This article also appears in Vale Life - March/April Issue Page 32
The Nintendo Switch Launched on 3rd March is the latest console from the company which is considered by some to be the creator of home computer gaming.
In 2006 with the Launch of the Wii with its innovative motion controllers and wacky fun games, made it the console to have for use by the whole family.
The Wii U which was the next generation, but the console was not a hit with customers. So Nintendo is hoping that the Switch will reverse their fortunes.
The Switch comes in a box which feels smaller than the original Wii and contains 2 controllers – Joy-Cons as Nintendo calls them and the Switch,
power supply, docking station, Joy-Con grip and a couple of lanyards for the Joy-Cons.
The console itself has a 6.2in screen with a 1280 x720 resolution. It will however output Full HD of 1920 x 1080 when connected to a suitable TV. The screen resolution is more than adequate for the size of the screen itself. There is a Micro SD slot hidden behind the kick stand at the back and a headphone jack, no Bluetooth headphones unfortunately. The Switch only comes in 1 version with 32GB storage. You will definitely need the SD slot to add more memory if you intend to use the e-store to download games. Something to note is that Game save data is only stored in this internal memory there is no option to move it to the SD card. I think that this is a big mistake and one which Nintendo will probably change at a later software update.
As seems to be more and more the case with systems, there is an update that needs to be downloaded as soon as you start to allow access to the e-shop, other essential facilities.
The Joy-Cons slot into either side of the screen with a satisfying click and are very stable. This is more than can be said for the docking station. When I slotted the console into it was quite wobbly and felt unstable. I had to check if I had done it correctly.
The 2 Joy-Cons can be used individually, and Nintendo recommends using the included lanyards to wrap around your wrist in the same way as the original Wiis. These were very stiff and I had difficulty removing them, without a lot of force which made me worry that I would damage the controller.
In use the Switch is a simple and fun recapturing the feel of the original Wii. Playing multiplayer games with a single Joy-Con feels a bit of a fiddle because of the size, but you do get used to it and there are accessories such as the Joy-Con Grip kit which looks like it will make it a lot easier to use the single Joy-Cons. Perhaps Nintendo should have included these in the box rather than the lanyards.
The price is £280 which feels a tad high, the original Wii launched at £179, but may have something to do with the current weakness of the pound. As you might expect, the console is out of stock everywhere at the moment, so if you didn’t pre order you will have a bit of a wait.
Nintendo is also selling a number of accessories such as the Pro Controller (£60), the aforementioned Grip Kit (£15), a charging Grip(£25) and additional Joy-Cons (£43 each or £70 or 2), you can have up to 8 Joy-Cons connected to a Switch.
At launch there are only 14 games available, Zelda being the most notable and expensive at £50. It is not compatible with games from the Wii or Wii U.
Is it worth it, I’d say yes, however, if you can wait until later in the year when there will most likely be bundles and offers available and more games, then you may get a better deal. It’s not for die hard gamers but using with all the family, it’s great.