A few days and a few games worth of experience on the Switch
Chipz is back at it with another post! But this time it’s about my experiences so far with owning the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Odyssey just came out last weekend on October 27th, 2017. Boy was there A lot of hype behind that game, and to be honest I expected it to do well. However, with the release of Super Mario came a bundle deal. In this bundle you get a digital code of the game to download along with a Nintendo Switch with Joy-Cons that have the iconic red color, the same as Mario’s colors. In the bundle you also get a carrying case for your Switch console with a new character named Cappy on the front which is also in red.
Now this isn’t my first time owning a system from Nintendo, as I’ve had the NES, N64, a few of the Game Boys, and the Nintendo 3ds. *I just recently purchased the Super NES classic. I’m going to state some of the things that I like about the Switch and then say what I don’t like, and give you some insight as to what I’m used to from being with Sony for so long.
- Hybrid between portable and console system
Having this advantage, you can take your games with you anywhere you go. Literally. As I’m writing this, my Nintendo Switch is in my book bag, in the carrying case(you gotta protect your stuff man).
- HD compatible
Pretty much all of the games depending on the developer will be in full HD. When docked they will run at 1080p and when in hand-held mode they automatically go down to 720p. Honestly though, what console ISN’T in HD? It’s 2017 people, they better be!
- Full motion controls
Now I feel this particular PRO is on a case-by-case basis. I’ve only had the system for a few days now but I haven’t had any problems with it, I think you can even turn off motion controls with most games if you don’t like it. So far it’s a plus for me. I need to exercise my arms anyway!
- Expandable memory
The good thing with the switch is that it takes micro SD cards for additional memory. You can expand the memory of up to 2TB of data…of course when these actually come out. Nonetheless, the Switch supports it. Below are the types of micro SD cards that are compatible:
- microSD (up to 2 GB)
- microSDHC (4 GB – 32 GB)
- microSDXC (64 GB and above)* This requires a system update*
With that said, here’s what can be saved to the memory cards:
- Downloadable software
- Software update data
- Downloadable content (DLC)
- Screenshots & video captures(part of the latest 4.0 update)
- Battery life
The battery life in hand-held mode can be very short. This depends on a few things like what games you play and the settings on your system. It was reported back in March when playing Zelda: Breath of The Wild the maximum amount of time you can get out of your system would be approximately 3 hours. Granted at the time that was one of the main games that came out, but you pretty much get the idea. Some games drain more battery life and some don’t. Speaking from personal experience, I played Super Mario for about an hour and a half and I ended up with roughly 30% battery life. Either way don’t expect a long gaming session if you’re in hand-held mode.
- On-board memory
The Switch comes with 32gb of on-board memory. That’s horrible. No debating this point, so don’t try. While game saves don’t take up much memory, game data does. Perfect example: Super Mario takes up 5.3 gigabytes(gb) and an indie title named Stardew Valley only takes up 909 megabytes(mb). If I wanted to install Zelda: BoTW I’d be losing 13.4 gb of space. You also have to take into account the Switch’s OS, game title and software updates. Some people and myself included, feel 32gb shouldn’t have been the starting point for memory. Cell phones don’t even come with 32gb anymore!
- No cloud storage
Staying on the topic of memory here, there’s no cloud based storage for the Switch. You’d think Nintendo would want to come out swinging and going for the knock out but they didn’t. There are gamers out there in the world that download their games and buy physical copies. Some stick to digital downloads only, and some stick to the physical copies only. Either way you’re losing out on space. It might be really slow or it might be really fast. The end result is this: you’re being forced to opt for a micro SD card which can cost you upwards to over $100.
- Transferable data
As of right now the only data that you can transfer from the console are screen shots, video captures, and game data. Not game saves! This is also a bad move since game saves were transferable from the Wii-U and Nintendo 3DS to a USB device. Nintendo has confirmed that game saves aren’t transferable, or at least they don’t want them to be right now. A Reddit user posted that he had to send his console in for repair and Nintendo gave him a brand new one. After doing a thorough check he noticed his game saves were on the new system that was sent to him. So this begs the question- will Nintendo eventually enable Switch users to transfer game saves in the future? If so, why not give us that option from the beginning?
