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Game Rant. Far cry nintendo switch lite

The Switch Lite has robbed us of great Nintendo party games

Way back in the mid-2000s, I played a lot of WarioWare: Smooth Moves. The Nintendo Wii game was the absolute best local multiplayer experience on the scene at the time. Whether I was catching up with some friends at home or playing some casual games at a college party, it was a social staple for at least two years. That was thanks in large part to its heavy use of the Wiimote’s motion controls, which turned playing sessions into a slapstick comedy routine. I have fond memories of a room full of friends playing hot potato with a Wiimote, frantically attempting to complete minigames in seconds.

When Nintendo first unveiled the Nintendo Switch, I thought we were going back to that era. While the Wii U’s two-screen setup was too high-concept for casual party games, the Joy-Cons presented a lot of potential. The gyroscopic controls and IR sensors seemed ripe for a slew of wild party games, which would be perfect considering the console’s portability. In the earliest Switch trailers, we saw “Karen” taking it to a rooftop party and handing out Joy-Cons to her friends. I genuinely wanted that absurd scene to happen.

But over four years later, the Switch is still lacking when it comes to must-own party games. I, for one, blame the Switch Lite for that.

Rolling back

Look back at the Nintendo Switch’s first two years on the market and it’s clear that the Joy-Cons’ unique features were a major part of Nintendo’s strategy. The console launched with 1-2 Switch, a mediocre (but effectively absurd) party game that took full advantage of the controllers. It’s one of the rare games to actually use the IR sensors, which were quickly abandoned. Nintendo followed up over the next year with games like ARMS and Super Mario Party, which put a heavy emphasis on multiplayer motion gameplay.

The console quickly hit a turning point in 2019. That’s the year Nintendo released the Switch Lite, a cheaper model designed as a portable-only console. The Lite can’t dock to a TV, but more importantly, its Joy-Cons can’t be detached. If you’re playing on one, you can’t use motion controls at all, rendering a few older titles unplayable on it.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity don’t use any of its gimmicks, making them particularly friendly no matter what version of the console you own. Even The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was retooled for its HD remaster, adding a non-motion option to the game with mixed results. It’s a necessary change, but one that’s forced Nintendo to backtrack on one of the console’s defining gimmicks.

Killing the party

That philosophical flip has claimed a casualty when it comes to the party game genre. The console is severely lacking in that department, which is a far cry from the heyday of the Wii. That’s most noticeable when playing WarioWare: Get It Together! — which trades Smooth Moves’ intuitive motion for a weak character-swapping gimmick that only requires one button and a joystick. That makes the game playable on Switch Lite, but saps all the absurd multiplayer charm of its best predecessors right out of it.

The upcoming Mario Party Superstars is taking a similar approach, ditching Super Mario Party’s reliance on Joy-con silliness entirely. Nintendo’s listing for the game goes as far as to deliberately emphasize the lack of motion controls: “All minigames are played with button controls, so you can stick to the Joy-Con controller or bust out the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller or a Nintendo Switch Lite system.”

It’s difficult to say more Switch games should better utilize the Joy-Cons, as there are a lot of positives to Nintendo deprioritizing their features. As long as the Switch Lite exists, no one will have to miss out on a game just because they opted to buy a more affordable model. Motion controls can also limit who can actually play games, presenting accessibility challenges. It’s important to be selective with special controls and offer alternatives for those who don’t want to engage with them (as is the case in games like Mario Golf: Super Rush).

Still, I find myself missing the best part of the Wiimote era. I desperately want to be Karen, breaking my Switch out at a party and loading up an absurd minigame collection. I want to watch my friends flail around as they pass Joy-Cons back and forth. I just wish Nintendo was as all-in on the weird quirks of the Joy-Cons as I am.

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Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…

Sega revealed 20 songs that will be featured in its upcoming rhythm game Samba de Amigo: Party Central. The list includes some big pop stars, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and more.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central is a revival of Sonic Team’s maraca-shaking rhythm game that first appeared in arcades and on the Sega Dreamcast. Its set to launch on Nintendo Switch this June with 40 songs. We already knew a few tracks on the soundtrack, as some Sonic the Hedgehog tunes will appear in the game, but Sega released a list of 20 modern pop songs that are also on the game’s soundtrack.

Just recently, I decided to start playing Octopath Traveler 2 on my Nintendo Switch. Within a few hours, I could already see why it’s currently one of the best-reviewed games of the year. It has deep RPG systems, gorgeous HD-2D graphics, and a complex narrative that weaves together eight dramatic stories across its overworld. So it’s a little funny that I paused my journey six hours in to switch to a stick-figure RPG that deliberately contains none of that.

Shadows Over Loathing. Launch Trailer. Nintendo Switch

Today, Nintendo held another Indie World showcase, where it showed off a lot of neat-looking indie games coming to Nintendo Switch over the next several months. This April 19 showcase didn’t have any shocking announcements, but some successors to enjoyable indie games like Crypt of the Necrodancer and Blasphemous were revealed, and multiple games were shadow-dropped. If you’re looking for a roundup of everything that was shown off, we have that right here for you. Rift of the Necrodancer was announced Rift of the NecroDancer Reveal Trailer Brace Yourself Games is one of the premier rhythm game developers thanks to titles like Crypt of the Necrodancer and Cadence of Hyrule, and it announced a new game today. Titled Rift of the Necrodancer, this is a lane-based game where players rhythmically attack the monsters that come down each lane. The game also features minigames that more closely resemble the Rhythm Heaven series. Rift of the Necrodancer will be released later this year. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach and more get shadow-dropped Indie World Showcase 4.19.2023. Nintendo Switch As is to be expected with any Nintendo presentation, some games were shadow-dropped today. The most notable of these games was a port of the popular horror game Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, but that wasn’t the only game released today. Magnetism platformers Telsagrad Remastered and Teslagrad 2, as well as supernatural comedy RPG Shadows of Loathing, are also available today. Blasphemous 2 was revealed Blasphemous 2. Announcement Trailer. Nintendo Switch The Game Kitchen’s Blasphemous made a name for itself as one of the most brutal Metroidvania’s of the last decade, both in visual style and gameplay. During today’s Indie World, the team revealed that is are at work on a sequel where players explore a place cursed by something ironically called The Miracle. When it comes to gameplay, players can expect three new weapons and will encounter weapon memories that expand their moveset. Blasphemous 2 will be released this summer. Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals gets a release date OXENFREE II: Lost Signals. Release Date Trailer. Nintendo Switch Night School Studios and Netflix’s horror-adventure game Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals has been in the works for quite a while, and it finally got a release date during today’s Indie World showcase. We learned that Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals, which takes place five years after the events of the original and follows a woman named Camena investigating mysterious radio signals, will come out on July 12. This release date also applies to the PC, Mac, Playstation 4, PS5, and mobile versions of the game. Everything else

Mineko’s Night Market launches on September 26. Pathea Games showed off My Time at Sandrock, a desert-themed sequel to farming SIM My Time at Portia that is coming out sometime this summer. Overcooked-like PlateUp! launches this October. Digital board game Quilts Cats of Calico launches this fall. A Little to the Left: Cupboards Drawers DLC launches in June. Shovel Knight Dungeon’s free DLC Puzzle Pack comes out this spring. Cult of the Lamb’s Relics of the Old Faith update will be released on April 24. Animal Well is coming to Nintendo Switch in early 2024. Time-bending crime puzzle game Crime O’Clock comes out on June 30. Paper Trail launches this August. Little Kitty, Big City will be released in 2024. Chants of Sennaar got a September 5 release date. Brotato will be released sometime in 2023. Escape Academy: The Complete Edition comes to Switch this fall. Jet Set Radio spiritual successor Bomb Rush Cyberfunk finally got a firm release date: August 18.

Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.

Reasons To Get A Switch Lite ( 5 To Fork Out For The Original Version)

Now that there is a lite version of the original Switch, which is the better gaming system to choose?

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Nintendo caught some fans by surprise when they abruptly announced the sleeker, cheaper, and more compact Switch Lite, which released worldwide roughly a month ago.

This more handheld-centric device has left some fans looking to purchase a Switch, and even some who have already bought the original, wondering which version they should opt for. Which model holds the greater value, and which proves to be the all-around better machine?

Ultimately, it’ll depend on one’s preference, and while there’s no definitive answer to this question, we’ll try to make sense of it all and highlight the pros and cons of each version.

