Nintendo Switch: A few things to know before the Friday launch

The Nintendo Switch will be released in less than a week! While various websites and influencers have already received their systems, a few issues have been brought up. So let’s take a look at a few things you should know before picking up the new console on Friday.

While not trying to compare it to the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo Wii U, the system really doesn’t offer much out of the box. Being able to take advantage of the previous generations library was a nice selling point, making games you’ve bought worth playing. Unless you purchase a game or two, there really isn’t much else you can do with the Switch, unless you want to make a few Mii characters and navigate menus.

It will be awhile before Nintendo will add services like Netflix and Youtube.

No Virtual Console on launch!

The Switch is the ultimate portable gaming device you can play at home or on the go. While Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will keep you busy for a few days, weeks or even months, you still want variety and something else to play every so often. It’s been rumored that Nintendo will be adding Gamecube games to the Switch’s library, and if that’s true that would be great. However, Nintendo hasn’t really made any big announcements of when the service will be launched.

There will be a Day-One Update

Nintendo will be releasing an update just before the system’s release date which will add a few network features including:

  • Linking your Nintendo account to your Nintendo Switch
  • Access Nintendo eShop, online gameplay, the ability to share images via social media.
  • Ability to connect online using hotspots that require authentication.

Luckily, downloading updates won’t be as painful as it has with previous Nintendo systems. The update will download in the background while you play, making it simple and easy.

There Will Be a Subscription Service

While Nintendo hasn’t officially released the price of the service in North America, we know the price in Japan is somewhere between $15-$26 annually. For the first few months after the service is launched, it will be free for all Switch owners. After that be prepared to pay to play online games. The plus side is users will have access to a nice perks as each month Nintendo will offer a free NES or SNES game to enjoy as part of the service. The downside is you only get a month to enjoy it.

Wireless Headsets Aren’t Compatible with the Switch

It’s been confirmed that the Nintendo Switch won’t support Bluetooth Headsets. The menu for the system offers no option to sync any device, making it a bit of a disappointment. It’s time to break out those earbuds or wired headphones. This is a bit of an inconvenience for people using the system in TV mode at home as the only way to connect your earbuds/headphones is via the jack on the Switch system which may not be set up close by you.

Issues with Joy-Con Controllers

Hopefully with the day-one patch, this will be fixed, but a number of reviewers have been reporting about issues with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. While playing in TV mode, users have had connection issues where the left Joy-Con will desync or just fail to respond for a few seconds.

Nintendo Really Dropped the Ball on Storage

The Nintendo Switch only comes with 32GB of internal memory. 6.1GB is dedicated towards the Switch’s Operating System, leaving you with 25.9GB. This wouldn’t be a problem if the game sizes were small but they aren’t. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild requires a 13.4GB install, leaving you with about 12.5GB left to use. If you plan on purchasing digital only games in the future, this will be an issue. If you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a MicroSD card. You can find a great quality 64GB card on Amazon for $15.99 or splurge more up to a 256GB for just over $100.

You may also want to end up buying that copy of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild physically since the Switch doesn’t install any game data, which is a huge plus down the line.

Speaking of Extras…

Like any system, expect tons of accessories to be released at launch and down the line. A microSD is very useful and so will a screen protector and carrying case. Luckily there are some of the cheaper items. If you want to pick up the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to play your games, that’s an extra $70 you will have to spend, and you definitely don’t want to lose your Joy-Con controllers since a replacement set will run you $80.

While on the subject of the Joy-Con, currently out of the box the only way to charge them is docking them to the Switch. The included Joy-Con grip doesn’t give you that option which is a bit of a disappointment. Instead you need to fork over another $30 for that option.

One of the most important accessories I would recommend to pick up is an external battery. Since the Nintendo Switch uses a USB Type-C connector, having this can add quite a bit of extra game time for those long trip since right now the system will run for just under two and a half hours on full settings.

Finally, a List of all the Launch Day Titles!

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – $59.99
  • 1-2-Switch – $49.99
  • Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! -$19.99 (digital only)
  • Just Dance 2017 – $59.99
  • Skylanders Imaginators – $59.99
  • Super Bomberman R – $49.99
  • I Am Setsuna – $49.99 (digital only)
  • Fast RMX -$19.99 (digital only)
  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove – $24.99 (digital only)

Three titles from indie developer Tomorrow Corporation were also announced for the Nintendo Switch launch, but as it stands they might not be released until a later time.

  • World of Goo
  • Little Inferno
  • Human Resource Machine
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