5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Nintendo Switch And ‘Zelda’ At Launch – Forbes

Credit: Nintendo

(Credit: Nintendo)

There’s some debate as to whether or not the Nintendo Switch will be worth buying at launch, or whether gamers should hold on to their cash until the new console has more content and more time to hammer out any potential bugs.

Indeed, my colleague Paul Tassi lays out all the very sensible reasons why consumers should possibly wait to make the leap. By Christmas, there will be many more games out and possibly even some holiday bundles, for instance.

But right at the end of his post, he makes the opposite case: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

1. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Is Reason Enough To Get A Switch

Once upon a time, I said that the PlayStation 3 was worth buying if only because it was the only place you could play Demon’s Souls (though this was mildly hyperbolic given the many other great PS3 titles available.) For a brief period, the most compelling case for a PS4 purchase was Bloodborne (before various other exclusives landed on that system.)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is that kind of game. Not only system-purchase-justifying, but generation-defining. I don’t want to say too much, but I can say that in my time with the game so far I’ve felt like a child again, experiencing video games for the first time. Of course, you can also get the game on the Wii U, so Zelda alone may not be a compelling enough answer (though you can’t play it on the go with a Wii U…)

But that’s not all! There are other reasons to get on the Switch hype train.

2. The Switch Is A Terrific Video Game Console For Families, Parties

I’ve also played 1-2 Switch and Just Dance 2017 on Nintendo’s new console, and as a father I can say that these two games on the Switch are absolutely great for families. 1-2 Switch is the best Nintendo party game I’ve played in years, though I admit that its sticker price is a little high.

The game has 28 different mini-games which you play with two or more players. These include games like “Fake Draw” which is a gun-fight simulator where you have to fire when the narrator reads aloud the word “Fire!” The twist is that the narrator will read out lots of other similar words also, and if you fire on one of these by mistake (or even lift the controller part way) you’ll lose. It’s a lot of fun to play and even more to watch others play.

One of the really neat things about 1-2 Switch is that you can bring it with you so easily to things like family gatherings or parties. Since the Switch is so easy to take with you, 1-2 Switch becomes the first console party game that you can basically play anywhere. It’s no more difficult than bringing a board game over to a get together, especially since you don’t need to hook it up to anything. We played 1-2 Switch for an hour at home and then an hour or more at a family dinner. The kids were tired afterwards. And everybody at the get together had fun either playing or watching the kids play.

Just Dance 2017 is not a game I’d normally be interested in, but I set it up for my kids yesterday and they danced straight for 45 minutes. Between the two games, they’ve gotten more physical activity playing video games over the weekend than they’ve spent sitting down playing video games.

3. The Battery Life Is Really Good

My colleague Andy Robertson put the Switch’s battery life to the test and it came away with shining colors, beating the iPad and the PS Vita. Read his rundown here.

This makes my previous point even more compelling. You can bring the Switch over to a get-together and play it for hours without plugging it in.

Of course, if you want to plug it in you can just use a USB-C charger, something that more and more phones are using these days (like the Google Pixel.) That won’t work as well in Tabletop mode (the charging port is on the bottom) but in handheld mode should work fine.

4. The Joy-Cons Are Fantastic

Another really great thing I discovered while playing 1-2 Switch was the truly remarkable haptic feedback in the Joy-Con controllers. There’s a game called “Ball Count” where each player holds one of the controllers in the palm of their hands. You then tilt it back and forth and it feels like tiny spheres are rolling around inside. You have to guess how many each time. It feels incredibly realistic, as though tiny metal orbs are really clinking around inside the controller.

The controllers really do feel good, and not just with games like Ball Count. I really love the sound they make when you click them into place on the tablet also. It’s such a simple thing but it makes a huge difference, and that’s kind of what makes the Switch so cool: Lots of these small details that all add up to make a great piece of hardware.

I haven’t experienced any of the syncing issues that other outlets have reported either.

Games aside, I realize there’s a ton of questions hanging over the Switch still, as Paul clearly pointed out. The online is perhaps the biggest question mark. But I can’t help but get on board with Nintendo’s latest hardware. Beyond the fun I’ve had with its handful of games, it’s just an incredible piece of hardware. Whatever it lacks in horsepower, it makes up for in design and portability. You can read my preview/first impressions of the system for more in-depth thoughts on that.

5. The Price Is Right

Finally, for what you’re getting I think $299 is a fantastic price-point. This is a console that offers something truly different and compelling from the rest of the pack. It combines the best of mobile gaming with the best of traditional home console gaming, and while it may never boast the most advanced graphics or 4K, it may help convince the industry that those things actually don’t matter as much as satisfying games and satisfying inputs.

Sure, there won’t be a ton of games right away, but by the end of 2017 you should have a pretty varied list to choose from. And if the system is a success, we may even see more third-party support materialize. I’m rooting for a virtuous cycle in that regard rather than a downward spiral.

The real issue is whether or not you’ll be able to even buy a Switch at launch.

I’ll be taking a look at Skylanders: Superchargers on the Switch next, if I can tear myself away from Zelda.

Look for my review of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the coming days.

The Nintendo Switch and Legend of Zelda launch on March 3, this Friday.

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