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Pros and Cons of the Nintendo Switch: A Breakdown

Some of you are probably wondering what the pros and cons of the Nintendo Switch are. What exactly does the Switch have to offer, and what are its drawbacks? I’ll give my own take on the matter in the hope that it will help you make a sound decision when the time comes to actually buying the console. It may pay off to be decisive, however, because the Switch has a tendency to run out of stock quite quickly.

Pros – It is Flexible and Convenient, Like a Pocket Yoga Instructor

One of the most prominent boons to owning a Switch is its unrivaled flexibility. If you want to play in your room on your TV then no worries: the Switch plugs in like any other console. However, you can also take the screen out and play the exact same set of games in your library on the go. No other console on the market currently can offer this kind of functionality, which is one way the Switch really stands out in comparison. Additionally, if you’re playing on the TV you can seamlessly transition to the handheld screen with almost no down-time.

Pros – Loading Times are Quick and Consistent

Nintendo has a history with making some of the most reliable gaming hardware on the market, and the Switch is no exception. Whereas games on other systems may take a few minutes or even longer to load, with the Switch your games are literally ready to play a few seconds after starting up the console. The games themselves run quite smoothly and you’ll rarely see a notable drop in framerates or graphic detail, even for large and open-world games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Pros – Extremely Ergonomic Design, Feels Good Man

In addition to robust hardware Nintendo has been consistently designing controllers and portable gaming systems that feel good to hold, and the Switch is no exception. The portable screen may take a minute or two to get used to but after that you can easily hold it for several hours with no hand or wrist strain. The separate controllers, or Joy-Cons as they are called, are also easy to hold for long periods of time. Simply put, the Switch is a console designed with the fact that many people will play long hours at a time in mind.

Another cool aspect is the Switch’s compact design. Much like it’s predecessors, the Switch is inconspicuous and can fit easily in pretty much any living room entertainment setup. It’s not big and bulky like some of its competitors and won’t stick out like a sore thumb. A minor point but still one worth considering.

Pros – The Games Aren’t Just Good, They’re Really Good

What pro and con list would be complete without mentioning the awe-inspiring library of best-sellers the Switch has to offer? The Switch debuted with Breath of the Wild, which is now considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, Zelda game of all time. There are also classic Switch games like Splatoon 2 and games that were ported from the Wii-U like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokkén Tournament. In addition, Super Mario Odyssey is being released this October and is anticipated to be one of the best-selling games in the Mario series. I’ll be going over all of these games and much more in later articles, but for now it’s enough to say that the Switch definitely boasts some impressive exclusive titles.

Cons – Low Memory Storage: Where’s My RAM at?

No game console is perfect, and I’d be lying to you if I said otherwise about the Switch. With that said, let’s get into some of its less desirable aspects. With the Switch you have the option to purchase your games digitally as opposed to buying the physical cartridge. This is an appealing option for a lot of people, but due to the limited memory storage of the Switch you may not be able to fit all of your titles into your system unless you purchase a micro SD card, which will expand your storage. If you’re OK with spending a few more dollars, however, this shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

Cons – Joy-Cons (Get it? Ha-Ha…)

Terrible puns aside, some people have been reporting issues with the Joy-Cons for a number of games. One of the most common complaints seems to be that there is some input lag from the left Joy-Con, enough so that it can put a damper on an otherwise immersive gaming experience. You could try switching to the Pro Controller, which is an excellent controller on its own, if you are having issues with the Joy-Cons that cannot be easily resolved, but be aware that it will cost you about $70 to do so.

Cons – Portable Limitations

As cool as a portable gaming console is, it does have its limitations. For example, the battery life of the Switch averages around three and a half hours of game time. That may be enough most of the time, but for situations like extended road trips or airplane rides you may have to have a back-up entertainment plan. Even if you plug in your Switch into an outlet while playing you won’t actually be charging it, only slowing the rate at which it depletes the battery. Additionally, it can be hard to see the screen sometimes if you take your Switch outdoors. Speaking of which, the screen is more on the fragile side and should be taken care of to avoid scratches or marks.

So is it Worth it?

After knowing some of these pros and cons, is it truly worth it to spend your money on a Switch? Ultimately that’s for you to decide, but in my opinion the cons are minor resolvable issues that are vastly outweighed by the pros of having top-quality games on a top-quality portable console. I’m confident that if you decide to buy the Switch you won’t regret it a single bit!

Images taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Tarik Ozgur

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. My kids have been pestering me to get one and since Nintendo can be a bit of a money pit (like anyone else, I guess) it’s nice to know more before making a decision. Take care.

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