Nintendo Switch Announcement + Early Impressions

To anyone who hasn't been around the shop to take in the hype personally, we're happy to announce we have a Nintendo Switch available for play right here on N James Street! We're doing our normal hourly rate for the Switch but capping players to an hour at a time at first to make sure everyone gets a chance with Nintendo's latest wacky home console. So if you want to try out the Switch before buying, come on down and give it a shot! For now check out our VERY early impressions!



Hardware

Nintendo's most polarizing trait is always their hardware, due to their tendency to never be simple and push what fans expect, and the Switch is no different. Essentially, the Switch is attempting to make good on Nintendo's promise with the Wii-U - tethering a wireless display to a traditional home console. The Switch accomplishes this by using the "Joy Con" controllers to offer multiple ways to play, but more on that later.


This is everything that currently comes with the Switch, and upon opening the box we were a little confused. Basically, the power cable and the HDMI cable plug into the Switch dock, which houses the Switch display when not in use. The console includes 2 Joy Con controllers, 2 Joy Con wrist straps and a controller adapter that can house both Joy Cons to create the standard controller experience. The Joy Cons can be used separately as 2 controllers for multiplayer games, they can create a controller with the controller dock, ideal for games like Zelda and last but certainly not least, they can be attached to the Switch display for a handheld experience like nothing I've ever experienced before. The Switch is basically a handheld console at the end of the day, but utilizes the dock to quickly switch to a TV display.

Even though I've only had a small amount of time to play today, everything feels whole. The transition between handheld and playing on a big TV is absolutely seamless. The Switch in handheld mode is absolutely gorgeous and surprisingly not even that heavy, considering the amount of power it's bringing. All 3 play-styles feel smooth and natural. Even using one half of the Joy Con controller to play Bomberman felt surprisingly good considering how tiny the remote is! The UI is also pretty clean, kind of reminiscent of the Wii U menus but a little more simple.
Games

     

   Right now we have 3 titles in the shop to choose from - Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Bomberman R and 1, 2, Switch. We spent the most time today with Zelda and I was kind of blown away by how gorgeous and massive the game is. We played Breath of the Wild with the Joy Con controller adapter and in handheld mode, both felt and looked great. I was very surprised that after about an hour of handheld play, the Switch wasn't even hot! We've barely scratched the surface on this one, but I'm really hoping I get to dig my teeth into this game soon. It feels like something I've never really experienced before, but nostalgic at the same time.

Super Bomberman R is genuinely good fun. We've only delved into the Battle Mode so far but had some great moments already. Each Bomberman has a very specific character trait, which is a really weird addition to note, but it's hilarious. For example, Blue Bomberman acts like he hasn't slept for 6 months which is weird but I was cracking up. Overall the game feels like a modern Bomberman, which is pretty awesome and I hope the campaign brings some more depth. We really look forward to the tournament tomorrow!

Lastly, and one of the oddest video game experiences I've ever seen is 1, 2 Switch. 1, 2 Switch is essentially a showcase of what the Switch is capable of, utilizing the pretty precise movement controls, voice recognition and even the weird "ice cube" rumble technology Nintendo displayed during the reveal. I had an absolute blast watching MattBGames and Rob check out each of the mini-games, and make aggressive eye contact as they milk cows, shred out on air guitar and even act like gorillas. That last one was especially amusing. Both Rob and MattyB were having a hard time completing some of the mini-games just due to laughing too hard. Despite having almost no depth at all, 1,2 Switch will definitely prove to be an absolute blast around the shop.

Ultimately I think the Switch will be incredibly successful around the shop. The technology is new and basically a blend of everything Nintendo has attempted to this point, but to put it simply - everything works. I'm pretty surprised at how well the Joy Cons react and read while using motion controls, the flawless shift between using the TV and using the handheld and Zelda...Zelda is a beast on it's own. I think we'll be writing more about the Switch in the future, and I'd LOVE to be able to write a Breath of the Wild review when I get to play it a lot. If you're on the fence about the Switch or don't want to buy a new console, definitely come on down and try the Switch out, it's definitely a pleasure to play!    
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