By Bilaal Kazi
The Nintendo Switch strives for excellence. It attempts to play both the roles of a hand-held and home consoles. With a starting price of $299 (1100 AED), the Switch is almost on par with the Playstation 4 and Xbox One ($349, 1280 AED) on its own. Along with a few pricey essential accessories, the Switch will make even some of the biggest Nintendo fans think twice. Along with the Switch, you get the dock, a pair of Joy-Con controllers, a Joy-Con grip (for connecting the controllers together), wrist straps, and an HDMI cable. As a home console, it is very different to the current leaders in the industry, the Xbox One and the PS4.
The most impressive part of the Nintendo Switch is its ability to switch into ‘TV mode’ mid-game with only about a second of delay. When in console mode you can use the joy-con controllers connected to the grip, separately you can purchase the much less awkward pro controller for $79 (290 AED). The switch is fairly consistently able to handle ‘Breath of the Wild’ with an output of 1080p (through HDMI cable) and 900p when docked at 30 frames per second. While this isn’t very impressive considering the performance of the Xbox One and PS4 the fact that the Nintendo Switch also performs as a handheld device must be taken into account.
The switch’s 10-point touch screen display works very well, on par with modern phones and tablets. The 6.2 inch 720p screen with a pixel density of 236.87ppi looks clear and crisp. The console comes in with 2.5-3 hours of battery life playing ‘Breath of the Wild’. However this seems to be just enough to last between charging sessions in the average gamer’s day. It’s the joy-con controllers that seem to be one of the biggest letdowns on the switch. Even though they have amazing battery life of over 20 hours and an impressive HD rumble motor. However the layout is very awkward, the analogue sticks are too small and uncomfortable, and the left Joy-Con has severe connectivity issues.
The Switch, as I said earlier, aimed very high, hoping to replace both home and on-the- go consoles. I don’t believe it really reached a point where it was on par with top of the line handheld or home consoles. However its high prices might still be worth it due to the fact that it’s the best multi-purpose console currently available. It seems that to achieve a device that is able to play both on the go at home, there were a lot of compromises required. However the Switch is in its very early stages, having a very limited amount of titles, and not even a proper online gaming platform. If Nintendo releases some of the classic games along with some new ones, and has a good online service, it still might be able to be one of the best consoles yet. Without a good line of games or an online gaming service the switch could be one of the biggest letdowns in gaming history. Time will tell.