Everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch
Still undecided on getting a Switch? Here’s what you need to know.
01 Apr 2020
What is the Nintendo Switch?
The Nintendo Switch was released in March 2017.
It’s a versatile gaming device that offers something slightly different to the PS4 and Xbox One.
For one, because it’s a Nintendo console, it gives you access to Nintendo’s great games.
For another, this console can be used on a TV as well as used as a portable device on the move.
Want to use the Switch at home? Simply plug it in to the special dock and connect the dock to your TV. Want to head out and use the Switch as a mobile gaming console? Just remove it from the dock. If you’re in the middle of a game, it’ll change its output from the TV to the console screen – and vice versa - so you can carry on exactly where you left off.
What comes with the Nintendo Switch?
Inside the Switch box, you’ll find a 6.2-inch tablet (image 1), two Joy-Con controllers (image 2), a Joy-Con grip (image 3), a TV dock (image 4), an HDMI cable and a charger.
The two Joy-Con controllers are incredibly versatile.
- You can hand one to a friend for two-player console playing.
- You can strap them to your wrists and hold one in each hand to play a game on your own.
- If you want a more traditional gaming experience, you can slot them into the Joy-Con grip and turn it into a standard game pad.
- When you want to go mobile, attach each one to the sides of your tablet.
How much is a Nintendo Switch?
How to connect Nintendo Switch to your TV
The Nintendo Switch docking station allows you to connect your console to a TV, monitor or projector.
- Simply pull open the side panel on the dock.
- Next, plug one end of the HDMI cable into the dock, then plug the other end into your display (monitor, TV, projector, etc.). You’ll want to keep the dock fairly close to your TV to ensure the cable can reach comfortably.
- Now, plug in the USB-C end of the power cable into the dock, and connect the adapter end to a power socket in your home.
Follow these steps and within seconds the image on the tablet should be transferred to your screen of choice.
How to charge the Nintendo Switch and how to charge its Joy-Cons
The Switch console can be charged a couple of ways:
- With the USB-C charger plugged into the console, and the adapter end plugged into a power socket in your house
- Any time you’re playing in docked mode.
In scenario 1, your Joy-Cons are charging as well. In scenario 2, they are detached from the tablet and will be draining battery.
- To charge your Joy-Cons, make sure they’re connected to the tablet, and make sure the tablet is plugged into the USB-C charger.
- You can also use the Venom Charging Station for Nintendo Switch, which will allow you to hook up four Joy-Cons at a time.
Now, to an all-important question...
How powerful is Nintendo Switch?
For a portable machine, the Nintendo Switch is exceptionally powerful, boasting approximately 3-4 times the grunt of the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Docked, its GPU (graphical processing unit) speed hits 768 MHz, just shy of the 800 MHz of the base PS4. It has 4GB of RAM, half that of the PS4 and Ps4 Pro, and it outputs a 1080p image in docked mode (though this depends on the game) and hits 720p in portable/tablet mode.
Because of the small form factor, you get 32GB of flash storage built in, and will need to buy microSD cards separately to enlarge this capacity.
One small point: the Switch doesn’t have a port for an ethernet cable, so you’ll need access to WiFi to get on the internet.
Is the Nintendo Switch backwards compatible?
At the moment, no. The Switch has such an unusual form factor that it exists very much on its own, and is not compatible with the 3DS or Wii U. The good news is fan-favourite titles are being ported to the Switch all the time.
Is the Nintendo Switch region free?
Yes, the Nintendo Switch is region free. In other words, games can be bought anywhere in the world, and played on a Switch console bought anywhere in the world. So, if you buy A Legend of Zelda in America and want to play the game on a Nintendo Switch bought in the UK, it will work perfectly. This isn’t the case with the PS4 and many other older consoles to boot.
What are good Nintendo Switch games?
The Switch is already home to some of Nintendo’s best-ever games, as well as third-party titles that were originally at home on the PS4/Xbox One and PS3/Xbox 360. Here are five that we think should be on every shopping list.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This is the smash-hit game that debuted alongside the Switch. The sheer scale is incredible, and you’ll need to travel huge distances as you collect weapons and armour, fight monsters, solve puzzles and complete side-quests.
Super Mario Odyssey
The story follows Mario as he travels to various kingdoms on his airship Odyssey, in a bid to stop his nemesis Bowser forcibly marrying Princess Peach. Each kingdom has a number of different objectives for Mario to complete, so that he can explore new worlds and track down the beastly Bowser.
Celeste is a ludicrously fun platform game that rewards seasoned players and newbies alike. It’s an addictive challenge, as well as an interesting meditation on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart is on Switch and it’s a match made in heaven! The Deluxe version of Mario Kart 8 introduces bigger tracks, 42 Nintendo-themed characters, and gravity-defying vehicles that can drive across walls and ceilings – as well as fly through the air. It’s an essential purchase for Switch owners.
Dark Souls Remastered
Dark Souls has come to the Nintendo Switch. Released in October 2018, the long-awaited Remastered edition sparkles on-screen and if you’re new to the series, you can look forward to 100 hours of content (or more). Returning fans can also look forward to getting a kick out of playing this on the Tube or bus. Praise the sun!
What is Nintendo Labo?
Talk about putting cardboard back in the home! Nintendo Labo comprises a series of cardboard “kits” that, once built, can be used with the Switch Joy-Cons in conjunction with great games. The Labo is aimed at kids but adults can enjoy its creative diversions too.
All in all, the console is the most versatile ever created, as at home with the family as it is with the serious gamer.
Interested in finding out more? You can buy the Nintendo Switch or choose from a number of great bundles on the Currys PC World website.
All images courtesy of Nintendo.co.uk