A question I asked myself extensively since it was revealed. The Nintendo Switch is the newest handheld console released by Nintendo and retailing at around £250. £250 might sound like a lot, plus you have to buy games on top of this, but it’s actually surprisingly good value for money once you get down to it.
I won’t go into the technical details about the Switch in this post, I’ll leave that for the technical reviewers. Instead, I’ll talk about the first few hours of using it.
The Switch comes half charged out of the box, which was a really nice surprise. It let me get right into my game of choice (being Zelda: Breath of the Wild) and just enjoy sitting back and relaxing on the sofa. The first thing I noticed about the Switch was the build quality. Outstanding, rivaled only by the intensely satisfying ‘Click’ sound that plays out of the Switch’s speakers when you attach the two controllers on either side.
Clicking onto Zelda and playing for hours was a breeze. The UI for the console was simple, sleek and effective and the graphic quality for the game looked amazing for a handheld console. I have yet to test this on a full-sized TV screen but expect it will look just as stunning, as Nintendo tasked Nvidia with creating a unique graphics card exclusive to the Switch (citation needed?).
For a PC gamer, the controls were confusing at the best of times but after a short while of getting used to it, I was fighting off monsters and riding on horseback to my heart’s content for hours on end. I was enjoying my Switch, resting on its small yet sturdy stand, and sitting back with a cup of tea for hours on end until the battery died. Fear not, however. The Switch lasts for about 3 hours when fully charged whilst playing Zelda, which isn’t half bad considering.
To my surprise, when I charged the Switch up again and turned it on, expecting to lose progress, I was right where I left off. Sitting on my horse under an apple tree. The Switch will go into sleep mode before completely running out of power, allowing you to charge it up without you losing valuable progress on your games (unless you’re playing multiplayer, in which case you lose). A much-welcomed addition to its list of desirable features.
The Switch is supposed to have state of the art vibration technology in the controller, but I couldn’t notice much difference from a regular controller if I’m honest. I’m sure there is one, I was just too into the game to notice it.
So I ask again. The Nintendo Switch. Is it worth it?
Well, really that’s for you to decide. From my experience, however, I’ve had a blast playing Zelda and will continue to do so for hours to come. The nature of handheld consoles is the ability to take them anywhere, so that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Blog by Lewis
Junior Software Developer