Critical round up: What does the world think of the Nintendo Switch? (updated)

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Update: With the Nintendo Switch review embargo lifted, we can finally see what critics really think of Nintendo's hybrid console. Does it live up to expectations, or do hardware complications keep it from being all it can be? We're still putting together our own Nintendo Switch review, but enjoy this collection of thoughts in the meantime:

Ars Technica on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

"The biggest ergonomic problem is the shoulder buttons, two of which are squeezed onto the top of each Joy-Con. Even with a small extension jutting out from behind the thin controller, the front shoulder button has to be an insanely slender 5 mm thick to fit in there, making it significantly thinner than the average finger that will be pressing it. The rear shoulder button is a bit more reasonably sized, but it lacks the nice analog travel and springy resistance of the Xbox One and PS4 pads. With the shoulder buttons so compressed, I ended up occasionally fumbling to hit the right one or consciously having to avoid tapping the front one to hit the rear shoulder button instead."

Game Informer on the Nintendo Switch UI

"The Switch's dashboard might be Nintendo's best UI to date. We breezed through the first-time system set-up, which is as simple as entering a name and selecting a player icon. Much like the PS4 dashboard, all your Switch games and apps are displayed along a media bar that scrolls horizontally across the middle of the screen. This content could get crowded once you have more games, but the overall design is simple and elegant, and can be navigated with a controller or the touchscreen."

Polygon on Nintendo Switch's online functionality

"In 2017, the ways a platform deals with online infrastructure, purchases and account management may be more important than any other issue, and these are all giant question marks with regard to the Switch. It’s not an encouraging thing, and clarity isn't coming anytime soon, even after the day-one update. It’s fair to say this is extraordinarily alarming, and while Nintendo may get some free passes, this is specifically the one area in which it has no credit left."

Kotaku on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con sync issues

"I’ve also run into a frustrating issue where the left Joy-Con momentarily loses tracking and stops responding to my inputs. ... It appears to be an issue with a body part or other object blocking the Joy-Con’s view of the docked console, and I was able to make it go away by moving the Switch closer to where I was sitting. But the issue has come up for both me and my colleague Jason in the course of normal play, and I’ve seen it reported by several other reviewers over the last week. ... This should not be an issue for a game controller in 2017, and it’s pretty annoying. Late last week a rep for Nintendo told us Nintendo is “aware of the reports and is investigating,” but we’re still waiting for a more substantial update."

GameSpot on Nintendo Switch overall comfort

"Whereas the Wii U GamePad looked and felt a bit like a Fisher Price toy, the Switch feels sturdy overall. This is even more impressive when you consider that at 0.9 pounds with the Joy-Con controllers attached, the Switch is more than 0.1 pound lighter than the GamePad. Having spent several hours playing with the Switch on the go, I can say that it never felt uncomfortably heavy. Its size made it easy to rest on my lap when some fatigue did set in."

Wired on what Nintendo Switch lacks

"Right now, that’s about all one can say about Switch: It has a new Zelda, you can definitely play it in handheld mode, and you might be able to play it in TV mode if you’re lucky. Switch has the potential to be all things to all people: TV console, next-gen Game Boy, wacky motion controls, traditional hardcore game machine, even multiplayer-in-a-box. But today, with just hours to go before launch, Switch is lacking some basic functionality."

And that does it for now. If you want to compare and contrast what critics are saying now vs. their original impressions, click on to the next page to see our original story highlighting what outlets thought a week ago.

TechRadar on the battery life

"Much has been made of the Switch’s battery life, which Nintendo has claimed will last between 2.5 and 6 hours. In our experience this claim has rung true. When actively playing Zelda we got around 2.5 hours, which was enough to cover our commute to and from work in a single day before we charged the Switch overnight. If you’re looking to use the console for a longer period, such as on a flight, then this 2.5 hour battery life will be problematic. Charging over USB should allow you to make use of portable battery packs, but this is hardly ideal." 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam has a soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.
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