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Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo Switch
Nintendo-Switch-Console-Docked-wJoyConRB.jpg
Switch Lite yellow.png
Switch OLED.jpg
Switch and Play.
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: Nintendo Switch
WW: March 3, 2017
BRA: May 26, 2017
KOR: December 1, 2017
CHN: December 10, 2019
Nintendo Switch Lite
WW: September 20, 2019
Switch OLED
WW: October 8, 2021
Predecessor: Nintendo 3DS
Wii U
Competitors: PlayStation 4
PlayStation 5
Xbox One
Xbox Series X/S
Stadia
Steam Deck
Generation: Eighth generation


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[1] and ninth generations of gaming. It is the successor to the Wii U, which was known and rather infamous for being complicated, underpowered, and too gimmicky and ended up being Nintendo's second worst-selling console after the Virtual Boy.

The console was announced by former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata under the codename Nintendo NX in March 17, 2015 during a press conference, following the partnership between Nintendo and e-commerce company DeNA. It was not only planned to be a replacement of the Wii U, but also a home console that can play all games without any region coding, encouraging imports. It has then been officially presented in October 20, 2016 after being officially named the "Nintendo Switch".

The Switch is designed as a "hybrid system" which can be played as either a handheld system or a home system, with Joy-Cons that can be used in various ways. These small controllers often sold by pairs have many capabilities such as using motion controls and being able to be attached to various items like the sides of the console and an accessory bundled with the console, the Joy-Con Grip. However, the Joy-Cons aren't the only controllers that can be used for the Switch, as a plenty of controllers are also made for the Switch including a standard controller called the Pro Controller, which is very similar to the Xbox One controller in terms of design.

A handheld-only and smaller version of the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite, has been released, which is a cheaper model intended to be more accessible to the public. Around the same time of Switch Lite's release, the first model of the Switch was discontinued in favor of a newer model which has 4.5-9 hours of battery life compared to the original which has 2.5-6.5 hours. The new console lost its battery after 4 hours and 15 minutes, showing that the new console certainly has a slightly longer battery life.

On October 8, 2021, Nintendo released a third model, called the Switch OLED, in red, neon, and white colors.

Why It Can Switch and Play

  1. 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.
  2. It has lots of excellent first-party or exclusive games (if Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and Kirby upper version sub-games such as Kirby's Dream Buffet are counted due to being exclusive on the Switch EShop) like:
  3. 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, resulting in the console getting a whopping 4000+ games, the biggest on any Nintendo console. Nintendo has also 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 surprisingly good and impressive third party games include:
  4. It's also the second Nintendo home console to have indie games, Nintendo has also taken to support even more indie game developers with their Nindies Showcase series of trailer videos. This results in amazingly well done indie games being published for the Switch like:
  5. It has a very impressive technical power for a portable game system, a massive improvement over the Nintendo 3DS. 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.
  6. The Joy-Cons are very versatile controllers, their "HD rumble" feature is a great feature and the motion controls are often completely optional, and even though a pair of Joy-Cons is more expensive than a controller at a full price ($80), they still make a better deal for multiplayer gameplays as that price means each Joy-Con costs $40 which is less expensive than a standard controller. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Nintendo has been reviving many of its IPs like Metroid, Kirby, Yoshi, Splatoon, etc. for the Switch and its other franchises like The 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.
  10. While it doesn't have backward compatibility with the Wii U, Nintendo ported and remastered a decent 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 the previous consoles often add extra content and/or DLC for free (examples include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Fate/Extella).
  11. Nintendo Labo is a very creative concept. Maybe it makes a huge impression, because it was made of cardboards that really work well.
  12. It uses a non-proprietary USB-C port for battery charging.
  13. 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.
  14. It helped get rid of cross-gen/handheld versions of games being released on the old/outdated PS3/Xbox 360 along with the 3DS and PS Vita as the Switch took over all of those said systems after many games that suffered for various reasons.
  15. It's Nintendo's very first truly region-free home console, finally encouraging game importing since so, which wasn't possible in Nintendo's home consoles before the Switch (The NTSC versions of the SNES/Super Famicom and N64 could play both American and Japanese games. European SNES and N64 were still region locked). If you are from the US and want to buy a UK copy of Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu or Eevee, a Japanese copy of Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl, or even a Japanese copy of Super Mario Odyssey, there is a good chance these copies are not region locked at all, unlike DVDs or Blu-Rays, which do have region codes compared to the Switch games.
  16. 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.
  17. If it is unpatched, it 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 by Nintendo due to running unauthorized software, or even bricked, however.
  18. 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 to start a game nowadays.
  19. As a safety measure, the game cards now have an extremely bitter taste to prevent toddlers from shoving them into their mouths and potentially choking with them. This has been a problem present in plenty of small objects and toys back then, which has finally been solved with the Switch's game cards.
  20. 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.
  21. One of Nintendo's competitors who happens to be Microsoft has been recently been pushing their games with their license on the Switch regardless of whether it was a subsidiary or not. Some include Minecraft, Banjo-Kazooie (On the Nintendo Switch Online of course), and Cuphead (Microsoft also allowed Studio MDHR to add Cuphead on Switch). Then there is also the fact that Banjo and Kazooie as well as Steve got into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate despite being owned by Microsoft.

