Why I'm More Likely to Play (and Finish) Games on the Nintendo Switch
Almost two years after the release of Nintendo Switch, I'm still enamored with the console.
Its ever-growing library of amazing games has proven that the hybrid console is so much more than a gimmick, and the play it enables keeps me coming back to the system again and again. Here's my list of reasons why I'm more likely to play (and finish) games if they're on the Nintendo Switch.
I Don't Have to Hog the TV
If you're like me and typically have your game consoles hooked up to your living room television set, it can seriously cut into your gaming time. Whether you're getting booted out of your game because someone else wants to watch something on the big TV, or you courteously don't want to start a game in case someone else needs the screen, that can create an ongoing conflict. The more I have to block out a schedule to play, the less likely I am to do so.
With the Switch, that problem ceases to exist. You never have to worry about starting up a game on the TV because the second someone else wants it, you can just take the Switch out of the dock and continue to play in handheld or desktop mode. You can even watch TV with them on the couch while you keep playing, and when they finish, you can pop the game back into the dock and resume your game. It's ridiculously convenient, and that makes it hard to imagine playing my games any other way.
Almost Everything I Want to Play Is on It
Xbox and PlayStation will always have their big console-exclusive games, but I found that a majority of the games I actually want to play are slowly but surely getting ported to the Nintendo Switch anyway. I've been finding it difficult to finish games on the PlayStation 4, because creating the time to play and setting everything up is a big hassle, but when I put those games on my Switch, I find it easy to pop in and play on a whim.
I've beaten multiple games on the Switch that I didn't feel I had time for on the PS4, and even repurchased certain games I loved just because I knew I'd play them even more on the Switch. The library of available games is huge and ever-growing, and games like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey offer me more than anything I've played recently on other consoles.
The Files Are Super Manageable
Whenever I can, I buy games digitally. I'm not big on having storing a bunch of game cases, and the simple act of ejecting and loading game discs or cartridges can occasionally be enough to discourage me from playing. Thankfully, the file sizes for Nintendo Switch games are typically super small, so I just buy everything through the Nintendo eShop without any problems. I have a 200GB memory card with 75 or so games downloaded on it, and I still have plenty of space. When you're done with games, it's also really easy to delete them, then redownload them for free later if you change your mind.
On the other hand, my PS4 has a massive memory bank, but that thing fills up fast. I'm frequently having to delete old games to make room for new ones, and their content management system can be confusing to work through. That makes me lean toward games with discs, but even those force me to download giant files to the system—plus I have to keep the boxes somewhere, and insert the CD whenever I want to play. It can be a big pain, and I'd much rather stick to my friendly all-in-one Switch console.
You Can Always Play With a Friend
In the past, setting up couch co-op would almost always mean added work. Not only would you have to go out and buy an additional controller (which tends to be pretty expensive) but you'd also have to make sure they were charged and go through the sometimes painful process of syncing them before you could even think about playing together.
The Nintendo Switch ingeniously works around this fact by having two Joy-Con controllers built right into every system. If you've used your Switch at all, the Joy-Cons are already synced, and using them is as simple as pressing a button to detach them from the console screen. A single Joy-Con doesn't always make the best controller—particularly if you have large hands—but it's fantastic to have the option for two-player gaming straight out of the box.
Capturing My Favorite Moments Is Super Easy
The Nintendo Switch has a button dedicated to taking screenshots and I'm obsessed with using it. Not only is it super handy for me—someone who writes often about games and likes to use images in my articles—but it's also great for anyone who just likes to capture their favorite game moments for social media, or just to browse and enjoy later. If you hold the screenshot button down, it'll also cut a 30-second clip of your gameplay to share.
PlayStation also has screenshotting functionality, but it's not super intuitive, and there are limited ways to share. The only way to get your pics off the system is to publish to Facebook or Twitter, and you have to be logged in to those platforms to do it. The Switch lets you share socially, too, but you can also just turn off your console and get the shots right off your micro SD card using a computer. Easy peasy.
(Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee! via The Pokémon Company)
I Don't Have to Worry About Saving
Some video games simply don't have that many points where your progress can be saved, which can be a huge annoyance if you're ready to call it quits, but have to keep playing in order to keep your progress. While you could technically pause the game and put your console in rest mode, you always run the risk of having it accidentally turned off by someone else—especially if it's hooked up to the TV and is your main method for streaming or watching DVDs.
Maybe it's different for me because I don't have to share my Switch with anyone, but I never have to worry about someone else messing with my system when I'm not playing. I can be in the middle of any game and push one button to put the system into rest mode, and start off exactly where I stopped when I come back to it. Even if my battery drains entirely while I play it, the console will simply go into rest mode so I never lose my progress. Basically, I never have to save unless I'm going to swap over to another game.
The Portability Is Key
Besides the games, the Nintendo Switch's biggest selling feature is the fact that it's a hybrid console. While I can play it hooked up to the TV, I probably play the Switch in handheld mode at least 75% of the time I'm using it. I mostly play on the couch or in bed, but it's also perfect for situations where you know you'll have time to kill, or trips. It's just the thing for shrinking the perceived time spent in waiting rooms, in hour-long lines or on plane rides. If I wasn't super prone to carsickness, I'd probably play it during lengthy drives, too.
But portability wouldn't mean much if the battery would die immediately. I'm happy to report that the Switch's battery is also pretty impressive. In my experience, a fully charge will let me play games with higher graphics requirements, like Breath of the Wild, for about three hours, but my favorite indie titles take up even less battery and I can often play for twice that long.
Need an amazing game, but can't drop $60? Click HERE to read my review of the incredible (and affordable) Hollow Knight.