Nintendo Switch Console Review
Nintendo Switch Cover Art
System: Switch
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: March 3, 2017
Players: 1-4 Player
Screen Resolution: 720p-1080p

The power cord port works against you in tabletop mode as well. You’d think Nintendo would have allowed you to plug the power cord in a place where you could still have it standing on a surface so you could continue to play in this mode while charging. I mean, you can play it in the handheld mode when it’s plugged in. But, because the plug goes directly into the bottom of the unit, you either have it running on the limited battery power on a table or put it back in its dock to charge.

The Joy-Cons, in general, are far more comfortable than I thought they would be. I was concerned, since they’re similar in size to the controllers attached to the Famicom Mini, Japan’s version of the NES Classic Edition. I can’t play games too often on that plug-and-play due to their size, but size didn’t matter with the Switch’s controllers. While they were most comfortable when plugged into the included Grip, the button layout is mostly accommodating. I would have appreciated a little more space between the analog sticks and D-pad/action buttons, but it’s generally pleasant. Especially with the haptic feedback. I suspect the vibration functions will be most noticeable and appreciated with games like 1-2 Switch, but it definitely worked well with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Nintendo Switch Screenshot

Now, there has been talk about Joy-Con connectivity issues. I haven’t experienced the drastic issues that some were discussing ahead of launch. That is, that the left Joy-Con seems to lose its signal to the console, leaving Link running in the direction someone last input. I noticed sporadic issues when in the calibration menu and attempting to recreate the problem. But again, it only happened for me when I tried to make the issue happen. Maybe my living room or hands are too small, but I didn’t have any of the obstruction issues that led to others facing problems. This may be an issue where your mileage will vary, depending on the distance between the Switch and the Joy-Cons and your own grip and activity while playing.

I did notice a different Joy-Con issue with the left controller during my week and a half with the Nintendo Switch, though. The left Joy-con battery seemed to drain slightly faster than the right. I suspect this was due to the game I was playing. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link is always moving. There’s rarely a moment where he’s standing completely still. Meanwhile, he isn’t always jumping, attacking, or performing any other activity that would require near constant use of the right Joy-Con controller. It’s a relatively minor issue tied to the games you’re playing.

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Generally, I’m happy with the Switch. I’ve enjoyed it most when using it as a handheld and taking advantage of its portability, but it definitely works well as a home console too. The only area in which it’s shaky is in its tabletop mode, as that presentation only works well with very specific games. Even the Joy-Cons work rather nicely, though some may experience some issues with batteries or the signal receiving properly. My only real qualms with the system are its unfortunate battery life and the fact that it can’t do much right now besides play games. It doesn’t offer any other media or internet features. People who are excited about the launch window game lineup, enjoy gaming on the go, and love Nintendo systems will be smitten with the Switch. Others may want to wait a few weeks for the system and its library to grow.

By
Jenni Lada
Site Editor
Date: 03/01/2017

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
The Switch isn’t the most powerful console on the market, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild certainly looks beautiful running on it.
4.0
Control
The Joy-Cons could be a bit bigger and may have some connection issues for some, but they’re mostly comfortable. The touchscreen works well.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The audio quality is at its best in console mode, but it sounds rather good on the go too.
3.5
Play Value
As long as you have games, the Switch is great. A lack of multimedia and internet features out of the box is rather disappointing.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • At home the main unit rests in the Nintendo Switch dock, which connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room.
  • Lift Nintendo Switch from the dock and instantly transition to handheld mode for on-the-go gaming. By sharing Joy-Con, players can go head-to-head while away from home. You can also enjoy the same great games in tabletop mode by using the included stand to prop the system up.
  • Bring together up to 8 Nintendo Switch systems for local face-to-face multiplayer.

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