Early Nintendo Switch Review: Hand-On

We got to test out the Nintendo Switch at Nintendo’s Premiere in London. Here is our Hands-On Early Nintendo Switch Review.

We got to play around with the Nintendo Switch, find out what we think about the upcoming console in our Early Nintendo Switch Review. Is it Nintendo’s best console in the last 10 years?

Pros
Cons

The Nintendo Switch is arriving on the 3rd March with a price tag of £279/$299 and is available for pre-order now. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon US and Amazon UK, order now before stocks run out.

Nintendo is under a lot of pressure for the Nintendo Switch to really succeed. It’s predecessor, the Wii U was a huge flop, only selling 13 million units in 4 years. In comparison to the Wii, which sold 84 million units in the same time period. Many see this as Nintendo’s last chance in the console market.

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Console Design

 

Early Nintendo Switch Review: Console Design

Early Nintendo Switch Review: Console Design

 

The Nintendo Switch has a design like no other consoles. The best way to describe it would be a hybrid of the Wii U and Wii. The design is so unique because it allows users to play in three different game modes.

TV Mode

The main component of the Nintendo Switch is the tablet, which requires docking in order to turn the Switch into a console you can play on the TV. We got play Zelda for a while in TV mode, moving the Switch in and out of its dock mid-game was easy and it didn’t pause. This allowed for easy transitions between TV mode and handheld mode.

If the console is docked, you can use the Joy-Con controllers as a make-shift controller, kind of like how one would use the Wii controllers. A more traditional Pro-Controller is also available to purchase on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

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Table-Top Mode

If you detach the console from the dock and you detach the Joy-Con controllers then you have the Table-Top Mode. A kickstand can be activated which will allow the tablet to be able to stand on its own on any flat surface.

This is very cool and is something you won’t find with any other console. Unless you are willing to buy one of those portable console cases that come with a built-in TV screen.

Although, when we played in table-top mode we notice how small the screen is. We had to sit fairly close to the screen in order to play comfortably.

Nintendo Switch in Table-Top Mode

Nintendo Switch in Table-Top Mode

Handheld Mode

Things really started to click when the Switch was in handheld mode. PS4 offer PS4 remote play via PC, however, neither met the Switch’s portable gaming experience.

Once we got to hold the Switch, we noticed how light and similar it felt to the Wii U gamepad. The edges of the console are curved making it much more comfortable to play when holding the Switch over long periods. The experience in handheld mode was excellent, with the only downsides being the reduced resolution and short battery life

Joy-Con Controller

Despite a strange name, the Joy-Con controller was impressive and did as advertised. We particularly enjoyed the built-in advanced rumble motor, which was more impressive than the Xbox and PS controllers.

I mean, the rumble motor was really good. In 1-2 Switch, there was a mini game where we had to guess how many balls were in a box by moving the controllers around. The rumble motor allowed us to feel the balls as we moved around. It was very impressive.

Unfortunately, the Joy-Con controllers do have their downsides. It took us a while to get used to the layout of the buttons, we simply were not fans of it. It got even more awkward when we played 2-player games, where each play gets one controller. I have big hands and we found that the controllers are too small. What was even worse is each side has a different button layout (as seen below). Things become uncomfortable after long periods of playing.

Joy-Con Controller Review

Joy-Con Controller Review

 Joy-Con Grip Controller

Another way to use the Joy-Con controllers is in grip mode. This will be one of the main ways to play, so it is important for Nintendo to get it right.

The grip controller is built by sliding the two Joy-Con controllers into the grip, which creates a traditional looking controller. It was surprisingly comfortable, despite it being rather square. Another issue with the controller is the grip doesn’t charge the Joy-Con controllers in any way, so players will still have to recharge their controllers every now and then.

Joy-Con Grip Review

Joy-Con Grip Review

Accessories

The accessories come at a cost, but are they worth it? This is why we made this Early Nintendo Switch Review. To ensure that you get all the information you will need.

Switch Pro Controller

The Pro Controller looks similar to the controller provided with the Wii U. It allows players to enjoy their gameplay with a traditional method that can be found on the Xbox and PlayStation.

However, what we are still waiting to learn is whether it will offer universal support or if the developers will choose whether to support it or not.

The Pro Controller is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK Now.

Steering Wheel

This accessory turns your Joy-Con controller into a steering wheel which will come into use for Mario Kart and any other racing games that are released.

We felt the steering wheel was more impressive than the Pro Controller. The steering wheel was far better than the one available for the Wii and Wii U. Furthermore, It was responsive, accurate and did what I wanted it to do. The steering wheel became my favourite way to play Mario Kart.

One thing to note is that the Switch’s steering wheel is noticeably smaller than previous versions.

The Steering Wheel is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK Now.

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Display

The screen is 6.2 inches making it smaller than the iPad Mini which stands at 7.9 inches or the Amazon Kindle Fire which stands at 7 inches. The display is pretty small and we wish it was bigger but nothing can be done about that. However, it is the perfect size for playing in handheld mode. Although we can see issues when in tabletop mode, players will have to be fairly close to the screen to play comfortably and split screen mode enjoyable unless it is TV mode.

