Updated: December 17, 2017 1:22:19 pm
Ever since I bought the Nintendo Switch, I haven’t used the PlayStation 4 much. It’s a big switch, because I call myself the biggest admirer of the PlayStation 4. This hasn’t happened before and Sony should be worried. More worrisome for Sony are the latest numbers from Nintendo, where the company confirmed that it has sold 10 million units of the Switch since this March.
So the Nintendo Switch has been a success in every sense. Like many, I had my own doubts about the Switch, which is part mobile and part home console. The console is essentially a tablet device that has two Joy-Con controllers on each side. And when plugged into a dock it allows for gaming on a big screen TV. It seamlessly transitions from the TV screen to the tablet’s screen in real-time, one of the best bits about the Switch. The versatility, that it can be used as a handheld and a regular console is what makes the Switch a great proposition. For someone who spends close to three hours commuting, the Switch thus becomes a perfect travel companion. Neither Sony nor Microsoft have made their consoles portable enough to carry in a backpack.
Earlier, there have been attempts in this direction and Sony’s PlayStation Vita did try to bring console level gaming to a handheld device. The idea was to be able to put the PlayStation 3-like graphics and visuals, coupled with a slew of AAA-titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation. No, there’s nothing wrong with the system and even till date I use the PlayStation Vita. The launch lineup was rather interesting and I found the hardware capable enough to play high-profile games on its 5-inch OLED screen. But it was not powerful enough for the hardcore gamers.
Unlike the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo has managed to get the messaging right with the Switch. Great games from Day One have made the Switch click with both the casual and the hardcore gaming crowds. The Switch made its debut with the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was exciting enough for many (myself included) to buy the console. Zelda: Breath of the Wild has to be one of my favorites games available on the Switch till date. This is a proper AAA title and playing it on the Switch makes it even more fun. It’s an adventure game, a uniquely crafted open world RPG, filled with unique mysteries to discover. And it works well in both handheld and home modes; in fact, I found the game visuals look even more sharp on the Switch’s 720p 6.2-inch display. As for battery life, I got up to 3 hours and 20 minutes while playing the Breath of the Wild in a handheld mode, which is reasonably good. Just remember the console’s battery life varies, depending upon which games you are playing.
Thanks to the Switch, now I can play a title like the The Legend of Zelda on the go. Super Mario Odyssey is another great title available on the Switch. Mind you, these titles are exclusive to the Switch and you won’t be able to find them on either of the PS4 or Xbox One. And the fact that games like Doom and Skyrim are available on the Switch only proves that Nintendo’s newest console isn’t limited to casual gamers. Of course, the Switch also attracts a lot of non-gamers and in some cases those who have very little understanding of games. I believe the Switch’s versatility has played a key role in its popularity and perhaps why there’s so much chatter about Nintendo’s console.
Unfortunately, Nintendo Switch’s popularity is India is certainly limited. Nintendo’s consoles are not officially available in India. In comparison, both Sony and Microsoft have been selling their respective consoles in India for quite sometime. The only way to get a Nintendo console is through local retailers, who often charge an exorbitant amount for the Switch. Local game retailers in India are charging anywhere between Rs 30,000 to Rs 38,000 for the Nintendo Switch. Plus, in India, it can be tough to buy a AAA-title for the Switch; until unless you are ready to pay a premium. In the US, however, you are paying only $300 (or approx Rs 19.400). And it does not come with a game. In total, you are spending about $400 (including taxes) on the Nintendo Switch.
The other problem is the warranty issue when you buy the Switch from Amazon India, or any local retailer for that matter. A listing on Amazon India clearly lists that the Switch “does not have brand warranty and after sales service support”. I fear you probably have to send the unit to the US for after-sales service, which makes no sense to me.
And like any other console, the Switch, too, have some concerns. For instance, the Switch comes with a meager 32GB storage, so one need to invest in a microSD card to expand the storage. The Switch’s kickstand feels flimsy and only has a single angle. The Switch is not as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One — but it was never advertised to be.
In fact, I see the Switch as one cool idea and one that’s not flawed in its implementation. The Switch is both a handheld and home console – something I feel no other company has been able to do so.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.