Nintendo Switch: prices, consoles, video games and accessories

A few years after Nintendo will launch the failed Wii U —appeared in November 2012—, the beloved Japanese company was at a crossroads: continue with its revolutionary Wii line or start completely from scratch and face the rise of mobile video games head-on. All this in the midst of the eighth generation of consoles, where the colossi Microsoft —with its Xbox One— and Sony — with the Playstation 4— widely dominated the market.

Nintendo decided to go against the current and release a new console in March 2017, in the middle of a cycle already in development and with an absolutely new proposal. As we know, five years later, the nintendoswitch It has been an indisputable and sustained sales success, regardless of the sovereignty of the competition.

The Switch came to break a paradigm once again: the console, usually stationary and bulky near the TV, was now more compact, offered greater versatility, and could be used in multiple ways. Strictly speaking, we are talking about a tablet that can be attached to a central base to function as a console for a TV, or as a laptop: either having it as a base, with individual controls, or directly as a mobile device.

Complemented with its multipurpose controls, called joy-cons, the console becomes a new platform for hybrid use, although Nintendo prefers to consider it a home console with the possibility of taking it out on the street.

All of this adds up to a rather closed digital ecosystem and a library of unique and interesting (though not necessarily amazing) games, making the gaming experience on the Switch definitely unique, especially appealing to kids who want to move on to the next. level.

It is not that PlayStation or Xbox do not have good video games for young children, but clearly the attractiveness, the world of characters and the versatility of a Switch make it an especially desired product for the youngest or those looking for a rather familiar and easy experience. access.

And considering that the end of the year holidays are approaching, and that the Switch will be included in many gift lists, it is worth knowing in detail its video game ecosystem, the console models and the accessories that Nintendo offers today with its product. star.

Change so that nothing changes. Nintendo has been smart enough to launch two other consoles within the same family, which increases the possibilities and widens the range of the public for the Switch, although in fact the system remains the same. An intelligent strategy to stay current in a market where direct competition —with the xbox-series and the PS5— is already a generation ahead.

Thus, the first alternative to the original Switch was a version oriented towards the portable, released in September 2019 under the name of Nintendo Switch Lite. A console designed to be kept mainly in hand and while you are away from home. Designed for casual audiences and weighing only 280 grams, it only works in portable mode, which makes it easier and does not depend on a stationary device. The battery, yes, is smaller, although the gaming experience, according to Nintendo, is greater: between 3 and 7 hours of autonomy -depending on the game and the settings- against the range of 2.5 to 6.5 hours of the original model.

At the beginning it appeared in three colors —yellow, gray and turquoise, although more have been added— and the screen is somewhat smaller (5.5 inches vs. 6.2″ of the original Switch). Due to its mobile nature, the game library is less extensive, although the vast majority of games today are supported. It comes with a 32GB capacity, but its microSD card slot allows you to expand storage by up to 1TB. And it has not gone badly: to date, the Nintendo Switch Lite has sold some 20 million units. Its price is also lighter and is usually around 200 dollars.

Two years later, in October 2021, a new model was released, of a higher range, whose main feature is the inclusion of a larger and brighter OLED screen. That, of course, greatly improves the display and mobile gaming experience. Known as Nintendo Switch OLED, it brings a 7-inch screen, with 720p resolution and 1080p TV output. That the native resolution is not full HD remains an intrigue.

It includes 64 GB of memory -also expandable-, a somewhat larger and more robust body, and better audio output. It is the top of the line model, but other than that it is exactly the same as the base version. That makes it 100% compatible with the entire library of games available, which currently far exceeds four thousand titles.

All of the above has generated that for the first time a console competes with the models of two different generations. That gives Nintendo even more merit: so far, in all its versions, the Switch is close to reaching 120 million units sold, which makes it the second best-selling Nintendo console in its history, only surpassed by the now discontinued Nintendo DS handheld.

Nintendo Switch video games are for everything and for all ages. As they say in their slogan, their titles are for people “from zero to 99 years old”. Since it is a console that does not have the high-end components that Xbox and PlayStation do have today, in terms of graphics and processing there is a very clear ceiling. But the above, of course, does not prevent the experience with the Switch from being enormously fun.

