Expert review of the Nintendo Switch
View the Nintendo Switch
- On the go, at home, and playing together on one system.
- Graphically impressive for a handheld console.
- Access to major Nintendo titles anytime, anywhere, like the Legend of Zelda (after release), Mario, and Super Smash Bros.
- The battery life is better than expected.
- The Joy Cons are not always comfortable for players with big hands.
- Still has issues.
- The included grip doesn't charge the Joy Con controllers.
Out of the box
After a red/white box landed on my desk, work really became a bit of a hobby again.
- The Switch tablet
- The Joy Con controller (2x)
- Joy Con grip (1x)
- Joy con straps (2x)
- Docking station (1x)
- HDMI cable (1x)
- Power cable (1x)
The Switch feels solid and the Joy Con controllers are easy to attach. The menu is easy to use, user-friendly, and can be set completely in Dutch.
At first glance the screen seems a bit small, but that illusion quickly disappeared when I attached the Joy Con controllers. Compared to a 2DS, you're suddenly holding a pretty big handheld. The brightness of the screen is good and adjusts (if you set this) to the light of your surroundings. At its brightest, the 720p screen comes into its own and you can keep playing when the sun shines.
The battery life
For a console like the Switch, the battery life is of vital importance. According to Nintendo, the console will last between 3 and 6 hours. In reality, I rarely encountered battery problems. The Switch can easily handle playing Zelda during my train ride (1-1.5 hours), lunch break (45 min), and a game of racing before bedtime. You can also charge the console on the go by using a power bank.
On the go
This is where the Nintendo Switch really comes into its own. I take the Switch out of my bag, and within a few seconds, I'm already galloping through the latest Zelda world. In a busy train, I play with the Joy Cons attached to the console. Do I have the compartment to myself? Then I prefer to sit back with the Switch on its kickstand on the table and a Joy Con controller in each hand. I used to see my extra travel time as a problem, but now it's a moment to myself to relax before and after work.
This also gives the Switch an edge over its standard console cousins. Multiple people can play together on 1 Switch. In this mode, the left and right Joy Con each function as a separate controller. For me personally, playing with a single Joy Con becomes uncomfortable after half an hour due to my above-average hands, but for children or people without bears' claws, it's very doable.
Even at home it remains striking how the Switch is designed for convenience. I simply place my Switch in the docking station and poof, Link appears almost immediately on my TV. It's the same the other way around: pull your Switch from the docking station and you're ready to play on the go. When you play for a long time and have bigger hands like I do, investing in a Pro controller is a good idea.
Zelda is a solid launch game, but a bit of variety is always good. I'm currently enjoying myself with Zelda and Fast RMX, which, incidentally, shows up on your screen at 60 fps. What's particularly interesting is the fact that large developers like EA are also developing for the Switch. It may be interesting for many fans to play the new FIFA anywhere, instead of in front of the TV.
Of course, the console is also ideal for younger gamers. I can imagine that as a parent you now think: "Now I'll never get my child to play outside anymore". Fortunately, you can use the accompanying smartphone app to allow your child to play for an hour. Too long? Then you'll receive a notification about it on your phone, and you'll be able to show a warning remotely or close a game.
Do you travel a lot, do you enjoy Nintendo classics, and do you normally not have enough time to play games? Then the Nintendo Switch is the console for you. The console is also very suitable for children, for example to keep them busy during long car rides or holidays. The console can be used in different ways, but it really stands out when you use it on the go. There aren't many games available yet, but there are some awesome must-have releases planned already.