Shut Up and Take My Money: Nintendo Switch

By on January 30, 2017

shut_up_and_take_my_moneyWith the number of games available on smartphones and tablets, dedicated handheld gaming devices aren’t quite as popular as they were in the days of the Nintendo DS, which sold more than 150 million devices.

Yet the right system will still appeal to gamers looking for the ability to game anywhere, anytime. Arriving on March 3, 2017 around the globe, we can’t wait to get our hands on Nintendo’s new system.

Nintendo Switch Specs:

Nintendo Switch specs

The new Nintendo Switch will be available March 3 from a variety of retailers. (We update the Ben’s feed with Nintendo Switch pre order deals when available.)

The Nintendo Switch specs include:

  • CPU: Quad-core ARM Cortex A57
  • GPU: Nvidia Maxwell chip
  • Display: Touchscreen, 6.2 inches diagonally, 1280×720 resolution
  • Audio: Headphones jack on top of device, speaker grills on front of device
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Internal Storage Memory: 32 GB
  • Memory Card Slot: microSD
  • Battery: Rechargeable, up to 6 hours of use
  • Power Adapter: USB Type-C port
  • Controllers: Two detachable controllers on either side of the portable screen; vibration features
  • Dock: The Switch includes a docking station, allowing for connecting to a TV and for insertion of gaming cartridges

The controllers, called Joy-Con, can be detached and held vertically or horizontally. With the controllers attached to the screen, you can use it like any other handheld gaming console. But when you detach them, they send data wirelessly, giving you some versatility as to how you play. And with two of them, you can use two-player games. Or some games will require one player to use both controllers.

Nintendo Switch Games List

You’ll download games for the Switch from the Nintendo eShop or you’ll purchase games stored on cartridges that fit into the dock. The Nintendo Switch games that will be available at launch include:

  • 1 2 Switch
  • Human Resource Machine
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Just Dance 2017
  • Little Inferno
  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Super Bomberman R
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (trailer below)
  • World of Goo

This isn’t a complete list of Switch games, as dozens of other compatible games will be released throughout 2017.

Online gaming with fellow players will be available at some point in 2017, but details on that feature have been sparse. It’s also unclear whether Nintendo games players have purchased online in the past will work on Switch. Old Nintendo gaming cartridges will not work with Switch.

The Competition

Nintendo handheld gaming

Outside of smartphones and tablets, there isn’t much competition in the market for Switch from current handheld gaming consoles. The last major gaming company to release a fully handheld gaming device was Sony with the PlayStation Vita in early 2012. Nintendo last entered the mobile gaming market with the fully handheld 3DS in 2011 (pictured above).

However, Nintendo’s Wii U offered some mobile capabilities. The Wii U had a screen and controls in the handheld portion, or you could play with the Wii U console attached to a TV. But the guts of the Wii U lag well behind what’s been reported for the Switch. The Switch will use a much more powerful graphics processor and CPU versus Wii U, and Switch will have twice as much RAM.

Some reviewers have referred to Wii U as a trial run for the Switch, and that’s an easy conclusion to make considering how similar the two units look. (The Wii U did not have detachable controllers though.) And Wii U was not exactly popular, selling less than 15 million units worldwide. So Nintendo is hoping for much greater success with the more powerful Switch.

Nintendo Switch vs Wii U

When compared to gaming on smartphones and tablets, Switch’s Nvidia GPU gives the mobile console a lot of dedicated graphics processing versus what a smartphone has. Factor in the quad-core CPU on Switch, and it simply has far more dedicated gaming power than what a smartphone or tablet can produce. This allows Switch to run more complex games with far more realistic graphics.

We’ll see how much the Switch appeals to mobile gamers. But if any company can figure out how to hit a home run in this market, it’s Nintendo. Only five gaming console systems have managed to top 100 million units in sales, and Nintendo has three of those. And two of them, the DS and Game Boy, are handheld units. So the Switch has a long legacy of success to live up to for Nintendo.

About Kyle Schurman

Having a tech background as a writer makes me the go-to source when family members' devices don't work. Fortunately, I'm more skilled at helping solve readers' problems through writing than trying to fix my parents' printer over the phone.

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