Switch Lite: Great For Pokémon Fans

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No, we’re not just speaking of the Lite’s portability aligning with the more potable sensibilities of the upcoming Sword/Shield, but rather, the console itself! Shortly after the announcement of the Switch Lite, Nintendo compounded that by showing an even cooler looking custom Pokémon-themed Switch lite. The console adheres to the blue and hot-pink color scheme of the two skews; specifically of the epic new legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta. This sleek console also features sketches of the two beasts on the back of the machine.

This gorgeous custom Switch Lite would certainly make a fine complement to Sword Shield when they launch on Nov. 15th!

Original: Versatile

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One of the biggest appeals of the Switch is its versatility. Not only can the machine play both docked and handheld, but it also has the handy feature of removable and interchangeable Joy-Cons. This means you can swap out a variety of colors and types of controllers. Want to use that sweet Zelda-themed HORI Joy-Con with a true D-Pad? No problem!

Switch Lite is going to be quite a bit more limited in terms of what it can do. This means that you won’t be able to dock the machine and play through the TV, but it also means the controllers are attached to the hardware itself.

Switch Lite: Better Feeling Controller With An Actual D-Pad

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Still, even though you’re stuck using the controller that comes with your Switch Lite (or else opt to buy separate Joy-Cons to control when propping the machine up), at least the controller that is included has an actual D-Pad!

This is particularly handy if you tend to favor playing those NES/SNES games on Nintendo’s online service, or other simpler, more retro-style 2D games like Tetris 99, in addition to the slew of indie games that populate the eshop. The buttons also tend to feel a bit more solid, thanks in part to the slightly larger face buttons, and the hardware itself offers a tad more grip with its slightly rougher texture.

Original: Sophisticated Controller

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D-Pad aside, with the Switch’s original controller, you’re ultimately getting more sophisticated tech built into the device. Basically, there’s a reason these suckers typically cost 80. Not only is the controller fused with the console, but they’re also lacking that satisfying HD rumble feedback and the IR camera. This strips down the motion-control capabilities to a degree as it whittles down the functionality to just the gyro abilities.

Basically, you’ll need separate controllers if you’re looking to play a game that demands more sophisticated motion controls, such as 1- 2-Switch or the recently released Ring Fit Adventure.

Switch Lite: Improved Battery Life

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One of the biggest criticisms the Switch has received since its early 2017 launch is its relatively weak battery life when playing in handheld mode. This is especially apparent when playing more hardware intensive games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or The Witcher 3. Obviously, smaller indie games and retro titles will allow you to play on for a few more hours.

However, the Switch lite ensures a longer baseline when it comes to battery life, ranging from 3-7 hours, while the original Switch sits in the 2.5-6.5 hour range. The New V2 Switch is stronger than both of these, but you’ll also have to shell out more money.

Original: Greater Customization

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With the original Switch’s versatility comes greater customization in terms of its aesthetics. Want to use one purple Joy-Con and one neon-green? How about opting for a unique third-party option? Or throw on one of those cool custom shells for your dock and controllers? You can go hog wild! With the Switch Lite, you’re basically stuck with the not-particularly-appealing trio of colors featured.

You’ll have to choose between a harsh yellow, bland grey, or bizarre turquoise. And the custom shells are (at least for the time being) extremely limited in comparison.

Switch Lite: Smaller And Compact

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Ultimately, if you value handheld gaming over home consoles, or find yourself on the road quite a bit, the Switch Lite is probably the version you should opt for. It’s a lighter, more compact machine, which makes it easier to hold for extended periods of time.

But more significantly, it comes with a smaller, sleeker build, featuring dimensions of 3.6″ x 8.2″ 0.55″ and weighs 0.61 pounds. Compare this to the bulkier original model, which comes with dimensions of 4″ x 9.4″ x 0.55″ and weighs 0.88 pounds.

Original: Larger Screen Size

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Still, even those who value the handheld functionality of the Switch will find benefits of the original model. With the larger hardware comes a larger screen, which means a more optimal gaming experience on-the-go. The original design boasts a 6.2″ screen size, compared to the Lite, which is 5.5″. It may seem like a marginal difference, but for the more nuanced tech-savy gamers who prefer a more cinematic experience, it can become apparent.

Regardless of which version you choose though, it’s still a far cry from having to deal with those tiny Game Boy screens. We’ve certainly come a long way.

Switch Lite: Significantly Higher Value

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One of the most appealing, impressive aspects of the Switch Lite its relatively sophisticated horsepower packed in such a small machine. Keep in mind, the hardware is essentially the same, as both machines output 720p in handheld mode.

Disregarding a few of the Lite’s stripped-down capabilities (lack of docking, IR camera, HD rumble), this is essentially still a Nintendo Switch; in a slightly smaller, and significantly cheaper package. At a mere 200 compared to 300 for the original model, we’re talking a pretty big chunk of change. Switch Lite thus makes for a terrific entry-level console.

Original: Home Console Gaming Is Your Thing

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At the end of the day, there isn’t really a “better” option from an objective point of view. The Switch Lite will hold far more value to you if you prefer handheld gaming or are often on the road. Yet, those who seek the definitive, cinematic, home console experience should still opt for the original Switch.

Its ability to dock means it can be played on any HDTV and display in a vibrant, crisp 1080p, compared to only 720p on the handheld screen. There is something about kicking back on your couch as you hold separate Joy-Cons and get lost in the magic of Breath of the Wild; a feeling not quite replicated when playing in handheld mode.

Nintendo Switch OLED is a fantastic upgrade for portable players

TechRadar Verdict

The Nintendo Switch OLED is a welcome upgrade but one that pleases more than it wows. It’s an inherently flawed product due to the console’s original hybrid design: dock the Switch OLED, and the benefits of the sumptuous new 7-inch display, redesigned kickstand, and enhanced speakers vanish. If you’re a first-time Switch buyer this is undoubtedly the model to buy, but the improvements to the Switch OLED will only really benefit handheld and tabletop mode users – and if you’re thinking of upgrading, don’t expect a Nintendo Switch Pro.

Pros

  • Larger 7-inch screen makes a difference
  • OLED provides perfect blacks and accurate colors
  • Enhanced speakers sound fantastic

Cons

  • – No upgrades in TV mode
  • – Internal specs remain the same
  • – Durability concerns still not addressed

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Nintendo Switch OLED two-minute review

The Nintendo Switch OLED might not seem like a drastic upgrade when compared to the standard Nintendo Switch console, but it boasts some superb improvements that build upon the solid foundations set by its predecessor, especially if you’re a handheld mode player. The 7-inch display alone offers vivid colors and perfect blacks, which is a drastic upgrade over the standard LCD panel.

Outside of the display, the Nintendo Switch OLED hosts enhanced speakers to make gameplay without headphones far more enjoyable, sounding definitively less tinny than its 2017 counterpart. This alone makes the best Nintendo Switch games sound crisper than ever.

In addition, the console has twice the amount of storage as the original Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite, with a total of 64GB. That is still a far cry from the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which offer far faster storage at significantly higher capacities. However, Switch games tend to be significantly smaller, and the console has a Micro SD slot, so you can always expand if needed at an affordable rate.

So far, so good, then. but Nintendo has shamelessly overlooked one of the three core pillars of the Switch experience – TV mode – and the new console is a hard sell as a result. Despite redesigning the console’s dock, adding smoother edges, more breathing room, and even a LAN port for those who like to play online, the OLED is surprisingly bare in this crucial sector.

Another great disappointment for Switch players playing on their televisions is that you’re still capped to a 1080p output; there’ll be no 4K upscaling. So whenever you dock the Nintendo Switch OLED, all of its major selling points miraculously disappear. This boggles my mind considering that this is a console that’s supposed to cater equally to three types of play.

The lack of 4K output subsequently leads to a question that Nintendo cannot avoid when it comes to the Switch OLED: why are the internal specifications the same as the original Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite? If you’re hoping for a Nintendo Switch Pro, you won’t find that here. Production problems have dashed dreams of this.

Everything about this feels entirely at odds with the console’s more premium feel. Countless titles and developers could have benefitted from a refresh of the Switch’s aging components, so it’s a shame Nintendo didn’t respond to the clamor from both developers and consumers with the console approaching its sixth anniversary.

