Second Opinion

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Nintendo Switch Review

Episode #27The Fringe #441

Ian is joined by Geoff Schumacher, who has had his Switch for about five months. There's a lot to unpack here, from specs to controllers to the games themselves. So settle in and enjoy!

Hardware

00:01:05 | Switch Specs

00:01:59 | Storage & File Management

  • Storage space
    • Only 32 GB of storage space.
    • From what I remember, when asked about this, Reggie Fils-Aime (CEO of Nintendo of America) noted that they wanted to keep the price <= $300, and having that 32GB of storage space was needed for that.
    • Can handle microSD card slots of up to 2TB though, and that’s where the software needed to run the game will live.
  • How game software and safe files are stored:
    • Game cartridge (doesn’t matter if you have microSD card or not)
      • Software to run game is on cartridge.
      • Save files are on the Switch.
    • Digital copy of game & no microSD card
      • Software to run game is on Switch
      • Save files are on Switch
    • Digital copy of game & microSD card
      • Software to run game is on microSD card (as long as there’s room)
      • Save files are on Switch
  • CANNOT BACK UP OR TRANSFER GAME SAVE FILES
    • Seriously, what the fuck?
    • Nintendo Technicians can supposedly transfer from one switch to another.
    • Micro SD card is formatted for just your switch
    • As a gamer: frustrating
    • As a Nintendo fan: disappointing
    • If you could back up/transfer your save files, I’d probably buy games like Yooka Laylee and Sonic Mania on the Switch.

00:15:01 | Battery Life

  • According to Nintendo, ~2.5-6 hours.
    • Thanks for the vague answer guys!
  • So intensive games, like BotW, would be much closer to the 2.5.
  • BotW is ‘supposed’ to get about 3.5
  • I cannot remember how much BotW playing time I got from single charge of the switch.
  • From what I remember, it took ~2 hours to go from empty to full on the dock while not playing on it.  Nintendo claims ~3 though.  It was a while ago that I tried this though.
  • Comparing to that of the DS:

00:19:03 | Kickstand

  • Flimsy as all hell.
  • Feel like I’m going to break it everytime I use it.
  • Should have had the entire back plate as one large kickstand.
  • Not many people are saying this, but I have heard a couple of reviews praising Nintendo for the kickstand’s placement over the microSD slot.
    • Bro, chill.  They literally could have placed it ANYWHERE.
    • Anywhere not over the microSD slot would have been dumb.

00:21:06 | Bluetooth

  • Can’t connect a wireless headset to it.
    • But it has bluetooth.  Seriously, look at the specs.  It has bluetooth because the JoyCons wirelessly connect to the switch via Bluetooth.
  • There are third-party controllers that connect via bluetooth

00:23:55 | Speakers/Microphone

  • Speakers get very loud, despite being on the back.
  • Is there a microphone?

00:26:02 | HD Rumble

  • HD Rumble is Geoff’s most underrated feature about the Switch.
    • 1-2 Switch demoes it really well
    • Geoff thinks it can be a great ‘little thing’ that could improve many games, so he hopes more developers will utilize it nicely.

00:29:48   | Resolution

  • 720p when not docked.
  • 1080p when docked.
  • Plenty of people weren’t super happy about resolution at announcement.  In my personal, biased opinion, people seriously need to chill when it comes to screen resolution in gaming.
    • Makes me think of Yahtzee’s review of The Order 1886, when he complains about pointless, but very detailed room.

00:31:23 | Networking

  • Up to 8 switches can connect wirelessly
    • Nintendo’s bringing back the LAN party!

Styles of Play

00:36:03 | Controller Configurations

  • JoyCon Controllers
    • JoyCon Grip
      • Putting the two in the JoyCon grip works just fine.  It is different though.
      • The buttons are smaller, and the layout is different from your “standard” controller.
      • Someone with large hands might not have a fun time with this.
    • “Double fisting” (one JoyCon in each hand)
      • I personally like to use one in each hand, as opposed to using the JoyCon grip or the pro controller.
      • I honestly don’t know if anybody else does this.
      • It honestly does create some quirks while playing games like BotW.
        • I have personally chosen to adjust to this, and it works.
      • For games like BotW, I think it’s actually recommended by Nintendo that you use the grip if not in handheld mode.
        • I think if you take them off in game, a little prompt comes up.
      • It works, but even if you have ‘average’ size hands, you’ll need to adjust how you hold them.
        • Instead of having pointer finger over bumper and middle finger over trigger, use just point finger for both bumper and trigger.
      • Someone with large hands probably won’t have a fun time with this.
    • Using each JoyCon individually as a controller:
      • A little awkward at first, since ‘off centered’/’asymmetrical’, but they work.

00:50:41 | Cost of Peripherals

  • Joycons expensive if you want to buy more.
    • $80 for a pair.
    • $50 for a single JoyCon.
  • Pro Controller
    • Overpriced at $70
    • It your standard, regular, “normal” controller.
  • Do Wii U pro controllers work on it? No, according to Nintendo Support Forums. Wii U Pro Controller on Switch | Nintendo Support Forums

00:55:44 | Resolved Issues

JoyCon Connectivity

  • At launch, there were some connectivity issues with left JoyCon.
    • That was fixed in a patch in the first two weeks after release.

Frame Rate in BotW

  • At launch, there were some frame rate issues with BotW in situations with a lot going on on the screen.
    • Also fixed in a patch in the first two weeks after release.

00:57:17 | Nintendo’s Online Services

Online Service

  • Nintendo Switch Online – Nintendo Switch™ Official site – Online gaming, multiplayer, voice chat
  • Nintendo’s first attempt at this kind of stuff.
    • Still not a lot known about Nintendo is going to implement this.
  • Supposedly will feature “free game of the month”.
    • Only available for that particular month.  What to keep it?  Then you have to buy it.
    • By comparison, Xbox Live Gold subscription outright gives you the game for free.
  • At moment, only online multiplayer games are Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, and Splatoon 2.
    • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a port from WiiU, and they just left the online aspects of that game as was.
    • Arms doesn’t use mobile app, but has different/interesting implementation for lobby and setting up matches.
  • How do you add friends?
  • Do you have a public profile?

Mobile App

  • Splatoon 2 is the first and only game that uses this
  • I don’t do the online multiplayer bit, but people don’t seem to like it.

01:05:41 | Game Selection

01:12:30 | Speculation Corner

VR on the Switch?

Implication for the DS

  • Is this the beginning of the end of the DS?
    • [Puts on tin foil hat] Dead man walking!  Illuminati confirmed!

Attributions