Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

As it’s with each product that Nintendo launches (NES Mini, anybody?), there was lots of hype across the launch of the Nintendo Swap ($299 at Greatest Purchase, $299 at Amazon). Followers and reviewers alike had been excited to get their arms on this new console that got here with a dock for taking part in on the TV, together with detachable controllers that Nintendo dubbed “Pleasure-Cons”. So, clearly, we acquired the Nintendo Swap to take a look at for ourselves, and see if the hype was effectively deserved, or simply one other advertising and marketing win for the corporate. I’ve been enjoying with it for fairly a while, and right here is my overview of the Nintendo Swap:

Nintendo Swap Specs

Dimensions 9.4 x 4 x 0.55 inches
Processor Quad Core ARM Cortex A57 Tegra Processor with NVIDIA GPU
Show 6.2″ LCD Show (1280×720 pixels)
Storage 32 GB ROM, microSD upto 2TB
Battery 4310mAh Li-ion battery
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Brightness Sensor
Value MSRP $299.99

Design and Construct: Decidedly Boring

First issues first, the Nintendo Swap is available in a field that has so many compartments it’s laborious to marvel for those who missed taking one thing out of the field. Thankfully, even when I did miss one thing, it was clearly not important to the general performance of the console, as a result of it has been working completely effectively.

Contained in the field, you’ll discover:

  • Nintendo Swap console (clearly!)
  • Pleasure-Cons (gray, or colored, relying on which of them you ordered… we acquired the gray ones)
  • Swap Dock
  • Wrist Straps
  • Pleasure-Con Grip
  • HDMI Cable
  • Energy Adapter

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

The very first thing I observed as quickly as I pried the Swap out of its snug cardboard cradle, was the ginormous bezels, the plastic display, and the kickstand which is so weak that it comes off now and again. From the surface, the Swap doesn’t appear like a lot, to be sincere.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

The audio system are positioned on the again, and the air vent on the highest. Plus, the over-all monochrome theme that Swap comes with, seems decidedly boring. In fact the colored Pleasure-Cons would’ve added color to the setting, however I don’t actually like these colors.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Oh, and earlier than I overlook, the microSD card slot (yeah, there’s one on the Swap!) is positioned behind the kickstand, so each time I place the Swap on the kickstand, it simply feels bizarre as a result of I do know the slot is uncovered. PSA: Get a microSD card; the Swap comes with 32GB of storage, however there are video games which can be bigger than the out there inner storage on the Swap. Awkward a lot?

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

I actually thought, in all of my naiveté, that the Swap would ship with a minimum of some form of a demo put in. So I simply slid the Pleasure-Cons on the edges, and fired it up. Evidently I used to be dissatisfied. What with lengthy kinds and account creation steps, I used to be pressured to just accept that I wouldn’t get to play something till I bought and downloaded it.

The issue reared its ugly head once I needed to first take away the Pleasure-Cons from the Swap. There are buttons that you’ll want to press and maintain whereas sliding the Pleasure-Cons out from the edges (which in itself feels like one thing they need to prepare you for), and even then, the buttons are positioned in a really unhealthy place. It takes fairly a little bit of twisting and turning the Swap in your arms to have the ability to take the Pleasure-Cons out. Though this did get simpler as soon as I acquired used to the awkwardly positioned buttons, it’s nonetheless one thing I feel Nintendo may’ve labored out in a greater method.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

All that mentioned, attaching the Pleasure-Cons to the Nintendo Swap is kind of the enjoyable factor to do. The audible and tactile click on of the Pleasure-Cons sliding into place is wonderful, and the buttons on the Pleasure-Cons are so completely tactile (apart from the house and screenshot buttons), that I discovered myself urgent them for no motive, even when the console was powered off.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Nintendo clearly realized that individuals will get excited whereas enjoying the multiplayer video games on the Swap, and would possibly find yourself by chance throwing their Pleasure-Cons into outer house; which is why Nintendo included wrist straps with the Swap. There are a few issues I observed whereas attempting the wrist straps out, enjoying Fast Draw towards Rupesh.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Firstly, the buttons on these items are simply unhealthy. They’re mushy, and so not tactile that it’s fairly an annoyance urgent them in any respect. What’s worse, is that eradicating the wrist straps feels prefer it’s not imagined to be accomplished.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