So who is the Nintendo Switch OLED model for, and is it worth splashing the cash to upgrade if you already own the original Switch or handheld-only Switch Lite? Well, if you’re new to the Switch line, the answer is a definite ‘yes’ – this is the best version of Nintendo’s ingenious console to date and one that corrects many of the faults of the original model.

If you play the Switch in handheld or tabletop mode, then nothing stops you from upgrading to the OLED. The OLED has much to offer thanks to the gorgeous 7-inch OLED screen, amazing speakers, and redesigned kickstand. However, if you currently have a Switch and use it primarily in TV mode, we can confidently say that the Switch OLED would be a luxury and unnecessary upgrade.

You can watch our Nintendo Switch OLED video review below:

Nintendo Switch OLED price and release date

The Nintendo Switch OLED launched on October 8, 2021, and it’s the fourth iteration of Nintendo’s home console. It costs 349.99 / £309.99 / AU539.95, so it’s slightly more expensive than the original Nintendo Switch, which retails for 299.99 / £259.99 / AU469.95, and it’s obviously a more considerable investment than the Nintendo Switch Lite, which costs 199.99 / £199.99 / AU329.95.

The Nintendo Switch OLED model’s higher price tag seems reasonable, however. The upgraded console comes with a larger, 7-inch OLED display, enhanced speakers, double the internal storage and a wider kickstand, and you also get a slightly improved dock that includes a LAN port for more stable online play.

Thankfully, Nintendo has confirmed there won’t be a price hike just yet for the Nintendo Switch OLED, unlike the hikes for Oculus Quest 2 and PS5 that were blamed on global inflation. So, if you haven’t picked up an OLED model yet, there’s no need to rush.

Nintendo Switch OLED design

  • Three modes: TV, handheld, and tabletop
  • Same detachable Joy-Con controllers
  • It comes with various accessories

If it weren’t for the larger screen and new pristine white Joy-Con controllers, you’d be hard-pressed to notice any design differences between the Switch OLED and the original Switch. However, look a little closer, and several changes can be found.

The new 7-inch OLED display is the most prominent new design feature, and it’s surprisingly impactful, despite only being 0.8 inches larger than the original Switch’s 6.2-inch screen. As a result, the Switch OLED is slightly bigger than its predecessor: it’s 0.1 inches longer, at 9.5 x 0.55 x 4 inches (W x D x H), but it still feels immediately familiar in the hands.

The Switch OLED has a bit more heft about it, though. It weighs 422 grams with the Joy-Con attached, about 22 grams more than the Nintendo Switch. Thankfully, we didn’t find that the added weight caused any fatigue when playing, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you already feel like the Switch is a touch on the heavy side.

You’ll find the same Nintendo Switch accessories we’re used to seeing in the box: two Joy-Con controllers, a pair of Joy-Con straps, and a Joy-Con Grip.

You also get the redesigned Nintendo Switch dock, which includes the new LAN port, which is slightly longer but not quite as deep as the original dock. There’s a bit more wiggle room inside, too, which should allow for more efficient airflow and lessens the chance that you’ll gradually scratch the Switch’s screen by repeatedly putting it in and taking it out of the dock. The dock is also a touch lighter, not that you’ll be moving it very often, and it contains one fewer 2.0 USB port.

It’s also worth noting that the Nintendo Switch OLED will work in the old dock, and the original Nintendo Switch will work in the new one. Both may require a system update, but it’s pleasing to know that your old dock won’t be rendered entirely useless.

Other Switch OLED design changes include a repositioned microSD slot, which sits behind the wider kickstand and is easier to find, a slightly more recessed power button that’s now oval-shaped, and a wider volume rocker. It also features smaller slits for the fans to exhaust hot air, which help to give the Switch OLED a more modern appearance. You also get a headphone jack, as on the other Switch models.

Aesthetically speaking, the Nintendo Switch OLED hides the older Switch’s product information and warnings. While it’s a small addition, the back of the Switch now looks much cleaner as a result, with the info tucked discreetly away behind the new stand.

While we mostly welcome the Nintendo Switch OLED’s more minor design touches, we severely dislike one change: the new Game Card slot. The little indentation on the original Switch’s Game Card slot is gone, making it almost impossible to open if you don’t have any fingernails. We found ourselves scratching at the Game Card’s new slot countless times in an attempt to pry it open, and frankly, we can’t understand why this change was made when it’s objectively worse.

Nintendo Switch OLED: handheld mode

  • The new 7-inch OLED display is a revelation
  • Still not the most ergonomic design
  • Joy-Con durability concerns remain

The Nintendo Switch OLED lets you choose between two screen settings: Vivid and Standard. Vivid is the default setting and provides extremely punchy and vibrant colors, which many will find pleasing. Standard, meanwhile, is more akin to the original Switch’s color setting and provides a more natural and accurate picture. By heading to System Settings System Console Screen Vividness, you can see which suits you best.

Nintendo’s Switch OLED model shines in handheld mode thanks to the vibrant new display. The 7-inch panel makes it easier to track the action in fast-paced games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the high-contrast display breathes new life into Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Metroid Dread is an excellent showcase, too, as its dimly lit levels and alien-like color palette benefit from the OLED’s incredible contrast ratio.

Compared side-by-side with the new display, the original Switch’s LCD panel, almost looks washed out. Everything looks punchy and enticing on the OLED model – blacks, in particular, are inky and inviting on the OLED, whereas on the original, they look muted and gray.

The Switch OLED’s display is still only 720p; however, games and text still looked sharp and legible when using the console in a comfortable position. We didn’t encounter any motion blur issues, and the display was suitably bright, even in daylight conditions.

We still don’t think the Nintendo Switch OLED is the most ergonomic gaming device we’ve ever used. The flat and wide console shape can lead to hand cramps during longer play sessions, and Joy-Con controllers use the same design as the original console, which is five years old, meaning durability concerns remain. The Joy-Con still tends to move up and down ever so slightly when attached to the console, too, which we’ve always found concerning since they’re supposed to lock in place.

Nintendo Switch OLED: TV mode

  • No 4K support, still the same 1080p output
  • No HDR support either

Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch OLED offers zero improvements over its predecessor in TV mode. Yes, the new dock includes a LAN port for more stable online gaming compared to playing over Wi-Fi, but you still get the same 720p UI and a max output resolution of 1080p. Even then, you could plug a LAN adapter into your Switch dock.

With 4K TVs now commonplace in most households, it seems like a massive oversight not to include any 4K support with the Switch OLED. Even the Xbox One S, a console released in 2016, can output at 4K.

The Nintendo Switch OLED also doesn’t include support for high dynamic range or HDR as it’s commonly known. Again, we’ve seen last-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offer this functionality for years, so it would have been great to see Nintendo implement some modern-day display technologies to boost TV TV mode.

Nintendo Switch OLED: tabletop mode

  • Adjustable stand is a vast improvement over the original
  • OLED display offers better viewing angles
  • Enhanced speakers make a difference

Another plus point of the Nintendo Switch OLED is its performance in tabletop mode. Thanks to its wider, redesigned kickstand, it’s far easier (and safer) to use the Switch in tabletop mode, perfect for impromptu multiplayer sessions. The hinge is far more robust and makes a satisfying thud when closed – we don’t have any concerns about it loosening over time and failing to snap into place like the old one.

As on the original Switch, Joy-Con controllers can be detached from the side of the unit, allowing you to prop the console on a table or other surface to play with a friend (or stranger) at a moment’s notice.

But where the old kickstand limited you to one viewing angle, the Switch OLED’s adjustable stand can be positioned in multiple ways. It makes for a far more enjoyable viewing experience, and the excellent viewing angles of the OLED display mean you don’t need to huddle together when facing off in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The Nintendo Switch OLED’s enhanced speakers also really come to life in tabletop mode. Our favorite games sounded punchy and clear, without distortion at higher volumes, which is essential when you can’t reach for a pair of headphones.

Nintendo Switch OLED performance

Even though the original Nintendo Switch was approaching its fifth anniversary when this released, the Nintendo Switch OLED model offers no performance boost whatsoever. The enhanced display aside, the best Switch games look and play the same as before, with the new console having the same Nvidia Custom Tegra X1 processor and 4GB of RAM as its predecessor.

This will disappoint those who were hoping for a more powerful Switch model, which has often been dubbed a “Nintendo Switch Pro”. Most Switch games still play perfectly well, of course, but there’s no doubt that the console’s hardware is beginning to show its age. That’s especially true that the PS5 and Xbox Series X are on the market.

