The new Nintendo hardware that is sure to be the one stop shop for all things Nintendo!
March 2, 2017
299.99 for base console
The Nintendo Switch has had a successful launch and is definitely the real deal but Nintendo’s newest console is not without it’s issues. Skepticism is healthy and it comes very easy to people who have yet to actually try the system out for themselves, but for those of us who have had a little more hands on experience it can be hard to see past the hype. It is important to point out that this new hardware is amazing in the many things it sets out to do while at the same time being grounded in the reality that nothing is perfect at launch. Here are some of the more prominent issues to look out for before you decide if you want to sink north of $300 into the newest gaming trend.
Battery Life is Laughable
For what is being touted as a hybrid system, your total time on the go will add up to 2.5 – 3.5 hours. That barely gets you anywhere when playing The Legend Zelda: Breath of the Wild, just trust that your Switch can and will die on you. Even on medium brightness! The controllers thankfully have such a long battery life that I have yet to find myself with a live system, and dead sticks. Make sure you are carrying around the charger if you leave with your Switch.
You Will Need a Screen Protector!
The Switch’s dock will scratch up the screen of your Switch if you are not careful with sliding it in. Now this is mostly user error, as if you do sloppily put in the Switch, the screen will scratch. How to combat this? Treat it like your cell phone or expensive handheld device. Buy a screen protector and be sure to place the Switch into its dock very carefully every time. Ya know, treat your expensive hardware correctly! All screens on all devices, be they plastic or glass, are not immune to damage. It may be common sense, but its in need of pointing out.
Limited On Board Memory
If you plan to download a lot of games and extras on your Nintendo Switch, it is in your best interest to grab a SD Micro Card! 32 gigs of space with over 5 uses on the Operating System leaves you with very little extra room. I’d suggest spending the extra money to get more memory!
Lack of Release Titles
I currently have 3 games on my Switch. A racing game called Fast RMX, an old game called Shovel Knight, and the main event of course being The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While Zelda may be a solid contender for one of the greatest games of all time (seriously, I’ve put over 20 hours into it and there is nothing like it), it still only is ONE game. The other two titles work well as pallet cleansers, but beyond these there just are not a lot of offerings currently.
Reported Dead Pixels
If you have a Switch that is suffering from dead pixels, take it back to the store and make them return it. These things happen in all products and while Nintendo is saying “it is not their issue,” you can certainly still return it to the store you bought it at. Make sure you do a good inspection before keeping the system for too long. Dead pixels will be pretty obvious pretty quickly.
Joy-Cons Can’t Charge Without Being Docked
Now this is just a classic Nintendo maneuver. This just screams of, “Hey this is okay, just buy our 30 dollar proprietary peripheral to place your Joy-Cons in to charge your controllers while you play!” To add more insult to injury, this purchasable peripheral looks exactly like the controller cradle that comes with the system – except it is unable to charge, which seems like a standard feature. This may be among this most frustrating things about the system and accessories.
Controller Syncing Issues
Though they are meant to be used together, the Joy-Cons themselves are standalone controllers and there have been multiple reports of the left Joy-Con un-syncing. It seems many things are interfering with the signal and there is talk of a possible a firmware update to fix this, however it is still an unacceptable issue to have at launch.
No Virtual Console
This is a subjective issue but many were anticipating virtual console, so I imagine its absence currently is a deal breaker for some. This addition could have padded out the Nintendo Switch’s, launch but they were unable to deliver. This service is coming, but for now it is not present and no idea when it will become available.
No Party Chat
Party Chat currently does not exist – and when it does, you will need a phone app to use it. Um what? I will reserve any more judgment until this feature comes out and I get hands on time with it. Because that’s what you do, use something before forming an opinion on it.
Friend Codes Are Back
The friend codes are still used to find friends online. This is old, archaic, and there has to be better ways to do this by now. But I quickly got over it as I filled out my friends lists with help from previous Nintendo apps to help find people I have interacted with, or putting in your 75 (not a real number) digit arbitrary code to find somebody specific.
The Nintendo Switch kickstand is flimsy and it feels like the console is always on the verge of tipping over. I suggest some sort of case that props it up if you plan to play it on the go and upright.
Game Saves Locked to System
Unlike other consoles, the save data for your games is currently locked to the system. Now this seems like it will be something that is addressed in a firmware update but for the moment I hope you are not planning on continuing your gaming adventures on a friend’s console. It is a traveling system, though, so there should be little to no need for save data transfers outside of upgrading to a new system or extracting data off of a broken one. Here’s to hoping this is fixed soon!
No Ethernet Port
What is this the 90s? Sure I get everything is wireless now but for online gaming, internet speed is paramount and Wi-fi does not always cut it! How much cost was cut from excluding this? its a big omission but thankfully I have had zero issues with the wi-fi, connecting online, or being unable to update my games or get into a quick race in Fast RMX.
Some of these issues with the Nintendo Switch will be deal breakers to some while not even being a blip on the radar for others. For now if I had to impart advice to anybody who is on the fence, I would say that all early adopters for any piece of hardware are basically glorified beta testers. There will be kinks, there will be issues, and oversights in the first batch of these systems, but that is not exclusive to this product.
My take on it? Wait for a few months. Watch the catalog of games grow, watch some of the issues be addressed, and when it feels right for you, pull the trigger, because there is nothing in the world like never having to stop playing. There is something so novel about grabbing the system and continuing your session at work, on the bus, or on vacation, while never feeling like the limitations of playing cell phone game or handheld device. This is true hardcore, triple A gaming on the go which was the mantra of the Nintendo Switch. In that regard, they nailed what they set out to do.
I hate to dwell on the negatives, but being objective about the shortcomings of a new product is important! Stay tuned to a future feature about all the things I loved about the system, and strap yourself in because there is A LOT to love!