Nintendo Switch Innovates, but Battery Life May Hold it Back

Nintendo officially announced some of the specs and additional information regarding The Switch. During the Nintendo Switch Presentation, some questions were answered — the console will launch on March 3rd for $299.99— though some questions remain.

The battery life on The Switch will officially be lacking. Depending on what game is being played, the battery will last 2.5 to 6.5 hours. While 6.5 doesn’t sound too bad, 2.5 does. In spite of this, the console will reportedly do what Nintendo envisioned. The console will be able to be played while being charged, an option which does help its portability.  But if the console really will have a short battery life while off the dock, will it be worth playing robust games like Skyrim on the go?

Nintendo Switch
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Photo Credit: Nintendo

Games and Features

Did I say Skyrim? I did. Bethesda officially announced that Skyrim will be ported onto The Switch at the Nintendo Switch Presentation. Other games announced included FIFA from EA Sports, Project: Octopath Traveler from Square Enix (an RPG), and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. There were hints of a new Sonic the Hedgehog game, as well as brief glimpses of Lego games and Minecraft. A new sandbox style Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey was also announced.

The price will be higher than leaked earlier this week, $299.99 US.  It will come with two Joy-Con controllers as well as the Joy-Con grip. The Joy-Con controllers can also function as separate controllers. This is a step up for consoles as the Xbox One and PS4 only come with one. The games intended for the console are interesting, and The Nintendo Switch will have access to the Virtual Console which will include Game Cube games starting this year.

Nintendo Switch
The “Joy-Con” Controllers. Photo Credit: Nintendo

The “Joy-Con” controllers will expand on the motion control we saw in the Wii and WiiU. These controllers will have a gyroscope as well as an accelerometer inside. Games using this technology include a speed-draw game (drawing guns at high noon, for example) called “1-2 Switch”, and a fighting game called “Arms”.  Arms looks like Punch Out 2017 with springy arms, but could be interesting.

Will Gamers Give it a Look

There’s a ton more information where all of this came from, but will it be enough? The system will have 3 different playing modes: TV, table top, and handheld. It will also have an online multiplayer option similar to Xbox Live which will be free for a trial period before it becomes a subscription service.

Splatoon 2. Photo Credit: Nintendo
Splatoon 2. Photo Credit: Nintendo

The battery life is still suffering, 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 hrs depending on what you’re playing. The more detailed the game, the worse the battery life. Will these downsides keep serious gamers from buying the console? Nintendo is still fighting as hard as they possibly can to be innovative. Continuing on motion control options and including online play and sharing, things are looking up.

If this unit does work, it could be amazing. As long as it’s not too much or too broad of a focus. With Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild coming at launch and the official announcement of Splatoon 2 and a new Mario game, the downsides just might be overlooked.

Elisabeth Sills
Lifelong gamer and writer starting with the Commadore 64 all the way to the XBox One.

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