Nintendo Switch Review – First Year Part 5: Value and Summary
*Note: This review ended up being over 25 pages in Microsoft Word, so I have broken it up into five more easily digestible articles. I am going to post one part of this review per day for the next five days. You will be able to find links to the other parts of the review at the bottom of each page.
The Nintendo Switch will currently cost you $300. This is only $50 more than you would spend on Nintendo’s other handheld system: the New 3DS XL. At $300, it offers you a vast library of games, the ability to play console-level games both at home and on the go, up to six hours of battery life and innovative controls. If you purely want a home console experience, it can serve that purpose for you as well. There are many people who never remove their Switches from the dock, and that is fine. The same goes for people who want a purely handheld machine. My OJO projector finally arrived today, but up until now I had played it almost exclusively in handheld mode. While the battery may concern you, to my experience 6 hours is generally enough unless you are out on a long road trip. And even then, there are some excellent battery packs you could buy.
While I am talking about it, I must mention in this value section that there are a plethora of accessories to buy for the Switch. A lot of people consider this to be a hidden cost of the system. After all, most people who buy it also end up buying a pro controller if they want a traditional controller, buy a screen protector, a carrying case and perhaps a charging Joy-Con grip or an extra dock. These things build up the price quickly and are most certainly something to consider. As for myself when I bought my Switch exactly one year ago, I bought a screen protector, a nice stand for tabletop mode, a carrying case and two games: Dragon Quest Heroes 1&2 and Zelda. I was living in Japan at the time, and it ran my total to a staggering ¥53,480 which is roughly $503/£410!
Nintendo has already stated that their paid online service will be starting in September, but not much is known about it except that it will cost $20 a month, and it will be coming with a Netflix-like service of NES games with online play capabilities. We recently did a Team Talk feature here at Switchwatch discussing what we expect of it, so if you are interested in that, please come here to check it out.
The virtual console is a highly requested feature that seems to be MIA on the Switch. It is currently unknown if the Switch’s paid online Netflix-like service will be their answer for the virtual console going forward or not, but many fans would prefer to have the ability to buy the specific games they please.
More System Features
It is no secret that the Switch currently lacks many highly requested features such as proper save data back up, an unlocked internet browser, a more organized eShop and an alternative way of adding friends other than with friend codes or from your play history. A unified achievement system is a feature that I have seen requested a lot. It wouldn’t affect me much personally, but I know there would be many people happy to see it.
The Revitalization of Miiverse?
Miiverse was a hot mess, but it was our hot mess. When Miiverse was shut down late last year, it was like a knife through the heart for many fans of the Wii U. It was our platform to share art and talk with other Wii U enthusiasts. It had its faults to be sure, but it was really quite a beautiful and whimsical thing. This one is my personal biggest wish for the Switch’s features in 2018, and nothing would make me happier than to boot up my Switch one day and find Miiverse there waiting for me.
More 3rd Party Support
We got our Nindie support in 2017. 2018 has had a good start as well. We got some big games from 3rd parties as well, but almost all of them were ports of older titles. I expect that to be true for the time being, and I think that we will be seeing a flood of old ports this year.
However, if 3rd parties want to really see true success on the Switch going into the future, they will need to bring more of an effort to develop their brand-new titles with the intent of a concurrent release on the Switch along with the other major platforms.
Console+Handheld Concept Changes The Playing Experience
Powerful Enough to Run Games Likes 2016 DOOM
HD Rumble is More Than a Gimmick When Used Right
Motion Controls and Touchscreen Support
Amazing First-Year Game Line Up
Battery Life Only 6 Hours
Lacks Key Features
Only 32GB Storage Space
Has Trouble Running Some Games