How did I spend my first weekend of March, 2017? Easy question. The first few hours of my Saturday were spent in frantic determination to get some chores done so I wouldn’t be living amongst filth for the next few days. After that, it was off to the shops to pick up my pre-ordered Nintendo Switch console and a copy of The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, then no one saw me for the rest of the weekend. Rumour has it I only ventured out to water my plants in the dead of night, and then once more to put the bins out. I was a verified Hyrule hermit, and I’m not sorry because Breath of the Wild is everything I ever dreamed a Zelda game could be and it’s backed up by some pretty satisfying console design.
What makes it the Nintendo “Switch”
The Nintendo Switch is the latest video game console from Nintendo. It’s a big deal because both portable and at-home gameplay are possible. You can carry the whole thing around and play on a 6.2 inch hand-held touch-screen tablet:
Or you can unclip the controller components (they’re called Joy-Cons) and stick them in a grip to form a standard video game controller. There’s a stand built-in to the back of the tablet so you can set it on a tabletop, or put the tablet in the dock and hook up it to your TV to play at home in style:
Got 2 players and only one controller? No problem! Because each Joy-Con has a full set of buttons, they can be connected to wrist straps and function as a standalone controller for a multiplayer game:
Talk about innovative!
The grand unboxing
Are “unboxings” still cool? Who cares, let’s just do a quick one so you can see what’s in the box.
The standard console retails for around $469 AUD and it comes with pretty much everything you need for at-home play, except for a game. Launch title The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild retails for around $89 AUD, and other games set to be released in the future mostly seem to be around the $79-99 AUD mark.
Extras you might need
If you want to take your Nintendo Switch with you on the go, there are some key accessories you should consider:
Another thing worth noting is that the standard controller grip for the Joy-Cons doesn’t have a charge port. This may not be as big of an issue as it sounds because the Joy-Cons have a hearty battery life (trust me, I know). As long as you remember to reattach the Joy-Cons to the tablet and place it in the dock overnight, charging shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, if you’re dead-set on having the Joy-Cons charge as you play on your TV, a controller grip with a charge port is available as a separate accessory.
All in all, the Nintendo Switch is a pretty slick piece of hardware and a remarkable improvement on the design of the (rather clunky) Wii U gamepad controller. If you’re not a diehard Zelda fan, it’s probably not worth the investment until more titles are released in the future. The current lineup includes some great titles like Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and, interestingly enough, Stardew Valley, a port for an indie game I was going nuts over last year that’s going to be the first console version to feature the upcoming co-operative multiplayer feature.
If you do get your hands on one, however… don’t lick the game cartridges. Seriously; they were deliberately designed to taste awful so children wouldn’t stick them in their mouths and potentially choke, but that hasn’t stopped many adults having a taste anyway.
Have you tried the Nintendo Switch? Tell us about your experience in the comments.