Nintendo Switch Review
Nintendo Switch is the best portable gaming console. It doesn’t have the best performance, but its versatility and ease of use is unparalleled. It’s able to adapt to your schedule and lifestyle in a way no other console can.
Is it a handheld gaming system? Is it a home video game console? Well, the Nintendo Switch is all of them and more. The Switch is an attempt by Nintendo to bridge the gap between home consoles and portable/handheld video game players.
That’s quite an ambitious goal considering it has to try and achieve the performance of home consoles while retaining the portability and ease of use of a handheld. We can’t say it scores 10/10 on everything. You can find a better handheld (e.g. Steam Deck) and certainly a more capable home console (e.g. PS5). But the Nintendo Switch does everything well enough that most users don’t mind the compromises. There’s a reason it has sold over 120 million units since launch.
Here’s our review of the Nintendo Switch, including what we love about it and what we think are its biggest limitations.
Nintendo Switch Review
What Are You Buying?
1. Excellent ‘On The Go’ Gaming Console
The Nintendo Switch has three modes: TV mode, tabletop mode and handheld mode. The tabletop and handheld modes are designed to give players easy portability and flexibility.
Have you ever been in the middle of a video game and wished you could carry your gaming system with you on the train or just to the other room? You can do exactly that with the Nintendo Switch.
It easily transforms from a home console (we will discuss this mode shortly) into a handheld system consisting of a 6.2 inch LCD display and two Joy-Con controllers.
The controllers slide on either side of the display, giving you easy access to buttons and analog sticks. This lets you play games while walking, on the train or while at the park.
In this mode, the Switch is not as lightweight as we’d like. You can get lighter and more portable handhelds. But for something that you can turn into a home or tabletop console, it’s not too bad.
Talking of tabletop mode, it’s the second portable mode of the Nintendo Switch. In this mode, you can prop the display on a table or desk and use it as a gaming tablet.
Slide out the Joy-Cons and attach them to the included grip to create one large controller. If you are playing with someone, you can each use a single Joy-Con as a controller.
The tabletop mode is a lot more comfortable to use on the go as long as you have a place to put the Switch like on a tray or a table.
While the Nintendo Switch is portable and fairly easy to move around with, there are three compromises that you’ll have to endure.
- Battery life is less than ideal. Some games like Zelda will wipe out the battery in 2-3 hours. If you game heavily on the go, you’ll need to carry a power bank or stay close to an outlet.
- While the LCD display is decent outdoors, it’s not as good as an OLED display. Consider upgrading to the newer Nintendo Switch OLED if you play a lot outdoors.
- The Nintendo Switch’s portability has its limits. It is not a pocket-size handheld and you may even struggle to fit it in a small handbag. If you plan to take it on the road, it’s best to carry it in a backpack or a large handbag.
2. Decent Home Console
You are back home and you want to pick up Mario Kart from where you left off while on the train. The Nintendo Switch makes the switch from the handheld to your TV seamless.
Just slide the Switch into the dock and remove the Joy-Cons. You can then use the controllers together (using the grip) or separately to play games.
You’ll need to have connected the dock to the TV using the included HDMI cable.
So how good is the Nintendo Switch on a big screen?
Pretty good for a console that small. The Nintendo Switch is already a step behind some handhelds like Steam Deck when it comes to specs and performance. The Switch uses an older Nvidia Tegra X1 processor.
So don’t have high expectations especially if you’ve used dedicated home consoles like the PS5. The Tegra processor does great in smartphones and tablets, but suffers on TV.
There is a noticeable drop in frame rate when playing certain games, resulting in sometimes choppy or laggy gameplay.
Graphics and performance are significantly better when the Switch is in handheld mode. But the convenience of quickly switching from handheld to TV makes it easy to overlook these limitations.
3. Multifunctional Controllers
The Joy-Con controllers are some of the most impressive components of the Nintendo Switch. They are small but pack tons of functionality.
They, of course, function as ordinary game controllers. The tight button spacing can make playing a bit awkward especially if you are using a single Joy-Con in TV or tabletop mode.
Here are some other notable features.
- The right Joy-Con has built-in NFC that you can use with Nintendo Amiibo.
- Because they have built-in gyro sensors and accelerometers, the Joy-Cons can be used for motion control games, similar to Wii controllers. Attach the included wrist straps for these games.
- The Joy-Cons have a feature called HD Rumble, a type of haptic feedback that lets you experience gameplays sensations like marbles rolling in a box or moving on a bumpy road.
- The right Joy-Con has an IR camera that can be used with certain games.
4. 32GB Expandable Storage
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have much internal storage. The 32GB storage, some of which is already in use by the system, can only fit about 4-8 games.
You’ll need to budget for a large SD card if you want to load lots of games onto the Switch. The Nintendo Switch can support up to a 2TB SD card, but good luck finding one. The max you can get right now is 1TB. But that’s still plenty for even hardcore gamers. You can load well over a hundred games.
Note that you can also insert game cards into the switch, which can help save up on space if you are not keen on getting an SD card.
How Easy Is It To Use?
Nintendo has done an impressive job making the Switch easy to use considering all the features and modes it offers.
Going from TV to tabletop to handheld mode is extremely easy and smooth. We also love how various components attach and detach from each other. That click when inserting the Joy-Cons into the display feels so satisfying.
It does take some time getting used to the controllers. It can feel especially awkward using a single Joy-Con because of its small size. If you can’t get used to it, there are third party grips that make individual Joy-Cons easier to use.
What Accessories Are Included?
Here’s what’s included with your Nintendo Switch.
- Nintendo Switch console with a 6.2” LCD touchscreen display.
- R and L Joy-Con controllers plus wrist straps for each.
- Joy-Con grip.
- Nintendo Switch Dock.
- AC adapter and HDMI cable
Basically, you get everything you need to start playing right away. Of course, you’ll need to download some games or insert a game card.
Beyond these basics, there are plenty more accessories you can get from Nintendo or third party brands. Examples include a protective case for the switch, Joy-Con grips, screen protector (handy for kids), additional controllers for multiplayer games and more.
- Extremely versatile gaming console.
- Great for playing video games on the go.
- Expandable storage.
- Easy to use.
- Comes with everything you need to start playing (except games).
- Performance on TV is not as good as dedicated home consoles.
- Limited internal storage.
- Limited battery life.
Anything Else You Should Know?
Nintendo has not updated the Nintendo Switch since launch. Instead they’ve launched two other versions of the console. These are the Switch Lite and Switch OLED.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is designed to be a cheaper and more portable version of the original switch. It is smaller and lighter. The controllers are built into the switch.
The Switch Lite is meant primarily for handheld play and doesn’t have a TV mode.
The Switch OLED’s biggest upgrade over the original switch is the display – it is larger and better quality. It’s a 7” OLED display with crispier graphics. It also performs better outdoors.
The Switch OLED also comes with double the internal storage (64GB). Other than that, it is the same as the Nintendo Switch under the hood.
If you love the Nintendo Switch mostly for its portability or if you already have a good console at home, get the Switch Lite.
If you prefer the high quality display of OLED screens or want more internal storage, spend more on the Switch OLED.
Nowadays, video gaming has scattered beyond consoles and PCs with portable gaming systems becoming really popular.
There’s a dizzying number of options to choose from when it comes to portable gaming consoles. But in our opinion, the Nintendo Switch is the best one.
It doesn’t have the best performance, but its versatility and ease of use is unparalleled. It’s able to adapt to your schedule and lifestyle in a way no other console can.
Where to buy?
- Amazon UK: > CLICK TO CHECK TODAY’S PRICE