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Opinion Drama Can we stop pretending switch docked mode is of secondary importance to portable play?

Is Switch more of a home console or a handheld?


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Trimesh

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Weird poll results. It’s very much primarily a handheld.

I think you mean "not in alignment with your personal bias" rather than "weird".

The relative sales of the original switch vs the lite make it pretty clear that the ability to connect it to an external display is a significant attraction for a lot of people.
 

01011001

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sadly the build quality of these is miserable (like almost every controller Hori releases honestly) my left stick for example on these doesn't press LS anymore if I move it too far to the edge. and my right stick has drift upwards.
and the thing is, I maybe used these a total of 15h max. I played a little bit of Mario 3D World with these and I played through Metroid Dread with them, that's about it. so no excuse for them to be at that state with so little use... absolutely atrocious quality... like sadly almost every third party controller no matter how expensive or "premium", there is always something wrong with them -_-

this sucks especially in this case because Nintendo's official versions suck as well... so you are stuck between crap and crap here and you have to choose between which kind of crap you want -_-
 
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Jan 21, 2019
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and yet it is still 80% of how i prefer to play my switch games.
Because you probably don’t have a choice. I play my Switch on a 65” Q70R. While I don’t notice it as much, it would be nice if the switch could push out more objects or more pixels on screen at once.
 
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Rambone

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I play mine mostly docked and with a pro controller. It looks great on my 4K 55 inch qled tv paired with a m-classic. I picked up the oled switch and it’s a nice upgrade over my launch switch as it feels snappier and the screen is way better.

I hunger for a true 4K Nintendo console but for the time being I enjoy that the switch can be both console and handheld.
 
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OrochiJR

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The main draw for me is that it is the console that allows me to play Nintendo games on my TV. The portability is nice to have as an option and crucial for success in some markets (like Japan, where portable gaming is huge).

Of course you have to consider the tech behind it and that the games do not look/ run as good as the other current gen consoles, especially multi-platform games. But Nintendo's games are a different story. I played Luigi's Mansion 3 this year and it looked absolutely amazing on my 65 inch 4k TV. And that game came out in 2019. Art direction and optimization for the hardware goes a long way.
 
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Soosa

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I think you mean "not in alignment with your personal bias" rather than "weird".

The relative sales of the original switch vs the lite make it pretty clear that the ability to connect it to an external display is a significant attraction for a lot of people.

OG switch have been for sale for longer time so of course it have had time to sell more than lite. And sale ratios arent even proving much about the subject, people could just buy OGs and use it as handheld only.

What if 50% of OG owners use it as handheld only + lite is 30 % from total sales? Now 65% (50% from 70% of total OG sales = 35 % + 30 % of lite total sales) of total switch population is used as handheld only. Numbers are from my ass. But the point is, that ratio between lite and normal doesnt prove anything without real statistics about how people play and so on.

Unless you can support your theory with numbers aka some kind of statistic, it is just something that cant be proven. Switch is a handheld device with a dock that boosts clocks, it's a fact.

If the dock would have computational parts that would turn it more than "higher clocks when docked", then it could be more of a home console with removable portable part. Like those weird dreamcast controller thingys that allowed you to play on the go.


"Is Switch more of a home console or a handheld?" <--- Answer to this can only be: it is more of a handheld than home console. Anything else is just plain wrong.

Now, if the guestion would be "is switch used more as a home console, or a handheld?", then it would be arguable by personal preferences. But purely as technological object, it is literally a handheld that can be docked to be used as home console, so it is MORE of a handheld than home console. Even the dock is basically just a TV-out so physical home console parts are less than handheld parts.

"is Switch functionally more of a home console or a handheld?" <-- it seems that people are answering more to this, which isnt what the poll asks about.

(personally I just keep it docked and have been waiting for BOTW2 for years, and personally I see it as 50/50 home+portable, but as an object/system it is more of a handheld)
 
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Trimesh

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OG switch have been for sale for longer time so of course it have had time to sell more than lite. And sale ratios arent even proving much about the subject, people could just buy OGs and use it as handheld only.

