Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a game console from the Japanese manufacturer Nintendo, which has been available since March 3, 2017 and is also known for the NES and SNES, the Game Boy, the Nintendo DS, the N64, the GameCube as well as the Wii and Wii U. With the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid concept for the use of hardware on a console was introduced, which makes playing games on the television just as possible as using it as a handheld or placing the console with its own display on the table. Here I have summarized all the important details, data, features and information about the game console from Japan.

Note: This article was fundamentally revised in September 2018 to provide an up-to-date overview!

The Nintendo Switch appeared in 2017 with serious doubts from (potential) users. After The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and other hits, as well as the latest innovations, it has found its place.

The Nintendo Switch appeared in 2017 with serious doubts from (potential) users. After The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and other hits, as well as the latest innovations, it has found its place.

The first Nintendo Switch video

Here is the video that sparked rumors, speculations and wildly exchanged preliminary opinions from October 20, 2016 until the release in 2017:

Nintendo Switch Specifications

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid game console, which means that it can be used both on the TV via HDMI and as a handheld on the go. Since all processes run on the handheld device, which is simply plugged into a dock for TV mode, the seamless transition between stationary and mobile use is possible (see video). What technology is behind it, I would like to show you with the following technical data from the Nintendo Switch data sheet:

  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Model: Nintendo Switch
  • Structure: Mobile game console with display, removable controllers (Joy-Cons) and docking station for connection to the television or projector
  • Dimensions (handheld; H x W x D): 23,9 cm x 10,2 cm x 1,4 cm
  • Weight (handheld): 398 g (with Joy-Cons) or 297 g (without Joy-Cons)
  • Display: 6,2 inches with 1.280 x 720 pixels and 237 ppi
  • Touch display: yes
  • Resolution in TV mode: 1.920 x 1.080 pixels (Full HD)
  • Control units / controllers: Joy-Cons (two per console), Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, Nintendo Switch NES Controller and third-party solutions
  • Online service: Nintendo Switch Online (since September 19.09.2018, XNUMX)
  • Main processor / CPU: Nvidia Tegra X1
  • Graphics processor / GPU: Nvidia Tegra
  • Games feed: module or online download from the "Nintendo eShop"
  • Internal memory: 32 GB
  • Memory expansion: microSDXC card with up to 2 TB
  • Physical interface (handheld): USB-C port, 3.5 mm jack as audio output, microSD slot
  • Physical interfaces (docking station): 3 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI
  • WiFi: yes, 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band WiFi
  • Bluetooth: yes, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Cellular / mobile data: no
  • Battery: 4.310 mAh battery with 16 Wh
  • Use of amiibo figures: yes, via NFC in the right Joy-Con
  • Scope of delivery: 1 x Nintendo Switch console (handheld), 1 x Nintendo Switch station (docking device), 2 x Joy-Con controllers, 2 x Joy-Con wrist straps, 1 x Joy-Con holder (for use as a controller ), 1 x HDMI cable, 1 x Nintendo Switch power supply, 1 x manual and important information
  • Price: from 309 EUR at Amazon (as of 9/2018)
The Nintendo Switch hybrid console, released on March 3, 2017, is a handheld and TV game console at the same time. Games, online service, Nintendo flair and other elements make them a modern cult object.

The Nintendo Switch hybrid console, released on March 3, 2017, is a handheld and TV game console at the same time. Games, online service, Nintendo flair and other elements make them a modern cult object.

Buy Nintendo Switch on Amazon: View product page here

Joy-Cons: Nintendo is reinventing the controller

With the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, Nintendo launched an official, ergonomic accessory item that has been adapted to the current standard console control units in 2017. However, the Joy-Cons, which come with every console as L and R versions, have their own batteries, gyroscopes and other sensors, have once again shown how much Nintendo wants to create a unique gaming experience with its products. The movement control could already be used for the launch title "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild". The NFC sensor for amiibo figures is also used there.

The Nintendo Switch in "table mode" with the Joy-Cons removed.

The Nintendo Switch in "table mode" with the Joy-Cons removed.

