amazon Nintendo Switch reviews
The Switch itself is a small tablet with a 6.2-inch TFT LCD multi-touch screen. Inside, the console has a custom Nvidia Tegra processor and 32GB of internal memory. It also has what you’d expect in a handheld: accelerometer, gyroscope, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, Wi-Fi, and wireless LAN capabilities (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) ).
On the outside, it has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, power and volume buttons, a port for game cartridges, a MicroSD slot for expandable storage, a USB Type-C port for charging.
It comes with a dock, a cradle that the Switch slides into when you charge or play on your TV. The dock is a hollow plastic hub that connects via the console’s USB Type-C port. It has three ports on the back – USB Type-C for charging, HDMI for audio and video output, and a USB 2.0 port. There are also two additional USB 2.0 ports on the side. The rear ports are exposed through a simple door in the back, which also hides some wires.
The Switch is a perfect reflection of Nintendo’s gaming sensibilities.
There are also two detachable controllers called Joy Joy-Cons, which have all the controls and slides on the tablet, two Joy-Con and Joy-Con Grip straps, which combine the two Joy-Cons as a controller.
Battery life and portability
The original Switch has a battery life of between 2.5 and 6 hours, and its lifespan depends on how demanding the game you’re playing is. A game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example, is heavier on the console’s resources, so the battery should last about 3 hours, even less if you’re playing at full brightness. All this to say, it won’t last through most flights but commutes well.
For a system that touts portability, this isn’t very pleasant. While both the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita lasted between three and five hours, Nintendo could easily use the original Switch as an opportunity to improve the standard.
Fortunately, a new version of the Switch with improved battery life arrived in 2019. The console is updated, featuring a new chip layout and a revised, significantly improved Tegra X1 processor battery performance of the original Switch, offering 4.5 to nine hours of battery life. That’s two precious hours of gameplay added to your Breath of the Wild gaming session. This change into one of the Switch’s biggest flaws takes the console to the next level, especially for players who regularly play games on the go.
Speaking of on-the-go gaming, while the Switch isn’t quite as portable as the 3DS, Switch Lite brings a smaller, lighter, and more compact build to the home; the Switch Lite aims to satisfy players who prefer players a handheld gaming lifestyle. It has the same revised chip layout and updated Tegra X1 processor in the Switch and promises up to seven hours of battery life.
Play your way
Although the Switch is a small tablet, it carries its soul outside of its small enclosure. Joy-Cons can be used to control games in a variety of ways. Small, remote-style controllers slide and snap into place on either side of the Switch, turning it into a handheld gaming console and Nintendo’s Game Boy and 3DS systems.
Both the console and the Joy-Cons feel solid and have a tough, premium build.
Slide on and off Joy-Cons is possibly one of the best physical design features of any modern memory game hardware. It’s easy, fun, and has a great click you can feel and hear when the Joy-Cons are in place. It’s a seamless transition to make, even in the middle of a game.
The Switch feels good in the hand. Both the console and the Joy-Cons feel solid and have a tough, premium build. The Joy-Con’s matte finish makes the console look and feels modern, whether you buy the gray or red and blue version. At 398 grams (0.9 pounds) attached to the Joy-Cons.
While the dock doesn’t feel as sturdy or well-built as the console itself, it gets the job done. While only the USB-C port holds it in place, the Switch seems secure in the dock, and we never experienced connection issues between the console and the dock. It’s a pain to connect the Switch console to the USB-C port on the bottom of the dock on the first try, and it probably uses the same click of identification you get from the Joy-Cons to let you know that the console is secure.
Once the console is connected to its base, or if you don’t want to hold the entire console, you can use the Joy-Cons freely or put them in the Joy-Con Grip, turning them into a normal controller. The Grip works like any other gamepad, but it’s much smaller than the PS4’s Dualshock 4 or the Xbox One controller. That can be frustrating for most adults. The Joy-Con’s small joysticks aren’t as big as they should be, so they can seem difficult to hold. The optional Pro Controller fixes this problem — and is a great gamepad all around — but it’s a $70 accessory.
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Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con – HAC-001(-01): Buy it now
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A multiplayer machine, even on the go
Having two Joy-Cons opens the door to a self-contained local multiplayer experience. Some games allow each player to use a single Joy-Con as a controller. Joy-Cons also have all the motion sensors needed for motion-based, motion-controlled games, similar to the Nintendo Wii.
However, using individual Joy-Cons as mini controllers for local multiplayer can be downright annoying. The controls are very small and, when rotated horizontally, have a rounded rectangle shape. Keeping them can become painful after prolonged and stressful play sessions.