We got to play Mario Kart in table top mode and had some issues. Trying to look ahead to see what items other players have or to see if it’s a banana or a box was difficult.

Another issue is the max resolution when the console is out of the dock is 720p. There are some noticeable differences in the textures when switching between TV mode and tabletop mode.

There are some positives. The display is bright and vibrant and for the first time, the display is a capacitive multi-touch screen. Previous Nintendo devices that offered touch screen where force/pressure touch, whereas the Switch has a Capacitive multi-touch screen which can be found on high-end mobile phones.

Early Nintendo Switch Review: Splatoon

Early Nintendo Switch Review: Splatoon

Performance And Battery Life

The Nintendo Switch has a custom Nvidia Processor which includes a GPU that is based on the same architecture as the Nvidia GeForce graphic cards. What I can tell you is we experienced smooth performance with every game we played and in every game mode.

Although some games didn’t look amazing and there was the odd crash. However, this could be down to the games not being the full released yet seeing as this is our Early Nintendo Switch Review. When I think Nintendo I don’t think beautiful graphics either, so this isn’t something I am too worried about.

There is only one model of the Nintendo Switch for sale, which comes with 32GB of space. However, this is expandable up to 2TB with a Micro-SD slot.

The Nintendo Switch outputs video to your TV via an HDMI cable. The tablet section connects to the dock and charges via USB-C which is common on many Android smartphones.

Nintendo has stated that the Switch can last for more than six hours on the battery but it will depend on what you are doing. You should also be aware that companies predictions for battery life and never accurate. When playing Zelda, the battery life is expected to be around 2 hours.

 

Games And Software

The games will be very important to Nintendo’s success. Bad games = flop. The launch titles will be just as important for Nintendo’s success. Check out this link for a list of the Nintendo Switch Launch Titles. So far 85 games have been announced to be releasing over the year. Furthermore, Nintendo has announced several partnerships with some of the biggest video game publishers.

If you want to see a list of Every Nintendo Switch Game then click the button below:

Every Nintendo Switch Game

Nintendo didn’t show off their software and UI at the premiere, however from the trailers we have seen it does look fantastic. We are looking forward to see how good it will be. However, this is an Early Nintendo Switch Review, so expect one in our Full Review.

The trailer shows various options such as Sleep Mode, Settings, Controllers, Album and Nintendo eShop. The thumbnails show what games are running. We also get to see an option for a dark UI mode and the ability to change users by hitting Y.

Early Nintendo Switch Review: GAMES

Check out this link, If you would like to see what we think the Best Nintendo Switch Games 2017 will have to offer is.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s flagship game and is probably the main reason some people will be buying the Switch, which is a problem for Nintendo.

We got to play 30 minutes of the game at the UK premiere. It was a very fun 30 minutes, but I am a Zelda fan. Zelda does not have the same appeal as Mario would.

Zelda will be a great game, no doubt, but it will be hardcore gamers who are ready to get immersed in this new open world. Nintendo’s success comes from fun, quirky, family friendly games that anyone can play. I don’t think Zelda is that game.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available for purchase on Amazon US / Amazon UK 

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Splatoon 2

We also had a quick go on Splatoon 2, which we felt was very similar to its predecessor. The game was a lot of fun, especially when we got to play local eight-player multiplayer. However, there are new features such as new weapons, gear, maps, music and multiplayer.

One issue we found was trying to aim. We used the Pro Controller and controlling the aim via the built-in gyroscopes and analogue sticks were difficult and took a lot of practice and frustration to get used to. The gyroscope was used for aiming up and down, while the analogue stick was used for movement and turning the characters. The gameplay was meant to be intuitive, but it felt nothing like that.

Splatoon 2 is available for purchase on Amazon US / Amazon UK

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1-2-Switch

1-2-Switch is one of the launch titles for the Switch and is a set of mini-games that show off the Switch’s unique features. For example, the HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers. Mini-games include gunslinging, cow milking and safe cracking.

The game was really fun and is a great game to play with your friends and family. However, we feel these games will quickly get boring after a couple of plays which wouldn’t necessarily be bad. Sadly, it’s a £40 standalone title, which is way too high for this kind of game. We feel this game would be perfect bundled with the Nintendo Switch as a free game (e.g. Wii Sports).

1-2 Switch is available on Amazon US / Amazon UK

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Verdict

So you have read our Early Nintendo Switch Review? Here are our thoughts.

A lower price would help sell more units, the Xbox One and PS4 are currently priced lower than the Switch. However, we were pleased with the hardware that Nintendo is offering. The Switch may be limited to 720p on the tablet and 1080p to the TV but it is extremely versatile and that is the selling point, not the power of it. The launch day line-up is a bit disappointing, seeing as Zelda, the main title, was supposed to launch on the Wii. It may be best waiting until Christmas for a lower price Switch and a much bigger lineup. A Full Review is coming soon.

Thank you for reading this Early Nintendo Switch Review.

 

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