What Is The Nintendo Switch?


Michael Pereira, Editor-In-Chief

It’s been four years since Nintendo’s last new piece of gaming hardware, the Wii U, released. But on March 3, Nintendo will introduce the Nintendo Switch to the world. The Wii U didn’t do very well sales wise, so Nintendo has a lot riding on the Nintendo Switch. So what exactly is the Nintendo Switch?

There are two main types of video game systems: consoles and portable systems. Consoles include systems like the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 that must be played at home attached to a TV. Handhelds, like the name implies, includes systems that are played in your hand like the Nintendo 3DS.

The Nintendo Switch falls somewhere in between. The Switch can be docked at a docking station connected to a television and played like a regular console. But what makes this system unique is that you can remove the system from the dock and play it like a tablet. Well, a tablet with buttons on the side. You simply need to remove the device from the dock and attach the left and right portions of the controller to it (yes, the controller can be split into two, but more on that later). The system has a 7-inch screen, so it is much bigger compared to other portable devices like the 4.7 inch retina display of the iPhone 7. But the Switch has more features up its sleeve.

The left and right controller can then be split from the system and turned into a single controller, so that instead of playing the Switch like a handheld you can prop it like an iPad and play from a distance from the screen. This negates the need for a television to play, yet most games will look better on a bigger screen. Nonetheless, this feature is unique to the Switch. From this propped up stage, the controller can then be split into two controllers in order to play games with a nearby friend. So, to sum up, the Switch features three “modes”: the standard television mode, the handheld mode and the propped up mode where two people can play using one controller that splits into two.

These features may seem impressive, but ultimately there is only one true purpose of a video game system – to play video games. Thankfully, the Nintendo Switch has an impressive roster of games in its lineup, including “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” “NBA 2K18,” “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “EA Sports FIFA,” and “Dragonball Xenoverse 2” to name the more popular ones. The Switch uses cartridges, like the ones used for the Nintendo Gameboy and DS instead of discs, so these games are also portable.

Ultimately, the Nintendo Switch attempts to succeed where the Wii U failed. The Switch offers a unique gameplay experience found nowhere else, and with an impressive roster of games backing it up, the Switch is on the course for success. The Nintendo Switch will release on March 3 at $299 retail price.