Nintendo Switch: Day One Impressions

After months of waiting the Nintendo Switch is finally here, and like so many I took the chance to head to a midnight launch to grab my console in order to spend a full day looking at the system and a couple of games. Leading up to the console launch I had many concerns that were making me question the design of the console, while the unique features were always good there were small worries which I aimed to address.

One of my greatest concerns going into this console was simply how comfortable it would be. Without having been able to test it before launch I was uncertain of how heavy the system would be, or whether it would sit nicely in my hands. This is a system with the intention of being playable on the go so you want to have some comfort when you play. To my surprise the Nintendo Switch is quite light and is still comfortable to hold after several hours which is wonderful.

Another concern I had was with the screen size, I watched the trailers and always thought that the screen would be painful to play on. This is another point that I am happy to say was not an issue, the screen was perfect for long play sessions running both of the games I looked at with zero issue while still looking stunning. I really look forward to taking this console on the go especially with a screen that does not hinder my experience by being small, and still offering some quality games.

One final issue I had initially was the size of the Joy-Con’s, from watching videos I was bothered by how small they were, and the size of the buttons looked like it would be hard for those of us with big hands to manage. This was another issue put to rest pretty quickly, while the Joy-Con’s do sink into my hands the button size has not been an issue and neither has the odd joystick placement. This latter issue still remains to be seen fully however when used in a single Joy-Con game or through multiplayer which I was unable to look at.

In regards to the controllers themselves I must admit I was impressed with just how nice the Joy-Con’s are to hold. I spent a portion of my time playing Super Bomberman R with just the Joy-Con’s and they were easy to use and were my preferred method of play for this game while the console was docked. I want to note that I only tested this using loose Joy-Con’s with Bomberman and did not take the chance to look at The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with this set up.

Most of my game time spent with the Nintendo Switch was spent using the standard grip controller that comes with the console. I was curious to see how different I would feel using the controllers in different ways and I was actually not overly keen on the Joy-Con grip, this was the first instance where my hands actually started hurting but this was only after so long which is concerning but not overly affecting. I see the value in the grip and I think that most other people might prefer this controller system but this does depend on the game.

The arcade style action of Super Bomberman R can be handled nicely with two loose Joy-Con’s which works nicely across many hours of play. Whereas even without testing I see the grip being the better option for The Legend of Zelda, it keeps the controllers together and does at least offer a solid controller base. I still prefer loose Joy-Con’s but different games do work better under different set up’s.

While there is plenty I have enjoyed about the Nintendo Switch there are some truly notable things that could have been handled better.

One of these comes down to the home menu, when you look at the Wii U it is easy to see just how well set up the system was just from looking at the main content. The Nintendo Switch’s menu is simply bland featuring only a handful of sub-menu’s and your games, there were better ways this could have been handled had Nintendo tried. But I guess they did go for simplicity which was easy to use but lack’s a lasting charm.

The menu screen is also bland with only two theme choices, black or white, I understand the simplicity but the console has a key feature which could have made things more exciting. Being able to take screenshots of your games Nintendo could have enabled us to make those our system’s background. Who would not love to have a screenshot of the beautiful views in Breath of the Wild as their background? Perhaps this could be implemented in a future update at least to add some personality to the system and some more personalization.

Besides these minor gripes I must say I was impressed, any major concerns I had are no longer present, and this console is just so much fun to use. The greatest credit that I can give the Nintendo Switch is its solid lineup of games for launch, it may seem small but there is some wonderful quality especially within Zelda, and Bomberman is a true blast. These games alone should make people buy the Nintendo Switch, it will be great for on the go with its solid screen, and surprisingly decent controls.

I look forward to continuing my adventures with this console and hopefully my opinions continue to stay positive as I am afforded more time to play.

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