The Nintendo Switch is less than a week old and while a mix of love for the titles and some like criticism over a few defective units, the overall response has been outstanding with the Switch doubling the Wii-U in terms of sales at launch in the US.
But now that the hype train has left the station you want to know the most important question, should you buy a Switch.
First off, if you are reading this you are probably still on the fence. Even with the most Nintendo loyalists already picking up a Switch on launch day you can still pickup a console and most of the major titles in store – so should you?
Just after launch we met with some new Nintendo Switch owners as part of [Badly.Play] Brisbane to get a more boots on the ground assessment of the new device directly from the fan base. We spoke with a few owners who had their pre-orders in since the announcement (and at least one even before that) and the response was… Positive.
That shouldn’t be surprising. If you love Nintendo games you will love this console because it brings you the latest Nintendo Games in the best possible playing experience for those games. Within the group we spoke to there was a definite history of Nintendo ownership, and their initial purchases to go with the Switch reflected a love of existing franchises, the biggest of them currently being Zelda.
Straight off the bat if you aren’t a fan of games Nintendo is known for, like Mario and the aforementioned Zelda, and your interests stray more towards a Call of Duty or Star Citizen at 60fps this is not for you. Even with 60+ indie titles planned across this year and the number of studio games already announced, this handheld device just might not float your boat.
That is not to say it a bad device, far from it. Much like the release of the Wii this device is not just something to bring you new games but something that brings you new ways to play it. In the case of each owner we spoke with, the ability to pickup the console and take it with them for the same level of experience they got off a big TV screen matched the hype they were promised pre-launch.
The pickup and go experience is clearly the most liked feature of the Switch. However, this does highlight an issue with the rear kickstand not allowing for adjustable viewing angles and the inability to charge due to the position of the connector while playing on your lunch break at work (a very important concern given the battery life). Fortunately, most of these issues can be solved with the right 3rd party accessories.
If you do the math of using the console on your commute to and from work + time you can play it on breaks and you still come in under 2 hours for the most intensive game play, then you are probably OK. If you aren’t then fortunately the Switch offers a USB charge port that you can run with an external USB battery bank. Yes it’s USB-C, but at least it’s not a proprietary connector.
There are a few more minor gotchas such as, not using the same release catches on the Joycon for releasing everything (releasing from the console is on the Joycon but releasing from the Joycon grip is on the grip). Or, if you have larger hands the position of the B button and Joycon joystick are a bit close. But these are only minor and with the console out now the best advice is really to go try it out and see how it feels in your hands.
So, should you buy a Switch? If you like the sound of new Mario, Mario Kart, Splatoon on the Go and Indie games from here until the end of the year – then the easy answer is ‘Yes’. But only if you also like the idea of not playing 90% of the time sitting on the couch at home and you have a little extra cash to spend on some needed accessories, like a larger SD Card.
Update – 24 Hours after this story was published, Nintendo Australia released that The Switch was the highest selling Nintendo hardware ever across Australia and New Zealand at launch. Also Zelda has outsold the previous champ, Wii Sports, again for a launch weekend.