Games will at least look prettier thanks to the console’s new high-contrast display, and for some, that might be enough – but we were hoping for more here. Thankfully, battery life is on par with the Nintendo Switch (2019) version, so expect between 4.5 hours and nine hours, depending on the game you’re playing.

Nintendo Switch OLED game library

  • Exceptional library of titles to choose from
  • big releases are on the way

Of course, the main reason to pick up a Nintendo Switch OLED is to play games, not just to ogle the new hardware. And it’s here where the Switch excels. The Switch’s library of games is jam-packed with some timeless classics, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

And it’s not just Nintendo’s first-party lineup that makes the Switch an appealing prospect; the console is also home to fantastic indie games such as Hades, Celeste, and Spelunky 2, many of which feel far more enjoyable to play untethered from the TV.

It means there’s a game to suit every player’s tastes, and many more blockbusters will come, including The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Metroid Prime 4. You’ll have plenty of titles to play on the Nintendo Switch OLED.

Buy it if.

You play almost exclusively in handheld and tabletop mode The Nintendo Switch OLED’s most significant improvements come to the fore when you’re playing in handheld or tabletop mode, with the gorgeous OLED screen, wider kickstand, and enhanced speakers combining to offer a far more enjoyable experience.

You’re a first-time Switch buyer With its new display, improved kickstand, and enhanced speakers, this is the best version of the Nintendo Switch to date. If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s easy to recommend it over the original model, despite the higher price tag.

Don’t buy it if.

You primarily play Switch games in TV mode Almost all of the console’s new benefits disappear once the Nintendo Switch OLED is in its dock. The console still outputs at 1080p, which can look noticeably soft on 4K displays, and there’s no HDR, VRR, or auto low-latency mode support.

You want a more powerful Switch The internal storage boost aside, the Switch OLED has the exact same technical specs as the original model, so you won’t experience any improvements to resolution or frame rates over the original Switch when playing games.

What is an OLED display?

OLED stands for ‘Organic Light Emitting Diode’. OLED panels bring you better image quality (blacker blacks and brighter whites), reduced power consumption, and faster response times. OLED panels emit their own light when an electric current is passed through, whereas cells in an LCD-LED display require an external light source, like a giant backlight, for brightness. It means individual pixels can be turned on and off, preventing the display from exhibiting backlight bleed, bloom, or haloing that can occur in other display technologies.

Is the Nintendo Switch OLED prone to burn-in?

One of the most common concerns regarding OLED displays is that they can be susceptible to burn-in. Burn-in is a term used to describe permanent image retention on OLED displays that can occur from looping logos or static HUDs. When such elements are displayed for hours, it can permanently scar the panel’s pixels, leaving residual ‘ghost’ patterns that can’t be turned off.

Thankfully, OLED panel manufacturers have made great strides in negating burn-in. LG uses ‘screen shift’ technology, which subtly moves static images onscreen to ensure individual pixels aren’t outputting the same information for sustained periods.

But could the Nintendo Switch OLED be susceptible to burn-in? Nintendo told TechRadar: “We’ve designed the OLED screen to aim for longevity as much as possible, but OLED displays can experience image retention if subjected to static visuals over a long time.

“However, users can take preventative measures to preserve the screen by utilizing some of the Nintendo Switch console’s included features, such as using auto-brightness to prevent the screen from getting too bright and enabling the auto-sleep function to put the console into “auto sleep” and turn off the screen after short periods of time.”

Nintendo Switch OLED: Recent updates

Nintendo’s continued building upon the Switch OLED since it launched last October, thanks to continued system updates.

Between reminding us to use our Nintendo Switch reward points and adding Nintendo Switch software folders to better organize our library of games, a Nintendo Switch Online achievements system also went live. Elsewhere, you can now add friends through the Nintendo Switch Online companion app, available on iOS and Android mobiles. It means adding friends is easier than ever on Nintendo Switch.

There’s no end of upcoming games to look forward to, but if you’re after the older classics, fear not. Thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, there’s a continually growing library of NES and SNES games to play. If you’ve opted for the Expansion Pack, there’s Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and more N64 games are coming. We’d say keep your Nintendo Switch Online subscription for now.

Looking for advice on how to connect Nintendo Switch to your TV? After some recommendations for Nintendo Switch SD cards? We’ve got you covered.

“Nintendo Switch OLED: who is it for?”

Nintendo has unveiled the new Switch OLED model, but are the upgrades big enough to entice established gamers and new consumers?

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Switch Pro rumorists must be rolling in their graves right now. Nintendo, in typical Nintendo fashion, skipped informing us at E3 and instead decided to drop the news of a new Switch model on our laps just this morning. Presenting the new Nintendo Switch OLED model.

It’s a far cry from anything remotely resembling the rumored 4K Switch Pro or Super Nintendo Switch that has dominated a lot of Switch hardware discussion. Sure, that could still be coming down the road (don’t abandon your conspiracy theory subreddit just yet), but for now, all we have is the OLED model to keep us warm. Whether it is or isn’t the Pro model is immaterial and unknown.

Now remember when the Switch Lite was announced and people asked “who is this for?” You had a Switch that didn’t… er… switch. It seems to me that this is again the fundamental question with this latest Switch model. So many excellent publications have spent space detailing its new features so I won’t belabor that here.

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Quick rundown

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

Gimmicks

It’s unclear what exactly the Switch OLED model is for. The Lite skipped the titular gimmick of the Switch by being unable to switch from handheld to docked. It was clearly a dedicated handheld gaming device. With Switch OLED, though, the benefits are less obvious.

For instance, there seems to be a push here toward better visuals, but they’re slight and limited to the OLED handheld screen. There’s no additional benefit for the TV screen in docked mode, so far as I can tell. That will likely do very little to appeal to the Playstation and Xbox crowds who are used to publishers that push graphical fidelity and visual detail, never mind PC gamers and their upgraded rigs.

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

Handheld benefits

Most of the new features are geared toward the handheld experience, in fact. Certain consumers have already expressed that the Switch is too large to feel like a true handheld. Someone once told me it can’t be a handheld because it doesn’t fit in your What’s more, will a LAN connection work with the new Switch OLED handheld screen and all of its new handheld features, or will consumers need to choose between which of the model’s features to use and when? And will that be a big enough draw to purchase a new model when you can already get LAN support on the base Switch model with an adapter?

As I previously thought with the Lite, the Switch OLED seems to shoot itself in the foot. The Lite had Joy Cons that risked suffering drift yet they couldn’t be removed and replaced because it was a Switch that couldn’t switch. The Switch OLED, on the other hand, can switch. But it features very slight improvements that either seem to not appeal at all or to appeal in very specific ways counter to the dynamic switching function the Switch itself is named for. If there are no major big screen benefits, then that limits its appeal to those who play primarily in handheld. But then how do you make use of the LAN support?

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Expectations

It’s all a bit confounding, isn’t it? It’s not at all what many expected and it’s not what many sites were churning out as “leaks”. Don’t trust leaks, by the way.

The best I can say for the Switch OLED is that it’s still in the accessible and affordable price range of the base Switch model. 50 USD more nabs a better display for handheld and better multiplayer for docked. But with so small of an upgrade, it doesn’t necessarily appeal to current Switch owners, unless we just want to keep up with the Joneses.

That leads me to believe that the best answer to the question “who is this for?” is this: it’s for potentially new Switch owners, consumers who do not yet have a Nintendo Switch. For a little more, they can get some extra space and some slight improvements. It’s not time to upgrade your current base model… but if you’re thinking of getting a Switch, this may be a decent entry point.

Oh and it comes in white. I guess this generation is all about the white consoles.

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

I’ve so far seen a lot of confusion surrounding the new Switch OLED and its features, likely because of Nintendo’s decision to suddenly drop its announcement out of nowhere. Certainly, this approach is nothing new for Nintendo, a company that has thrived on the weird and uncanny, but I have to Echo the general sentiment. Who is this for?

I personally would have liked to see Nintendo address some of the issues I take with the Joy Cons. We should at least be thankful that there’s no word of exclusives coming to this new Switch OLED model (yet). It’ll play the same games just a little better. Maybe.

