Nintendo Switch hardware reviews are finally coming!
Please note: These reviews were made prior to the release of the Day 1 patch, so they are all considered "In Progress".
Please PM me or send me a message/tweet on Twitter if you want your professional review added to this thread. Would be awesome if you include a quote that I can put here!
Nintendo Switch Preview Thread
Metacritic write-up with many scores and quotes
- Kotaku | 2nd opinion (by Stephen Totilo)
My recommendation is still to wait. Of course, if you're excited as hell about the Switch and know that you want one, go for it. But if you're on the fence, I say hold off. Wait and see if Nintendo addresses some of the hardware issues people have reported. Bide your time and let them release more games. In six months we'll know a lot more about how this unusual new console works, and there'll be a lot more things to play on it. Nintendo has made another bold gamble, and only time will tell if it'll pay off.
At its basic level, stripped of all marketing talk, the Switch is a portable system with a television play solution. It's not the first portable console to offer TV-play, but it is the first to have an elegant solution, one that's offered with every system Nintendo sells. As a portable, the Switch excels.
I still don't know if the Nintendo Switch is a system for everyone. I don't know if this is Nintendo's next big thing, or if it'll sell like the Wii U and Vita did. Despite that, this is a well-engineered portable console with the ability to play on your television at home.
- Eurogamer / DigitalFoundry
However, as a launch product, the £280/$300 price-point is a big ask compared to the competition, especially bearing in mind a launch title line-up based primarily on Wii U ports. There are also many extra costs too - a larger SD card is essential, the Pro controller is recommended for home use, and an external powerbank is worthwhile on the go. For now, what we have is a strong foundation to build on; it's pricy and not without fault, but we can't wait to see where Nintendo take the concept.
So while the Nintendo Switch is the slickest system Nintendo has ever built, it might be hard to explain to family and friends on first view. But it's an onion, peeling back layer after layer. I'm feeling a lot more positive about the future of the Switch than I was after that first presentation – not just because it seems Nintendo are necessarily doing a better job this time around (more transparency please!) but because the system and the software can speak for themselves.
I can't wait to see what the Switch experience looks like in a year, if it's not already a must have now. It will be by then. For now, I have my dream Nintendo console.
The Nintendo Switch is a solid piece of hardware that delivers an impressive gameplay experience in a small chassis. But a shallow roster of launch games beyond Zelda and a dearth of other features leaves the Switch feeling more like a blank slate of unfulfilled potential on day one.
- WSJ - Requires logging in
The Switch is the most polished, sturdy and grown-up hardware Nintendo has ever produced. Older Nintendo gear feels plasticky and toylike by comparison. That doesn't mean this new hardware is technically superior to other game systems, though. In terms of processing power, it doesn't measure up to the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles, which offer high dynamic range, or HDR, gaming, 4K video streaming and far better graphics. But the difference is that Sony and Microsoft aren't looking beyond the living room—they want to keep gamers in their seats with their hair blown back.
As a handheld, the Switch is a powerful piece of hardware with a gorgeous screen, but it's too large and power hungry to feel like you can really take it anywhere. As a console, it's underpowered, unreliable, and lacking basic features and conveniences that all of its competitors offer. It's nicely built and cleverly designed to be used in a variety of ways, but the bottom line is that the Switch doesn't do any one of the many things it can do without some sort of significant compromise. Our testing will continue for the next few days as we try out the online features and other functions enabled by the day-one patch, but if I had to score it now I'd give it a 6.7.
- International Business Times
Nintendo dares. No other hardware manufacturer takes the kind of risks Nintendo so often does. Whether or not it ultimately pays off is no reason to ridicule a philosophy that may not have served the company well in recent history, but which did make them a household name. The audacious idea that came to be Nintendo Switch has paid off. It's Nintendo's most impressively well-designed home console ever; a tight, light package brimming with ideas and built to support all manners of play.
The mark of a console is how well it supports a wide variety of games, and Switch does that through its hardware and, it seems, through the efforts Nintendo has made to make it easier than ever for third parties to develop software for a Nintendo console. Nintendo Switch is primed to eclipse the disappointing sales of Wii U, and though we don't know yet if this will be the case, it certainly deserves to.
- Den of Geek
But as it stands, as a piece of hardware, we must say we're impressed with the Switch so far. That flimsy cartridge hatch aside, the system feels like a proper step forward from the Wii U - more solid, more versatile and, while we do miss Nintendo's quaint menu music, more sophisticated in terms of design.
Best of all, the Switch doesn't feel like a compromise in any of its configurations. It feels natural and intuitive to use as a handheld or a home console, while the ability to use the Joy-Con as separate controllers for the screen, rested on a table via its kickstand, suggests all kinds of multiplayer possibilities in such games as Mario Kart and Splatoon. It's this latter touch that is quintessentially Nintendo - a quirky idea still lurking behind the trendy exterior. Based on the decidedly weird mini-games we've glimpsed in 1-2-Switch - milking cows and the like - we're looking forward to seeing how else the versatile Joy-Con can be used by imaginative developers.
