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The Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is my first real game console. I never had the need for one and was always a PC gamer, but some things about the console were just too compelling.

Price

I paid around 300 EUR for the console and 60 EUR for the default game every owner should purchase: Breath of the Wild. This is quite affordable for a standalone device and you even get all of the accessories with the Switch: a dock, USB-C charger, HDMI cable and a Joy-Con holder to form a gamepad.

The Challenge

Getting a Switch was probably the biggest challenge I faced. When the console debuted last year, it was sold-out everywhere. A friend of mine alerted me that a local electronics store got some and so I rushed there, grabbed the only red and blue Switch, grabbed the last copy of Breath of the Wild and went directly to the counter with a big grin on my face.

Modes

The Switch can be used like a classic game console: docked and connected to the TV. Also you can just grab the device by attaching both Joy-Cons and take it on the road.

I don’t own a TV and the docked mode is just a nice extra feature for me. I always intended to use it mostly in handheld mode, though I love the immersion when the Switch is attached to a giant TV.

Software

The Switch operating system is just perfect for gaming. I added my Nintendo account and was ready to play. There are no annoying social features, no achievement popups, no in-app purchases. This really is a distraction-free gaming device, and I love it.

Rebooting is almost instantly and software updates and game updates are handled without hick-ups.

Games

I have a small collection of Switch games, most of them are boxed games because of the limited disk space on the Switch.

Downsides

  • early games in the eShop were mostly smartphone ports or legacy console ports; I avoid those completely because they are also more expensive than their phone counterparts
  • the cheap plastic screen is sensitive to scratches and even docking the device leaves some ugly marks on the screen edges
  • the stand is completely useless, it requires a flat stable surface but the angle is never right and the screen is simply too small and too far away to enjoy any games
  • games are expensive; buying new boxed games is always a long decision-making process for me