Why Nintendo’s console always wins
The upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are already generating a ton of hype and speculation. Both next-gen consoles promise to be faster and more powerful than any console we’ve seen before. Still, considering everything we know so far, their main competitor, the Nintendo Switch, looks better than ever.
Few companies have taken as many risks or transformed their products as much as Nintendo. It didn’t always pay off, but the Japanese company landed gold with the Nintendo Switch. The hybrid console has experienced a meteoric rise since its release in 2017, and for good reason. The Switch is portable, versatile, and offers a great mix of games.
The Nintendo Switch has already hit the floor with the competition in 2019 in sell more units than Xbox One and PlayStation 4 combined. But with the upcoming behemoths of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, is the Nintendo Switch still worth it?
Absolutely yes. It’s never going to rival them in performance, but the Switch is a powerhouse in so many other ways.
Size and simplicity
There is something to be said for the nostalgic simplicity of the Nintendo Switch. Consoles are becoming over-glorified entertainment hubs that barely fit on our TV shelves.
The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 both push back in size. The PS5 is around 15 inches tall, which is taller than any previous PlayStation. The Xbox Series X may be shorter, but it makes up for it with the width. Considering their ever-increasing size and price, what is their advantage over gaming PCs and laptops? True, size is necessary for their supposed graphics prowess, but the Switch is a tempting proposition for anyone who cares more about convenience and portability.
Read more: Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X: what we know about each and how they stack up
The Switch offers a fun and hassle-free experience. It lets you enjoy all your favorites on the go and with friends. It’s hard to say “no” to a Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing: New Horizons session on a long train ride. Even better playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate against your friend on this five hour flight. It might not be in glorious 4K, but that doesn’t make the experience any less enjoyable.
Ingenuity and creativity
The upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are so focused on performance that they seem to have put creativity and light fun aside. The PS5 controller has adaptive triggers and improved haptics, but otherwise the new gamepads from Sony and Microsoft are basically the same old controllers we’ve seen for years.
Nintendo’s Joy-Cons, on the other hand, have many fun and innovative uses. One need only look at the Nintendo Labo kits to understand how ingenious the addition of an infrared (IR) camera was. It can be used to detect movement in the car kit, allowing you to maneuver a Toy-Con submarine, car or airplane. It can also read specially placed stickers, allowing you to play on a cardboard Toy-Con piano and much more. There’s even a Nintendo Labo VR kit, and none of this would have been possible without Nintendo’s Joy-Con innovation.
Even without Lab, the Joy-Cons are already incredible kits. You can of course attach them to the console to play on the go, but that’s just the start. Once detached, you can use them as Wiimote-style motion controllers. Flip them horizontally and you have two individual gamepads for you and a friend. You can even slip them into a gamepad accessory that comes with every Switch console to form a regular controller. Can you imagine Sony or Microsoft doing something as creative as the Joy-Cons?
Amiibos are another original and creative Nintendo invention worth mentioning. Although they predate the Switch, they are yet another example of the ingenuity of the Japanese company. Amiibos aren’t just plastic figures, they can be used to record game data, give you access to exclusive characters or items, and many other cool in-game bonuses, while also serving as a fun collectibles. Neither the Xbox nor the PlayStation offer anything similar from a distance.
Consoles live and die on their exclusive games. Both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are expected to host a number of brilliant triple-A games, but in recent years the number of true exclusives has dwindled. Many beloved console franchises such as Final Fantasy, Red Dead Redemption, and Dark Souls have made their way to PC. Microsoft now launches almost all of its proprietary games on the Xbox and Windows platforms. Even Sony has started to open doors for PC users, with the PC release of Horizon Zero Dawn being the most publicized example.
Don’t miss: The best exclusive games for the Nintendo Switch
The same cannot be said of Nintendo. The Japanese company’s AAA games can only be found on its consoles, and its catalog should not be underestimated. Games like The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are not only critical darlings, but fan favorites as well. Nintendo’s game library is complemented by a variety of Mario and Pokémon games, as well as competitive titles like Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Splatoon 2.
Most importantly, Nintendo games have their own unique charm. While many modern triple-A titles have gotten serious and overly dramatic, most Nintendo games have retained their visual style and light tone without sacrificing challenge.
Although the price of the Nintendo Switch has increased due to COVID-related shortages, once it returns to its original retail price of $ 300, it will be the best console deal. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are unlikely to beat it, even with cheaper digital-only editions and inevitable discounts beyond. The Nintendo Switch Lite is an even better deal for those who want a handheld-only console. It still gives you access to the vast majority of the Switch catalog, but it only costs $ 200.
If there is one major criticism we can make of the Switch, it would be aimed at its lackluster online service. Having to use the Nintendo Switch Online app for voice chat is a painful experience, and unlike PlayStation and Xbox, Nintendo Switch doesn’t offer free games to try every month. You get access to the best games in the classic NES and SNES catalog for just $ 20 a year, which retro gamers will certainly appreciate, but it’s not quite the same.
Related: The best Nintendo Switch accessories
The Nintendo Switch will never be a graphics powerhouse or a performance champion, but it has carved out its own niche that will appeal to a wide variety of gamers. Compared to its oversized and oversized rivals, the Nintendo Switch looks better than ever.
Do you think the Nintendo Switch looks better than ever? Vote in the poll below and let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out some of our other in-game content below.