As it is now, the Nintendo Switch is a wonderful machine if you want to play Breath of the Wild. If you trust that the level of quality of what's available now will hold true going forward, braving the storm and picking one up now to bask in Link's adventure immediately may not be an awful decision. But if you're apprehensive about the future or were burnt by the Wii U, you're not missing out on anything by waiting. As fascinated as I am about what's here, the missing pieces of the Switch's puzzle haven't quite fallen into place for me yet, though I have hope Nintendo can put it all together by the end of 2017.
- PC Advisor
A lower price would help sell more units but we're impressed with the hardware on offer with the Nintendo Switch - with some occasional frustrations. It might be limited to 720p on the tablet and 1080p to the TV but it's extremely versatile and that's a unique selling point. It's really the games line-up we're disappointed by - Zelda is phenomenal, but you'll have to wait a while for anything else worth picking up.
Nintendo has demonstrated in fits and starts that it wants to move forward, and we're hopeful that it will. But as it exists right now, days before launch, the Switch isn't even a fully functional console yet, and some of the hardest work the company needs to do has only just begun. As concerning, the work Nintendo is doing appears completely opaque from the outside — and Nintendo has frequently been glacially slow to course-correct when the path it's set on has proven the wrong one.
Nintendo's vision is clearer than it's been in years. Now the company needs to prove it can pull it all together.
For now, though, just the idea of being able to go from the big screen, to portable, or even to tabletop mode thanks to its funky little pop-out stand, with all manner of control combinations, makes for the ultimate gaming experience. Nintendo has definitely delivered the goods with Switch, and things can only get better from here on in.
If you were hoping for a more concrete roadmap and for Nintendo to compete directly in the home console space, Switch isn't for you; at least not yet. As someone with an irrational hate for standard definition, I'm elated Nintendo has finally launched a HD handheld. Its future mightn't be clear, but I'm excited to be along for the ride.
- The Verge
The most shocking thing about the Switch might be how many obvious pitfalls Nintendo has managed to elegantly avoid. Going from playing on the tablet to the TV is completely effortless, and there's no sense of compromise whichever way you choose to play. Once you hold and use the Switch, it just makes sense.
Great hardware alone isn't enough, of course. I have little doubt Nintendo's first-party lineup will be amazing — Breath of the Wild alone is almost worth the cost of admission here — but the company's weak spots have always been continuing and expanding third-party support, as well as providing a robust online service. Those are the potential pitfalls to come.
The Switch has all the makings of something truly great. Now Nintendo just needs to support it.
- Game Revolution
The Switch represents another ambitious piece of Nintendo hardware that is unlike anything else on the market. The good news is that it has succeeded in its effort of providing a means of enjoying games of all kinds, from indie to AAA, no matter where you are. The bad news is that Nintendo still struggles in several key areas, most notably on features and build quality. The Switch currently offers nothing outside of dedicated gaming experiences, and in non-luxurious fashion.
Even then I've found myself mesmerized by the Switch. I never thought I would enjoy a hybrid gaming machine as much as I have. The way I see it, it's a perfect supplemental console. I might use my PS4 to play third-party releases, socialize, and watch Netflix, but the moment I want to relax while playing an exclusive title or am about to head somewhere where I'll be waiting a while, the Switch is coming out without hesitation.
Unlike the Wii U, what the Switch delivers isn't just a gimmick, it's a complete transformation of how and where you play games. For that, it deserves your attention, even if that means being an interested spectator until more games become available.
The Nintendo Switch feels like the culmination of years of hardware growing pains from both Nintendo and Nvidia. Unlike the Wii U GamePad, you no longer have to worry about being tethered to your TV. Because the Switch houses all of its processing power in its portable form factor, it truly allows you to carry console power with you wherever you go. The fact that it's able to do that while being lighter than the Wii U's GamePad is a bit of a technical marvel in my book.
My big takeaway from the Switch: Nintendo has figured out how to innovate once again. It's clearly different from other consoles, and it does plenty of new things that gamers might appreciate. But the system's battery life, outdoor screen performance and unknown networking capabilities have me worried. Nintendo has wowed us again, but it still has a long way to go to prove that the Switch isn't another Wii U.
- Nintendo Life
Nintendo and its third-party partners stumbled with the Wii U and failed to present a convincing case for second-screen gaming; we'd be surprised if the Switch suffered a similar fate, but nothing in the world of gaming is certain. While the intrinsic charm of its hardware is already blindingly obvious and the USP of the system – play anytime, anywhere, with anyone – is easy to communicate, it remains to be seen if Nintendo's most important hardware release yet will resonate with consumers; what we've seen so far, however, certainly fills us with confidence.
As far as Day One is concerned, much will come down to if you are the type of person who needs to be on the zeitgeist with new technology and, more pressingly, how much you want to play the superior version of Breath of the Wild. To which the answer, I would suggest, is ‘a lot'.