What if 50% of OG owners use it as handheld only + lite is 30 % from total sales? Now 65% (50% from 70% of total OG sales = 35 % + 30 % of lite total sales) of total switch population is used as handheld only. Numbers are from my ass. But the point is, that ratio between lite and normal doesnt prove anything without real statistics about how people play and so on.

Unless you can support your theory with numbers aka some kind of statistic, it is just something that cant be proven. Switch is a handheld device with a dock that boosts clocks, it's a fact.

If the dock would have computational parts that would turn it more than "higher clocks when docked", then it could be more of a home console with removable portable part. Like those weird dreamcast controller thingys that allowed you to play on the go.


"Is Switch more of a home console or a handheld?" <--- Answer to this can only be: it is more of a handheld than home console. Anything else is just plain wrong.

Now, if the guestion would be "is switch used more as a home console, or a handheld?", then it would be arguable by personal preferences. But purely as technological object, it is literally a handheld that can be docked to be used as home console, so it is MORE of a handheld than home console. Even the dock is basically just a TV-out so physical home console parts are less than handheld parts.

"is Switch functionally more of a home console or a handheld?" <-- it seems that people are answering more to this, which isnt what the poll asks about.

(personally I just keep it docked and have been waiting for BOTW2 for years, and personally I see it as 50/50 home+portable, but as an object/system it is more of a handheld)

I think you are taking this shit way too seriously.
 

Sp3eD

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I have a 70” 1080p TV and the switch looks great on it, The portable mode was just a fad for adults at the time that just wanted to show their casual gamer friends what the system could do. Everybody I know with one now plays it on their TV docked probably 95% of the time.
 

Bankai

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Just think of the docked feature as an added bonus. I think the Switch is a handheld first, with the added bonus of being able to hook it up to the bigscreen.
 
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Kimahri

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I only play Switch on the big screen. Sure, it's nto always that great looking in 4k, but it beats the physical pain I get from playing handheld. This thing is NOT made for people with large hands.
 

Roufianos

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I'd rather see my Switch as a semi-powerful handheld (at least at launch) than a terribly dated console.
 

Danjin44

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I use mine like this. It's pretty awesome.
wouldnt that just make the controller unnecessary heavy? I'm way more comfortable playing my action games on big TV and playing my long JRPG like SMT5 both on TV and handheld.
 

Haggard

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It's also a console with an optional handheld mode. See?
The used hardware says "no".

It’s called *switch*, not DS.
It still uses mobile parts. I can name a laptop "my desktop", put it in a docking station and use it exclusively that way, and yet it will still be a laptop with all the form factor limitations at the end of the day. The hardware is a fact no matter what the marketing says.
 
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Oct 2, 2019
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It's a portable, PSP let you link up to a tv and Vita had PSTV.

Portable simply is the baseline every game is designed around and the deck is simply a slight bonus.

Also Switch Lite exists which proves it's a handheld first and foremost.
 

Dream-Knife

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I think it's pretty clearly a handheld first, and a docked console secondary.

Really no different from a laptop with a displayPort.
 
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TonyK

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I have 2 Switchs (original and lite) and I don't play neither. In docked mode is ugly as cancer in a 65" TV. And in handheld mode is too uncomfortable for long play sessions. So it has good Nintendo games but it's barely unplayable for me.
 

mrmeh

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My 65" OLED is my preferred viewing device for playing Switch games on, looks good. Handheld is just back up if that is unavailable.
 

mrmeh

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Handheld mode is it's main appeal though, I can't imagine many people buying third party games on Switch to play them on tv when there are far better options on rival consoles. The Switch's huge success has got to be people wanting to play those games on the go.

People do not buy a switch to play 3rd party games, They buy it to play Mario, Zelda, Splatoon and everyone in my family would rather play those docked to the 65" tv.
 

StateofMajora

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Except that's not true. Nintendo and Monolith soft design around dock play first and portable second. Same could be said for many games. It's been shown by how games run docked vs. portable.

