Upon its first reveal, the Nintendo Switch marketed itself as a mobile gaming system that not only could be played at home on your television, but also carried around and playable wherever you go. Nintendo’s innovative console makes playing on the go easy and comes with a disassembling controller with split screen options, so you can play with friends.
The Nintendo Switch has 50 third-party publishers in partnership for developing its future games. Hits like Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey have given it a strong lineup. The Switch makes for a great system for parties with its mobile snap-off joy-con controllers – once out of its docking station, it acts like a tablet with its own dedicated screen that can be shared with others through split-screen multiplayer games.
The Switch itself is a slightly chunky tablet, with thick bezels and a 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen sporting a 1280 x 720 resolution. It’s more akin to a low-cost phablet rather than a cutting-edge gaming device, yet the construction feels rock-solid and the metal finish very classy. The Switch might be the slimmest, slickest and least obtrusive console ever made.
Only two things really stand out: a hefty vent at the top for cooling purposes, and the kickstand at the rear that enables you to prop up the console for tabletop gaming sessions when you’re out and about. Or, more commonly in my household, banished to the kitchen while someone else is watching TV.
And the latter is one of the few areas where Nintendo has put a foot wrong. The kickstand feels surprisingly weak and flimsy, and allows for only one viewing angle. While I haven’t had the flapping kickstand problems that some have reported whilst using the Switch handheld, I have had the console suddenly fall back a couple of times when, say, an over-excitable Mario Kart 8 Deluxe victor jogs the table. Would a tougher kickstand and a stronger mechanism be too much to ask?
Also, note that you can forget about charging the device while in tabletop mode, since the USB-C charging port is positioned on the bottom of the Switch.
The screen might not have a 1080p resolution, but this is no big deal. 720p is a sensible target for mobile gaming hardware, and at this size you still get an incredibly immersive experience; it puts even the PS Vita to shame. Where the Vita struggled to convince that you were playing proper home-console games, the Switch does it every time – because you are. I’ve spent about 60% of my time playing titles such as Super Mario Odyssey or Dragon Quest Builders handheld, and I’ve never felt that I’m getting an inferior experience.