What I don’t
Online systems are archaic
Nintendo still hasn’t learned their lesson with multiplayer. Two major reasons come to mind:
- The Switch, like its predecessors, still require the use of unwieldy friend codes (i.e. 12-digit codes which you exchange with others to play with them).
- The Switch Online app is terrible.
Can’t transfer save files
For some reason, you can’t back up or transfer your save games; they’re tied to your device. So if you lose your Switch or break it, you lose all your progress in your games.
Nintendo might offer a paid cloud service for backing up your data, but there’s no indication when it’s coming – or if it’ll happen at all.
Lean game library
Granted, the Switch is only a little over five months old, so its game library is still expectedly small. Right now, the standouts (for me, at least) are:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Splatoon 2
- Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Cave Story+
- Disgaea 5 Complete
Minor hardware shortcomings
The Nintendo Switch has a few shortcomings with its hardware that can be addressed in future versions of the device. This includes the following:
- The built-in storage is only 32GB, which can fit just a few downloadable games.
- The screen is made of plastic and not scratch-resistant material like Gorilla Glass, making it prone to damage.
- The kickstand is flimsy.
- The charging dock is located at the bottom of the console, making it impossible to charge while in tabletop mode.
- The battery could be better. It’s bad per se but I expect it to improve in later hardware iterations.
Since launch, Nintendo addressed the left Joy-Con desynchronization issues and is steadily building up the Switch library with new games.
The Japan-based console maker is also preparing the console’s online services in time for its 2018 launch. The Switch as a whole is a work in progress and isn’t quite there yet.
Make no mistake – it’s a great piece of hardware that changes how home consoles and handheld systems are designed, fussy irksome features notwithstanding.
Ultimately, the device just needs time for more killer apps and perhaps a few minor hardware tweaks. Because it’s not as powerful as the PS4 or Xbox One, the Switch won’t really replace them, but it will scratch your gaming itch even when you’re away from your living room.
Our verdict? Wait another year. By then, the library should be larger and later versions will likely have hardware improvements.