So it’s been two days since Nintendo officially debuted the Switch and people are already up in the arms. Then again, should this be a surprise? Since the botched launch of the N64, people have been quick to criticise Nintendo before really giving them a chance. This time around the main points of contention seem to be the price and its technical capabilities. I’ll simply start by putting my own thoughts out there that I feel that both of these “issues” aren’t really issues at all, but the floor is open to debate and what I may not find to be a glaring problem could easily be a deal breaker to someone else. In terms of my own preferences, I’m on the Sony side of the spectrum, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Nintendo. Perhaps more for their games than their hardware but I’m one of the firm defenders of the Wii-U, it was a neat little console that never got the time of the day, but that’s a story for another time.
For starters, it’s easy to see why some people may not be thrilled with the Switch’s technical specifications. When compared to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, the Switch does seem very underpowered in comparison and the meagre 32GB looks paltry on first glance but, Nintendo do have ways around this. The games themselves are stored on cartridges which help to minimise the amount of game data that must be stored on the console itself, as well as the Switch being equipped with Micro SD slots that allow for quick and easy expansion This means no fumbling around with operating systems or replacement hard-drives. It’s a simple method that anyone can grasp, which is in keeping with the Nintendo ethos.
When docked, the system is capable of 1080p visuals when hooked up to a TV. When detached and taken on the go, the Switch has a 6.2-inch, 720p touchscreen that’s 1280×720. A slight downgrade that pales in comparison to many premium smartphones and tablets that are widely available. The proposed battery life of the system when portable is expected to be between 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the graphical demands of the game on the system. The unit itself is fitted with USB-C to allow for faster charging on the go to combat this. Personally, I’m a gamer who enjoys the tranquil nature of playing games on my sofa in my boxers, so whilst not a big sticking point for me, it could prove an annoyance for anyone who wishes to take the console out and about with them.