There’s a lot of resistance to eradicating the wrist straps, and Nintendo actually added an extra lock to them, to complement the already awkwardly positioned button on the Pleasure-Con. With a view to take away the wrist straps, you’ll first must disengage the lock, then press and maintain the button and slide the Pleasure-Con up. If this sounds difficult as it’s, wait until you do that and the lock clicks again into place. It occurs. Virtually each time.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Transferring on to the Pleasure-Con Grip, one fascinating factor I observed about it, is that the lights that present up on the Grip are simply reflections of the lights from the Pleasure-Cons themselves. Nintendo used mirrors to mirror the sunshine from the Pleasure-Cons, which I actually actually like. Why be redundant and add lights to every thing when reflection can remedy the issue?

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

The one factor I didn’t like in regards to the Pleasure-Con Grip was the truth that it’s unable to cost the Pleasure-Cons, as a result of, it’d be infinitely higher if I may simply go away the Pleasure-Cons hooked up to the grip, and plug in a cable to cost them up, whereas the Swap sat within the Swap Dock and charged. It’d have been simpler.

Show: Simply Good Sufficient

The Nintendo Swap incorporates a 6.2″ LCD display, with a decision of 1280×720 I do know that sounds fairly unhealthy on paper, however actually, it’s superb. Mediocre, sure, however superb. Nintendo may’ve made it a lot better. Nonetheless, the rationale they didn’t do that is hidden behind the GPU that’s used within the Swap. Nintendo went with a GPU that has an undocked clock velocity of 307.2MHz, and driving a 720p show might be infinitely simpler for the GPU, whereas additionally saving on battery life, and god is aware of the Swap wants to avoid wasting on battery life (I’ll get again to that).

Nintendo Siwtch Display

Recreation Modes: Really Distinctive

If it seems like this overview is just not going too effectively for the Nintendo Swap, issues are about to vary for the higher. Like I mentioned, on the surface, the Nintendo Swap doesn’t actually appear to be something nice, and even thrilling sufficient. So, I bought a sport (The Legend of Zelda, for those who’re questioning), and simply began enjoying.

There are a selection of how to play video games on the Nintendo Swap, and all of them supply one thing distinctive.

Certainly one of my private favourites – the Moveable Mode provides what the Nintendo Swap had at all times been claiming. A actually moveable gaming resolution that brings nice management, and gameplay in a small package deal. It’s actually lots of enjoyable to play video games within the Moveable Mode, and lots of credit score for this ease of play goes to the truth that the Swap maintains an ideal distance between the person’s arms whereas they’re enjoying.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Phrase of recommendation: As enjoyable as it’s to play video games in the Moveable Mode, don’t use it whereas mendacity in your again. It will fall in your face, and also you will really feel the ache. Consider me, I’ve been there.

The Swap doesn’t declare to be a whole gaming package deal with out having lots of options one wouldn’t discover on different consoles: modularity being certainly one of them. It was with aid and expectation that I pulled out the Swap’s kickstand, and positioned it on a desk to proceed enjoying Legend of Zelda.

Enjoying within the Kickstand Mode is nice, and is lots of aid from having the Swap’s weight in your arms on a regular basis. I really imagine this might be a good way to get pleasure from video games on the Swap for longer periods, however I used to be dropped at an abrupt and unwelcome cease by the Swap’s battery being low.


Testing it out, the battery life I acquired from the Swap assorted from sport to sport, which was anticipated. Nonetheless, what wasn’t anticipated was simply 3 hours of sport time on Zelda, and most different graphically superior video games. Oh, and for those who’re pondering “so what? I’ll simply plug it in and proceed enjoying!”, you’re in for a bitter shock – the USB Kind-C port is on the underside of the Swap, so it’s not likely doable to cost the Swap whereas enjoying in Kickstand Mode. Not until you employ a 3rd celebration Swap dock. If you happen to’re occupied with that, you’ll be able to try Nintendo’s formally licensed dock from Hori.

