The Pros & Cons of the Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is coming out soon, so I’m taking a look at the facts to work out if it’s enough to save Nintendo from their downward spiral.

Pros

  • It’s a new Nintendo console
  • We’re finally getting a new Zelda game
  • We’re getting a new Mario game
  • It has sensible controllers
  • Storage will be easy to upgrade with Micro SDXC support (up to 2TB)

Cons

  • It’s still not as powerful as current gen consoles
  • Battery life is only 2.5-6.5 hours [source: IGN] (opens in new tab)
  • It’s only shipping with 32Gb of storage
  • Storage will be expensive to upgrade [source: Destructoid] (opens in new tab)

Conclusions

First of all, I want to thank Nintendo for finally accepting that people want to play games with regular controllers (1-2-Switch not inlcuded). The Wii U’s influence is pretty obvious in the overall design, but (like I said before) I also see the Switch as basically a rebranded nVidia Shield. I also approve of them just going for a machine that’s primarily built for using on the move.

Lack of raw power is never as relevant for Nintendo because most people are interested in their consoles for the first-party games, but it will hinder their 3rd party support. Sure, they’ll get a lot of ports of older games, but will that be enough? Are people still interested in PS3 or Xbox 360 games? And will they want to pay full price for them 7 years later? Only time will tell.

Which is where the 32Gb of storage comes in. Nintendo has given enough space for maybe 2 games at a time (the new Zelda is apparently around 16Gb). Are they counting on people using the Switch for retro games? It’s more than enough storage for all of the SNES or N64 games you could want, so are they counting on people wanting to play those more than new titles?

And battery life. It’s estimated that the battery will get 2.5-6.5 hours of charge, which isn’t great. Assuming that 6.5 is the maximum if you’re not using it and 2.5 is what you’ll get running a high-end game, squeezing maybe 4 hours out on average is poor. This is probably my biggest disappointment with the Nintendo Switch so far.