Last week, Nintendo released their newest game system, the Nintendo Switch.
The Switch is a kind of hybrid between a handheld system like the Game Boy or 3DS, and a home console like the Wii. It has a 6.5 inch screen, and is good for hours of gaming on the go. But when you get home, you can drop the device into a dock, slip off the controllers from the side of the console, and play the very same game on your TV. Suddenly, it’s a home console.
I’m pretty pleased with Nintendo’s execution of the concept. It feels like less of a toy than some of their other game systems. It’s heavy and solid, but not so heavy that my arms get tired while I play. The system is capable of graphics better than the Wii U, but not up to par with the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. That’s fine for me, and makes sense for a portable system. The controllers are a little small, but feel comfortable and are very responsive.
The biggest problem with the Switch right now is the small game library. There are only a few games out for the system right now, and only one - the new Legend of Zelda game - felt like it was worth buying for full price. 1-2-Switch is a fun collection of minigames, but should have been cheap or free and bundled with the system rather than a full-price title. There are new Super Mario, Mariokart, and Splatoon games coming soon, but currently the lineup is a little thin.
This very well could be the end of Nintendo having separate product lines for portable and home gaming because, essentially, the Switch does both. It does neither perfectly, but it does both well enough that I don’t know if it will make sense for Nintendo to continue marketing the 3DS.
Next time, I’ll talk about the premiere title for the Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.