The trials and tribulations
PlatformOVERALL
Nintendo Switch8.00
Overall 8.00
So my score hasn't changed - and that's basically because Switch needs games. Until I have a solid lineup of games that appeal enough for me to buy, it doesn't feel fully fleshed out. For me that will be when I have at least 4 full retail games. So aside from that all I can talk about is the hardware itself.

So first off I had the battery indicator bug and it told me that the charge went from 100% to 1% after an hour from a full charge. But you could keep playing for another couple of hours with the battery at 1% so the battery itself was fine. Nintendo fixed it and said it was an OS bug and it has been fine since.

Left joycon, signal interference issue, they fixed it and I can confirm it is 100% fixed with not a single interference since getting it back. In fact it now outperforms the right joycon. The whole repair process was free, including free shipping and excluding the holidays here it took about a week.

So my impressions of the system were tarnished by these two issues. And also, software. Whilst Zelda is a vast and mostly smooth and complete experience that works well in either configuration on Switch - Lego City does not.

Lego City docked is 1080p with a graphical overhauld over Wii U and runs just shy of 30fps most of the time in the open world, while the PS4 version runs at a locked 30fps. It's this constant choppiness that just annoyed me and made me feel, if only the Switch was a little more powerful. In portable mode the frame rate dives considerably, so while Zelda is fine, if there are other games which run as badly in portable mode as Lego City than the system will be somewhat of a dud if the experience is that compromised.

But I have to frame this argument around design choices. Bomberman for instance ran at 1080p 30fps and a recent update changed it to 720p 60 fps. Zelda for instance runs at 900p, probably because doing it at 1080p would make for a framerate that wasn't smooth. I wish TT Fusion would have dropped the 1080p Switch frame output to really nail that locked frame rate. I personally would be happy with 720p versions of games that are 1080p on other systems, as long as they run fine.

Bitchiness over the power aside, the system itself is so transformable. The whole concept of Switch works seamlessly and because of the concept of play anytime, anywhere it means you can sink hours upon hours into playing it. Flat off the bat for instance I started playing an hour in bed every night. That's 7 hours extra a week, that is 28 hours more a month than I would have been able to play a normal tv only displayed console. Now factor in that you can play offscreen in the same room as the tv, okay now I can play another 2-3 hours a day plus the hour in bed.

In fact, I play it on the toilet and was genuinely surprised when cooking and waiting for a pot to boil when it suddenly dawned on me that I could walk into the living room, pick up the switch and play Zelda in the kitchen and flip out the kickstand when not in use.

Add that to the new portable charger that I got for 16 hours battery life and all I need is a 4G widget to literally game anywhere online.

Imagine that this small portable system whose spec is so much lower than the competition, can actually be the place to play mega-whale time suck games like XCX, Skyrim or BOTW. I can only imagine the Splatoon 2 time I'm going to sink into it.

On the battery, you get about 2.7 hours from a full charge playing Zelda. On paper it sounds short, but in reality when you are playing a full blown console game on a portable screen, it actually feels like a lot. Back to Lego city for a quick second, although the handheld performance is questionable, the very fact that it looks that good on a portable screen still impresses and makes you more forgiving of the compromise in framerate.

Onto the e-shop, works pretty well but it needs an option to stream non-HD video for slower internet connections. It actually has a decent selection of games that unfortunately seem higher priced than what I'm willing to pay.

So right now I feel like I'm in a holding pattern waiting for Splatoon 2. I know that like Splatoon 1, I will be playing it for years and I could virtually live off it in gaming terms. Switch is decent hardware in and of itself but it needs games.

There has been a lot announced already, but E3 will be a litmus test to see how the western publishers treat it.

Handhelds have usually always sold more for Nintendo, in terms of hardware itself and in terms of portable versions of games outselling home console versions. With Switch, every game has the USP of being portable and I've already seen on GAF the willingness of people to give up on certain aspects in favour of being able to play their games anywhere. I've already felt it myself, there are games I don't buy and don't play that I would gladly lay down cash for if I could play it on Switch. I'm sure you could think of a few too.

GTA V plz and some Resident evils.

Ooops! I forgot to mention probably the best aspect of Switch and why it works so well. Sleep mode. The sleep mode works instantly, instantly activates when you want it and literally takes one second to bring you right back into a game right where you left off. The other major benefit is the power drain, you can leave it in sleep mode overnight or for 12 hours or something and the battery drain is like 2-3%.

This means you can literally leave the system on with the game running and never have to shut it off. What does this mean? Goodbye to loading screens, start up screens, logos, credits and time spent selecting save files. I was playing a game the other day and was interupted several times. In the past I would have had to refuse to help until I find a save point or turn the system off and lose my progress. Unless I left the system on pause with the game running. I have done that in the past with Splatoon, gone upstairs for a shower and left the switch running. But I didn't feel good about it with the fans whirring and the gamepad battery running down.

With Switch sleep mode? Instant Splatoon. INSTANT. Fuuuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkkk

Posted by gamingeek Wed, 03 May 2017 14:19:31
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Wed, 03 May 2017 14:55:37
A couple of additional points. The joycon battery life lasts......forever.

As long as you remember to attach them to the switch when not using it, they have literally never come close to running out of power.

The system adaptor for the dock is the same one you use to charge it portably. Thank goodness they have changed the adaptor design to make it more portable. It's easy to detach and doesn't have a brick in the middle of a wire. It's just long enough without being too long.

Now as they aren't selling docks in Europe I have to transport it to a relatives house like I did with the Wii U but could never do with heavier consoles.

So how easy is it to take everything including the dock to play on the tv? Well, with Wii U you had to take both adaptors, a stand. then the Wii U console and then the gamepad separately.

With Switch if I treated it as a handheld then I would have had to take the adaptor with me anyway. So in essence the only thing I need to bring with me is the dock, which is a lot smaller, lighter and easier to transport than the Wii U and its enormous power brick.
 
Thu, 04 May 2017 15:59:48
You cook from the toilet? Nyaa
 
Thu, 04 May 2017 16:34:13
I make my salads in the shower.
 
Thu, 04 May 2017 17:21:12
That's gross.
 
Thu, 04 May 2017 19:03:54
No, it's delicious. Nyaa
 
Fri, 05 May 2017 09:05:18
Are we talking about making a salad, or tossing one here?
Just to be sure we're all thinking of the same thing.
 
Fri, 05 May 2017 09:58:30
Vile filth!
 
Fri, 05 May 2017 11:09:58
Why not both?
 
Fri, 05 May 2017 14:22:46
Yes, why not both. First you have to make the salad and then you toss it. It's only logical. Nyaa
 
Fri, 05 May 2017 15:06:48
Well, if you don't want to toss the salad you can just eat a chocolate starfish, or perhaps suck on the lemon, clean the loaf pincher or just clean the kitchen.
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