Red formerly ran The Well-Red Mage and now serves The Pixels as founder, writer, editor, and podcaster. He has undertaken a seemingly endless crusade to talk about the games themselves in the midst of a culture obsessed with the latest controversy, scandal, and news cycle about harassment, toxicity, and negativity. Pick out his feathered cap on @thewellredmage or Mage Cast.

Nintendo Switch review

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The Nintendo Switch is the first step in bridging the gap between both home and handheld consoles, so it’s an incredibly significant addition to Nintendo’s esteemed family of consoles and boasts a tonne of shiny features to make it stand out. It packs some impressive capabilities into its hybrid form, especially when considering its flexibility.

Six years on, following a 2019 revision of the console and the release of the Nintendo Switch OLED and Nintendo Switch Lite models, the Nintendo Switch is more popular than it’s ever been, and it’s apparent Nintendo has struck a winning formula with its handheld hybrid.

The design of the Nintendo Switch has helped Nintendo to continue its high reign in the console space with something entirely unique, especially running off the back of the innovative Nintendo Wii and beloved Nintendo 3DS.

The Switch is a significantly different device from what we’ve seen prior, and the handheld nature of the console provides the best of both worlds. As the list of best Nintendo Switch games gets bigger with high-quality first-party games and unique third-party offerings, you’ll more than likely want to sink hours into the console whenever you can.

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

Whether you’ve already made your purchase or not, it’s hard to deny that the Nintendo Switch is a fine idea, mixing some of what made the Wii and Wii U appealing for gamers (even if developers had a more challenging time figuring out how to make the most of the latter device).

The Nintendo Switch brings with it a central idea that can benefit literally every game, not just the select few that can use motion control or a second screen. Who hasn’t at one time wanted to pack up their console and take it with them? Essentially, the Switch delivers on this hybrid idea. You’ll find it a solid, premium handheld that can flip into docked mode and work as you’d expect a home console.

At the same time, the Nintendo Switch certainly isn’t perfect: most of the issues it has are a consequence of the way that it dares to try and do everything at once, and it doesn’t always get the compromise right.

Those who aren’t sold on its hybridity and want that classic Nintendo handheld experience will no doubt be interesting in the compact, lighter alternative: the Nintendo Switch Lite, which offers a solely handheld Switch gaming experience. For those after something more premium, there’s also the Nintendo Switch OLED, which mainly improves the portable aspect of play.

Nintendo Switch: price and release date

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

  • What is it? Nintendo’s hybrid console
  • When did it come out? March 3, 2017
  • What does it cost? 259.99 / £259.99 / AUD435

The original Nintendo Switch launched over five years ago, arriving on March 3, 2017. While it previously cost 299.99 in the US, £259.99 in the UK, and 469.95 in Australia, Nintendo gave this a small price cut after the Switch OLED model arrived October 2021.

Nowadays, you’ll find it going a new RRP worldwide of €269.99 / £259.99 / 259.99 / AU435. Thankfully, Nintendo has confirmed there won’t be a price hike just yet for the Nintendo Switch in the wake of rising global inflation, unlike the recent hikes for Oculus Quest 2 and PS5. So, if you’ve not yet picked up any of the Nintendo Switch family, there’s no need to rush.

Nintendo Switch: design

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

  • Three form factors: handheld, console (docked) and tabletop
  • Lots of accessories, which are at risk of being misplaced

In the box with your shiny new Nintendo Switch, you get the main console, two detachable controller sides (Joy-Cons), a grip which enables you to combine these controller portions into a more traditional gamepad, two straps which can make them into two individual controllers, and a dock for plugging the console into your television.

You also get a USB Type-C power cable (with a non-detachable power brick) and an HDMI cable for connecting the device to your TV. If you think that sounds like a lot of accessories, then you’d be right: we suspect many Nintendo Switch owners will have misplaced at least one or two of these within a few months.

We’ve wrapped our Joy-Con straps around our Joy-Con grip just to keep everything together, but we’d love some way of attaching them to the console, so they don’t end up getting misplaced. It’s a pretty novel (not to mention somewhat complicated) setup, so it’s worth delving into each of the different ways you can use the console.

Nintendo Switch: handheld mode

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

  • Bigger than traditional handhelds
  • Slightly cramped for the right hand due to right analogue stick
  • Split D-pad on the left side

First in the Nintendo Switch modes is the handheld mode, the form factor most like the hardware devices that came before the Switch. In this configuration, you attach the two controller portions (the Joy-Cons) to the left and right edges of the screen, then game much as you can with the Playstation Vita.

In fact, the size and shape of the console’s analogue sticks make it feel a lot like a modern Vita, though it’s not as solid because of the joints that exist between the Joy-Cons and the screen. Along the top of the Nintendo Switch is a slot for game cartridges, a headphone jack (Bluetooth headphones are now supported after a post-launch update), a volume rocker and a power button.

The bottom of the device is less busy. You’ve got the kickstand for tabletop mode (more on this later), which conceals a small microSD slot for expandable storage. Internal storage on the Nintendo Switch is limited to just 32GB, so if you’re planning on downloading games rather than buying them, you’ll want to invest in a Nintendo Switch SD card (capacities up to 2TB are theoretically supported).

Check out our unboxing video of the Nintendo Switch below.

The detachable Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons have a lot going on. The right-hand side has the classic A, B, X, and Y button configuration, an analogue stick (slightly awkwardly placed underneath the face buttons) and two shoulder buttons. A small plus-shaped button is the equivalent of the Wii U’s ‘Start’ button and a home button for reaching the console’s system-level menus.

Across on the left, Joy-Con, it’s a very similar story, as you would expect. You’ve got a minus button that acts as the console’s ‘Select’ button, a share button for taking screenshots and video (in selected titles), an analogue stick, two shoulder buttons, and the most un-Nintendo D-pad we’ve ever seen.

Instead of the classic cross D-pad Nintendo utilized since the NES, the left Joy-Con has a set of four circular buttons that are identical in shape to the face buttons on the right Joy-Con. This design decision, which appears very odd at first glance, is so the left Joy-Con can be used as an individual controller, with the D-pad acting as face-buttons in this configuration (again, more on this later).

Nintendo Switch: console mode

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  • Connects to your TV via an included dock
  • Docking process is seamless, and can be done mid-game

The second Nintendo Switch form-factor is console mode. You place the main portion in the included dock, which connects the device to your television – you’re then free to detach the Joy-Cons to control the Switch from a distance.

The way the console transfers the viewing experience from its own screen to the television is as seamless as it could possibly be, and you don’t even have to pause your game. Everything happens in real-time. Detaching the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons can be a little fiddly, admittedly: it’s done by holding small buttons on their backs and sliding the controllers up.

The TV dock is roughly the same size as the Nintendo Switch’s middle portion. Around the back, you’ve got a USB Type-C port to provide the console with power, an HDMI port to connect it to your television, and a USB Type-A port. On the left-hand side of the console are two additional USB ports, mainly used for charging your Switch controllers as you play wirelessly (more on this in a moment).

If you want to use the Nintendo Switch with multiple televisions throughout your home, you can buy additional Switch docks, which make it easy to transition from one screen to another, plug-and-play style. You can even use an OLED model’s dock, which has a built-in Ethernet port.

Nintendo Switch: tabletop mode

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  • Screen can also be detached and propped up on a table
  • Great for two-player gaming, but four players on the console’s small screen is a push

The final form factor for the Nintendo Switch is what Nintendo calls ‘tabletop mode’. Using the kickstand attached to the back of the screen, you can prop the console up on a table and then detach the Joy-Cons for some semi-portable gaming. In theory, this is perfect for long journeys on public transport where you have a tray table to place the console on; in reality, we found it a bit of a mixed experience.

We do like being able to use the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons in the grip rather than having them attached to the console – the grip provides just enough extra plastic to make the controllers much more comfortable in the hands, and having the console a little further away means your sitting posture can be a lot more natural.

Tabletop mode is also great for multiplayer on the Switch. Detaching both Joy-Cons to allow two people to play against one another is a pleasure: it makes the Nintendo Switch perfect for whipping out at small gatherings where you’ll already have everything you need for a multiplayer session. However, a couple of issues prevent the console from fully capitalizing on this intriguing tabletop mode.

First is the kickstand. Although it’s rubberized, which means that the Switch doesn’t slide around, it only supports the console at a single height. If your tray table is a little closer to you, then there’s no ability to prop the console up so that it’s facing you more directly, and instead, you’ll be stuck with the screen pointing at your chest rather than your face.

