Nintendo Switch review: The finest Nintendo console yet
Nintendo Switch review: Applications
For the moment, Nintendo has actually been rather quiet on what we can expect from the Switch outside of games. Its UI is brilliantly sleek and clean with charming chirps, clicks and buzzes that only Nintendo could get away with using. It is, however, alarmingly stark.
A day-one patch for the Switch is on the way, so the UI I’ve been using for the review will have a couple of tweaks; even so, this will only open up the eStore and update its “News” feed where Nintendo provides general update information.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you’ll end up being able to browse the web or use video-streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. These features may come later if customers demand them, but the chances are Nintendo wants to avoid any allusions to the Switch being seen as simply a tablet instead of a pure gaming machine.
Nintendo Switch review: Pro Controller and accessories
As with any new console, there are plenty of accessories you can pick up for your Switch. The most notable of these are the Joy-Con Charging Grip and Pro Controller. The Charging Grip is exactly the same as the Grip that’s included in with the Switch, except for the fact it has a USB Type-C port built in and is made with rather lovely clear grey plastic. It does make you wonder why you need to pay an extra £28 for the privilege of charging the Joy-Cons while playing, but it’s definitely useful to have.
The real beauty, however, is the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. Working as an evolution of the Wii U’s Pro Controller, this Xbox-One-like pad is an absolute beauty. Not only does it feel wonderful in-hand, but its clunky, clicky buttons and smooth and responsive thumbsticks make it a pleasure to play games with. As with the Joy-Con controllers, it comes with HD Rumble, motion controls and an Amiibo reader too. It’s also charged by USB Type-C, making it incredibly easy to charge if its 40-odd hour battery life runs out on you mid-game. The trouble is, priced at £65, it’s the most expensive first-party controller on the market. Thankfully it’s not an essential purchase, and its build quality is as good as you’d expect for the price, but it’s expensive enough that it will put most people off.[gallery:26]
Nintendo Switch review: Price and verdict
The sticky subject with the Switch is, unfortunately, price. At £280 it’s not actually all that much for a brand-new console. Both the PS4 and Xbox One retailed at far higher prices at launch and were arguably nowhere near as versatile. However, in the current market, those consoles are cheaper and significantly more powerful than the Nintendo Switch. That’s a tough sell for any undecideds who may be considering a console purchase today.
That price also doesn’t include the cost of a game, nor should it by conventional console release standards. But Nintendo did bundle Wii Sports and Nintendo Land with the Wii and Wii U respectively, and I think it’s missed a trick in not doing the same with 1-2-Switch.
Extra controllers are also horrendously pricey, at £75 for a pair of Joy-Con and £65 for a Pro Controller. And the Switch’s limited 32GB of internal storage means many avid Switch gamers – or anyone purchasing digital titles – will need to invest in a sizeable microSD card, too. When games are priced around £50 to £60, the real cost of buying a Switch quickly adds up.[gallery:8]
However, despite this, the rather limp launch lineup (aside from Breath of the Wild), and the lack of other applications and services, the Switch is undeniably fantastic and a truly brilliant piece of hardware. Every facet has been carefully considered and it shows – this is the best console Nintendo has made in years.
It’s fantastic fun to play and wondrously addictive. Essentially the Switch is pure joy condensed into handheld form.