Nintendo Switch: the true challenger for PlayStation Vita. With detachable controllers and it's a touchscreen device

Written by B Johnson January 12, 2018
Nintendo Switch logo
Back in August 2016, Nintendo announced that the company was developing a new portable gaming console that would come out later in 2017. That gaming device was called Nintendo NX back then. And right now in the present, that rumored device is finally here in front of us. It's called Nintendo Switch.

As previously-reported by multiple sources, this 'Nintendo 3DS' successor' would be a portable gaming console that would come with detachable controllers. And apparently that was true. Nintendo Switch indeed is a portable gaming console and it comes with 2 detachable gaming controllers - left and right.

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch itself is actually just a regular tablet - or a huge smartphone if you would - when its controllers are detached. So you can use its touchscreen to control everything on the screen, just like Android tablets. Anyway, it features a 6.2-inch screen sporting HD 1280x720 pixel resolution.

However, according to what we've seen on YouTube, the touchscreen of Nintendo Switch apparently is limited only on the main User Interface, not in the actual games. So when the game is running, there's pretty much nothing you can do with the touchscreen. The game will not response to your touch on the screen.

The good thing is, you can still use the touchscreen to change the settings, select menus on the main UI or browse information about the new games that will come out in the future. But hopefully, this will change in the future and its touchscreen can also be used in the actual games, just like a tablet.

This definitely would open up the doors for many popular casual games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Infinity Blade and other swipe-based games to arrive on Nintendo Switch in the future, which obviously are more comfortable to play with swipping gestures on the screen instead of using regular gaming controllers.

The Switch controllers

The detachable controllers of Nintendo Switch are called Joy-Con controllers. After detaching these controllers from the Switch, they can be attached again with one regular gaming controller through its docking mechanism.

The Joy-Con controller actually reminds us with the Wii remote or WiiMote of Nintendo Wii, which enables you to play games that require your movements. So this Joy-Con controller will definitely come in handy when you're playing games like "Just Dance 2017" or some tennis games.

Besides these detachable Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo also releases Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which is a regular gaming controller just like the ones on Xbox One and PS4. But if we're not mistaken, it's sold separately for $70.

The Docking Station for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch docking station
Nintendo Switch comes with its own docking station which allows users to play games right away on their huge-screened HDTV.

So in simple explanation, after playing games with your Switch, you can then dock your Nintendo Switch device to the docking station and then detach the Joy-Con left and right controllers from the Switch. After that, you can continue playing your game from its last progress on your HDTV by using 2 Joy-Con controllers right on your couch.

However, if you want to play it on-the-go outside the house, you can just pull your Nintendo Switch out from the docking station and then re-attach the Joy-Con controllers back to the Switch.

Nintendo Switch kick stand
The great thing is, with the Joy-Con controllers in your hands, you can still play games on the Switch as it also comes with the kick stand on the back so you can put this device on the table while playing the games with Joy-Con controllers. Isn't that awesome, huh?

The Games

Speaking about the games, there are actually not much games that are currently available for this device. But there's this one huge popular game that recently managed to reach the fame and become a huge hit around the internet.

The Legend of Zelda: The breath of the wild logo
That game is "The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild", which is an RPG open-world game. In fact, we've heard a lot about how popular this game has become, it apparently managed to reduce the number of people who are seeing adult contents on the web.

Besides The Legend of Zelda, there are also many other titles that will arrive later this year on Nintendo Switch: from FIFA 18, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Just Dance 2017, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and many more, which you can check out through this Wikipedia page.

Unlike Xbox One or PlayStation 4 consoles that use Blu-Ray DVDs for its games, Nintendo Switch uses small cartridges for all of its games (which looks like microSD card). And interestingly, this game cartridge is non-toxic and not made out of some dangerous materials.

As for now, there are not many exciting games available yet for Nintendo Switch and pretty much most of them are some casual games that require player's movements by using Joy-Con controllers, similar just like when you play games on Nintendo Wii with Wii remote.

There's one interesting casual game that is currently available for the Switch. It's called 'Milk' which is a game where you must compete against your opponent to squeeze milk as fast as you can out of a virtual cow.

The Specs

Compared to the next-gen gaming consoles like Xbox One or PlayStation 4, of course Nintendo Switch stands no chance to compete against these 2 juggernauts, especially in graphical performance of the games.

However, as a portable gaming console, Nintendo Switch is actually pretty impressive with its specs. As a matter of fact, Nintendo Switch is way more powerful than most of Android tablets out there on the market right now.

And that's clearly because this Switch is equipped with an insanely powerful Tegra X1 processor from Nvidia. And this processor currently can only be found on 2 devices - this Nintendo Switch and Nvidia SHIELD gaming console.

This Tegra X1 processor inside Nintendo Switch is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 and it also comes with a staggering 256-core Nvidia CUDA and 4GB of RAM.

So this thing definitely screams a lot in performance. And that shows perfectly when you throw heavy 3D games like "The Legend of Zelda" on this device. The game runs really smooth and everything just works great without any problem.

Nintendo Switch also got 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable through microSD card slot. So if you want to store some files into this device, yes, you can do that. However, as for now, we're not so sure if Nintendo Switch can be used to watch movies or listen to music, just like Android tablets.

On software side, Nintendo Switch comes pre-installed with Nintendo proprietary OS called Nintendo Switch system software, not Android OS. So you obviously cannot play Android games on this device. But we think this is a great decision by Nintendo because it will give this company the power to filter which games that are qualified and which ones are not for Nintendo Switch. This is really important to ensure the quality of the games.

Battery Life

Unfortunately, despite being a really powerful gaming machine, Nintendo Switch apparently still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to battery life. So according to many reviews on the net (including YouTube), Nintendo Switch is only capable to survive around 2 to 4 hours of battery life when playing heavy games like "The Legend of Zelda". But hopefully, Nintendo can fix this problem soon in the future through software updates.
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