SOME games are designed for portable first, but definitely not 360p xenoblade or 30fps mario games.
It's a portable, PSP let you link up to a tv and Vita had PSTV.

Portable simply is the baseline every game is designed around and the deck is simply a slight bonus.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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Except that's not true. Nintendo and Monolith soft design around dock play first and portable second. Same could be said for many games. It's been shown by how games run docked vs. portable.

SOME games are designed for portable first, but definitely not 360p xenoblade or 30fps mario games.
Monolith's games are always too ambitious for the hardware Nintendo provides so i don't think they are a good example since even when docked both Xenoblade games go sub 720 regularly in battle, while internally developed games like Zelda qnd Mario rarely go under 720 undocked while maintaining 60FPS (In Mario's case), and what made Switch a HUGE hit in Japan isn't the price or even the first party software really, it's because of it's portability.
 

BlackTron

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I use it as both, much more often docked. As a handheld I use it mostly for 2D games only that don't require much orchestration of the joycons. For example I can play Sonic with nothing but a control stick and 1 jump button so the ergonomics don't get to me very much. It becomes a Game Gear-like experience. On the TV, I still use a 1080p set that's 47". Switch games look great on it, way better than on its little screen.

I don't think docked mode is of secondary importance at all, but the truth is this is a handled device, a tablet with a video out. The dock is a giant chunk of plastic that helps them market it as a console that turns into a portable instead of vice versa, you can get an adapter cable that does the same thing, but if they packaged a portable device with a cable, no one would buy in to the idea it's a console. You can plug your phone or tablet into the TV with an adapter and connect a bluetooth controller...does that mean a tablet is a game console? It's not very convincing, thus the chunk of plastic for the perception of the system.

I would love a Switch Lite that had a TV out and didn't require a dock at all. It would be a better portable device, and not require a big chunky accessory to connect it to a TV. Right now it is "jack of all trades, master of none".
 
Jun 1, 2021
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It will vary from person to person though, for me it almost never gets used as a handheld so it is very much what could be classed as a "secondary feature" but I wouldn't criticise people for thinking either one is more important than the other.
However, as I have said on here previously and I still stick to what I said, some people will present the Switch as either a console or a handheld in an attempt to make it seem better or worse in comparison to other consoles/handhelds. Some people will just fit it into whichever category they feel benefits their mandate.
In terms of classifying these things and people using the classifications to their own end, you only have to think about the Switch and with games some can say that they look terrible for a home console while others will say that they amazing for a handheld system. Both can be right and wrong. I think we can all be too concerned about classifying these things and all these classifications seem to really earn is what other "things" people feel they are justified in comparing them to.
In reality though, it really shouldn't matter to any of us what other people class their gaming hardware as. 🤷‍♂️
 

ethomaz

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Mar 19, 2013
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The only reason to me buy a Switch is for the portable version play.
I see no use to it in console mode and probably will just use it like that for test purposes.

Said that each persona has different uses for the device.
 
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Rippa

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Nintendo definitely prioritized handheld/mobile/portable first and foremost. With docked/traditional home console second. The proof is that there is no traditional controller that comes with the switch.

I don’t want to hear that the accessory it comes with to combine the remotes is for traditional purposes because everyone knows that it blows monkey cock if you have bigger hands than that of a child.

The fact that they “created” a pro controller and have the balls to sell it to us, rather than being in the box with the switch also proves this notion.

Anyone who denies this is just being naive and ignorant.
 
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LazyParrot

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I wonder what the usage stats are like, especially in Japan. Everyone always says home consoles are dead in Japan because the Japanese prefer portables, but when I was in Japan a few years ago everyone I saw playing games on trains or other public spaces was either using their phone or older portables. It was weird seeing several people game on a fucking Vita every day but not a single Switch, even though they were about even in sales at that point.
 
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Poppyseed

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It is two generations behind the other home consoles, but it's okay because it is basically a handheld with video out.