There is some argument that such a game will swallow your time enough that by the time you are done, there will be more out there for Switch ready to play. Buying a video game console at launch is always something of a punt, but more than ever with the Switch, you are paying for potential. Of which, there is an enormous amount.
From what I've seen, I have high hopes: The user interface currently installed on the device is clean, fast, responsive, well-designed. You can tap the Power button to send the unit into sleep mode immediately during gameplay, and pick up your game of Zelda right where you left off. It seems like it's a thousand times better than Wii U's slow, clunky interface. You just can't do anything with it yet besides start and stop a game of Zelda.
And 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.
- The Guardian
The Nintendo Switch is a brave and fascinating prospect. While the Wii U hinted at a dual screen future (and provided some truly brilliant games), this update truly gives us a strong standalone handheld platform as well as a home console that produces beautiful visuals and trademark Nintendo experiences. Those who well say ”buy a PC/Xbox/PS4 instead" are too entrenched in conventional wisdom to understand the appeal of Nintendo hardware, which has always stood slightly to the side of the industry product pipeline. The Switch is playing in a very different space, a space of its own, and we now need to see if the rest of the industry, and a large enough audience of ”casual gamers", will join it.
Whatever happens, Nintendo has once again done its idiosyncratic best to challenge the way we think about games hardware. Right now, it has the best launch game in at least a decade, and enough compelling possibilities on the horizon to warrant enthusiasm and hope. At £280 it is a gamble; when the price drops, as it inevitably will before Christmas, it may prove irresistible.
Verdict: Definitely don't buy it as your first and only console. As a second console, consider holding off until the end of the year unless you simply can't live without a fully portable Zelda right this very moment.
- God is a Geek
Let me be clear about what I mean there: as I write this, the hardware will be available to buy in just a few short days, and yet I am sat here with a Switch that has no access to the eShop, or any online features at all. Right now, I'm still waiting on the ”day one" update, which make evaluating what it can actually do, pretty tricky. What this means is that I can't, in good conscience, score this new console as I'd like to, and will have to revisit this review to finalise it when that update hits. Bizarre, but right now, this is a console that plays games, and that's about it.
But I've found that the Switch, especially right now, is mostly a solo affair. Its portable nature caters more towards playing by yourself on the go with the Joy-Con attached, and at the moment, its heavy-hitting multiplayer games are still waiting in the wings. It's nigh inconceivable that 1-2 Switch isn't a pack-in, as it would be a perfect lead-in for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe next month and Splatoon 2 later this summer.
For Nintendo, that gamble may yet pay off though. It has already built a large amount of hype behind the console, and is already pushing it twice as hard as it ever pushed the Wii U in its entire four-year-ish lifespan. Over time it'll have a respectable library, the freedom it allows will facilitate new kinds of experiences, and the price of the controllers will drop.
While I would pick one up at launch, don't feel bad if you're waiting for the right time to do so.
- Press Start
I'm really excited to see where Nintendo take the Nintendo Switch in the next 12 months. I believe that this console has a chance to do great things and genuinely change the way that we play games. There's still some teething issues to sort out but it's the innovative control schemes, the ability to seamlessly take your game on the go with no repercussions and that Nintendo charm that exists in whatever they create that makes me think that this console will be a massive success. It's an improvement on the Nintendo Wii U in every way and I'm convinced that Nintendo are on the right path.
- We Got This Covered
Purely from a hardware perspective, it's not even close: the Switch is the slickest machine Nintendo has ever built. Being able to take massive titles like Breath of the Wild along with you feels like a game-changer, but there are a lot of questions remaining that the Japanese giant has yet to answer.
- Attack of the Fanboy
The Nintendo Switch is one of Nintendo's strongest launches in both in terms of the hardware and software. The system is extremely well designed for its dual use as a home and handheld console. The Joy-Con require some getting used to, mostly due to their small size, but they server their many purposes well. The proposed launch year lineup is exceptional, with Zelda headlining the launch as an immediate killer app. Nintendo also learned from their Wii U mistakes in other ways, giving the system a definite theme and setting expectations for what this console is and how it works. It has limited uses right now, so multitaskers should likely wait. If you're a Nintendo fan then you should already have your preorder in though, and video game players in general should be taking a very close look at the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic piece of hardware and one of the best consoles that the Nintendo has ever created. We'll have to wait and see what comes of the device, whether it's adopted by third parties and consumers, but in terms of what the console can do, how flexible it is and the power it offers as it straddles the divide between portable and home console gaming, it's in a world of its own.
- DigitalFoundry - Nintendo Switch Review: The Ultimate Hybrid Console?
- GameXplain - Nintendo Switch REVIEW - Pros & Joy-Cons
- Games Beat (Jeffrey Grubb) - Nintendo Switch Review: It Works Because It's Different
- The Verge - Nintendo Switch review
- GameSpot - Nintendo Switch Review
- GoNintendo - The Nintendo Switch "Not a Review" Review!