By Peter Griffin 19/12/2017

This is a Sciblogs series running through until Christmas Eve highlighting some of the gadgets we’ve been using this year… gadget No. 6

Nintendo redefined gaming with the Wii console and it may well do so again with the Switch, a console that plugs into your TV, but can be reconfigured for gaming on the move as well.

Don’t expect the graphics grunt of a PS4 or Xbox One, that’s not the point here. This is convenient gaming that brings a new element to Nintendo classics like Mario Kart. The Switch is effectively a tablet computer with the Joy Con controller which ingeniously splits in two to allow two-player games.

The versatility is the Switch’s key asset – it is highly portable and offers enough battery life for a serious gaming stint on the move.

Launched in March 2017, the Switch was initially hamstrung by a dearth of game titles. But over the course of the year, new games have arrived in rapid succession and now there are plenty of games – including Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Super Mario Odyssey. Many other games are downloadable from the Nintendo eShop.

The aim with the Switch is for gamers to enjoy the same gaming experience whether parked in front of the TV screen or using the 6.2 inch screen in the back seat of a car or on the train. The multiplayer aspect of it is fairly seamless.

The main downsides are the battery life – solid gaming sessions away from a charging outlet will drain the battery reasonably quickly and the accessories for the Switch are fairly expensive. The console itself isn’t cheap.

But here, again, we have Nintendo tacking away from the Microsoft/Sony death match and producing an innovative alternative for gamers in the process.

Switch specs:

  • 6.2-inch, multi-touch capacitive touch screen
  • 32GB of internal memory – Expandable with microSDXC cards
  • Battery life: Estimated around 6 hours (activity dependant)
  • Includes: Console, Joy-Con controllers, Switch dock, Joy-Con grip, AC Adapter, HDMI cable and Joy-Con straps
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 12 months