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May 20, 2017 / Jett

The Promise of the Nintendo Switch is Real

When Nintendo first revealed the Switch, they did so by showing off a myriad of different scenarios for when the product would be useful. From showing how quickly the game could transfer from your screen to the unit, to showing off a woman bringing her Switch to a rooftop party to play with friends, Nintendo pitched this as providing a quality gaming experience everywhere you go.

At first, I didn’t buy it. Sure, the novelty was neat, but I didn’t see the ability to play the same games at home or on the go as a revelation. Now that I’ve had the console for a few months, I realize that its selling point is the real deal.

Its usefulness began to make itself known almost immediately. Playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I could seamlessly jump between playing on a TV, playing on the couch in handheld mode while sitting beside my wife, or playing on the subway with no interruption. Shortly after launch, there was a family emergency that required us to spend a few days in the hospital. While we were in the waiting room, the Switch saved us from boredom, we were all able to enjoy games like 1-2 Switch and Snipperclips together.

Between my brother and I, we have access to eight Switch controllers: six Joycons and two Pro Controllers. We put all of them to great use when we played 8-player Super Bomberman R with our cousins. Super Bomberman R may not be a top-tier title, but having relatively easy access to 8-player multiplayer was great. When we weren’t blowing each other up, we were laughing out loud while playing Jackbox Party Pack 3. Yes, it’s available on other consoles, but now you I bring it with you in a unit that travels well and I was carrying with me anyway.

In April, I spent a few days in Chicago for a work-related trip. During my down time, I played the heck out of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Edition. On the plane, I played with it on a stand while using the Joycons in the grip. At the hotel, I played with it in handheld mode.

Never did I think that the idea of console-quality gaming everywhere I went would be something I even wanted. However, it’s won me over in a big way. The benefits are real and they have fundamentally shifted how I think about buying games.

Sure, the Switch is never going to have the horsepower to match the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. However, I don’t seem to mind that, as the processing power and the controller options make it capable enough to run gaming experiences that are meaty enough to meet my needs at home or on the go. Where it has both of those beat though is in terms of versatility.

For example, NBA Playgrounds might look better and have superior online play on one of the big two. But with the Switch, I get the benefit of being able to play this anywhere, with a much higher chance of being able to enjoy this in a local multiplayer setting, as the two Joycons should work just fine for this style of game. In the long run, I would probably benefit more from the versatility of play at the cost of graphical fidelity and a somewhat worse online experience.

Having the Nintendo Switch has opened a new line of thinking towards my game playing and buying process. Being able to have a powerful-enough gaming console that I can enjoy anywhere in a myriad of configurations is a real selling point and one that has improved my gaming life. It’s not perfect, as the kickstand angle is not great and the Joycons trade in comfort for versatility, but the concept truly works wonders. For games that benefit greatly from the extra processing power or online functionality, I’ll probably stick to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. For everything else, I love the convenience that comes with playing games on the Switch.

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One Comment

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  1. samearl13 / May 20 2017 10:19 AM

    Nicely written review, I don’t own one myself but I can definitely see they really did create something amazing. In fact if you have a good PC and a reliable (and strong) internet connection there’s an app called Rainway being in development which is planned to let you stream Steam games to the Switch (with the PC obviously doing the work).

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