In addition, an infrared sensor is also built into the Joy-Con on the right, which recognizes, for example, hand gestures or serves as a simplified camera for a Nintendo Labo robot (details on Nintendo Labo: see below). In addition, the Joy-Cons have a rumble function, so they can reproduce vibrations that match the course of the game. When used individually (change from vertical to horizontal), movement control and use of your own shoulder buttons are possible. It's amazing what Nintendo has packed into the small control modules!

instructions: Pair the Joy-Con or Pro Controller with the Mac

The game modes of the Nintendo Switch

As already mentioned at the beginning, the Nintendo Switch is one of the most flexible consoles. It combines classic features of gaming on TV with the advantages of a mobile handheld. The mobile performance is also impressive - depending on the game, two to six hours of mobile gaming are possible with the 8th generation Nintendo console (who still needs game apps for smartphones or tablets?). Here I have summarized information about the three game modes advertised by Nintendo.

TV mode

In TV mode, the hybrid console delivers the most power and also outputs a Full HD 1080p image and the corresponding audio track to the television via HDMI. The CPU manages 1,6 GHz in TV mode, the GPU reaches 384 MHz. As in the other modes, the main memory amounts to 4 GB LPDDR4-RAM. The Joy-Cons and the Pro Controller can be used for gaming.

Table mode

In the so-called table mode, which can also be implemented on other surfaces, the handheld part of the console is set up using the built-in stand. One or more players can then play with the various operating units on the 6,2-inch screen. It is possible to use the two Joy-Cons alone or to use a Joy-Con as a controller in pairs (connection via Bluetooth).

Handheld mode

The mobile console properties are also used in the Nintendo Switch handheld mode. As in the table mode, the CPU reaches up to 1.331,2 MHz (1,33 GHz) while the GPU generates up to 307,2 MHz of clock speed. That is enough to display most of the games smoothly in 720p or HD Ready. In handheld mode, the console is held in the hand, the Joy-Con controllers are locked into the side rails of the device.

Multiplayer functions: local and online

There are different solutions for multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch. Up to eight consoles can be connected locally to play Mario Kart, Splatoon, Overcooked or other multiplayer games. In addition, some games offer an online mode in which other players around the world come together more or less by chance. 

With the introduction of the “Nintendo Switch Online” service on September 19, 2018, a further, system-wide online function was added, by means of which you can play online with friends and relatives all over the world. The service is chargeable; there is more information in this article on the online subscription or in the next paragraph of this post.

Nintendo Switch Online

When the Nintendo Switch was launched on March 3, 2017, many fans of the game brand from Japan were extremely enthusiastic, while others criticized the small range of games and the lack of online service. It has meanwhile been shown that the Nintendo Switch is a console for the patient. Because not only is there now a huge selection of games in module form and as downloads from the Nintendo eShop, but also the online service that was missing at the market launch in 2017, which was purchased with “Nintendo Switch Online” as a subscription in the eShop or via codeavailable from Amazon) can be unlocked.

Nintendo Switch Online NES Games Entertainment System

In addition to playing together with friends all over the world, Nintendo Switch Online has many other advantages that are also attractive for those who tend to play alone. Here are the greatest advantages of the web-based offer:

  1. Play NES classics at no additional cost
  2. Online game with friends (NES games can also be played against each other or with each other)
  3. Games are stored in the storage data cloud to prevent them from being lost if the device is damaged
  4. Free smartphone app for voice chat during the game
  5. Exclusive offers, goodies and discounts for members
Very good NES games were already included in the package at the start on September 19, 2018. More should be added every month.

Very good NES games were already included in the package at the start on September 19, 2018. More should be added every month.

The subscription prices

  • Trial subscription - 30 days free
  • Single subscription - 30 days for € 3,99
  • Single subscription - 90 days for € 7,99
  • Single subscription - 365 days for € 19,99
  • Family subscription - 365 days for € 34,99

New official NES-style controllers

For the previously available titles Balloon Fight, Baseball, Donkey Kong, Double Dragon, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Ghosts'n Goblins, Gradius, Ice Climber, Ice Hockey, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Pro Wrestling, River City Ransom, Soccer, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Tecmo Bowl, Tennis , Yoshi and other classics of the Nintendo Entertainment System, there are also new controllers officially offered by Nintendo. These are modeled on the controllers of the Nintendo Entertainment System from the 1980s and are sold exclusively to customers who subscribe to the service described above - just one pair per user account. The price is 59,99 EUR + 3,99 EUR shipping with DHL.

The Nintendo Switch NES controllers can already be pre-ordered. They will be delivered in December 2018.

The Nintendo Switch NES controllers can already be pre-ordered. They will be delivered in December 2018.