If Switch was a true home console only, I'd have a very difficult time accepting the hardware being so dated.
Agreed. My Switch is 99.9% a handheld. It’s just so ugly connected to a 4K TV. But different strokes, of course. If it’s a TV console for you, cool.
 
Mar 16, 2021
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It’s way more of a handheld than a home console. I saw some statistic before that like 80% of people use it portable (don’t quote me on that I don’t have time to confirm it, just going off memory).

The problem is I rather just have a dedicated TV version of it, or at least one that decently upscales to a 4K tv. I don’t really have a use for the handheld mode since if I’m out I’m at work or vacation and don’t want to play anything. I could get a regular Switch but it would look awful on my big TV. I could get the Switch lite since playing on the TV will probably look rough, but I’d literally only play at my house on the couch like a console.

Im leaning towards a Switch Lite to save money (just wanna play Metroid), and also ironically a bunch of games I have between the WiiU and Xbox I could still play “docked” on my TV, (Like Bayonetta, Ori, new DOOM, Witcher 3, etc) even if I decided to get them on the Switch.
 

RaptorGTA

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I play the switch more handheld than docked. But when I can sit down and have it on the TV it's great. I say 65% of the time I am playing it in handheld mode. I have a friend who practically only plays it docked.
 

Deerock71

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I've had the OLED since the 8th, and I can't be arsed (am I using that right, Brits?) to hook up the dock.
 
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Ezquimacore

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almost 5 years and people arguing this, it's both! for me is only a handheld system I don't even have the dock connected.
 
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How do people even play long sessions on handheld mode? It's so uncomfortable! I play on the big screen. Also use a dualshock 4 with an adapter. Way better than those joy blocker controllers.
 
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Mar 28, 2021
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How do people even play long sessions on handheld mode? It's so uncomfortable! I play on the big screen. Also use a dualshock 4 with an adapter. Way better than those joy blocker controllers.
i prefer playing in handheld over on a TV. how do you even manage to play on a TV? urgh.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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Switch Lite is IMO what the console should've been from the get-go.
that makes no sense and would defeat the entire purpose behind the Switch. the Lite is only aimed at people who want a cheap and/or handheld only option. i prefer playing in handheld and it makes way more sense to get the real Switch because you can still take that anywhere with you and it has better battery life which ykno is important for a handheld device.
 

StateofMajora

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Monolith's games are always too ambitious for the hardware Nintendo provides so i don't think they are a good example since even when docked both Xenoblade games go sub 720 regularly in battle, while internally developed games like Zelda qnd Mario rarely go under 720 undocked while maintaining 60FPS (In Mario's case), and what made Switch a HUGE hit in Japan isn't the price or even the first party software really, it's because of it's portability.
That's wrong. Bowser's fury is 30fps in portable mode, 60fps docked. Odyssey uses (poor) image upscaling in portable mode from like 480p or less, dynamic. Xenoblade is 720p docked. Check digital foundry's articles.

Point being, it's clear portable mode gets the shaft often and It's definitely not the case that "all games are made for portable mode first as the base."
 
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Fbh

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It's like the cross gen game argument.
Ps5 can do everything the Ps4 does, but not the other way around. So when you are designing a cross gen game it will inevitably be build around the limitations of the lowest common denominator.

The Switch is a hybrid console, so both "modes" are a part of it.
It's just that barring portability a home console can do everything a handheld can (usually better), but not the other way around. So by offering an optional mode where it functions as a completely standalone handheld device, the core design of the console will be built around the limitations of portable electronics.

Almost everything about the Switch was designed with portability in mind:The form factor, the hardware, the controller.
Expecting a place like Digital Foundry to completely ignore the portable side of things and treat it just the same as Ps4/Xb1 is silly: " Well the console is like 10th of the size, with a built in screen and battery, detachable controllers and hardware with low enough power consumption to last for 3-4 hours on a 4310mAh battery ......but you can connect it to the TV so it's a home console which makes it literally indistinguishable form a Ps4"
 
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