Tech Review: Nintendo Switch – Geek Node

Tech Review: Nintendo Switch

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This past Friday my life changed, for the better.

Friday I had the absolute pleasure of putting a brand new Nintendo Switch first into my car, and then onto its very own special place on my gaming table.

Now before I go into anymore detail let me clarify and say that I’m not a die-hard Nintendo fangirl at all, I never had a Gameboy as a child (I was the kid who always used to watch my friends play with very jealous eyes) and I had no time for the Wii or the WiiU as an adult.

So imagine my surprise when I walked into the Nintendo Switch Pre-Launch event expecting nothing, and walked out trying to work out how I could buy one.

The Nintendo Switch is definitely not the best console on the market, but you’d be hard pressed to find one that is more convenient and fun.

Its a gaming console, this isn’t new, but it’s a gaming console built around a really really novel idea.

So imagine you’re lying on your couch playing Zelda, need to go somewhere and just stand up and throw the Switch into your bag (disclaimer: I say throw but I mean put, don’t go throwing your new device around please) and BAM you have a mobile console that lets you continue from the exact moment where you stopped.

This is the device that will totally revolutionize long queues, holidays and parties. Yes, I said parties, and why not, the Switch lets you network with up to 8 of your friends, at the same time and everyone knows that there is no party like a Mario-Cart party.

The Switch launched on March 3rd and will cost you about R5500, this will get you the actual Switch device, the Joy-Cons (a fancy name for the Switch’s fancy controllers) the dock so that you can play on your tv, and a grip for your Joy-Cons that effectively turns them into a more solid controller.

What you won’t get however, are any games.

But now let me give my 2 cents on this really quickly, R5k for a brand new console, especially one that basically fills the spots of two different consoles (handheld and TV) is really not a lot.

Disagree all you want, but it really isn’t.

When it launched and I bought my PS4 I paid R7.5k for it and I also didn’t get a game – yes it’s a ridiculous amount of money but unfortunately, that’s just the going price for these sorts of things you can either accept it and join me having fun and playing games, or you can forever moan about an unchanging fact.

Okay so that’s my rant over, let’s move on.

Setting up your Nintendo Switch is really easy, I measured the ease of use on the ‘could my mom do it’ scale and the answer is yes.

All you do is plug the cables (two of them) into the back of your dock and into your tv/wall, put the dock somewhere close to said TV and you’re done. You’re all set up.

If you want to play on your TV you simply drop the switch into the dock and you’re good to go, likewise, if you want to play on the go, you just lift your Switch out of said dock.

Nintendo says you get between 4-6 hours of gameplay on a charge, obviously depending on the game and I think that’s fairly accurate. I’ve been able to get 5 hours playing Zelda before I needed to put it down to charge.

The Nintendo Switch only came into my life on Friday, and I’ve only really been playing Zelda so far (review incoming) but already I can’t picture life without it. I’ve found myself jumping between docked mode and portable mode with a frequency and ease that makes me feel like I’ve always had a Switch in my life, rather than just having had it come into my home a few days ago.

While I wasn’t a Nintendo fan a month ago, I would definitely consider myself one now. I also consider the Switch to be the console that childhood Arielle always dreamed of having and this makes adult Arielle really happy.

But as with any console, it has its irritants, and here are some of them:

There is a headphone jack only on the actual Switch itself and not on the Joy-Cons, the Joy-Con Grip or the Pro Controller. Meaning that if you wanted to play on your TV while having your headphones on, sorry but you can’t. It also doesn’t support wireless headphones. Why Nintendo? WHY?

Then we have a pet peeve of a problem for me, the charging port is on the bottom of the Switch. Not on the top, not on the side, on the bottom. Which is fine if it’s docked or if you’re holding it, but if you’re planning on using its built-in stand to prop it up while you game, well then you can’t charge.

The included Joy-Con Grip doesn’t charge the Joy-Cons. If you want the almost identical “charge grip” (it has a USB slot to charge while you play) then you need to buy it extra. This doesn’t mean you can’t charge your Joy-Cons, it just means you can’t charge while you play.

None of these things are deal-breakers, but they are irritating.

All in all though, I am 100% in love with my Switch. Even with the odd irritating things.

While other consoles incite conversations about specs, frame-rate, graphics etc. the Switch incites conversations about the games themselves, and about the amount of fun you’ve had playing them.

If you want to take it with you to game on the go, I would recommend a screen protector and a bag for it, lengthwise your console is about the same as the height of a Blu-ray cover so it’s not a hassle to bring with you or find a place for.

I’m not here to convince anyone of the Nintendo Switch, it can do that all on its own. I’m here to say that if you find yourself on the fence about it, that once you have it, you’ll never want to go back.

Now if you’ll please excuse me, I feel like I’ve just spent way too much of my valuable Switch playing time to write this article and Princess Zelda needs me.
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Arielle "Constantine104" Pieterse, is a walking, talking, breathing contradiction to the age old insult that girls can't game. Yes she's for at playing The Sims, but she's also pro at other games... Or so she's said. She is a co-host of the NAG podcast and the full-host of a YouTube channel that can be found somewhere on the Internet machine. Her mother is her biggest fan, and her only viewer.
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