Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch. Source: Nintendo.

The release of the Nintendo Switch has got the world genuinely excited. But is it worth it?

We are just under a month away from the launch of the first of the next generation of video game consoles, and, as usual, it’s Nintendo that’s getting its machine out there first.

The Nintendo Switch will be launching globally on March 3rd 2017, which is quite a relief for Aussie fans who are so used to getting fucked over by the major companies, whilst the Americans, Japanese and Europeans get to enjoy all their goodies before us.

And so it’s time to ask whether video gamers should be getting genuinely excited about this upcoming launch or whether we can expect another massive let down (Star Fox Zero anyone?). So let’s examine what we actually know.

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The Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is going to be the first ever ‘hybrid’ video game console.  It can be played as a traditional home console on a large television; it can be played on a tabletop, utilising a kickstand for shared gaming; or it can picked up and played portably like a standard tablet device. Transitions between the three are meant to be fairly seamless.

That’s pretty fucking cool.  It means that if you’re in the middle of a game but someone else wants to watch TV, you can just pick things up and carry on in another room without interruption.  If you’re busting for the toilet and you have very low hygiene standards, you can take care of your ‘business’ without pausing your game for even a second.

The battery life for the portable tablet is, unfortunately, only 2.5-6.5 hours, with estimates of a high performing game leaving you with about three hours of gameplay.  That’s not so fucking cool.  What was a really awesome and innovative idea is now limited by technical shortcoming.  Come on Nintendo, you can do better!

The Handles of the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has always been pretty innovative with its controllers and it’s no different with the Switch.  It features two separate ‘Joy-Con’ controllers that can be held in each hand or attached to a grip that creates one main controller shell.  They can also be attached to the sides of the tablet for portable play, or even split up between two people and held horizontally for multiplayer gaming.

Of course, if all this innovation is too much for you, Nintendo are also releasing a ‘Pro’ controller that has a much more classic feel to it.  What’s important here is that there are all sorts of options available, so each gamer will be able to find a setup that’s suitable to their own needs and preferences.  I think we can safely give Nintendo a big tick on this one.

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The games of the Nintendo Switch

The list of launch games for the Nintendo Switch is pretty piss poor. There is however one notable exception, aka the super fucking awesome Zelda game that we’ve been waiting aaaaaages for!  As amazing as Breath of the Wild will probably be, it can’t paper over the massive issue that Nintendo has had for quite a while now.  There just aren’t enough quality games.

How are we supposed to justify buying an entire new console for just one game?  There’s a new Mario game coming out that looks terrific, but we’ll probably have to wait till the end of the year to play it.  Nintendo has told us that there are 80 games in active development, so let’s hope that we have plenty to look forward to. But the way I see it, there’s a real danger of repeating the mistakes of their last console, the Wii U, which will remembered for….well, it probably just won’t be remembered, will it?

How much is the Nintendo Switch going to cost me?

Despite our optimism that the Nintendo Switch was going to be one of the more affordable systems to hit the mark, it seems this may not quite be the case.  Even though it’s being released in the States for 299 good ol’ American dollars, it’s going to cost us $469.95.  That’s quite the jump from the Wii U, which released here for $349.95.

On top of this, there are all sorts of accessories that aren’t so cheap either.  Another controller set will set you back up to $120, plus $15 for straps and a $35 for a charging grip.  There isn’t a lot of storage space so you’ll probably have to buy a Micro SD card.  You’ll probably need an AC adaptor, another $35 right there, and on and on it goes.  You get our point here: It ain’t gonna be fucking cheap.

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The Verdict

At the end of the day, it’s hard to mount an argument that you should rush out to buy yourself a Nintendo Switch, considering the costs and the lack of games available on launch.  Then again, you may be so pumped for the new Zelda game that you don’t really care how much any of this is going to cost you.  And you know, it may just be that good.  Still, I think I might just exercise a little patience and wait for some price drops and some more quality games to be available before I pick one up myself.

What do you think?  Have you already pre-ordered your Nintendo Switch or are you taking a wait and see approach?  Comments are welcome below.

Musician, movement specialist, avid gamer and practitioner of the dark arts. Give him a good story and he’ll be hooked.