In case you weren’t already aware…the Nintendo Switch is almost upon us! Nintendo recently released some additional information on the Switch, and even though this information is already readily available online, let me summarize a little bit of what I learned here for you. First of all, the console’s release date is scheduled for March 3, a date which has another significance that I will cover soon. That’s pretty exciting, I must say, as I was not expecting it to be available until at least summer. And at about $300 (at least, for those of us in the US; the Switch’s Wikipedia article lists prices for other parts of the world, as well), that seems to be a pretty reasonable price considering the Switch’s console/handheld abilities. But keep in mind that there may be some hidden costs….
Now for some stats that you may or may not like so much. Two questions many of us had when the Switch was announced pertained to battery life and hard drive space. According to the console’s Wikipedia article, battery life can span between 2.5-6.5 hours, depending on the game. The Switch’s hard drive will be 32 GB, the same size as a Deluxe Wii U, but it can be expanded with SD cards, at an additional cost, of course. For me, battery life would not be an issue, as I would likely only play the Switch on the TV anyway. For those of you who intend to take advantage of the Switch’s handheld capabilities, however, please let me know below what your thoughts are on this.
The biggest issue for me would be the limited hard drive space. I find it rather disappointing that the Switch’s hard drive, like the Wii U’s, is going to be so little. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, you can expand the memory of the Switch using SD cards, but that will increase the cost. Nintendo consoles have been traditionally less expensive than PlayStation and XBox, but that may not be the case this time. To compare, my PS4 was $300, the same price as the Switch, but it came with a 500 GB hard drive and a game. While the Switch’s $300 price tag may seem fair on the surface, the price can go up if you need to buy a separate SD card. Apparently the Switch can support as much as 2 TB, but this is not a size you can actually buy at this time, as far as I know. To give you an idea of the prices of SD cards you can find on Amazon, a 64 GB SD card is around $20, but a larger one, like a 256 GB SD card, is closer to $90 (2 TB is about eight times larger). Depending on how much additional space you require, you may only have to spend a small amount to upgrade the Switch’s memory or a more substantial one.
Before I go any further, let’s get into an example. The reason March 3 is an exciting date for multiple reasons is the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will also be released that day, both for the Switch and the Wii U, if I’m not mistaken. Now that is pretty great news! I honestly did not expect this game until the end of the year, so I’m super happy to know it’s coming out much earlier. Now, to give you an idea how such a highly-anticipated game performs on the Switch, here are the stats. The Switch’s handheld battery life when playing Breath of the Wild is on the lower end of the spectrum at three hours. It will also take up about 13 GB of that precious 32 GB hard drive if you download the digital version. I hear this is not an issue if you buy a physical copy, but if you intend to download the game, beware. Apparently this is also roughly the hard drive space the digital version of the game would take up on the Wii U, so a physical copy will be a must for me.
So what will I do? At this time, I have no intention of buying the Switch upon its release date, as I’m perfectly content to play Breath of the Wild (the physical copy!) on the Wii U. As for the future, it depends on what games are released. A free-roaming Mario game is finally scheduled for release at the end of 2017 called Super Mario Odyssey, so the Switch is going to look a lot more appealing come Christmas-time. Even so, would I buy the Switch just for a Mario game? I don’t know. While we know much more about the Switch now than we did several months ago, whether or not it is something I’d want to add to my gaming collection remains to be seen.
Please leave your comments below, dear readers, and let me know your thoughts on the Switch. Will you be buying it? Does the price, battery life, and/or hard drive space concern you? How much memory do you typically require for your consoles?
The Duck, Master of Basic Math…If It’s Gaming-Related