The Nintendo Swap is just not solely meant to be a transportable gaming console, it’s meant to be an all-around leisure system. Which clearly implies that it ought to have native multiplayer help… and it does. The primary sport that I purchased for attempting out multiplayer gaming on the Swap was “1-2 Swap”, and I need to say, multiplayer video games are fairly enjoyable. 1-2 Swap has 28 mini video games inside, starting from sluggish video games like “Ball Rely”, to extra intensive video games like “Desk Tennis”, “Boxing Gymnasium” and extra. I’d additionally advocate “Fast Draw” to anybody questioning which video games to play in multiplayer mode.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

That mentioned, 1-2 Swap has the form of mini-games which can be fairly enjoyable to play for a few instances, however will certainly find yourself not being used after a few days. They do exhibit the capabilities of the Pleasure-Cons, and I need to say, Nintendo packed some candy tech inside these little controllers. Properly accomplished!

Most likely top-of-the-line, and most fun manner of enjoying video games on the Swap, is the TV Mode. It’s additionally nice that shifting from moveable to TV mode is seamless. All I needed to do, was slide the Swap into the TV Dock, and I may proceed enjoying Zelda on the TV. The Swap positively stunned me when it was in a position to deal with pushing Legend of Zelda to a 1080p show, and get 60fps! This factor is what desires are fabricated from; a minimum of for individuals who like gaming.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

The Dock additionally serves the aim of charging the Swap, however I used to be dissatisfied to see that the charging speeds had been fairly sluggish. In no way quick sufficient to truly achieve lots of battery energy for those who determine to maneuver again to Moveable Mode after a little bit of TV gaming.

Oh, and earlier than I overlook, there have been stories of the Nintendo Swap Dock scuffing up the bezels on the Swap console, which is unquestionably one thing I discover very bizarre. It didn’t occur to me, even after utilizing the Swap Dock a number of instances, however it may very effectively occur, so it’s good to watch out.

Nintendo Swap Video games: Restricted & Dear However Enjoyable!

The Nintendo Swap is unquestionably a wonderful console, however it’s held again by the (at the moment) restricted variety of video games out there within the Nintendo eShop. Which additionally jogs my memory that the eShop is the worst expertise out there on the Swap, however I’ll come again to that later.

There aren’t lots of video games out there for the Swap, 38 to be precise, on the time of writing, and whereas the Nintendo eShop isn’t area locked (you’ll be able to actually entry the eShop for any nation you need), accessing content material aside from what’s out there in your area’s eShop requires creating a brand new person for each area. For detailed directions, try our article on the identical.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Not simply that, the video games for Nintendo Swap are extremely overpriced, for probably the most half. Once I first acquired round to buying video games for the Swap, I used to be fairly okay with Legend of Zelda being priced at $59.99; certain, it’s a bit steep, however the sport deserves it and I used to be certain of it. Nonetheless, 1-2 Swap comes at a worth of $49.99, and it’s simply… disappointing? I don’t know the way to describe it, however spending ~$50 for a sport you’d get tired of after round 2-3 hours of enjoying simply appears like a extremely unhealthy thought.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Which brings me to a different annoyance – demos, or the shortage thereof. The Nintendo eShop has no manner of filtering out video games which have demos, however that’s most likely as a result of there’s just one – a minimum of within the US eShop. Snipperclips – the secret – is kind of the boring puzzle sport, and I’m glad they’d a demo, as a result of I’d have bought it for no motive. As I sat round looking for extra demos, wanting up boards on the web and whatnot, I lastly discovered that the Japanese eShop had extra demos than the US eShop did – two, to be precise.

A bit of tip: you’ll be able to go to the eShop “Search”, and seek for “demos” to view all of the video games which have a demo out there. You can too go away the search subject clean to view all of the video games which can be out there on the eShop. You’re welcome! Additionally, try our checklist of the most effective Nintendo Swap video games, if you wish to be sure that a sport is nice sufficient earlier than you buy it.

The one benefit of the best way Nintendo dealt with demos with the Swap, is that there is no such thing as a time-limit, or play-limit on the demos, so you’ll be able to play them as many instances as you like, and for so long as you need. Nonetheless, I clearly recall pondering to myself that I’d gladly commerce within the “no play limits” factor for having demos out there for each sport. Simply my 2 cents.

