Two Months Later – Our Thoughts On The Nintendo Switch So Far

Two months ago on Friday, 3rd March, Nintendo released its latest games console in the form of the Nintendo Switch. The hybrid console serves as both a traditional home video game machine and an equally-powerful portable system too. This seamless change in design has allowed us to experience games in a completely different way what we’re used to seeing – Sorry, PlayStation – and it’s proving to be incredibly popular, beating expectations and managing to be almost completely sold out wherever you look.

With two months now under Nintendo’s belt, we’re taking a look at some of the key things that make the Nintendo Switch so exceptional.


The Games – Yes, the Switch actually has some great ones

A well documented shortcoming is the Nintendo Switch’s limited library, and while it boasts perhaps two of the best games ever made, there was that achingly long first month with little to play aside from Breath of the Wild. As good as that game is, it’s great to see gems like Wonder Boy, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Snake Pass and now Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the system. However, with only two AAA Nintendo exclusives in the form Zelda and Mario Kart, consumers may not feel the need for Nintendo’s new system until there are more games strictly designed for the Switch.

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Jim sums up his thoughts on how the games library has affected his stance on buying a Switch below:

Originally I was part of the Switch first wave brigade but changed my mind at the very last second, buying a copy of Breath of the Wild for the Wii U instead. For the asking price, I simply couldn’t justify buying another platform – especially not with the onslaught of releases for PlayStation 4.

That doesn’t mean I’m any less interested in the Switch and I’ve been following how it’s been received among the press and people I know personally, but I’m glad I didn’t commit to buying one. Having played an inhuman amount of Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, I’ve had my fill of that already, and I can’t say I’m that fussed about Splatoon 2 either.

It’s still early days for the Switch and if I’m going to make a purchase I need to see at least 4 or 5 exclusive games I really want to try. Hopefully Nintendo will reveal such games at this year’s E3.

Jim is something of an outlier here, though. The Wii U has barely snuck past the 13 million mark in its four years on the market, so for an awful lot of potential buyers, Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be new and unique. Also, those multiplatform games might be spread across other formats, but you can’t take them with you when you leave the house.

The portability of the Switch makes gaming – even for larger games like Zelda – feel more practical and can allow players to tune in to the game for short bursts. I’ve really enjoyed taking The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with me on my commute to work and not been torn away from the game in the slightest – even if I only allocated 15 minutes of my day to completing the game’s shrine puzzles, I’d feel like I’d be progressing. This seamless way of playing at home or on the go is a great selling point for casual gamers that have limited free time.


The Joy-Con – A new way to play games

Joy-Cons are two-part controllers which slot into either side of the main Switch unit or combine to create a joypad that sits in a grip. This makes for a more comfortable experience the player is gaming for hours at a time. Players can also split these Joy-Cons to play two-player games with little to no handicaps in controls – this is best featured in Snipperclips, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Pocket Rumble which we saw at EGX Rezzed last month. It is because of this that I’ve not necessarily had to isolate myself away from society to play the Nintendo Switch for long hours at a time, as I can take it anywhere but also include others in my experience.

In fact, Tef shared an example of how practical the Joy-Con can be:

Literally as soon as I got my hands on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at the little review refresher from Nintendo, I was off to visit Ubisoft to play something completely different. What else could I do on the journey but quickly pop the cartridge into my Switch, prop it up and pass a second Joy-Con to a fellow games journalist for some impromptu split-screen multiplayer on the train. It’s perfect for killing 30-odd minutes of idle time and you don’t even need to think about it or plan ahead.


The Technical Issues

The only technical issues I’ve experienced with the Nintendo Switch is the well-known left Joy-con desyncing issue which just randomly occurs when least expected. This is particularly frustrating when playing online competitive games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and losing races as a result. I’ve also experienced some system level freezes while being able to play Breath of the Wild with no issue to the game itself. This just made the Nintendo Switch run extremely hot, leaving me unable to access the home menu, screenshot or put it to sleep. The only solution was to hard reset the console by holding down the power button for 30 seconds, but Nintendo can clearly still make the system software more… pleasant.

Considering how common my problems were, Dave actually had completely different technical issues to me:

My only main problem is something a patch can easily resolve – migrating downloaded titles from system storage to the SD card and backing up save files. It’s fantastically dumb that you can’t do these simple tasks currently. Other than that, I like the portability, and I like the fact that playing with friends is as simple as handing them one Joy-Con.


What’s next for the Nintendo Switch?

As Jim alluded to, there’s more games on the way, with a steady trickle of major first party games over the next few months, including ARMS – replete with the first new colours of Joy-Con – and Splatoon 2, which was test fired recently. Both of those, however, release after the E3 trade show in Los Angeles, and Nintendo are planning their now traditional E3 Direct and accompanying Nintendo Treehouse event to show of new and already announced games.

You can expect to see more of Super Mario Odyssey, and so far Nintendo have only paid lip service to the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and another as yet unnamed Fire Emblem game. There’s bound to be further announcements, but there’s also burning questions about how and when Nintendo will roll out their mobile app-based online service, how and when Virtual Console games will appear on Switch and plenty more besides that.


