Nintendo’s long-awaited Switch console has arrived, alongside the even more long-awaited New Zelda. The Switch combines the convenience of a handheld with the power of a home console — or at least, that’s the pitch. And while the two roles make considerable compromises in order to accommodate one another, the result may be said to be more than the sum of its (many) parts. Or at least it could be once a few games come out.
- 6.2″ capacitive 720p touchscreen
- 2 removable wireless controllers
- Dock with HDMI out for “console mode”
- 32GB of storage
- MicroSD slot
- $299; available for preorder today, launches March 3
The Switch console itself measures about 8 inches across by 4 inches tall, and half an inch thick — about the size of a Kindle or small tablet. Comparisons to the Wii U’s controller are not unwarranted, but the difference is like night and day, and I’m not just talking about the color. While the Wii U’s controller felt like a Playskool toy with its plasticky screen and marshmallowy curves, the Switch is like a premium smartphone: thin, very well made, and while not quite fragile, fragile-feeling enough that you don’t want to find out exactly how fragile it is. I have a feeling Switch armor will be a thing soon.
Familiar features adorn the edges of the tablet: power, volume, slots for the cartridge and Micro SD, speakers at the bottom, and a vent at the top. The sides look a bit raw because that’s where the rails are that the controllers attach to.
Games are the size of SD cards and stick into the top right corner there. Wait times to read and load games were as good as non-existent. I wasn’t able to test speeds from internal storage or any kind of file management, though.
I think Nintendo has a winner here. The Switch is well made, super easy to get the “gimmick” of, though that’s not really the right term, and it does what it promises. Problem is: there’s just not much to play, and there won’t be for some time to come. I firmly believe Nintendo will make the Switch more than worth its purchase price, but there’s no reason for you to pay up front unless you really want to.
So now it’s your choice to switch or not