nintendo switch review

Nintendo Switch review: Still going strong

We explore the console's prowess, gaming features, and lasting appeal.

The Nintendo Switch is a popular gaming console. But six years after its launch, is it still a worthy choice? In this article, we provide a detailed review for anyone considering the Nintendo Switch and are curious about its performance and value for money.

Nintendo Switch: At a glance

nintendo switch
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo Switch is a hybrid game console that allows you to transition between playing on the TV and on-the-go in handheld mode. The console comes with Joy-Con controllers, which can be used individually or attached to the console for various play styles. Its game library boasts a vast array of titles, including iconic first-party franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon, as well as a strong selection of third-party and indie games.

Nintendo also provides an online subscription service called Nintendo Switch Online, which enables players to enjoy online multiplayer in compatible games, access a selection of classic NES and SNES games with added online features, and benefit from cloud save data backup. The console’s user interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it accessible to both seasoned gamers and newcomers alike.

For continuity and security reasons, the company regularly releases system updates, ensuring that the Nintendo Switch remains up-to-date and provides the best gaming experience possible.

Key specifications:

If you’re considering the handheld device, here are the key specifications:

Component Specifications
CPU Custom NVIDIA Tegra processor
GPU NVIDIA GPU based on Maxwell architecture
RAM 4GB LPDDR4
Storage 32GB internal flash memory
Expandable Storage MicroSD card slot (supports up to 2TB)
Display 6.2-inch LCD touchscreen with 1280 x 720 resolution
Docked Resolution Up to 1080p when connected to TV via HDMI
Audio Linear PCM 5.1ch (when connected to TV)
Stereo speakers
3.5mm audio jack
Battery Life Approximately 2.5 to 6.5 hours (varies by usage)
Charging Port USB Type-C
Controllers Joy-Con controllers (detachable)
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (optional)

Pros and cons:

Here’s a quick overview of the game console’s pros and cons:

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Strong game library
  • Innovative features

Cons

  • Limited storage capacity
  • Occasional connectivity issues
  • Lack of raw power

Nintendo Switch: In-depth overview

Explore a detailed review of the Nintendo Switch, discovering its outstanding durability and impressive history of success.

Hardware and design

nintendo switch design
(Image credit: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels)

The Nintendo Switch is designed to play games in two ways: as a portable device or by connecting it to a TV. You can easily switch between these modes based on where and how you want to play.

The Joy-Con controllers come with the Nintendo Switch and are well-built and comfortable. They have buttons, analog sticks, and motion sensors, allowing various gameplay experiences. They are designed to fit comfortably in your hands, making it easy to play games for long periods without discomfort.

Nintendo Switch stands out with its hybrid design and smooth transitions between handheld and docked gameplay, offering a unique blend of versatility and portability that distinguishes it from the more powerful hardware of the PS5 and Steam Deck.

Gaming library and performance

Nintendo Switch’s game library offers an extensive collection of titles from Nintendo franchises like Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, providing nostalgic experiences alongside major third-party games from companies like Ubisoft and Bethesda. The console also embraces the indie gaming scene with a wide array of unique and critically acclaimed indie games on its eShop; thus, you can enjoy console-quality gaming on the go.

The Nintendo Switch boasts sharp graphics, thanks to its custom NVIDIA Tegra processor with an integrated GPU based on the Maxwell architecture. Its custom NVIDIA Tegra X1 system-on-chip (SoC) packs a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and a 256-core NVIDIA GPU, delivering a perfect blend of processing power and graphical performance.

With internal storage options of 32GB or 64GB, expandable via microSDXC cards, the portable console accommodates a vast game collection. This, combined with the 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, ensures smooth gameplay and effortless multitasking, making it a top-notch gaming experience.

Battery life

Nintendo Switch has a battery that powers the console in handheld mode. When the console is powered off or in sleep mode, it typically takes around 3 hours to charge fully. However, if the console is being used while charging, the charging time will be longer.

After reaching a full charge, the console’s battery life varies depending on the specific model and the software applications and functions being utilized. The battery life of different Nintendo Switch models can be summarized as follows:

Model Serial Number Prefix Battery Life
Nintendo Switch - OLED Model XT 4.5 to 9 hours
Nintendo Switch XK 4.5 to 9 hours
Nintendo Switch XA 2.5 to 6.5 hours
Nintendo Switch Lite N/A 3 to 7 hours

Although the Nintendo Switch is great for its portability and extensive library of exclusive games, the PlayStation 5 has superior performance and a more advanced game collection.