Efficiency: Unexpectedly Good

Speaking particularly about efficiency on the Nintendo Swap, it’s good to see that the console holds up fairly effectively for probably the most half. You may even see a stutter ever so occasionally, when enjoying intensive video games. Nonetheless, I used to be stunned to see Legend of Zelda carry out amazingly, even on the TV. I actually doubted that the Swap will be capable to deal with a sport like that on a 65″ 1080p show, however I used to be pleasantly stunned from the efficiency this little man pushed out.

Battery: Mediocre

The Nintendo Swap packs in a 4310mAh Li-ion battery, which is rated to final for upto 6 hours. Nonetheless, for probably the most half, the Swap battery will final you for round 3-4 hours. Enjoying Legend of Zelda on the Swap actually taxes the console, and the battery dies out at round 3 hours, which is unquestionably not sufficient time! The Pleasure-Con controllers even have rechargeable batteries, however they final for round 20 hours on a single cost, so that you gained’t actually end up worrying about them an excessive amount of.

Different Ideas and Minor Annoyances

The Nintendo Swap has lots going for it, and it has lots of issues that I want they modified. Each bodily, and within the video games, Nintendo can clearly make lots of nice adjustments. However whereas these had been issues that deserved their very own private part to debate, there are some issues that don’t actually match wherever besides simply minor annoyances that I confronted with the Swap.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

Firstly, the Pleasure-Cons can’t cost until they’re hooked up to the Swap console, and the console isn’t getting used. That’s not too huge a deal, however it’s made worse by the truth that the Pleasure-Con Grip can’t cost the Pleasure-Cons both. I feel Nintendo heard the requests from its clients, as a result of it lately launched a Pleasure-Con Charging Grip ($29.88), and has additionally introduced a Pleasure-Con Battery Pack ($17).

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console

The display on the Nintendo Swap is mediocre, and whereas it’s adequate at 720p for a 6.2″ display, Nintendo may have made it a lot better. I gained’t go so far as to name it a deal breaker, however it positively isn’t as thrilling because the thought of the console itself is.

Nintendo went forward and put a headphone jack on their console, and whereas that was positively a terrific transfer, the place of the headphone jack is bizarre. It’s positioned on the highest of the console, so you’ll be able to simply connect headphones whereas enjoying in moveable mode. Transfer on to putting the Swap on the desk, nevertheless, and issues begin going downhill. Except you have got a pair of headphones with a cable that’s lengthy sufficient, you’ll end up fairly near the display for consolation. If you happen to’re pondering “However why would you not use Bluetooth headphones as an alternative?”, it’s as a result of the Swap doesn’t connect with Bluetooth headphones.

Nintendo Switch Review: A Truly Portable Gaming Console


  • Moveable gaming resolution
  • Superb TV Mode
  • Tactile buttons and first rate contact display
  • Responsive UI
  • Superb Pleasure-Con battery life
  • microSD help (upto 2TB!)


  • Show high quality is mediocre
  • Weak kickstand
  • Mediocre battery life from the console
  • No Bluetooth headphone help
  • Solely 32GB inner reminiscence

SEE ALSO: 10 Cool Nintendo Swap Tips You Ought to Know

Verdict: Is The Nintendo Swap Value It?

The Nintendo Swap ($299 at Greatest Purchase, $299 at Amazon) is unquestionably a terrific console, and whereas there are areas the place I’m certain Nintendo may’ve accomplished lots higher, none of them are deal breakers. The one factor that would come near being a deal breaker, particularly for individuals who play lots of video games for lengthy hours, is the battery life, and that may be solved with an influence financial institution, and the Pleasure-Con charging grip. The Swap additionally has a lot of nice video games out there already, and extra are being added now and again. If you happen to’re okay with the premium pricing on most of those video games, you’ll love the expertise that the Nintendo Swap is able to providing.

Over all, the Nintendo Swap is positively value it. And whereas I’d have appreciated to have demos out there for all of the video games (even when they had been time restricted or one thing), it’s not likely one thing that places me off. The number of sport modes, and the glorious gameplay actually places the Swap on my private checklist of favorite methods to play video games. At an MSRP of $299, the Nintendo Swap is among the finest gaming consoles that provides customers the “better of 4 worlds“: with moveable mode, multiplayer mode, kickstand mode, and TV mode. Like each product that Nintendo has been placing out, the Swap, too is promoting like scorching desserts, so for those who’re , seize it as quickly as you discover one in inventory. You’ll adore it.

Design and Construct High quality