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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Fri, 05 May 2017 17:56:16
All are excellent options.
 
Sun, 07 May 2017 13:54:50
I won't be doing any of this.
 
Sun, 07 May 2017 15:23:05
Maybe one day, GG.  Don't worry.
 
Sat, 17 Jun 2017 19:38:16
A couple of points
- the battery life is much better than I anticipated.  Joyvons have never run out of power and the tablet has because my son has played all day.
- where is the VC?  I want me VC on a portable.  I would be in heaven if I could play Metroid Prime to go, minus the motion controls.  Will we be able to transfer VC games from the U at some point?  
-The eshop is pretty shitty at the moment.  I want to demo everything.  Why can't Nintendo offer the Arms demo now instead of for a limited time?  I want to try it out.
-the little tablet is phenomenal, packs quite a punch.  I'm truly astounded that the guts of a normal console are essentially packed into the little tablet.  It is so cool and makes the U look like it's twenty years old.  So sleek and sexy.
-This is a long shot but I'm truly hoping for some good m rated games to play on this.  That way I won't have to wait until the kids are asleep to play.  It's a great console, much improved over the Wii U.  I just want to see some games to go with it.
 
Sat, 17 Jun 2017 20:26:43
Get a ravpower USB charger as high capacity as you can afford and get an anker power line USB c cable. You can get 16 hr battery life out of the tablet. Joycons never run out of juice as long as you remember to attach them when docked when not using it.
 
Sat, 17 Jun 2017 20:31:10
As for the VC I'm still waiting for them to have all the Wii VC games I had on Wii u let alone switch. The Arms demo was essentially a server stress test but like Splatoon there will probably be another one at some later date. Yes the power vs size of this thing is awesome which is why most owners are pretty happy with its visuals. When you see it's barely bigger than a phablet it's pretty great.
 
Sat, 17 Jun 2017 20:33:57
Btw there is no demo section on the shop but if you click through to a games description some have a demo there.
 
Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:39:53
I found several demos somewhere, Master Blaster, Just Dance, Snippercuts (which is awesome and a game I never would've given a chance if not for the demo).
 
Sun, 18 Jun 2017 10:39:24
I can't spell it but there's a Disgaea demo too.
 
Sun, 18 Jun 2017 10:39:58
I like the HD rumble on Master Blaster.
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