bought from Nintendo eShop.
- Because it's strictly portable, the Lite model lacks some features such as Labo support, motion controls, and the stand. Though some of them like HD Rumble can be brought back via first-party add ons. Also, unlike the regular, the Switch Lite can only play graphics of up to 720p. The regular Switch can display up to 1080p.
- Since the Joy-Cons aren't detachable, if something happens to the controllers like the Joy-Cons drifting, you can't have any spare controllers to replace them with, forcing you to send the whole console to get repaired.
- The Nintendo Switch produces more heat when played in TV mode due to less ventilation while in the dock and having to use more processing to display the image in the TV and as such tends to get very hot after long play sessions. To prevent overheating, it is recommended not to play in TV mode for too long. If your Switch starts getting hot while you're playing, you should switch to portable or tabletop mode.
- An alternative to keeping your docked Switch from overheating is to have the dock and the console laying flat to get better circulation which works very well along with opening the dock's back panel.
- The amount of heat produced also depends on the game you're playing. Smaller games like Shovel Knight require less processing thus don't produce as much heat as other power-hungry games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey.
- The plastic used for the Switch's casing is rather flimsy and prone to issues such as warping or even cracking due to prolonged exposure to heat, most commonly as a result of intensive games being played in TV mode for long periods of time. Make sure you frequently check your Switch for signs of heat damage. Should any heat damage be present, it is possible to replace the casings, though you should be careful when doing so. If you do are required to replace the plastic case, it is recommended to first take it to a store that repairs game systems before trying it yourself.
- You'll most definitely need a microSD card, especially if you plan on buying a lot of digital games or playing physical games that require data to be installed digitally (like Doom, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, or L.A. Noire), in which case you would want one that's at least 32GB or 128GB.
- The analog sticks on the Joy-Cons are easily exposed to dust and can start drifting (the analog stick gets moved, while you don't move it). This is mostly due to the bad design of the analog sticks, which use a cover to prevent it, but fails to (unlike the Pro Controller's sticks which are much better). To prevent it, you can use compressed air or straw to blow the dust off.
- If you're planning to use your Switch in TV mode frequently, it is highly recommended that you get a Pro Controller.
- Even though the Switch uses a traditional USB-C port for charging, it follows a different charging protocol that only the official branded Dock can respond to properly, so because of this third party docks and generic battery chargers run the risk of damaging the internal battery because those follow the standard protocol. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you don't use any third-party Docks or battery chargers that weren't officially licensed by Nintendo.
- Make sure you insert/remove your Switch from the Dock carefully, otherwise, the Dock's edges might scratch the Switch's screens or back of it as it moves in/out. It is recommended to use a screen protector.
- Since the Switch itself is a portable tablet, Ethernet connections can only be used by attaching an adapter to one of the Dock's USB ports or a separate USB-C to USB adapter when in tabletop mode.
- As a safety measure, the game cards have an extremely bitter taste to prevent younger kids from shoving them into their mouths and potentially choking with them.
- If the console falls off your hands accidentally while the Joy-Cons are attached, the Joy-Cons act as "bumpers" to lessen the impact on the main unit, although this will also most likely chip the plastic latch that is used to lock the Joy-Cons onto the rails on the sides of the console and the Joy-Con Grip.
- The Switch's battery can fail if it goes six months without being charged.
Despite some skepticism after the initial reveal and many gamers being soured by the Wii U, the Nintendo Switch was very positively received upon launch. The launch did extremely well despite some issues such as a small launch library and, as many put it, "Nintendo learned their lesson from the mistakes of the Wii U" and is bringing back third-party developers to Nintendo.
Gamers and critics praised Switch's ability to seamlessly transition between TV and Handheld mode allowing them to play full console games on the go at any time, but have criticized the weaker hardware, though many consider it "a reasonable compromise" given that it's a handheld console.
Within less than a year the Switch has sold over 14 million units, meaning the console already outsold the Wii U within its first year and it was the most purchased item on Black Friday 2017. As of January 2018, reports state that the Switch is the fastest-selling console in USA history.
The Switch has already outsold the PS4 in Japan. In December 2019, the Switch officially outsold the Xbox One worldwide. It is currently the second best-selling Nintendo home console, only behind the Wii.
The Switch Lite was also positively received, as despite lacking the ability to be played as a home console it was still praised for being a more affordable option that retained most of the functionality of the traditional Switch system.
- The Nintendo Switch was known as "Code NX" prior to its official announcement.
- Around the same time of Switch Lite's release, the original Switch was discontinued in favor of a newer Switch model which has 4.5-9 hours of battery life compared to the original which has 2.5-6.5 hours. Youtuber Open Surprise tested them using The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The old console lost its battery after 2 hours and 45 minutes. The new console lost its battery after 4 hours and 15 minutes, showing that the new console certainly did have a slightly longer battery life.