People will continue to buzz about the Nintendo Switch for the foreseeable future. Based on our time with the console, its Pro Controller, and the flagship Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, that’s because Nintendo made some good decisions, some bad ones, and more than a few befuddling errors.
Switch was built to make it so people don’t have to choose between a home console and a handheld device, and you feel that concept of compromise in nearly every aspect of the device.
Switch is larger than most handheld devices, thanks to its 6.2” display and the Joy-Con controllers attached to its side, but smaller than the PlayStation 4. It doesn’t fold in half like the 3DS, nor does it sit horizontally like the Xbox One. It’s truly unique in the modern console market.
Also unlike the various iterations of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which use custom 8-core CPUs based on AMD’s Jaguar microarchitecture, the Switch uses a custom Tegra processor from Nvidia. It also has just 32GB of onboard storage, versus the 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB options from Sony and Microsoft. The Switch has more in common with smartphones than with other consoles.
|Product Name||Nintendo Switch (Console)|
|Size||102 x 239 x 13.9mm (with Joy-Con attached)
Please note: 28.4mm at the thickest, from the tips of the analog sticks to the ZL/ZR Button protrusions.
(With Joy-Con controllers attached: 398g)
|Screen||Capacitive touch screen
6.2 inch LCD
|CPU / GPU||
Nvidia customized Tegra processor
|System Storage||32 GB
Please note: a portion of this internal memory is reserved for use by the system.
|Communication Features||Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
Bluetooth 4.1 (TV mode only. A wired LAN connection is possible through the use of a commercially available wired LAN adapter.)
|Video Output||Maximum resolution: 1920×1080, 60 fps
Please note: output via HDMI cable in TV mode. In tabletop mode and handheld mode, the maximum resolution is 1280×720, which matches the screen resolution.
|Audio Output||Supports linear PCM 5.1ch
Please note: output via HDMI cable in TV mode.
|USB Terminal||USB Type-C terminal
Used for charging or for connecting to the Nintendo Switch dock.
|Headphone Mic. Jack||
|Game Card Slot||
Exclusively for Nintendo Switch game cards.
|microSD Card Slot||Compatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards.
Please note: an update via an internet connection is required to use microSDXC memory cards.
|Operating Environment||Temperature: 5-35°C
|Internal Battery||Lithium ion battery / battery capacity 4310mAh
Please note: the internal battery cannot be removed. If the battery needs to be replaced, we plan to offer paid replacement via Nintendo Customer Support.
|Battery Life||Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions.
For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge.
|Charging Time||3 hours approx.
Please note: this is the time taken to charge while the console is in sleep mode.
That novelty extends to where you can use Switch. Nintendo wants you to use the device in three different modes—handheld, tabletop, and TV—instead of limiting it to one aspect of your life. That’s the console’s primary appeal: giving you the chance to play with Switch on the bus, prop it up on a friend’s coffee table, or connect it to a TV back at home, all without interruption.
We’ve spent a while with the console in all three modes—one less than the others, for reasons that will become clear.