- Nintendo Smart App/Network
The Smart App was designed to be used as a chat system while you’re playing the game with other people. However that didn’t work out so well in the beginning. A good friend of mine named Avidan Smith spoke about this more in-depth. * Click here to get the full breakdown of what’s wrong with it. A lot of these issues are things that never happened on the other consoles. Another issue is that you can’t purchase any kind of content from the app itself. You can make purchases from the website but as of right now I’m not sure how that works. If it’s the same way as the PSN store, then you can purchase content and it’ll be linked to your account to download later.
But here’s the thing with that too: on the PSN you can have your content automatically download to your console once the purchase is made. I routinely do this from the PSN app whenever I want to buy content to enjoy later on. I follow through with the transaction process and have it download to my PS4 and by the time I get home it’s ready to go once I turn it on. I feel like this is something that should’ve launched with the switch, and if not shortly afterwards. However, we’ll have to wait until 2018 to see if there are any real improvements that are going to be made.
I’m not going to count the fact that the Switch is lacking something called share play. Share play is a feature available on Playstation 4 where you can watch a friend’s screen for a certain amount of time via internet connection. You can watch a buddy play a game, or even take control and play a game that they have to get the feel of it or just to have a little bit of fun. I use this often with my friends to see if I want to play a game that they have and I don’t. This really gives you some purchasing power and makes up for the fact that there isn’t an abundance of demos and timed trials available on the PSN. The reason I’m not counting it as a CON is because Nintendo seems to give you demos of new games that are coming out, but it would be a nice feature to have when the console is docked.
So there you have it folks, some pros and some cons. Nintendo actually had a pretty good start seeing as how they were so far behind with the Wii-U. If they can fix these issues I feel it can REALLY be a contender. On top of that they’re starting to get quite a bit of third party support. The momentum is strong with this one. I’m a PlayStation fan-boy(yes..I’ll admit it) but I can see when something’s good and/or bad and call a spade a spade. The PS4 is my preferred system of choice, it’s one thing I’ll always go back to. Coming from a Sony fan, I can say this is definitely worth buying so go pick one up. I’m honestly looking forward to playing as many games that will come out for the Switch cough cough Fire Emblem, Pokemon, Yoshi and Donkey Kong cough cough. Overall I do enjoy having the Switch and I’m having a good time with it where ever I go. Who says you can’t enjoy the best of both worlds?
*POST EDIT: Reggie Fil-Aimes, President of Nintendo North America has stated that Nintendo is aware of the issue with game saves. He sat down with Mashable earlier today and stated the following:
You’re talking to someone who has completed 120 Shrines, and I think I’m at 400 Korok seeds and growing [in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild]. So I understand what it’s like putting a lot of time into content, and the thought of that content not being there.
We’re aware of the concern. Certainly, Nintendo is a consumer-oriented company [and] we want to make our consumers happy. We’re aware of the concern and it’s an area we’re going to continue working on to make sure that we can alleviate some of those consumer fears of having a content-based issue.
Because of the type of platform we have — it’s something that is on the go as well as connected in the home environment — there are some added complications. It’s not as simple as a piece of hardware that never moves and is always connected in an online environment.
Of course you know I have to call Bull—-! Throwing little jabs like these at Sony and Microsoft isn’t winning Nintendo any brownie points or favoritism from the gaming community. Simply because Sony and Microsoft figured out a way to back up game saves for their systems. Sony especially did this with the PSP/VITA with cross-platform play. Anyway, with this recent statement from Reggie coming out just earlier today everyone can predict we’ll be getting cloud storage within the next year. I’m going to go as far to say it’s coming but it’ll be included with the paid online subscription from Nintendo.