Second is the Nintendo Switch charging port, which is inaccessible when you use it in tabletop mode. During a recent train journey, this meant that although we were in the perfect situation to use tabletop mode, we ended up using the console as a handheld to charge it up.

Finally, the Nintendo Switch screen is just a little too small for multiplayer gaming for more than two players. Four-player Mario Kart is almost impossible due to the size and resolution of the display (we found ourselves putting our faces inches from the console to be able to make out distant details).

Overall, tabletop mode on the Switch feels better suited to short periods of use, which is a shame when it feels like it should be the de facto way to use the Nintendo Switch over long periods.

Nintendo Switch: set-up

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

  • Set-up is simple enough
  • Console needs to be told whether Joy-Cons are being used together or separately

Setting up a brand new Nintendo Switch is refreshingly simple; you’ll be pleased to learn. If you’re using the device as a handheld, attach the Joy-Cons, press the power button, and. er. that’s it.

If you want to play Nintendo Switch games on your TV, you need to plug the dock into the TV via HDMI, then hook it up to some power via the included USB Type-C power lead. The console then easily slips into the dock.

Pairing the controllers is a little more complicated than with other devices because of the fact that they can either be paired or used separately. The way you tell the Switch which controllers you’re using is to press both the L and R shoulder buttons in whichever configuration you’ve opted for. So if you’re using the Joy-Cons individually, you press the buttons on the Joy-Con straps to indicate this is the case.

On the software side, the console asks for the standard combination of Wi-Fi details and user account set-up info. These details are a doddle to input on the console’s touchscreen – the keyboard isn’t quite as good as a phone’s, but it’s much better than a typical console experience. Afterwards, games can be played off a cartridge or the Nintendo Switch’s internal memory.

Nintendo Switch: recent updates

Nintendo’s continued building upon the Switch since the Lite’s launch. Alongside the launch of the Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch OLED, it’s also seen continued system updates.

Between reminding us to use our Nintendo Switch reward points and adding Nintendo Switch software folders to better organize our library of games, a Nintendo Switch Online achievements system also went live. Elsewhere, you can now add friends through the Nintendo Switch Online companion app, available on iOS and Android mobiles. It means adding friends is easier than ever on Nintendo Switch.

There’s no end of upcoming games to look forward to, but if you’re after the older classics, fear not. Thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, there’s a continually growing library of NES and SNES games to play. If you’ve opted for the Expansion Pack, there’s Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and more N64 games are coming. We’d say keep your Nintendo Switch Online subscription for now.

Looking for advice on how to connect Nintendo Switch to your TV? After some recommendations for Nintendo Switch SD cards? We’ve got you covered.

Let’s not forget Nintendo has designed some absolutely classic controllers in its time – the original NES controller wrote the blueprint that console controllers have followed ever since, the N64 was the first console to have a controller with an analogue thumb-stick, and the Wii (for better or for worse) introduced the world to motion-controlled gaming.

With the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has attempted the seemingly impossible in creating a system that’s simultaneously one whole controller and two separate controllers, while also functioning as controllers in the handheld mode.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons: general impressions

  • By trying to do many things at once the Joy-Cons don’t do anything perfectly
  • HD Rumble tech is impressive – but developers need to find a use for it

Ultimately these multiple roles mean the Nintendo Switch controllers end up being jacks of all trades and masters of none. None of the controller configurations are unusable, but we’ve used more comfortable controllers in the past that have had the advantage of only having to do one job very well.

The left Joy-Con’s D-pad sums up the problem in a nutshell: rather than going for the cross D-pad that Nintendo has been using since the NES, the D-pad is instead split into four separate buttons to allow them to be used as face buttons when the Joy-Con is utilized as an individual controller. The result is a D-pad that you’re not going to want to use for classic games that rely on it a lot, such as Street Fighter.

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The Nintendo Switch analogue sticks also feel like a compromise between form factors: too small for a traditional gamepad, yet big enough that we wouldn’t want to throw the device too carelessly into a rucksack for fear of one of them snapping off.

You do have the option of buying separate accessories which don’t have these issues (the Nintendo Switch Pro controller being a prime example), but in this review we’re going to limit ourselves to talking about what you get in the box, since this is the primary way most people are going to be using the console – at least initially.

One part of the Switch controllers that we absolutely love are the face buttons. They’re a little smaller than those on other consoles, but they’ve got a really satisfying click to them that we really appreciate. The Joy-Cons feature an interesting form of rumble, which Nintendo has dubbed ‘HD Rumble’. From what we’ve seen so far this isn’t just a marketing gimmick – it feels like a step forward for rumble tech.

One mini-game in the launch game 1-2 Switch has you milking cows, sure, but it also counts the number of (virtual) balls inside a Joy-Con. It’s impressive just how well the HD Rumble creates the impression of there being real balls inside the controller. Another mini-game impresses by tasking you to crack a safe by feeling the click of a dial as you turn it.

Both mini-games have us excited for the possibilities of HD Rumble in the future, but the success of the technology depends on the ability of Switch developers to make use of it – the potential is there, but we’re still waiting for a killer app. Nintendo made practical use of the feature in the Switch 3.0 OS update – if you’ve lost one Joy-Con but the two are still paired, you can make the other vibrate to find it.

There were initially reports of connectivity issues with the left Joy-Con on the Nintendo Switch, something which we experienced ourselves. The problem is that sometimes during gameplay, the left Joy-Con’s connection just drops out completely. Fortunately, Nintendo is now offering a Joy-Con repair service for any broken ones, so we’d advise sending yours in if you experience connectivity issues of any kind.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons: handheld

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  • Handheld controls are a little cramped and awkward
  • Right analogue stick in particular is uncomfortable

It’s in the handheld configuration that the Nintendo Switch controller’s deficiencies are most apparent. The main problem is the low positioning of the right analogue stick, which we found very difficult to operate comfortably.

Either you hold the Switch precariously on the tips of your fingers in order to operate the analogue stick with the tip of your right thumb, or you hold the device more tightly and operate the thumbstick with the inside of your thumb knuckle, which feels rather cramped and awkward.

Looking back, the Vita layout is very similar, but the increased weight of the Nintendo Switch makes it much more difficult to comfortably hold on the fingertips. It’s a mode that we think works in small bursts, but it’s not comfortable over longer periods.

If you’re gaming on Nintendo Switch on a flight, for example, we’d expect most people to opt to put the console in tabletop mode on the tray table in front of them. We are, however, fans of the shoulder buttons, which manage to feel big enough without impacting on the depth of the console too much.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons: grip

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  • Analogue sticks smaller than traditional controllers
  • Overall the controller is comfortable and nice to use
  • Clicky face buttons are especially appealing

The main way we expect people will play with the console when it’s docked is by combining the two Joy-Cons together into a single controller. This is done by using the included Joy-Con grip, which the two sides slide neatly into.

We were initially concerned when it was revealed that the Joy-Con grip that comes with the Nintendo Switch is unable to charge the two controllers – this means that if you want to charge your controllers you’ll need to plug them back into the console’s screen.

The Joy-Cons’ battery life is rated at 20 hours, so we’d be surprised if they ever run out of battery mid-game; at the same time, having to dismantle our controllers after every play session is somewhat annoying. A grip that charges the Joy-Cons is available, but this is sold separately. Aside from charging concerns, we were surprised with how the Nintendo Switch controller feels when assembled in the grip.

Although the analogue sticks are a little small, we found them perfectly usable for lengthy Breath of the Wild play sessions, and the addition of a little more plastic massively helps the ergonomics of the controller as a whole.

It’s just a shame that the controller doesn’t have a proper D-pad on its left side: as it stands you’re going to need to buy the Pro controller if you want that traditional Nintendo controller feel on the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons: individual controllers

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  • Oddly positioned buttons due to having to work as a combined controller
  • A nice option to have if you want a friend to join you for multiplayer

Split the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons apart and they can work as individual controllers complete with an analogue stick each, four face buttons, and (if you attach a Joy-Con strap) two shoulder buttons. It’s this configuration that feels like it’s required the biggest compromise in Nintendo’s pursuit to make them work in multiple ways.

On the left Joy-Con the D-pad/face buttons are in the centre of the controller, which means your right thumb is uncomfortably far over, and the same is true of the analogue stick on the right Joy-Con. The asymmetrical configuration also makes describing controls to another person very difficult, since the control buttons have different names between the two Joy-Cons.

