Since we don’t get review copies of consoles or games (yet), we don’t have the luxury of giving our readers pre-launch impressions of new releases (…yet). Having said that, I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for about 24 hours by now, and I’m ready to fork over some initial impressions, loves, and hates.
I actually just got back from Florida (sick brag, Dom) where I spent the weekend at Universal, attending a good friends’ wedding (congrats, Christina and Joe) and above all else: avoiding people on Bath Salts. What loomed in the back of my head all weekend, however, was the rampant excitement and anxiety that would ensure when picking up my pre-order of the Nintendo Switch at my local Best Buy as soon as I got home. I pre-ordered my Switch immediately when they became available, and it’s a good thing I did, since not only did no Best Buy in the area have any ‘loose’ ones to sell, my pre-order was literally the last order they’d had on hold. I was informed by the guy behind the counter that the hundreds of pre-orders they’d received had already been picked up in the <24 hours since the console’s launch. Crazy.
So I get home with my Switch, and immediately tear through the smartly designed packaging. I’m a big Apple guy, so I can appreciate sexy cardboard boxes for consumer electronics. Luckily, it’s something Nintendo also does very well. Since my local Best Buy was legitimately picked clean for Nintendo Switch accessories, I tore open my Switch box with one hand and ordered a 200GB microSDXC card on Amazon Prime with the other. I’ve decided to go all-balls-digital-deep with the Switch, and I hope I’m not making a huge mistake. We’ll see.
The Switch was smaller than I’d expected. My hands aren’t huge, but they aren’t small either, and the Switch kinda felt like holding an iPad Mini, if not a little smaller, for reference. It’s light, and thin, and god damn is it sleek. The menu sounds and clicks are super satisfying, and I’m as unsurprised as anyone could be at how user-friendly and simple the UI is. I linked my accounts, created my User on the console, was prompted to create another for a second user, looked over my shoulder at my girlfriend, said “nah”, and hit “skip”. On to the eShop.
Zelda. Hi, beautiful. You took like two hours to download, but it was worth it. I’ll save my complete thoughts on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for another blog in the future, but just know that it’s an absolutely engrossing, enthralling, challenging, gorgeous masterpiece of an open-world video game. Goddamn I’m glad I bought this console. I do have some gripes, though. The Nintendo Switch is bluetooth enabled (for the JoyCon), yet doesn’t support Bluetooth headphones. This is pretty baffling, considering that this is a “mobile” console hybrid, and how common Bluetooth headphones are these days. I don’t know too much about software limits, but I will assume for now that Nintendo could add Bluetooth headphone support in the future. We’ll see.
Another gripe is that Nintendo has stuck us with Friend Codes again. And they’re even longer than they were before. Even though the Nintendo Network has usernames, we’ve gotta use Friend Codes, or dick around with the “suggested user” list based on people we linked up with via Miitomo or Super Mario Run. Ugh. Overall, I actually tweeted out a pretty comprehensive point-by-point breakdown of my Switch knee-jerk impressions so far:
-no Bluetooth headphone support
-legit everything else, it's amazing to hold and play in every mode
— Press Pass Papi (@DomMahoney) March 6, 2017