Nintendo Switch review: Pure fun on a big-screen TV or on the go

Nintendo’s modular handheld console is over two years old and still one of our favorite gadgets in the world. The the game library is greatand a newer version with even better battery life (at the same price) exists now that you should get – just make sure you buy the right model. Nintendo also has the lowest price Switch Lite portable only, which is excellent if all you want is a portable gaming experience … but just for TV and multiplayer versatility, we still recommend this larger sized Switch first.

Editor’s Note: This review was updated on December 6, 2019 with an Editors’ Choice award, and the above paragraph reflects the Switch’s variations on the market. It was previously updated from its previous March 2017 release to reflect the impressive expansion of the Switch game library, with the rating increased from 3.5 stars to 4. Otherwise the original review follows below.


When the Nintendo Switch was first released, having $ 300 (£ 280, AU $ 470) plus another $ 60 (£ 60, AU $ 90) for a game – the real cool Zelda: Breath of the forest – It seemed like a lot. But things have changed.

Since its debut in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has shown that Nintendo is still willing to take risks to separate itself from the rest of the pack and at the same time innovate in a way that no one could really imagine. The Switch is a fantastic hybrid console that offers many unique and compelling gaming experiences, while providing a solid amount of indie titles that look perfect for the platform. Nintendo has yet to address its Virtual Console vacuum, but overall the Switch is already a winner.

Since its launch, the Switch eShop has been continuously populated with fantastic indie titles that support its growing standard full-price offerings. Breath of the Wild was an extraordinary launch title and remains a superb 100 hour endeavor. And it has since been joined by Super Mario Odyssey, the platform’s second must-have exclusive game in just eight months. Now players can have fun too Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition, Splatoon 2, Arm and other Nintendo-only titles. For digital-only titles we really love Thumper, Cave Story, Wonder Boy, Shovel Knight, and GoNNER. Those aren’t exclusive to Nintendo only, nor are recent or upcoming titles like Rocket League, Doom, Skyrim, and Wolfenstein II. But for many of them, it’s the first time you’ll be able to play it on a plane without carrying a giant gaming laptop. More titles are released almost every week.

Even better, the Switch is no longer impossible to track. And Nintendo offers a version bundled with Super Mario Odyssey and a portable case for $ 380. It’s not a bargain, but it includes the game any new owner is sure to want at a fair price.

Switched on

The Switch’s instant success can be attributed to the fact that Nintendo has launched into the fences – the Switch is a hybrid console, which means it can be played on a TV at home or on the go as a handheld. Joy-Con controllers make the Switch a real Transformer: keep them attached to the sides in tablet mode, slide them out and place the screen on a table for one or two player play, or clip the Switch into its included charging base to play on the big screen TV. The idea is that you will get the same core experience no matter how you play.

The Nintendo Switch is a console with a much sleeker design from top to bottom, light years ahead of the plastic clumsiness of its spiritual predecessor, the GamePad on the 2012 Wii U. It looks solid in its build – expensive, even – and demonstrates a mature aging throughout. The operating system is also clean and fast, a stark contrast to what the Wii U was running on.

Just by looking at the Switch’s primary goal of being a handy home and on-the-go console, the Switch definitely nails it. There’s something great about taking a huge game like Zelda – or Skyrim or LA Noire – with you wherever you go. It’s perfect for my train ride to work, and it is works well on the plane, mashed potato. And while battery life is far from marathon levels, there are solid options for charging the Switch when an outlet isn’t available. Of all the portable solutions I have tested, RavPower Power Bank has become my favorite device. Its high-capacity battery actually charged the Switch instead of slowing down battery drain.

At this point there are tons of games to enjoy on the platform, all at varying prices. But if you’re looking for entertainment beyond games, you’re mostly out of luck. But Hulu was added unexpectedly for Switch owners in the US in November, so maybe titles like Netflix and Amazon could follow.

But the biggest annoyance on the Switch is the curious shortage of retro gaming titles. There is a lot of work to be done in Virtual console Department. Nintendo hasn’t detailed how or when it will migrate to the Switch. Even if any of the digital Virtual Console games you purchased on older Nintendo hardware will work on the Switch is a mystery. But Wii, Wii U discs and 3DS ($ 110 on Amazon) game cartridges definitely don’t work here.