Docked or undocked? These official Nintendo Switch study results are surprising

With Nintendo Switch, you don't just choose what game you want to play - you also choose how you want to play it. Set it in the dock and enjoy on the big screen, or pop it out for handheld play? Both options have their own appeal (and that's not even getting into how you use the Joy-Cons) and now, thanks to official data from Nintendo, we know which approach is more popular overall. 

Nintendo gathered this data by checking in on Switch users with online Nintendo Accounts. For the purposes of this study, it defined "primary" usage as playing Switch in one configuration for 80 percent or more of the time. The results show that more than 50 percent of Switch users play a healthy mix of both modes (which has to be gratifying for those first folks at Nintendo who endured quizzical stares when they suggested the idea of a home/handheld hybrid console). It also revealed that just over 30 percent of folks primarily use their Switch undocked, while a hair under 20 percent tend to keep it in the dock.

I probably fall into the "primarily docked" category, even though I've spent many happy hours playing both ways. Considering how Nintendo has marketed Switch as a home console that you can take with you on the go, I was surprised that undocked is more common than docked. I shouldn't have underestimated the double-whammy appeal of both portability and not needing to hog the TV.

Speaking of expectations, it's fun to hear about how people actually end up using their cool new gadgets versus how they expected to use them. So how about it? 

Here's another little morsel of official Nintendo data that surprised me: in Japan, more people have bought boxed copies of Splatoon 2 than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! Pretty impressive considering how new the Splatoon series still is, relatively speaking. You go, squid kids!

If you're looking for some more stuff to play in either mode, make sure you check out our list of the best Switch games

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.