Some Brief Initial Nintendo Switch Hardware Impressions

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Last night, Lindsey and I spent two and a half hours in line with about a hundred other Nintendo fans for my Switch (hers came today via Amazon). I’ve spent about six hours with the hardware playing a variety of games and I have… thoughts.

Well, I think this thing rules.

This is not a huge surprise if you listen to the podcast; I’ve been pretty stoked on the concept since those initial Eurogamer reports. While I kinda knew what to expect, I am still impressed by the beautiful simplicity of the hardware and UI and the general snappiness of everything. The Switch is simply a joy to play, no matter which mode you are using. In this way, the system reminds me of the GameCube, a console that brought a smile to my face every time I popped in one of those little discs and grabbed a controller.

It’s been awesome dancing around the apartment with Joy-Cons playing Just Dance with Lindsey, curling up on the couch to play I Am Setsuna in portable mode, and stretching out with the Pro Controller to dig into Breath of the Wild. The versatility of the Switch really can’t be understated- I can already imagine playing Snipperclips co-op in tabletop mode or Taiko no Tatsujin in, idk, a drum circle or something in our living room.

And if Taiko doesn’t get a North American release? It (probably) won’t be an issue because switching (sorry) over to another region is a snap, especially if you already have a Japanese Nintendo Account from another platform.

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I was able to add my account from my Japanese 3DS to the Switch and download demos of Dragon Quest Heroes I & II and Puyo Puyo Tetris, nbd. Foreign credit / debit cards don’t seem to work on the Switch at present time, so I had to add funds to my JPN 3DS and then “merge” the accounts so I could buy Metal Slug 3 on Switch. A minor annoyance, but definitely beats buying a second console to play imports!

Speaking of annoyances, the Switch does include Friend Codes. Though the codes never really bothered me on past Nintendo systems, it is nice that I have added about 25 friends today without inputting a single one. It’s super convenient that friends you have added in Nintendo mobile titles will just pop into your Switch “recommended” players list, where they are just a button press away from a request.

While it’s likely my thoughts will evolve over time, as of right now I’m quite pleased with the Switch hardware. The only real concern I have right now is the left Joy-Con “desyncing” issue, which hopefully Nintendo will address soon. After some stumbles in recent years, the Switch feels like Nintendo is back to creating focused and versatile hardware for all sorts of players and playstyles. I can’t wait to spend more time with this system over the coming days, months, and years.

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