The lack of hand grips is also prone to causing cramp if you use the controllers over long periods, especially if the game you’re playing relies heavily on the Joy-Con’s shoulder buttons. As a final point, the shoulder buttons can feel a little stiff to press, which adds to the discomfort of using them over long periods.

So while this configuration might work in a pinch if you want to let a friend join you for a couple of rounds of Mario Kart, we don’t see it being something you’ll want to spend a lot of time with. Additionally, you’ll need to remember to carry the Joy-Con straps with your Nintendo Switch if you want to use the shoulder buttons, which will be an annoying inconvenience for most people.

Alternatively, you can use the two Joy-Cons as a single controller while split apart. Here they function identically to when they’re assembled into the Joy-Con grip, although we found it much less comfortable because of how cramped the right analogue stick ends up feeling.

Again, this feels like a compromise, this time for when you’ve forgotten your Joy-Con grip. We can’t see ourselves using this configuration much at all unless a motion-controlled game specifically calls for it in the future.

Nintendo was a little late to the online party. While Microsoft stormed ahead with its Xbox Live service and Sony got to grips with the Playstation Network, Nintendo was languishing with inconvenient friend codes and limited voice chat options.

After a lengthy initial wait, Nintendo Switch Online is in full swing. As you’re probably aware, it brings with it the ability to save games in the Cloud, access to a host of classic NES games, and of course online multiplayer. The downside is you have to fork out £3.49 / 3.99 to Nintendo every month for the basic plan.

Nintendo Switch: online multiplayer

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  • Basic service has been online for a while
  • Full service launched in October 2018

Online multiplayer was available in some games from the launch of the Nintendo Switch, but now it’s here in full – if you’re willing to pay for it. We’ve already had a play around with the console’s companion app, which was compatible with Splatoon 2 right away.

You could invite friends to matches, and voice chat with them, even if the whole process was rather cumbersome. Using a separate device isn’t ideal, and connectivity usually wasn’t perfect. Since the full Nintendo Switch Online service launched, things improved with direct in-game invites, but these aren’t often utilised.

What we can tell you is that regular updates to the Nintendo Switch companion app and the firmware on the console itself have continued to introduce some very welcome features – such as the ability to add friends directly from your 3DS and Wii U Friend Lists.

Nintendo Switch: local wireless multiplayer

  • Easy to set up and join other players
  • Supports up to eight Switch consoles

Local wireless multiplayer within a game such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe works very well in our experience. We used three Nintendo Switch consoles to have six people playing at once and found the entire process simple to set up, with no lag or connection problems.

To set up an online multiplayer game using local wireless, players simply start up Mario Kart and select local wireless mode for either one or two players within the game itself. After this, one player will set up a room which the other players then join, and the player who set up the room selects the race rules.

Each player will be given the chance to vote for their track preference and the game will randomly choose a track from those that players have voted for, much like online play works. If you have two players to one console, then the screen will split for each of you to see your place in the race, but you won’t see what everyone else is seeing on their screens unless their consoles are in front of you.

In the specific case of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the maximum number of players that you can have in a single race over local wireless is eight, with one or two players per Switch. You can also do LAN matches with up to 12 players. However, if you don’t have multiple consoles then up to four friends can play on a single Nintendo Switch console in TV mode, or in tabletop mode.

Alternatively, if you have a lot of friends and a lot of consoles to hand, up to 12 consoles in TV mode can be connected via LAN Play, with one or two players per connected Nintendo Switch. However with each player required to have their own USB Ethernet adaptor, it’s unlikely that many outside of tournaments will end up using their Nintendo Switch consoles in this way.

Nintendo Switch Online

game, rant, nintendo, switch, lite

  • Limited functionality at launch
  • Full service arrived in October 2018

Nintendo Switch Online certainly looks better than what it’s offered in the past, but it still falls short of what competitors Sony and Microsoft are doing. The service costs 3.99 / £3.49 / AU5.95 if you’re paying month by month, with the monthly cost dropping slightly if you commit to more months at once.

And remember those are the for one user. If you’ve got a family on your Nintendo Switch then you’ll be looking to sign up for the more expensive family plan which costs £31.49 / 34.99 per year. It seems like a fair bit more, but it does allow up to eight accounts across multiple consoles, meaning you get a decent discount if you know a few people with Switch consoles who are willing to split.

Large parts of the service function through an app on your phone, so you’ll have to have it on you if you want to use some of the online functions. The service also offers its own somewhat limited version of Sony’s Playstation Plus free games and Microsoft’s Xbox Games with Gold, giving players access to a small library of 20 NES games at launch (with modern features like online multiplayer).

Nintendo has continued adding NES and SNES games regularly but if you opt for the more expensive Expansion Pack, there’s Mega Drive and N64 games too.

Something a lot of people have been waiting for has also arrived with the online service: Cloud saves. Those who subscribe to the online service can finally back up their saves for the games they’ve plugged hundreds of hours into (though they do have to pay for the privilege).

Though the Switch launched without the popular video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime we’ve come to expect from consoles. Nintendo was quick to promise that these services would come to the console ‘in time’, though five years on, this remains sparse.

Hulu is the first of these services to have launched. It’s US-only, but we’re hoping this is a good sign that other streaming services will be arriving soon. YouTube and Crunchyroll have since arrived, too.

Nintendo Switch: eShop online store

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  • eShop available at launch with modern games
  • Retro games available through Nintendo Switch Online

Like the Wii U before it, the Nintendo Switch features an online store that will allow you to download games rather than buy them in-store.

If you’re looking to download your games instead of buying them in a physical format, you should buy a microSD card for your Nintendo Switch. The console’s internal memory is limited to 32GB, an amount which is already too small for one game, Dragon Quest Heroes.

As for the Virtual Console seen on previous Nintendo devices, that’s not coming to the Nintendo Switch. Instead, retro games are available through the online subscription service we’ve already mentioned. We like the eShop’s minimalist design. Along the left are sections for Recent Releases, Coming Soon, Charts, Current Offers and Redeem Code, alongside some search functionality too.

You can add upcoming games to your Watch List, and there’s also a section for downloading previously purchased titles to your Nintendo Switch. Nintendo is clearly planning to continue to add to the store as time goes on, too.

This original review was based on the Nintendo Switch model released at launch. However Nintendo has since updated its standard model to one which boasts a longer battery life.

With the Nintendo Switch having to work as a handheld as well as a home console, we were initially worried that the console’s graphical abilities would be limited. Internally the Switch is using an Nvidia Tegra X1 chip, which is broadly similar to what was found in the Nvidia Shield.

That’s not exactly a bad thing considering the Shield is a 4K-capable set-top box, but you have to remember that as a portable device the Switch needs to make compromises to ensure decent battery life. At launch, concerns over graphical horsepower appeared to be partly borne out, but we wouldn’t call them deal-breakers.

Nintendo Switch: graphical performance

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  • Roughly equivalent to Wii U
  • Not on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One level
  • Strength of Nintendo’s art direction makes up for technical shortcomings

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example, runs at a resolution of 720p on the Wii U, while this is boosted to 900p on the Switch when docked and outputting to a Full HD screen (4K output isn’t supported).

On the surface this suggests the Switch has the graphical edge on the Wii U, but we experienced frequent frame rate drops when playing the game on our television. Meanwhile, when played on the Switch’s own 720p screen, the game maintained a consistent frame rate.

These observations would suggest that we’re looking at a new console with roughly equivalent power to Nintendo’s last-generation system, but we’ll see how the situation improves as developers continue to get to grips with the new hardware.

Nintendo has never been one to push the graphical envelope though, not really. Past games such as the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 have certainly looked good, but this has been more as a result of their distinctive art style than the technical prowess of their graphics. We’re thankful then that this has tended to be a strong suit of Nintendo’s in the past.

The look of the games (in handheld mode at least) is also helped by the quality of the Switch’s screen. Although it’s only a 720p resolution, the screen is bright and its colors are vibrant. It’s not up there with the best smartphones on the market, but it’s definitely a step above Nintendo’s past handhelds.

We’ll have to see what the Nintendo Switch achieves in the graphical department going forward, but this certainly isn’t a console to rival the likes of the Playstation 4 or Xbox One. Since the release of Sony and Microsoft’s new generation successors, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, that technological gap has only widened further.

