Consumer Tech: Nintendo Switch

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Once in a while I like to talk about the consumer technology I use or my family uses. Like my Airpods recommendation a few weeks ago, I want to delve in another slice of consumer technology: Nintendo’s home/portable console hybrid, the Switch.

I’ve owned my Switch since launch day, so I’ve been able to assess the system and give a full impression/review (in as few words as possible).

I’ll preface this by saying that in my household we have the following gaming consoles and portables along with the Switch: Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, New 3DS XL, 2x 2DS consoles, PS Vita, and a dedicated gaming PC. Being a lifelong Nintendo fan and gamer – and passing along that lifelong enjoyment to my son – I’ve been fortunate to have owned and played most of the Nintendo systems released since the original NES and Game Boy. The Switch in a way is a culmination of what Nintendo has learned in both the home and portable space; the pace of technology has finally caught up to that vision.

It’s too early for me to say if the Switch is one of my favorite consoles ever, let alone a Nintendo-developed one, since its gaming library hasn’t fleshed out yet. However, it’s truly one of the best designed entertainment devices I’ve ever used as the balance of power, portability, and ease of use is easily apparent. For example, the Joy-Con controllers, while they do take some time to get used due to their quirkiness and size, are truly brilliant as they give many games instant local two-player action. Together they roughly make a traditional controller, but the beauty of the Joy-Cons is using them separately for quick pick-up games. Look, there’s nothing like playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the park, car, at work, or wherever and being able to immediately play with another person. The Switch has, in my mind, immediately revitalized the value and fun of playing with people side-by-side. It has carved a unique niche for itself that no other device in the market can do. Yes, we have iPads and other tablets, but the Switch is designed from the ground-up to be a pure gaming experience anywhere with little to no compromise.

So far, I’ve enjoyed “Zelda” of course, but you have gems such as Lego City Undercover (originally released on the Wii U exclusively) and Puyo Puyo Tetris that take full advantage of on-the-go multiplayer. Once the Switch picks up more momentum later this year with new game announcements, everyone is going to want one (if not already).

I must also quickly note that the Switch Pro Controller is simply one of the best traditional gaming pads I’ve ever used – easily on par or better in some cases than the Xbox One Elite Controller, which is twice the price. The Switch Pro Controller is very comfortable and the buttons/directional-pad just ooze quality.

There’s much more I could say about the Switch, but I’ve laid out the points I wanted to make. Again, as a console/PC gamer who has played/owned nearly every Nintendo system at one point, I highly recommend buying a Switch. It has and will continue to singlehandedly rejuvenate social gaming. When modern society often feels isolating and lonely, the Switch helps to bridge the gap between people and – for once – have fun together.

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