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Kyle Orland’s Preview of Nintendo Switch

Kyle Orland had a chance to try the Nintendo Switch for Ars Technica:

In a way, the Switch’s disappointment as a home console isn’t new: Nintendo long ago stopped competing for the top end of the console power curve. Previously, though, Nintendo’s newest consoles at least improved technologically on their predecessors; the Wii U was a notable jump in power from the Wii, for instance. Viewed purely as a TV console, though, the Switch shows Nintendo practically treading water in the console horsepower race since 2012. At a time when Microsoft and Sony are racing each other to squeeze a few extra ounces of graphical power through the PS4 Pro and Scorpio, Nintendo seems fine releasing a console with graphics that were considered merely OK more than four years ago.

Perhaps we’ve reached such a point of diminishing technological returns that Nintendo doesn’t think extra graphical horsepower is a big selling point for a TV-based console anymore. Maybe the extra portability of the Switch makes up for hardware that seems to have ceased improving on a raw power basis. I’m not sure the public at large is going to agree with either of those sentiments, though.

His findings: The Joy-Cons have cramped controls (especially when you only have one half), 1-2-Switch is far too expensive at the $50 asking price, and the HD Rumble isn’t super impressive. Also, the launch games lineup is rough. For more, see my thoughts on the Switch announcement.