That same year of launch, 2017, Nintendo managed to publish two extraordinary titles that cemented the potential and popularity of the platform in a short time: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the Super Mario Odyssey.

Both were sales success and considered among the best games of that year. The former, to this day, remains for many the best title Nintendo has ever produced. For the same reason, they are essential works for anyone who is thinking of acquiring a Switch and starting a healthy library of games.

Then the logical thing would be to continue with other exclusive titles with the characters of the big N, such as the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe —until now the best-selling game on the platform—, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons —the most popular during the pandemic— or the highly entertaining fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. But of course, there is much more to discover.

Fresh out of the oven, this collection —which includes the two classic titles developed by the North American Valve in 2007 and 2011— receives a treatment specially dedicated for the console, maintaining the same science fiction elements, puzzles and that unmatched dark sense of humor. that made the original games cult objects. Its villain is one of the most memorable in video game history and playing cooperatively is a delight.

There are several versions for the Switch of this incombustible puzzle and tetromino game created in 1984. But this may be the most relevant: it is a reinvention of this classic, where the sound, animations, special effects, music and everything else explodes on the screen, in a synchronous convulsion of colors and shapes. It also has the possibility of cooperative and multiplayer play, even through other platforms. The basic essence of the game is maintained, but in a very new way, which ends up being a challenge and a pleasure for the senses.

The sixth installment of this popular Japanese RPG saga, set in the current Tokyo public system, has received universal acclaim. It recently acquired a remastering for the new consoles, which includes new elements, characters and unprecedented settings, all for an epic and long-winded story, recommended for a slightly more mature audience. Due to the type of game mechanics, it may be that the Switch is the best platform to play this title.

We have discussed it previously on these same pages: the Hadesdeveloped by the indie studio supergiantgames, is one of the best, most entertaining and engaging video games of recent years. Mixing something similar to Groundhog Day with Greek mythology, history and combat is the most original and polished in recent times. Again, given the nature of the console, this game may be better enjoyed on the Switch than anywhere else.

Originally designed for the Nintendo DS 19 years ago, one of the gaming world’s most popular intergalactic heroines returns in an all-new sci-fi, shooter, and alien-pirate adventure. The game starts right where the previous one left off (Metroid Fusion, from 2002) and retains the original elements. That is to say, it is an action-adventure title that develops fluidly in 2D, with a great art direction and all the action elements that have characterized the saga since the 80s.

Like a good video game console, the Switch has various accessories —sold separately, of course— that complement and enhance the gaming experience. In the first instance, we must highlight the most relevant of all, especially for older users: it is the Nintendo Switch Pro control.

Unlike joy-cons, this one looks a lot more like a modern video game controller. In fact, it is very similar to that of the Xbox. But beyond that, if you plan to play for several hours, your acquisition is likely to be essential. It comes available with a black base color and with dedicated limited editions. There is also a control that emulates that of the Nintendo GameCube: ideal for nostalgics.

By the way: in case of need —or boredom, rather— joy-cons come in countless colors, combinations, and limited editions. In addition, a handlebar adapter is available for those heated games of Mario Kart or any other driving game.

By the way, there is Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a curious accessory that mixes the analog with the virtual. It is a remote control car (Mario or Luigi) with an installed augmented reality camera and some markers that allow you to create circuits inside the house. The classic experience of Mario Kart, but moving in the living room of your home. Very entertaining.

Considering the storage capacity of the console -32GB in the Lite and 64GB in the traditional and the OLED-, it is extremely necessary to have a good and hopefully generous memory card -microSD is the compatible format-, with a transfer rate ideally higher than 90MB per second, and thus be able to save as many games as possible. In the same way, having a good portable charge for the console is highly recommended.

Finally, Nintendo offers its official case for the Switch, but the truth is that there are multiple alternatives on the market that can be better, bigger and especially cheaper. That is up to the consumer. What yes, it is essential to have it well stored if it is not being used, and there the case does that very well.

*The prices of the products in this article are updated as of November 29, 2022. The values ​​and their availability may change.