Nintendo Labo - crafts and games

There is no question that Nintendo offers a very special gaming experience. However, Nintendo has gone a few steps further than usual with the Switch. For example with Nintendo Labo, which looks for its equal on the Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox, but does not find it. The sets from Nintendo Labo consist of game modules as well as handicraft material made of cardboard, twine and a few other parts. 

You can use it to make “robots”, a fishing rod, a house, a motorcycle steering wheel for racing games, a piano and so on. The robot backpack serves as a control element with integrated Joy-Cons for full-body use in TV mode. Other, smaller sets offer special functions and mini games on the console display. Here is a video to illustrate:

A single post on Nintendo Labo for the Nintendo Switch can be found with this link.

Nintendo Switch games: Exclusive titles, indie games and ports

As mentioned above, when the Nintendo Switch game console was launched in March 2017, many did not believe in the success of the concept presented by Nintendo. This was also due to the fact that the range of games was small at the beginning and only gradually expanded over 2017. 

As one of the few launch titles, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" came out. This Zelda title was rated not just good but very good by pretty much all of the critics - a good start that heralded the upcoming success of the console and its games for fans of the Nintendo brand and the Zelda game series.

And that's how it ended up. Initially, games initiated by the manufacturer were published using the modules compatible with the Nintendo Switch - along with some games from other publishers and studios as well as ports from already successful titles such as "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim". 

The Nintendo eShop, which came out with firmware 2.0.0 as a First Day update on March 3, 2017, was also well received. It quickly accumulated indie games that were so popular that some of them were even launched as physical game modules after the download version. In the meantime, the Switch has once again become a go-to platform from Nintendo for developers.

List of Nintendo Switch game bestsellers

You can find one in the English Wikipedia List with the Nintendo Switch games that have sold over a million times. At the time this article went to press, the list was updated on July 31, 2018. In addition to mostly Nintendo's own titles, there is also a Square Enix game, Octopath Traveler. Here is the essence from the "List of best-selling Nintendo Switch video games" on the linked page:

Switch game Release in Germany Units sold in millions
Super Mario Odyssey 27. October 2017 11,17
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe April 28, 2017 10,35
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 3. March 2017 9,32
Splatoon 2 21 JULY 2017 6,76
1-2-Switch 3. March 2017 2,45
ARMS 16th of June 2017 2,01
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle 29. August 2017 2
Kirby Star Allies 16. March 2018 1,89
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 1. December 2017 1,42
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 4. May 2018 1,40
Mario Tennis Aces 22th of June 2018 1,38
Pokémon Tekken 22. September 2017 1,16
Octopath Traveler 13 JULY 2018  1

Own experience / Nintendo Switch test

I've been using the Nintendo Switch since the Germany release and play both racing games (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Gear Club, etc.) and role-playing games (Zelda BOTW, LA Noir, Skyrim, etc.) as well as other genres and the NES title of the online service. I mostly use TV mode in combination with the Switch Pro Controller. Now and then I use handheld mode, but I rarely take the Nintendo Switch with me to gamble on the go. Online games work just fine; For example, I don't think Fortnite is that bad. So I can say about my personal Nintendo Switch test: I have never regretted the purchase. Status: 9/2018;)

The touch display can be used in the system, as here on the home screen, but also in the eShop and in individual games.

The touch display can be used in the system, as here on the home screen, but also in the eShop and in individual games.

Good Nintendo Switch accessories: EasyAcc G1 gaming headset in the test

Conclusion and more information

My conclusion to the Nintendo Switch is that it has not been a controversial topic for a long time, but that the hybrid console has found its place on the market and in the hearts of most users. The many possible uses and games - including those that I forgot to list in this post - as well as the ever-growing range of offers for the user community are convincing. At least me. If you want more dry information and data, have a look at Wikipedia (here.) past. Clearly illustrated information, Nintendo Switch specifications, official accessories and usage instructions in video form are available from Nintendo (here.).

Buy the Nintendo Switch, that's possible at Amazon for currently 309 euros.

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2 comments

  1. Rainer says:

    That turned out to be a pretty good post about the Nintendo Switch. I'm also curious whether the console will be available in the store in March. Are you going to buy the Switch and do a test? Your text sounded so convinced of the xD part

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hello Rainer! Thanks for your comment.
      I actually thought about buying the Nintendo Switch. You can't count on Amazon at the moment; but I'll soon ask Media Markt, Saturn and Co what they say ... Maybe there will be a review of the Nintendo Switch in March;)

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