The Nintendo Switch is the hottest topic in video games today, but it isn’t perfect. These are 10 of the most annoying things about Nintendo’s latest console.
1. The Launch Games Suck
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will win just about every Game of the Year award going this year. It is probably the best launch game ever made, and a shining example of what Nintendo can do when they combine their brilliant franchises with their interesting new hardware.
But, what is there aside from Breath of the Wild, which is also available on the Wii U?
There are several games already available for other systems, including JRPG I Am Setsuna and the side-scroller Shovel Knight. Then there’s the new Bomberman, Just Dance and Snipperclips, and 1-2 Switch. As it stands, a handful of games that play on the novelty of the Switch’s unique hardware is not enough to justify putting down your hard earned money on day one.
2. You’ll Need Headphones With A Long Wire
Many gamers in 2017 are used to be able to plug their headphones into their controller while they game. It’s a key benefit to having a wireless controller, and one that would be lost if they were tethered to their screen by a headphone wire.
Enter the Nintendo Switch. Neither the Joy-Con grip or the Pro Controller have a headphone output, something that even the Wii U had as standard. It won’t be a problem when 3 feet from the screen while on a plane, but it’s something that will only continue to irritate players when sitting on the couch across the room from their televisions.
To make matters worse, the Nintendo lacks support for Bluetooth headsets. Given that even budget tablets in 2017 include this feature as standard, it’s a sad omission for an expensive piece of tech, that would completely solve the issue of the lack of a headphone jack.
3. The Kickstand Sucks (And May Break)
Much of the Switch feels fantastic. The Joy-Con feel quality, and the screen looks superb. It’s a shame that the kickstand on the back of the switch is flimsy and it’s only a matter of time until it snaps off. It’s a corner Nintendo has cut to keep the costs down, but one that should have been avoided since one of the key selling points of the Switch is being able to prop the screen up to play just about anywhere.
Speaking of propping that screen up, the stand holds the screen unsteadily and at an awkwardly steep angle, which is unsuited to many situations you’d use it in. Plus, when it does snap off, your MicroSD card will be exposed, putting your saved games at risk.
The kickstand on the back of the Switch is flimsy and seems destined to snap off. It props up the screen at a steep angle unsuited to a lot of situations and generally feels unsteady. It also doubles as a cover for the MicroSD card slot, so if it does break, your memory card will be exposed.
No doubt Nintendo will soon be selling overpriced cases for the Switch, incorporating strengthened kickstands with adjustable angles.
4. The Joy-Con Release Buttons Are Annoying
You’re in the middle of playing, but decide to detach the Joy-Con controllers and prop the screen up on the unsteady kickstand. Well, good luck doing that without accidentally clicking other buttons as well.
For some reason, the Nintendo Switch has been designed with small release buttons used to detach the Joy-Con, which are difficult to press.
5. There’s No HDMI Port
Picture the scene: you’ve taken your new Nintendo Switch around a friends house. You’re sitting hunched around the kitchen table playing on the little screen when he turns to you and says “hey, let’s plug this into my huge HD TV and play on the couch!”
You’ll blush and have to explain that you left the dock at home and that there’s no HDMI port to plug it into a TV on the go, such as at a relative’s house or in a hotel room.
6. The Dock HDMI Cable Is Too Short
Speaking of HMDI, the HDMI cable included with the Nintendo Switch is less than 5 feet long. This won’t be a problem for everyone, but many gaming set-ups aren’t immediately under the TV and make use of the standard 6 feet cables with most other pieces of hardware.
Still, at least that isn’t as short as the NES Classic’s controllers.
7. Charging Is Awkward
The Switch’s charging port is on the bottom of the console. As a result, the console cannot be charged while propped up on a table; it must be held or laid down while charging. It’s a small oversight, but one that could have easily been avoided by having the charging point on the back, sides, or top of the unique. Anywhere but the bottom.
Speaking of charging, there has been reports that the Switch actually loses charge, even while plugged in, if it is being played while docked. Fresh out of the box it doesn’t lose enough charge to run out of battery, but it does flag issues about the long-term future for the Nintendo Switch’s battery power.
8. The Charger Port Design On The Dock Is A Pain
One sure-fire way to avoid holding the Switch while it charges, without laying the screen flat on it’s back, is to charge it in the dock. But, rather than having the charger connect somewhere easy to access on the dock, if you want to use the AC adapter on the go you have to open up the dock and remove it. It’s a small point, but one that gradually gets more irritating.
9. Charging the Joy-Con Is More Hassle Than It Should Be
If you’re playing the Nintendo Switch on a TV, your Joy-Con controllers won’t be charging while slotted into the included Joy-Con grip. As a result, you’ll have to disassemble the grip controller every night and re-attach the Joy-Con to the screen in the dock every night to charge.
This can be even more annoying due to the slide over Joy-Con caps being tricky to get on and off.
The first time you forget you’ll wish you just spent the extra £28 on a virtually identical Charge Grip with a USB input for charging.
10. You’ll Have To Spend Over £400 To Have A Decent Switch
The Nintendo Switch costs £280 out of the box. It will look nice in your room, but you won’t be able to do much with it. Unfortunately, you’ll need to spend a lot more money to have the Nintendo Switch you always wanted.
Let’s start with the games to play on it. As Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the only good launch game, you’re going to spend £50 to add it to your collection.
The Joy-Con are comfortable enough while using as a portable system, but you’ll long for a decent controller for longer gaming sessions. Therefore, you’ll need a Switch Pro Controller for those late night couch gaming sessions, which will cost you £65.
If you’re sick of forgetting to charge your Joy-Con, you should also consider buying the mentioned Charge Grip. That’ll be £28, thank you.
Now, for gaming on the go, you’ll need something to keep your new expensive piece of tech safe. Fortunately, there are thousands of third-party cases for a range of tablets (and even Nintendo Switch consoles) that will suffice, keeping the costs down to £10.
Now for additional storage, which will be a necessity, given the Switch comes with 32GB of onboard storage as standard. You can expand the storage with a 128GB MicroSD card, which will cost you a reasonable £35.
That’s £188 of extras, on top of the £280 price of the standard Nintendo Switch package. At a stretch, you’ll be spending a minimum of £400 to get the Nintendo Switch console you actually wanted when you preordered the base model.
So, There You Have It…
Here’s the thing: the Switch is a good console. It’s beautiful, it’s multi-purpose, and it enables you to take a game like Zelda: Breath of the Wild on your commute. For some who have preordered, that will be enough reason to part with their hard earned money, plus some more for the optional extras.
For those hovering anxiously over the “Buy Now”, this article was intended as some food for thought. At the time of writing, the Nintendo Switch lacks a suite of quality games and has question marks hanging over the build quality and some design decisions which could be rectified over the coming year.