OVERALL SCORE: 7/10
The premise of a home console you can play anywhere is perfectly executed. The Wii U was the Switch’s prototype; It showed promise, but it didn’t quite deliver. The Switch DELIVERS. Going from TV to handheld and back is seamless and instant, especially if you have a TV that can “sync states” with devices attached to it. And the battery is big enough for a few hours of Zelda or several of something like Snipperclips or NeoGeo games. (It’s not meant to replace the DS as the take-everywhere Nintendo console. So the poor battery life is somewhat forgivable.)
The screen is very high quality. It is IPS and I found that it doesn’t distort colors like some reviews have mentioned (one professional review actually said you should expect poor viewing angles because it’s IPS, which just isn’t true; IPS are the best LCDs suited for multiple viewing angles). When Netflix comes out or if someone is sitting next to you watching you play or groups playing Snipperclips, etc, everyone will be able to get an excellent view of the screen. No problems with viewing angles. And the color, luminosity and contrast are all superb. 720p is an understandable compromise. If it was 1080p, not only would the screen cost significantly more, but it would need a bigger CPU, GPU, and battery, all which would drive up the price to be exclusive. Nintendo does not want to be an exclusive company. And nothing looks pixelated — though you can see aliasing if you look for it.
My favorite feature is that the system is cartridge-based, and load times are QUICK. Unlike the Xbox One and the PS4, which can require days of downloads and install times, you buy your game, slide it in, AND START PLAYING (A novel concept in 2017, I know).
One of the biggest cons for the system is power, this does NOT feel like a next-gen console. Honestly, I have played Zelda: Breath of the Wild on both the Switch & Wii U, and can not see ANY difference in quality whatsoever. Accessory prices are also RIDICULOUS. $70 for a pro controller (that feels like a low quality Xbox One controller), $80 for a second pair of joy-cons that don’t come with a grip, $30 for a charging grip (you can’t buy a non-charging one independent of the console). Depending on how you look at it, this makes the official controllers for the Switch the most expensive in the business.
The battery should be 50–100% bigger. It is something like 4350 mAmp. I would have paid another $50 for a battery twice as large. But maybe it’s not only a cost, bust a space issue. If you want to play Zelda for more than 2-3 hours handheld, you will need a battery bank.
As a longtime gamer, I am torn on the Switch, it is a really cool idea, but the lack of power feels like a major longterm problem (I feel like graphically, we are looking at Xbox 360 level graphics at best). The ability to play at home or on the go is an amazing option, and may be a selling point on its own, but I think it boils down to whether this is your only console or not. If you have to buy only one, start with the Xbox One or PS4. If you are looking for a second console, consider making it the Switch. OVERALL SCORE: 7/10