Bad Qualities

  1. The Joy-Cons, while comfortable in handheld and wrist mode, aren't very ergonomic and they are incredibly flawed 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. Also, they can potentially give you carpal tunnel if you keep moving the analog stick or mash the buttons a lot.
    • Their analog sticks are also prone to erroneously moving randomly or becoming stuck. This situation is often known the infamous as drifting (especially for the older Joy-Cons.) What's worse is that Nintendo claims that this is "not a real issue or hasn't caused anyone any inconvenience"[2] even though drifting analog sticks are clearly irritating players. Because of this, they have faced a lawsuit in July 19, 2019 from Ryan Diaz. However, this did not change their decision, and Nintendo is still trying to convince players to refund their Joy-Cons for repair[3].
    • Even much worse and more serious is that the Switch Lite has the exact same issue. Its analog sticks are also prone to drifting and if that ever occurs, you would have to send the whole console to the store and get it repaired.
  2. 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.
    • Also, they can hold gigabytes from up to 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB 32 GB to 64 GB (Not again Nintendo), meaning games with gigabytes higher than 64 would be digital, even if some are mostly common at retail. It also makes the system a victim of those physical copies with a voucher and no game card, and even led to companies putting one game into a cartridge, and another into a voucher if it was a collection. The worst offender for doing such is Capcom.
    • As of January 2022, the largest Nintendo Switch game is NBA 2K22, at 46.2 GB. Surpassing other games with a full memory like Mortal Kombat 11 and the Borderlands collection.
  3. Games no longer have instruction booklets in boxes or electronically, forcing games to have built-in tutorials or players to search on the internet for guides from other people for the games. Instead of that, they always contain pointless warning messages on paper about dangers while playing video games.
  4. 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 a yearly subscription costs less than half the price of Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus), though this is somewhat unsurprising considering that Iwata himself once stated that he couldn't promise that online multiplayer would stay free forever on Nintendo consoles back in July 2012, fourth months before the Wii U came out. Also, the Virtual Console, which allows users to download classic Nintendo games, is absent too, being superseded by Nintendo Switch Online's included emulated collections of NES and SNES games, which require an internet connection to be played. Unfortunately, much fewer games are offered through this service compared to the 3DS, Wii U, and Wii shop's libraries, with Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and DS completely absent.
    • To make matters worse, the NES and SNES libraries offered by Nintendo Switch Online are extremely underwhelming regarding non-Nintendo games; especially the latter. Want to play Street Fighter II? Here, have Fighter's History instead!
  5. Its sports game library is quite lacking compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, with no NFL or NHL games.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Despite being a successful console, there are so many missed opportunities 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. While this possibly doesn't really matter since the system doesn't have a 3D screen or 2 screens in general, the Wii U had managed to pull off Nintendo DS Virtual Console (though that was due to the Wii U having a second screen as a controller).
    • On top of no backwards compatibility, there aren't a lot of new-style games and lots of ports.
    • For the home menu to have music and more themes that can be bought from the eShop. The only two themes that are available are the classic dark and light themes, whose names make it ironic considering these names sound like Nintendo would add more themes on the eShop for the Nintendo Switch when they never did since launch.
    • For certain features that most gamers expect modern consoles to have, such as a web browser (which the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U had, but it, however, can be accessible by entering a DNS address), media streaming apps (it only has Hulu, Funimation, and YouTube, so far), achievements (the closest thing we got to achievements, however, is "Missions and Rewards") 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 (except for the achievements).
    • A True Virtual Console.
  9. To use an external display for TV mode, you cannot use a standard USB-C monitor or USB-C to HDMI adapter as the Switch uses a proprietary USB-C protocol for video output instead of the more standard HDMI or DisplayPort over USB-C alternate modes. Therefore, you can only use the dock or a display adapter made for the Nintendo Switch.
  10. While it's nice that developers are trying to port big games on the Switch, lots of games are too huge to be on the Switch, as a result they need to download their data through internet or end up being Cloud only, which requires huge internet to stream, and also kills its portability.
  11. The Switch's lesser processing power compared to other current-gen consoles (a problem in and of itself) can lead to shoddy ports like ARK: Survival Evolved and The Outer Worlds being published. Both have extremely low resolutions and unstable framerates, making the Switch the worst way to play them. This extends to a disappointing number of games.
  12. Sadly like all the other good systems from Nintendo before this, it contracted the shovelware disease, though not as common in retail. It's mostly the eShop that's plagued, meaning if you don't buy digital as much, you're pretty much safe.

Maintenance

  1. 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 that 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.
    • Like other electronics in heatwave locations, don't use your Switch in temperatures higher than 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).[4]
  2. 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.
  3. 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) or dust which can easily get in, but the covers can often not work (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.
  4. 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 are not licensed by Nintendo.
  5. Make sure that 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.
  6. 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 (unless you are using the OLED dock) or a separate USB-C to USB adapter when in tabletop mode.
  7. The Switch's battery can fail if it goes six months without being charged.
  8. The glass display on the OLED model has an anti-scattering adhesive film to protect it from scratches and shattering. DO NOT remove this film. You can still use additional screen protectors.

Reception

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 sold over 14 million units, meaning that 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 U.S. history.

The Switch has already outsold the PS4 in Japan. In December 2019, the Switch officially outsold the Xbox One worldwide. In Nintendo's May 2022 financial report, the Switch has sold 107.65 million units worldwide (which is more than either the PlayStation and Wii, which have 102 and 101 million sold units), making it Nintendo's best-selling home console.

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.

Trivia

  • Despite being released before the ninth generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles, it still caught up with them as part of the "Home appliances disguised as consoles" gag, where its dock unit was joked about resembling a toaster.
  • The Switch Lite has a D-pad unlike the original.

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