When Nintendo first announced the Switch many, including myself, were skeptical about its future success. My brother, being the hardcore Nintendo fanboy that he is, had his finger on the Amazon pre-order trigger as soon as he possibly could. Fortunately for me, that means that I occasionally (rarely) get the chance to play his Switch.
The Switch’s screen turned out to be very vibrant and great looking overall. Coming in with expectations of a screen similar to a 3DS, my expectations were not very high, but I can say that Nintendo did very well in this category, and I think perfectly balanced display brightness / resolution / color output with relation to the battery life of the device.
When you first pick up a switch, the feeling you get is without a doubt that of a premium one. The matte black finish feels very nice to the touch, leaving minimal fingerprints on the controller. The overall construction feels very solid and the casing demonstrates almost not flex when I tried bending it. The JoyCon controllers feel very nice in the hand and the analog and buttons do as well.
One of my biggest complaints with today’s mobile console market is battery life. Unfortunately, the Switch falls short in this category for me as well. When playing games such as BoTW I was only able to squeeze 2-3 hours of battery life on the go. I personally would like this to be much higher in the 5-6-hour range, but I understand performance-battery life tradeoffs had to be made. Fortunately, you can charge your Switch with a USB-C and any portable battery. Unfortunately, Nintendo made one of the most ridiculous design choices ever and made the charger port on the bottom of the switch, therefore not allowing the user to have the Switch in kickstand-mode and be charged simultaneously.
The performance of the console will vary from game to game, but generally the console’s performance does suffer at random times. Lag spikes can be randomly observed when played the Switch due to the fact that the Switch renders in 900p when in docked mode and 720p natively on its own display. The causes somewhat sporadic performance as sometimes rendering games such as BoTW in 900p is too much for the Switch to handle.
Many gamers prefer to play more serious games using a dual analog controller. Nintendo created a new iteration of theirs specifically for the Switch. The MSRP of Pro Controller is currently at $70, which is quite steep as far as console controller prices go. Nevertheless, I must say, the Pro Controller does feel very nice to use. I personally prefer an Xbox 360 controller as my main controller, and the Pro controller is very similar to it in design. The buttons feel nice to press, the analog sticks have a nice feelings to rest your fingers on, and the triggers have a nice bounce and resistance to them.
The Switch is a very nice console and I definitely see it have potential. The main limitation for it right now is its limited selection of games to play, but hopefully that should be fixed in time with games like Super Mario Odyssey and the surprising amount of Indie developers that have signed on to create for the Switch.