The controller includes Joy-Con straps, which add more comfortable shoulder buttons, and wrist straps for each Joy-Con, but they only slightly improve comfort. Joy-Cons are not the same. The analog stick and buttons are in different locations on the left and right Joy-Cons.
Similarly, the right Joy-Con is basically in the controller’s center, making it difficult to grip. Players with left Joy-Con have an advantage if the game uses thumbs. If you need a controller in a pinch, it might be a better option to use a spare GameCube controller – thanks to a recent update, they’re compatible.
There’s one poorly built element of the Switch: its kickstand. It’s a flimsy piece of plastic that flips off the console’s rear panel and holds the console upright for on-the-go multiplayer matches – or if you’re tired and don’t want to hold the table control. The panel will stay upright as long as it’s not touched or jostled, but after opening it, even once, you’ll be afraid it might break. That would be especially bad because the kickstand doubles as a layer of protection for the MicroSD slot.
A toy cabinet of peripherals
A wide range of third-party peripherals is created to compliment all the minor issues of playing the Switch across a wide range of use cases. Not only are these entries optional on these apps, but they greatly increase the cost of the Switch, but they show that the cost of the Switch’s jack in all trades approaches the resulting hardware design output a console with acceptable but annoying flaws.
The console’s 32GB internal memory can store many screenshots, short video clips, possibly more than a few standalone games small, but players accustomed to buying digital games will need a large amount of MicroSDXC Cards for additional storage.
If you often travel for a long time, you will need an extra battery pack, similar to what nice people carry to charge their phones. Third-party accessory makers have even started creating portable sockets and battery packs made specifically for the Switch, such as the SwitchCharge, which replaces the console’s flimsy base.
If you play competitive games or play for a long time, you want to pay for the Nintendo Pro Controller, which costs an extra $70.
However, not all peripherals are created to address the system’s shortcomings. Nintendo Labo, which launched about a year after the Switch, allows young players to combine Switch and Joy-Con controllers with cardboard kits to create entirely new experiences. These include everything from playable pianos to RC cars and even a fishing rod, each of which uses the system’s infrared camera and rumbles to do unusual things doubt. Support is even coming to existing games, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which gives fans a novel way to race.
All about games
Nintendo’s Achilles heel with some home consoles previously lacked software support. The Wii U had trouble releasing games consistently over its short lifespan, and the Wii had trouble attracting third-party developers.
With the Switch, that hasn’t proven to be a problem. From Zelda to Mario to Pokemon, the Switch has enjoyed an amazing array of games that appeal to Nintendo fans and longtime newbies alike.
Better still, the Switch has become the go-to platform for remasters, remakes, and re-releases of old games. It can play the original Doom, Star Wars Episode I: Racer, Final Fantasy VII. It can play many NES and SNES emulator games. Even The Witcher 3 is available.
Nintendo hasn’t been at the forefront of online game innovation over the years, but the Switch offers a relatively consistent multiplayer experience in everything from Arms to Splatoon 2. Some games, like Mario Kart 8, work great online.
However, the limited matchmaking options in some of the biggest games and the odd decision to skip voice chat without a smartphone app get in the way. They pale in comparison with the quality of life options available on both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Unfortunately, Nintendo has also used its online service as a barrier to online play and its popular Virtual Console system. While paid subscriptions for online access are common practice in current consoles, it’s unfair to restrict access to some of Nintendo’s most beloved retro games. Instead of letting you buy the classics to own, as we’ve seen on previous Nintendo consoles, you’re offered a selection of NES and SNES titles as part of your subscription. It’s a good choice, but making it the only option feels like a mistake.
That being said, Nintendo has shown a surprising willingness to work with other platforms in some of its online games. If you want to play Minecraft or Fortnite: Battle Royale on Switch with your friends on Xbox or PC, you can, and in the case of the old game, you can even earn Xbox achievements.
No Netflix here, not yet
Despite its multitude of playstyles and parts, the Switch is truly a simple gaming machine. Unlike other consoles that aspire to be a living room or all-in-one portable online entertainment device, the Switch is dedicated solely to gaming (at least for now).
The user interface is very simple – a series of large squares showing your available games. There’s a second set of small circular buttons below the games with a Nintendo-managed blog feed, an eShop, a place to view and share screenshots, and more.
There are very few non-gaming apps available right now — Hulu is the only major streaming service right now — and Nintendo hasn’t said when or if those features will make it to the console. Like the camera, their omission doesn’t feel like a huge loss.
Most players already have many devices – phones, tablets, laptops – to watch Netflix and YouTube. At the same time, with its sharp display and third-party stand, the Switch makes for a good personal viewing monitor.
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