Still, the games we’ve played look very good for handheld games, but as console games they don’t quite have the same fidelity of current-generation games on other consoles.

Nintendo Switch: battery life

  • As low as 2.5 hours for graphically intensive games
  • Enough for a commute, but longer journeys might prove problematic
  • Ability to charge over USB allows use of portable battery packs

Much has been made of the Switch’s battery life, which Nintendo has claimed will last between 2.5 and 6 hours. In our experience this claim has rung true. When actively playing Zelda we got around 2.5 hours, which was enough to cover our commute to and from work in a single day before we charged the Switch overnight.

If you’re looking to use the console for a longer period, such as on a flight, then there are a couple of things you can do to squeeze some more battery life out of the console – turning on airplane mode for example (although this prevents you from detaching the Joy-Cons), and dimming the screen.

Additionally you’re able to use portable battery packs, but this is hardly ideal, and we found that the Nintendo Switch draws so much power that at best they prevented the battery from dropping during play, rather than actively recharging it.

It’s difficult to compare this battery life to previous handheld consoles, as even on the Switch itself this battery life will vary massively between different games, but we’ve seen a rest-mode comparison that put the Switch ahead of the Vita and PSP, while losing out to the DS and GameBoy Advance.

The bottom line is that this is a console that should be able to deal with your daily commute, but might struggle with longer journeys.

Update: This page originally covered the games that launched alongside the console. However after five years on sale, the number of games on the Nintendo Switch has increased significantly – check out our guide to the best Nintendo Switch games for a constantly-updated list of the games you absolutely need to pick up.

  • Plenty of good games over the first 12 months
  • Eventual success will rely on third-party developers
  • Lack of graphical parity may harm long-term support

The Nintendo Switch’s launch lineup comprised a combination of ports of existing games such as Shovel Knight, World of Goo and I Am Setsuna, new entries in existing franchises like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Bomberman R, and all-new games like Snipperclips, 1-2 Switch and Fast RMX.

All in all it wasn’t a bad launch lineup, but the first 12 months that the Nintendo Switch was on sale also saw big new releases in the form of Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Splatoon 2 and Arms.

Nintendo of America’s now-former president, Reggie Fils-Aime, said in an interview that we could see more of Nintendo’s big first party titles come to the console in one form or another. Since then, we’ve seen fan favorites like Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Luigi’s Mansion, Kirby, Advance Wars and Mario Strikers: Battle League arrive.

How this will continue playing out isn’t fully clear, but Fils-Aime did say that a main Nintendo development philosophy is to have at least one of its classic franchises on every platform. In its first year, the console received ports of big games like Minecraft and FIFA. Though hardly new, these remain important for consumers who don’t plan on using the Switch as a second console, but their primary gaming device.

The real test in the long term will be how third-party developers (i.e. those not financed by Nintendo directly) embrace the console. Although its graphics are good for a handheld, we worry that a lack of graphical parity with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will prevent developers from easily supporting the console alongside those devices, which may harm the number of game releases it gets in the future.

So far there have been some positive signs for third-party support on the Nintendo Switch. Rocket League developer Psyonix brought the game to the console, for example, and Snake Pass’ launch suggests games can be brought over to the Switch without too many compromises.

Mario and Zelda have always been excellent games. Still, without the likes of franchises with more regular release schedules like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, you might find yourself lacking games to play in the long run. Thankfully, Nintendo usually releases at least one first-party game each month, so there’s never a major drought.

We’ve had the chance to try out a select portion of the console’s games at launch, so read on for our thoughts.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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  • Impressive modernization of a classic franchise

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of Nintendo Switch’s launch lineup. Although the game also arrived on Nintendo’s older Wii U console, the thought of being able to take a full-on, modern Zelda on the go was always going to be a compelling proposition.

But quite apart from being the best handheld Zelda game ever made, the game is also up there with being one of the best in the series too. It feels fantastically broad and open, with dozens of weapons to find, items to craft, and environments to explore.

Yes, the game breaks with tradition in so many ways but the experience still ends up feeling quintessentially Zelda, with all the charm that this entails. If you’re picking up a Nintendo Switch or have done already, then Breath of the Wild is an absolutely essential purchase. It won’t be long before its direct sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, also arrives.

1-2 Switch

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  • An interesting showcase of the hardware, but doesn’t quite have the staying power of Wii Sports

Like the Wii before it, the Nintendo Switch introduces new technologies to gaming that haven’t been explored before. Whereas the Wii had Wii Sports to show off these new concepts, the Switch is banking on 1-2 Switch to demonstrate what the new hardware is capable of. The result is a mini-game collection, which cover everything from sword-fighting, Wild West gunslinging, and cow-milking.

It’s a fun collection of games, but we don’t think it has the same ‘replayability’ as the classic Wii Sports did. The fact this isn’t a pack-in game and requires a separate purchase doesn’t help it, either.

The games are more about performing in front of your friends than outright winning. For example, one game has you pulling yoga poses and trying to keep as still as possible for as long as you can, but since the Joy-Con is only tracking the movement of one hand, there’s nothing forcing you to actually hold the pose specified by the game (aside from drawing the ire of your friends).

There’s also no single-player mode for you to practise with when you’re away from a group of pals. Overall the game is a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s a fun one to use to show off your new Nintendo Switch to friends.

Snipperclips

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  • A great little co-op indie game

One of the nice surprises of the Switch launch event way back when was Snipperclips, a small puzzle game in which two players solve puzzles by cutting sections out of each other and changing their character’s shapes.

It’s a delightful, charming, little game, and with its budget price tag we think it’s another essential purchase for anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch.

Just Dance 2017

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  • A competent entry in the series

You’ve almost certainly heard of Just Dance, the dancing series that first premiered on the Wii way back in 2009.

The game tasks you with completing various dance routines, either on your own or with a friend, and judges your progress based on the movement of a Joy-Con in your hand (unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a way to use two Joy-Cons simultaneously).

Much like 1-2 Switch, there’s little to stop you cheating and not dancing with your whole body, but (also like 1-2 Switch) this is meant as a party game, so social niceties will hopefully stop you from spoiling the fun.

It’s not the most feature-packed or technically advanced game in the world, but if you’ve enjoyed Just Dance games in the past then this appears to be a very serviceable version for the Nintendo Switch.

By all accounts the Nintendo Switch has had an amazing start to life, with a number of excellent exclusive games and solid sales. However, the complete package (including Nintendo Switch Online) has only recently become available, so we’ll have to reserve judgment on that part of the wider Nintendo Switch experience for the time being.

We liked

When compared with the handheld consoles that have come before it, the Nintendo Switch blows them out of the water with its graphical quality, which comes close to the last generation of consoles. This is helped by its impressive screen which is bright, crisp, and colorful.

Providing the console with a controller that also doubles as two individual controllers is a very neat inclusion, and should mean that you’re always able to join a friend for a quick multiplayer game while you’re out and about.

We’re pleased to report that the Nintendo Switch docking and undocking process is impressively seamless too, with games that don’t even need to be paused before being plugged into a television. We also like the pattern of regular updates that Nintendo has established: Fortnite has just been added, for example, and the online service seems set to shake things up once again.

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We disliked

The phrase “jack of all trades and master of none” may sound negative, but the impression the Nintendo Switch has left us with is that sometimes compromise is necessary and good.

Yes there are better home consoles out there with controllers that can be good at doing just one thing, and yes there are handhelds out there that have better battery life and a more compact form-factor, but no other piece of gaming hardware has attempted the sheer number of things as the Nintendo Switch does – and then delivered so competently on so many of them.

The graphics aren’t the best around, but they’re good enough that they don’t feel dated. The controller isn’t the most comfortable, but it never feels outright difficult to use. The battery life isn’t the best, but it’s enough for daily use.

Final verdict

All of these trade-offs have been born out of compromise and an attempt to make something that works in so many situations, and on that final point the Nintendo Switch is a great success.

What remains to be seen is if, in the years ahead, its games library can shape up to be something you’ll want to play both at home and on the go, and whether its online service can compete with the existing efforts from Sony and Microsoft. If both of these play out well, Nintendo will have found a set of compromises worth making.

So is the £259.99 / 259.99 / AU435 asking price justified? At this point, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. Nintendo has released excellent game after excellent game for the system, and the hardware does a great job of making these games come alive.

Author

Laidred

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