What’s clear from the first two months of the Switch’s availability is that there’s a real appetite for its innovative design and the kinds of games that can bring, both conventional and innovative. It’s now up to Nintendo to carry that forward and we’re eager to see what more they have in store.

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Written by
I am a gamer with a passion of all things relating to it. I co-develop a ROM Hacking project called Pokémon Liquid Crystal with a team of experienced developers and also have written for gaming and tech news outlets such as Neowin and Dashhacks. In my spare time, I wreck scrubs at Destiny and trophy hunt.

15 Comments

  1. I’m one of those few in the same boat as Jim where I’d be interested in a Switch but when the current crop of games are so similar to what’s been out on Wii U I can’t justify the purchase right now.
    I’ve been hands on with one and as a big fan of the Vita I think it’s a great bit of kit.
    Honestly I’ll probably jump in at the 1-2 year mark when there’s a greater selection of newer games that I’m interested in.

    • Also probably helps that you can borrow mine whenever you fancy ;)

      I have to say I don’t for one second regret my impulse buy a few weeks ago when these came back in stock. I’ve had so much fun playing Zelda, Mario Kart and Lego Undercover (yes all Wii U games) but there’s something great about being able to play these games wherever I am whether at home or out and about.

      The slow trickle of games did put me off at first but hey, plenty of PS4 games out in between!

  2. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Switch going in; I’m not a huge fan of handhelds, the launch library seemed pretty barren and I still felt burned by the Wii-U. In truth, the main reason I got one was because my kids are getting to that age where they want to start play games.

    Fast forward 2 months and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so attached to a gaming system. Zelda is easily one of the best games I’ve played, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is terrific, the Splat2 beta was great, Snipperclips is a wonderful co-op experience and I have a huge list of smaller indie games I want to pick up and play in between longer Zelda/Kart sessions.
    Most importantly, I’m all in on the Switch’s concept of playing both at home and on the go. Its been great playing the likes of Snipperclips and Mario Kart on the big TV, but I’ve had an even greater time playing Zelda for 60+ hours in Handheld mode while on my commute or when my Wife watches her TV shows.

    Its early days but the Switch is shaping up to be my favourite console, finally topping the mighty GameCube. The library is already solid, with some great looking games due later this year and I can’t wait for the inevitable Metroid, Donkey Kong, Smash Bros and Pokémon games over the coming years.

    Will it ever be seen as an alternative to the PlayStation or Xbox? Unless you own a decent PC for those big third party games, of course not. The Switch clearly hasn’t been designed around those mainstream titles but I think that’s fine. Providing Nintendo can keep up a steady stream of first party and smaller indie games, the console will be fine.

    • Great comment, which pretty much sums up my own thoughts.
      Except I don’t own Mario Kart yet :(

      • You should ;)
        Not sure if you buy your games digitally but Shopto.net and Cdkeys have it at a bit of a discount (£46)

    • This pretty much mirrors my own thoughts. ’nuff said, it’s a great console, took me by surprise. Loving it and the game atm.

  3. Oh I am definitely getting it, it’s just that it is my birthday in 2 weeks, so trying to resist the temptation now! Actually had it in the cart on cdkeys twice now!!

    • Posting fail, this was supposed to be a reply to Eldave0 :|

      • You won’t be disappointed. It’s really likely that it’ll be my favourite system soon.

      • Jake speaks the truth. Game is absolutely terrific and looks lovely at 1080/60 :) Enjoy in 2 weeks!

  4. Just spent the last hour at lunch playing 4 player Mario Kart using two Switches.

    Have come to the conclusion that this is the greatest console of all time.

  5. Think this console does have potential to be my favourite too. Partly because wii and wiiu both pretty pants overall which has in turn meant I’ve missed a few of the last gen games so it’s all quite fresh.

    Love the portability of it – didn’t think i’d bother with that side but almost daily it comes out of its dock.

    Its tiny so can live behind the tv which is pretty impressive.

    Also loving the split controller setup. So much more comfortable. Haven’t switched on the ps4 for over a month now which is also great as still haven’t played the huge list of awesome games that released early 2017. So much to look forward too!

    • Yep, my PS4 hasn’t had a look in since I got my Switch so I have the likes of Horizon and Persona5 to look forward to once the Switch stuff inevitably slows down a bit. 2017 has been an amazing year for games so far! :D

      • I feel the same. Everything has been put on hold so I can finish Zelda’s shrines.

        Even in the case of Snake Pass the Joy-Con’s rumble works in a way that feels like you’re actually binding around obstacles. It’s a small touch that makes it superior to the other platforms it’s on purely because of Nintendo’s design.

  6. It’s off to a great start despite the initial lack of software and by all accounts those who have bought one are enjoying it immensely. I had some fun with PSP and Vita but ultimately handheld gaming has never suited my lifestyle so the Switch was like some sort of two-headed bewilderbeast to me when it was announced. But i can see now that with Nintendo having dominated the handheld market for so long, this was the perfect move for them to make and it’s encouraging to see them them doing well again after the Wii U.

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