After much anticipation, Nintendo's Switch hybrid console arrived this week. Unlike other gaming consoles on the market, the machine can function as both an at-home console and a portable device, allowing gamers freedom like never before. Included is a traditional “Pro Controller” for indoor use and "Joy-Con" handsets that can either be attached to the sides of the system for true on-the-go gaming, or removed to create a Wii-like remote. While such a design is completely novel, the system itself harks at classic consoles such as the SNES in that it runs games off small retro-style cartridges.
"[The Switch] is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes," said Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima. “[We hope to] introduce the world to new experiences made possible by the console."
So, does the new piece of kit live up to Kimishima's expectations? Find out what the critics are saying below.
Aaron Morales, Entertainment Weekly
Nintendo seems poised to launch a unique console that is uniquely qualified to deliver uniquely Nintendo games. Whether that is enough for you might depend on how much you value Nintendo’s properties, as was the case with the Wii U. But despite some lingering uncertainties, at launch, the Switch already seems to have a more clear raison d’être than the Wii U ever did, and it delivers on the promise of a full-fledged home console you can take with you on the go.
Devindra Hardawar, Endgadget
The Switch fixes all of the mistakes of the Wii U and doubles-down on that system's best feature. But there are still plenty of issues and unanswered questions that leave us worried.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles, The Wall Street Journal
The Switch is the most polished, sturdy and grown-up hardware Nintendo has ever produced. Older Nintendo gear feels plasticky and toylike by comparison. That doesn't mean this new hardware is technically superior to other game systems, though. In terms of processing power it doesn't measure up to the latest Playstation and Xbox consoles.
The Nintendo Switch convinces us mainly as a console in the interaction with the very good pro controller and as handheld coupled with the Joy-Cons. Technically it combines many features of the Wii U (console, motion control) and the Playstation Vita (handheld with two analogue sticks). The Switch is a first-rate solution for numerous games and genres from party hit to complex roll-up games.
The "We're Not Sure Yet"
Thomas Tamblyn, The Huffington Post
Is it good? Honestly, the answer to that question could change in 18 months. So much of the Switch feels untested yet. We haven’t seen a game that takes full advantage of the IR scanner. Unlike its previous three consoles there’s no ability to play classic Nintendo titles yet.
Mike Method, Mikey's Method
The Switch isn’t as fresh mostly, it’s just building on the Wii U’s core philosophies with better tech but any longtime Nintendo fan will tell you: that doesn’t matter. It’s the games that matter. So that’s where we’re at: the Nintendo Switch is a functional piece of hardware that despite some minor-yet-notable shortcomings only stands to improve when the day one patch arrives.
So there you have it. While the Switch definitely has potential, the tech cognoscenti feel it's not entirely there yet. Did you manage to get your hands on one? Let us know how you rate it in the comments below.
In other gaming news, Microsoft has just announced a Netflix-style $10 per month gaming pass.