The Nintendo Switch will be available in South Africa on 3 March – the same date it will be available to the rest of the world. Locally it is set to retail for R5600 but it can be pre-ordered on Takealot for R5199. Hardcore gaming fans went on a bit of a rant when the price was announced. However, last week Friday I had the opportunity to get hands on with the Nintendo Switch at a Pre-Launch event. There will be a fun YouTube video out tomorrow that gives you a bit more of a “hands on” experience with the console. But for now – let me put my head on the chopping block.
I think the Nintendo Switch is worth the price tag.
I was dubious. Don’t get me wrong. But after spending a few hours playing on the console with a host of friends (from pro gamers and hardcore gamers to some folks who don’t game at all) I think this console brings something to the market that will appeal to a new generation of gamers.
Here are my 4 reasons that the Nintendo Switch is worth the price tag:
On Friday I had the chance to play a host of different games. The Nostalgic favourites are there. So you’ll get Super Mario Cart and Legends of Zelda. But there are some other games you’ll enjoy as well. 1 2 Switch offers 3 favourites that you’ll enjoy playing with your mates. This includes Quick Draw where the fastest draw wins, Milk (which might be the most not meant to be dirty but is game I’ve ever played) and Ball Count where the little Switch controllers (called Joy Cons) actually give you the impression of feeling like a box with weighted balls in them. 1 2 Switch has a host of other games as well and really makes the Nintendo Switch a social experience (which I’ll touch on shortly). I also had a chance to play Just Dance which was a ton of fun, Ultra Street Fighter 2 and Splatoon (which may actually be one of my new favourite games). ARMS is also tons of fun and allows you to box with opponents in a game reminiscent of the Wii days.
There is a lot of concern around the games available but rumour has it Fifa will be coming soon and there have been a few other title announcements which I touched on when the Switch first was announced. I think it is off to a good start though.
The actual gadget is really well designed
YouTuber Gareth Woods mentioned to me at the pre-launch that he thought the console felt flimsy in hand and he was worried he was going to snap it. When I first picked it up I thought the same. It is far lighter than you’d expect and that feels weird in the beginning. But after an hour or so of playing the Switch feels really comfortable in hand. I’m also a button basher by nature and never once felt worried that I was going to pull the Joy Cons off or break the console. The graphics are far more impressive than I thought as well. I played Splatoon once using a monitor and once on the Nintendo Switch screen itself. I much preferred the smaller screen. Go figure. Which brings me to my next reason….
There are so many ways to play
There’s a reason it is called a Nintendo Switch – it can be switched up. As a handheld device it will remind you of those Gameboy days. You can take it anywhere: flights, car rides and even to the Gautrain station while you get to the airport. Its portable nature is a big selling point for me – moms, imagine that car ride to school! But then you can switch it up. You can dock it at home to play the way you would on your other consoles, in front of your TV. You can slide the Joy Cons off and have a more energetic Wii type experience. You’re able to utilise the Switch in a multitude of ways which make it fun and entertaining – whether you want to game on the go, take an adventure seriously while sitting on your couch or just entertain your friends at parties. Also, the fact that it doesn’t have to be connected to the internet all the time in order for you to play is a bonus for me. Because data gets expensive after awhile.
It is fun
The Nintendo Switch is fun. Bottom line. I spent an afternoon running from game to game and did not stop laughing. It was fun playing with my friends and fun playing on my own. Gaming is meant to be fun. It is meant to be a release from stress and not add to it. The Nintendo Switch brings that back in a big way. I think it has the potential to bring so many non-gamers into the world we love. From kids who have to be kept busy during the long trek to school to friends who get pulled in to a Just Dance battle at a party. It really is just a FUN device. That makes it worth the price to me.
Yes, other consoles are competing with the same price tag. But you really need to decide what it is you want from your gaming console and make the purchase decision from there. If you’re looking for something social, mobile and fun – then the Nintendo Switch is probably your best bet.