With the ability to function as both a home console and a portable system, the Nintendo Switch offers a flexible gaming option. The more recent OLED model has a better screen, and the Steam Deck has a more powerful processor, but for those who just want to play Nintendo exclusives, the original Switch is still a fantastic value.
Despite being available for more than 5 years, the original Nintendo Switch continues to be a well-liked gaming console because of its incredible adaptability. You can switch between using it as a handheld or a home console without any difficulty.
Nintendo has added more games to the Switch’s library over time, with 2022 titles that include Nintendo Switch Sports, Splatoon 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.
Yet there’s no denying that the Nintendo Switch is beginning to show its age given that it must rely on the cloud (which necessitates a steady internet connection) in order to play third-party titles like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Hitman 3, and Control. Since the release of the substantially more powerful Steam Deck portable, these hardware constraints are even more troubling.
Is the original five-year-old portable still worth buying in light of the release of the Switch Lite and Switch OLED? Here are my ideas.
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid device with docked and handheld play options.
First released in 2017 and since then updated and revised
has a huge selection of wonderful exclusives and third-party games.
A 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 1280 x 720 resolution, large bezels, and a relatively hefty design make up the Nintendo Switch tablet itself. It resembles a budget phablet more than a cutting-edge gaming device, but the build quality is excellent, and the metal finish is really stylish.
Only two features truly stick out: a sizable cooling vent at the top and a kickstand at the back that lets you use the console as a tabletop gaming platform when you’re on the go. Or, as happens more frequently in my household, sent to the kitchen while someone else watches TV.
And the latter is among the few things Nintendo has done poorly. There is only one viewing angle possible thanks to the kickstand, which feels rather cheap and feeble. When, for example, an overly enthusiastic Mario Kart 8 Deluxe winner jogs the table, the console has suddenly fallen back a couple of times. If the Switch OLED problem is something that really worries you, Nintendo has already rectified it.
Moreover, keep in mind that since the Switch’s USB-C charging connector is located on the bottom of the device, you can forget about charging it when it is in tabletop mode.
Even though the screen doesn’t have a 1080p resolution, it’s not a big concern. Even at this size, you still get a wonderfully immersive gaming experience; it puts the PS Vita to shame. 720p is a reasonable aim for mobile gaming technology. The Switch consistently convinces you that you are playing legitimate home-console games, whereas the Vita often failed to do so. I’ve spent approximately 60% of my time playing portable games like Dragon Quest Builders or Super Mario Odyssey, and I’ve never felt like I’m getting a worse experience.
Now, battery life varies according to the model being utilized.
The lifespan of the Lite and new models of the regular console has increased.
These are results of battery life tests for launch models.
Depending on the game, the brightness setting, and whether Wi-Fi is turned on or off, Nintendo claims a battery life of three to six hours. An hour of play would deplete 36% of the battery, while an hour of charging would replenish it by 47% (with brightness set to 100% and Wi-Fi enabled), according to testing conducted by Brett for his review last year.
This year, when I played Super Mario Odyssey, I got around the same results. Any discrepancy can be attributed to the change in game and the fact that my battery has been drained for a year longer.
Wi-Fi is activated and the brightness is set to 100%. After an hour of use, the Wi-Fi signal drops by 38%.
Airplane mode and 50% brightness are both set at -32% after an hour of use and 45% after an hour of charging.
Actually, and based on a year’s worth of experience, you should expect slightly less than three hours of battery life for games that demand greater processing power and 20 minutes longer when the brightness is set to a cozy 70%. But, depending on the indie game you’re playing and how graphically demanding it is, you might get another half hour or so.
The three hours of battery life won’t be enough if you’re on a flight, a day trip, or a long train ride. A USB-C battery pack with a large capacity and quick-charging features, like the Anker PowerCore+ 20100, the smaller PowerCore 10000, or the RAVPower 26,800, is your best option in this situation. Before you go, put one in your bag as a favor to yourself.
The detachable Joy-con controllers have a long battery life.
Suitable for usage as a pair or alone in local multiplayer
Only a few titles utilize motion controllers and HD Rumble.
At your peril, underestimate those Joy-Cons. Aside from the analogue stick, four face buttons, trigger, and bumper on each controller, both are loaded with technology, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, Nintendo’s HD Rumble haptic feedback engine, and, with the appropriate Joy-Con, an NFC reader for Amiibo and an infrared depth-tracking sensor.
The combination of the lightweight controllers and the slightly unusual placement of the right analogue stick occasionally throws me off while playing numerous games with a Joy-Con in each hand. But, there’s no denying that it’s the finest method to play Mario Odyssey and experience the subtle but powerful HD Rumble effects.
You may always insert them into the included Joy-Con grip if you prefer a more traditional controller. This might still be a touch too small for certain hands; for me, the right stick and the triggers/bumpers seem just a little squeezed in, but over the past 12 months, I’ve become accustomed to it. Although a more powerful option, the Switch Pro controller is an option rather than a requirement.
Social and UI
Since its debut, the Switch user interface has mainly not altered.
Direct sharing of screenshots and videos to social networks is possible from the console.
It is simple to import contacts and other data from other smartphones.
The Switch is a pleasure to use and is simple to use whether you’re playing a game, adjusting settings, or looking through the eShop thanks to its capacitive touchscreen and touch-friendly user interface. Just because it’s quicker to traverse the UI or enter text by swiping left and right, pressing choices, or using the onscreen keyboard causes me to frequently remove the Switch from its dock while changing settings or making purchases. The Switch supports up to eight users, and switching between them is easy. The homescreen automatically changes to show the most recent games you’ve played.
The Switch even asks which user you wish to launch it with when you launch a game or the eShop. You can see how helpful this may be if, for example, you get stuck loading a PS4 game only to discover that you’re on the wrong profile.