The newly released Nintendo Switch is the latest video game console from Nintendo since it released the Wii U back in 2012. It’s a step forward for the gaming industry – the entire console is simply a 6.2-inch tablet. Small controllers, called Joy-Cons, can either attach to the sides of the screen or slide off and become two controllers that can be used in multiplayer games like 1-2-Switch, or for two handed motion-controlled games like the upcoming video game Arms. You can also attach the Joy-Cons to the controller grip accessory included with the Switch for a more traditional controller feel.
It’s worth noting that the two Joy-Cons differ just slightly from each other. The right controller has an IR motion camera, an NFC reader for all your Amiibos, and the Home button, whereas the left has a capture button that you can use to take screenshots within your gameplay. The button and joystick layout is also slightly different on each controller, but not enough to deter you from using the controllers for two-player games.
While the Switch is priced comparably to other home gaming consoles at just under $300, and even comes with all the basic accessories you should need to get started right in the box, Nintendo doesn’t bundle the console with any games. The pricing for triple A games on the console such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild keeps with the $60 price tag gamers have come to expect, and Nintendo has made it clear that they will be putting a lot of support into indie game developers, which should bring a lot of lower-priced games to the Nintendo eShop as well.
When you place the Switch in its dock, it will automatically switch to what Nintendo has labeled TV Mode. This allows you to play your games on the big screen while charging the console simultaneously. In this mode, you can still use the Joy-Cons in whatever configuration you want, or you can opt to purchase and use the Pro controller accessory, which provides a more comfortable option for those marathon Breath of the Wild sessions.
Nintendo has long maintained a large catalog of kid-friendly game titles for each of its consoles, and the Nintendo Switch is no different. From ubiquitous titles like Minecraft to newer games like Lego: City Undercover or Super Mario Odyssey, there are a variety of ways to keep your little ones engaged. The portability of the console itself and its lightweight Joy-Cons are small and kid-friendly.
The Switch’s expected battery life is anywhere between 2.5 and 6.5 hours, depending on which games you play. The battery will last approximately three hours for graphics-heavy titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Overall, the Switch is a console that brings Nintendo back to its roots, with intuitive gameplay that is great for hours-long solo gaming sessions, competitive multiplayer battles and laughter-filled family fun. It offers one of the most versatile gaming experiences in recent years. Given its versatility and unique design, the Nintendo Switch is one of the best video game consoles available.