Nintendo Switch Review Roundup: Neat Joy-Cons, Intuitive Experience, Outdoor Brightness and Battery Could be Better

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  • 01 Mar 2017
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  • The reviews for the Nintendo Switch console are starting to pour in and we’ve decided to do a roundup of the most important ones. The general opinion seems to be positive, although some small caveats were mentioned here and there. Words like “potential” and “a console for everyone” are being thrown around and excitement reigns supreme among reviewers. Let’s see what the reviews say!

    1. Kotaku – Experimental game console, some control issues

    The editors liked using the Switch and highly praised the excellent new Zelda title, that’s very addictive. Hidden costs and some irritating problems are mentioned, but the release titles aren’t as impressive as Zelda. The problem is that you can also play Zelda Breath of the Wild on the Wii U, so that drops the reason to get Switch. The reviewer recommends waiting to get the full array of functions on the device.

    Joy Con issues are mentioned, like the fact they’re not very comfortable to use. Buttons are said to be placed oddly and the thumbsticks are apparently too small and very flippy. Shoulder buttons are also too easy to press by mistake.

    2. Motherboard – Very nice to use, but not very portable

    Motherboard/Vice shaped this review like a series of letters. They talk about the portability being there, but the device not actually being very portable. It’s too big for subway use and the battery life was quoted as 3 to 4 hours when playing Zelda. The console also felt like it needed a zero day patch, to get rid of some loading times. Unlike the previous review, some praise for the controls are offered here. We learn that you can aim using the joystick to fire arrows and move the controller around with the motion sensor.

    Two player fun with two Joy Cons doesn’t sound very intuitive or easy to do apparently. In the end it’s less of an iPad rival and more of a home console rival.

    3. BGR – good battery life, storage could be better

    BGR claims that the console is not cheap or flimsy and that it fits in a backpack perfectly. The 720p resolution of Zelda on the go didn’t pose any problems. Still, storage was mentioned as a frustrating element, as Nintendo offers just 32 GB of storage here. The SD card is a must have though, but that means spending extra cash. Battery life hasn’t been a problem, with 5 hoursquoted when idling on the main menu screen.

    3 hours of non stop Zelda gameplay in handheld mode were also considered OK. The UI also gets some praised, for being clean, usable and much faster than any other electronic device that the reviewer had.

    4. The Verge – Lots of potential

    Thanks to The Verge we learn that the gaming tablet has some glare in the sunlight, but the screen behaves nicely in general. The lack of a bundled case is also a bummer, since a drop is very likely if you’re clumsy. The Zelda experience was described as “surreal”, with impressionistic character models and realistic particle effects. Choppiness did appear when running through large areas though.

    The stereo speakers are said to be very loud, with more treble than bass and playing from a distance while the console rests on kickstand is quite doable. Once again a bit under 3 hours are said to be time of gameplay achieved in Zelda. The tablet’s physical connection for the Joy Cons is sturdy and this means that it may be hard to detach the joysticks in the end.

    The lack of a web browser and Netflix are listed as major bummers.

    5. Engadget – very fun, lots of unknown

    Engadget had an interesting approach, by testing both the home console abilities and portable console abilities of the device. In the end they liked the portability, but they also mentioned quite a few unknowns that plague the device. There was no eShop or networking abilities for the device before the Switch was launched, so those can’t quite be analyzed. A unified multiplayer network was promised, but has yet to be detailed.

    On the pro side, the innovative hardware is praised and the overall experience was clearly superior to the one of the Wii U. Battery life was modest, the screen wasn’t very visible outside and accessories are quite expensive. Controls are more refined than the Wii U tablet and the controller buttons have good feedback.

    One thing that reviews have in common is the rather modest, but acceptable battery life. There’s also the not very bright screen outdoors and the majority of reviewers dig the whole vibe of the slate, its buttons and Joy Cons. During most reviews Zelda itself felt like the reason to buy the console, praised as a superb game. The console starts selling these days, for $299.

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