Saturday, March 04, 2017

Nintendo Switch

A few initial thoughts.  I've put a few hours in and just finished the Great Plateau area in Zelda.

- Hardware is really nice.  It feels like a quality tablet.
- I applied the screen protector that comes with the official case successfully with spot on alignment and no air bubbles or dust.  This is the first thing I did after taking it out of the box.  Just run the shower to steam up the bathroom slightly and lots of scotch tape and make sure you lift every spec of dust off first.
- You do initial setup in portable mode.
- Setup wifi, apply day 1 patch
- Stuck in a 200gb micro sd card.  Patch again.  Odd that after inserting an sd card you get prompted for a second system update.  Screenshots by default save to sd when there is one.
- Switch sound to surround.
- No way to pair bluetooth headphones.  Seriously Nintendo?
- Pro controller is awesome.  It feels very similar to the xbox one controller.  It's very comfortable, the size is just right, and you get a real d-pad.  The price is a bit insane though when you can get an xbox one type-s controller for < $40.
- The frame rate drops in dock mode are noticeable.  It doesn't kill the experience but it does become annoying occasionally.  I hope they can fix it with a patch.
- Playing in portable mode is ok.  The Joycon analog sticks feel very similar to the ps vita.  That is it is small, short, with less travel distance.  It's better than nothing but not nearly as nice as the sticks on the pro controller.  Right analog stick is a bit of a stretch for my thumb.  You can't really use your middle fingers for the lower triggers while holding the switch since you need those fingers to support it.  So you are left using your index fingers to hit the triggers and bumpers.
- I bought an anker usb-c to usb-a 3.0 cable and it works fine charging while on the go from this battery.  It took the battery from 93% to 100% while playing zelda so it had no problems keeping up.
- Motion controls MUST DIE.  Good thing you can turn it off in the options.
- Switching between dock and portable mode is completely seamless.
- System updates happen SUPER FAST.  Everything feels faster than the clunky wii u.
- Loving Zelda so far: open world that isn't ubisoft or bethesda.  It really is refreshing.

The more I play the more I'm impressed.  If you approach this as a home console first you might be a bit disappointed.  It's not going to be able to compete with my ps4 pro.  But if you look at it as the most advanced portable gaming system that also easily hooks up to your TV and has a nice full size pro controller then it really is a nice piece of tech.  Being able to game on my 80" for a couple of hours, getting to the last dungeon in the starter area, having the wife come home, then pop the switch out and join her on the couch downstairs and finish off the dungeon.....yeah I see the appeal.  Finally we have a portable game system that truly is no compromise with real AAA games so far.

Having the pro controller lets you leave the Joy-Con on the switch where they will charge while in the dock while you play with the pro controller.  Then when I go portable I just plug the pro controller into one of the dock usb ports and it charges while I'm playing portable.