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Nintendo Switch: What you need to know

March 3, 2017 — by Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh0

The Nintendo Switch launch is just a stone’s throw away. While it may take a while to get here, here’s everything you need to know for when it finally does.

First things first, don’t expect the Nintendo Switch to be coming to India anytime soon. Nintendo has always been slow when it comes to India. They were slow back with the Wii U, they were slow when it came to the 3DS, so don’t expect any different with the Switch. This is both good and bad, good because you get to observe whether the Switch does well or crashes and burns, bad because you miss out being “first!” and also miss out on certain time-based advantages we’ll mention further on.
Regardless, with the Nintendo Switch launch being just a short while away, we now know quite a bit about it. Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch before you decide to or consider buying it.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Price

The Nintendo Switch will cost you $300 (roughly around Rs.20,500/- without taxes and approximately Rs.27,000 with taxes). That $300 will get you a Nintendo Switch console, a Dock, a pair of JoyCon motion controllers and a controller grip to which you attach the JoyCons when the Switch is docked.

Nintendo Switch Accessories

There’s a host of Nintendo Switch accessories you’ll be able to buy at launch. The JoyCon grip you get along with the console cannot charge your JoyCons. You can buy a standalone JoyCon grip which does charge your JoyCons for an additional $30. To charge your JoyCons otherwise, you have to attach them to the console while it’s docked. So basically, it’s a question of being able to play or not while your JoyCons are charging. On that note, an additional single JoyCon will cost you $50, while a pair will cost you $80. So you can buy the pair and sell off one of them. The JoyCons have a battery life of 20 hours and take about 3 hours to charge fully. So you shouldn’t really need that charging grip unless you forget to charge your JoyCons frequently.

Nintendo Switch

The standalone Switch Pro controller (resembles mainstream controllers) will cost you $70. In addition to functioning as a regular controller, it doubles as a pair of JoyCons for two-player local co-op; one player on the Pro controller and the other using the JoyCons. Unless you’re planning large scale LAN parties or have well over four to five people playing at the same time, we suggest investing in a Switch Pro controller over an additional pair of JoyCons. The Switch Pro controller has a battery life of 40 hours and takes roughly 6 hours to charge to full. Another cool thing is that the Switch Pro controller will work with your PC as well.

Nintendo Switch

An additional Dock will cost you $90 and will come with an AC adapter and an HDMI cable. The JoyCon Wheel – steering wheel – which also comes in a set of 2, will cost you $15. That about covers all the Switch’s accessories.

Nintendo Switch Games

The Nintendo Switch will not be bundled or packaged with any game during release, unlike the PlayStation or Xbox which often bundle games with their consoles That means you’re going to have to dish out some green on a game or two after you buy the Switch in order to actually use it. So just assume that the Switch’s price went up from $300 to around $340-$360, depending on the game or games you buy.

Nintendo Switch

As for games available to play on the Switch and future titles for the console, Nintendo had already announced 58 games for the Switch which would release this year. Other than that, Nintendo also recently released a list of over 60 indie titles for the Switch that would release within the year. That’s already over a 100 titles for just this year.

Here are ten of the more popular titles you can expect on the Switch this year:

  • Breath of the Wild
  • 1-2-Switch
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Splatoon 2
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Super Bomberman R
  • Snipperclips
  • Yooka-Laylee
  • Project Setsuna

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Storage

The Nintendo Switch will come with just 32GB of internal storage, which is quite low. Games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS take up 685 MB and the ones being made for the Nintendo Switch will have higher res textures so they’re going to be even bigger. Especially if you’re the kind of person who prefers digital downloads. We’re assuming that everyone who buys a Switch will also be buying the new Legend of Zelda game. Well, if you go the digital way, just Breath of the Wild will take up almost 40% of that 32GB! So you’re going to be able to have only two to three games on the Switch at any given time. This can be rectified with microSD cards though, which the Switch supports. But you’re going to have to keep spending on them as your game library expands, which is more expenditure you might not want. The alternative is to simply buy a physical copy of the game, i.e, the game cartridge.

Nintendo Switch Battery Life

The Switch console itself has a battery life of 3-6 hours. This of course, depends on the games being played on it. Like the JoyCons, the console itself takes about 3 hours to charge fully.

Nintendo Switch Specs and Tech

The Nintendo Switch console, when in portable mode, has a 6.2-inch multi-touch capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1280x720p. In portable mode, you will be gaming at 720p and 60fps, which is not bad at all. When docked, games will play at 1080p or 900p (depending on the game) at 60fps. However, there are titles that will run at 30fps regardless of mode.
Both, the JoyCons and the Switch Pro controller come with HD Rumble haptic feedback. Anyone familiar with motion sensor controllers and the AR/VR scene might be familiar with haptic feedback, but HD Rumble might be a new term. Basically, haptic feedback – or haptics – simulates resistance. So if you were to punch a wall virtually, you’d feel some resistance even though you didn’t actually make contact. Switch’s HD Rumble supposedly takes this to the next level, but we can’t really confirm this until we test and compare it for ourselves.
Also, don’t expect the Switch to be backward compatible or be able to run other Nintendo games on it unless specifically ported.

This video might give you a better understanding of haptic feedback and the Switch’s HD Rumble technology.

Nintendo Switch Online Multiplayer

Nintendo Switch

Switch’s online services will have a subscription fee, similar to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live. Nintendo has announced that this service will be free till fall this year, which is a bummer because we’ll have to wait a good while before we can even get our hands on the console. This online subscription will give you access to classic games from Nintendo’s vaults every month, but for JUST that month. If you want to continue playing that game after that month is over, you will have to buy it.
This is unlike Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, which actually let you keep the games offered for free every month, at least as long as you continue paying the subscription fee. However, it should also be noted that while we don’t have an exact pricing for the subscription, the fee is expected to cost less than $30 a year. So not letting you keep the games makes a little more sense now.
Also, you will need to be subscribed to the online service in order to play online multiplayer. Other than that, there’s also a voice chat feature, but in order to use it, you will need a smartphone app.
Switch’s online services haven’t kicked off yet, so there’s no way to tell whether it’ll be good or not. Only time will tell about this one, and we (unfortunately) have plenty of time to observe that.

Nintendo Switch Local Multiplayer

Nintendo Switch

One of the Switch’s main selling points is its local multiplayer features. You can have two people playing on one Switch. Buy a pair of JoyCons and boom, now you can have four people playing. But that’s not all, you can connect multiple consoles together as well, i.e, two Switch’s four players, or three consoles six players, and so on, all the way up to eight. That’s a lot of players (gathering 16 people to play in itself seems like a challenge).
Nintendo has stated that they’re leaving it up to the developer whether or not every connected console needs to have a copy of the game or just one does. We’re hoping it’s the latter.

Nintendo Switch Verdict: The Waiting Game

That’s about all we know, and everything we think you should know before you consider buying a Switch yourself. Of course, you’re going to have to wait in order to get your hands on one. If you absolutely can’t wait, you could get yourself one on the grey market, but that’ll definitely cost you a good deal extra. Our suggestion? Simmer down, observe how the Switch does in the coming months, ponder over what we’ve mentioned here and then make an informed decision which best suits your need. Cheers!

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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh

If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.

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