Price and availability

The standard Nintendo Switch console has a retail price range between $299 and $349, depending on the region and any included games or accessories. The Nintendo Switch Lite, a more affordable handheld-only version, usually retails for around $199.

The Nintendo Switch’s more affordable price point of $300 ($200 for the Switch Lite) positions it as a budget-friendly alternative to the $500 Xbox, appealing to cost-conscious gamers.

But while the console is widely available in many countries, there are occasional challenges with stock availability, especially during high-demand periods or when new game releases or special editions are launched.

User experience and features

nintendo switch user experience
(Image credit: Erik Mclean/Unsplash)

The Nintendo Switch works well as both a home game console and a handheld; it has a user-friendly interface that is easy to understand and navigate. The Switch also has a good-quality display that shows games in vibrant colours and sharp detail. The touchscreen feature lets you interact directly with the screen using either your finger or a stylus, similar to a tablet or smartphone. This adds a layer of convenience and versatility to the console, especially when playing certain games or navigating menus.

The gaming console also offers unique features like motion controls and HD Rumble. Motion controls let you physically move the console or use the Joy-Cons controllers to interact with games more effectively. HD Rumble provides realistic vibrations, adding an extra layer of sensory feedback to enhance your gaming experience. These features make playing games on the Nintendo Switch feel more engaging and exciting.

Software updates and system support

Nintendo is committed to continuously enhancing the functionality of its systems and services to deliver a user-friendly experience. The latest update for the Nintendo Switch console is Version 16.0.3, released on May 8, 2023, as of this writing. Typically, the Nintendo Switch will automatically download the latest system update when connected online. You can also manually initiate the update from the System Settings.

The company is dedicated to providing regular software updates for the Nintendo Switch, aiming to enhance the overall user experience. This includes releasing firmware updates that address any existing issues and introducing new features to keep the console up to date with the latest advancements.

Nintendo Switch: Comparing the Lite and OLED versions

We explore the features, benefits, and limitations of both models to help you make a more informed decision.

Nintendo Switch Lite

nintendo switch lite
(Image credit: Loegunn Lai/Unsplash)

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a compelling choice for those who prioritize handheld gaming and value affordability.  Unlike the original Switch, the Lite does not have detachable Joy-Con grip controllers or the ability to connect to a TV. Still, if you like to play in TV mode, you can use a USB Type-C power cable at the bottom of the switch, which comes with a non-detachable power brick and an HDMI cable for seamless connectivity to your TV.

Regarding performance, the Nintendo Switch Lite offers the same gaming experience as the original Switch, with smooth graphics, responsive controls, and a vast library of games available. Its smaller size and lightweight design make it highly portable, perfect for every game on the go. Additionally, the Lite is priced lower than the standard Switch model, making it a more budget-friendly option for gamers.

Nintendo Switch OLED Model

nintendo switch oled model
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch OLED Model is an enhanced version of the original Nintendo Switch console. As the name suggests, it features an OLED display, which offers enhanced colors and improved contrast for a more vibrant and immersive gaming experience. It also boasts a larger internal storage capacity, providing more room to store your favorite games, and is priced slightly higher than the standard Switch.

For performance, the OLED Model delivers the same excellent gaming experience as the original Switch, with smooth gameplay, responsive controls, and fast loading times. The improved display quality enhances the visual fidelity of games, making them look even more stunning. It would interest you to know that the Nintendo Switch OLED Model comes with a left and right Joy-Con, a Joy-Con grip, a USB Type-C charger, and an HDMI cable.

FAQs

Yes, the Nintendo Switch is backward compatible with physical game cartridges. You can insert and play physical game cartridges from previous generations, such as the Nintendo Mario 3DS or Nintendo DS.

No, the Nintendo Switch cannot play games from previous Nintendo consoles. It is only compatible with games specifically made for the Nintendo Switch.

Should you invest in the Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch thrives with its unique hybrid design, offering versatile gaming experiences in portable and docked modes. Its extensive game library caters to many tastes, encompassing beloved franchises and indie gems. While the console has a few limitations, such as relatively shorter battery life and graphical differences compared to other platforms, its durability and ongoing success remain undeniable.

With consistent updates and new game releases, the console shows no signs of slowing down. We recommend it for its remarkable gaming experience for casual and avid gamers. Whether playing at home or on the go, its unique features, diverse game library, and enduring appeal make it a worthwhile investment for your money.

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