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Nintendo Switch buying guide

Nintendo’s entry into the ninth console generation is the talk of the town.

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Nintendo switch

The console codenamed NX was officially announced as the Nintendo Switch on October 21, 2016. It was unveiled via a lively trailer that demonstrated the home/handheld hybrid in action, including its detachable Joy-con controllers, six games and traditional gamepad support. In January of 2017, Nintendo revealed finer details through a live stream from Tokyo, including different SKUs, Joy-Con functionality, online play and over 30 titles.

Now that the Nintendo Switch is out in the wild, let’s take a deep look at the console’s hardware and games.

Nintendo Switch games

Over 100 titles were released for the Nintendo Switch in its first year. The list included stalwart franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario and Bomberman, as well as a huge selection of quality indies like Shovel Knight.

The are now nearly 2,000 titles available for the Nintendo Switch.

Key Nintendo Switch titles

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild turns a new leaf for the series by completely removing the shackles of the series’ typically linear progression and opens up Hyrule, giving the player more freedom than ever. RPG and adventure fans will get more value out of Breath of the Wild than any previous title, thanks to a new level of inventory management, sprawling side-quests and a stronger difficulty curve than most Nintendo games offer.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild received unanimous praise from critics all over the world, being named one of the best games in history by many outlets. It’s the perfect fit for someone looking for a deep, rewarding single player experience for their Nintendo Switch.Shop Now

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brings all of the sweet karting action from the Wii U generation to the handheld Switch. While the majority of the game is the same Mario Kart 8 we all know and love, there are a few new characters and an all-new battle mode to sweeten the pot.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes packaged with all the DLC released last generation and adds Splatoon’s Inklings, King Boo and Dry Bones to the roster of racers.Shop Now

Super Mario Odyssey

Mario’s first adventure on the Switch is also his first large-scale 3D adventure since Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Odyssey takes Mario on an epic adventure through many different worlds, including one that’s eerily similar to our own. This time around, Mario travels the globe, exploring the reaches of the Mushroom World like never before.

Odyssey’s other big feature is Mario’s sentient cap. Mario’s iconic red cap has a life of its own in Odyssey. The player uses Mario’s cap to fight enemies and solve puzzles.Shop Now

Nintendo Switch hardware

The Nintendo Switch comes with the Switch tablet, a dock with HDMI output and two Joy-Con controllers.

Nintendo Switch console

Technically, the tablet at the console’s core is the Nintendo Switch. The console itself is exclusively sold in a package that includes the Switch Dock, two Joy-Con controllers and all the required cables.

Nintendo Switch Specs

Nintendo SwitchSpecs
Display6.2-inch
Resolution1280×720
ProcessorCustom Nvidia Tegra-based system-on-a-chip (SOC)
Internal memory32GB
Expandable memoryUp to 2TB (Micro SDXC)
Audio2 speakers, 3.5mm headphone hack
Battery life3 – 6 hours
ChargingUSB-C
SensorsBrightness sensor

Nintendo Switch Price

The Nintendo Switch costs $299 in the US, as of December 2019.

Joy-Con controllers

Whether placed in the dock, tabletop mode or handheld, the Joy-Con controllers are an essential part of the Switch’s hardware. They come in grey and red/blue neon variations and are compatible with various accessories, like a charging grip and wheel frames.

The Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers share a similar button layout to the Wii U gamepad, with the exception of a share button and altered joystick placement.

The Joy-Cons boast new features like HD Rumble and an IR Sensor. HD Rumble simulates real-world sensations, like rattling ice in a glass, and the IR Sensor can identify movement, shape and distance. For example, you could play rock, paper, scissors and the Switch would be able to identify the action of moving your hand, how far it is from the sensor and which action you chose.

Joy-Con price

HardwarePrice
Joy-Con set (2)$79.99
Joy-Con individual (1)$49.99
Switch Charging Grip$29.99
Switch Wheel Accessory (2)$14.99
Switch Strap$7.99

Price information obtained in December 2019 and is subject to change.

Joy-Con specs

The Joy-Con controllers are quite small when separated. Here are the specifications for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons.

Joy-ConSpecs
Height102mm
Width35.99mm
Depth28.4mm
Weight101.5g
BatteryLithium Ion
Battery lifeApprox. 20 hours

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