Hardware Unboxing: Nintendo Switch

While the Nintendo Switch has been gracing the market and homes like since mid March 2017, I myself have had the sweet gem hiding in secrecy since April from the game smashing terror known as a toddler…hence I have yet to jump into the thrill ride that is Nintendo’s seventh major home video game console.

With a reasonable price tag of $299.99USD, it is a more cost-effective console as compared to that of Microsoft’s XBOX ONE or Sony’s PS4, but even at that price it’s a bit of a pull at the price tag especially as it does not come with any full version games or freebie downloadable games to help introduce you to the awesomeness that is your new console. If it’s not the price tag that is holding you back from purchasing, it’s the issue of availability. Stores seem to always be out of stock, whether from selling out, or not being able to get stock in.

So whether you are debating buying the console for yourself, or you are itching to know what all you get in the box while you wait to get your hands on one… let me be the one to unbox it here for you.

The console system comes in durable cardboard boxing, with enhancing imaging of the console system plastered all over it. There is also detailing information regarding the contents and what to expect inside. Nothing out of the ordinary for mass manufactured products such as a gaming console.

Anticipation grew as I pulled the tabs to flip open the box to reveal the contents. Everything was neatly placed in the box, separated by cardboard dividers and all wrapped in foam to prevent scratching. It was a sight of perfection.

The first component I encountered was the main brain of the Switch known as “the Console”. The Console is a battery powered tablet like monitor that is simply a 6 inch, multitouch capacitive LCD screen that is approximately the same size as the Wii U Gamepad. There are rails on both sides of the screen, which are used to install/remove the Joy-Con controller. The Console also has an audio jack for your head phones

The Brains

(for when real life needs to be tuned out), a USB-C port for charging with the gamepad dock and a kickstand on the back for tabletop mounting. There is also a slot for game card installation and microSD installation.

The Dock

The next component was fairly large, and is known as “the Switch Dock”, which is a docking station that serves two purposes. The Switch Dock can be used to connect the Console to a power supply to charge the battery, and it can also transmit the information from the Console to a television via a HDMI connection for video/audio output. The dock additionally has a USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports. The design of the dock was very smart in my opinion as it provides an easy guide into the placement of the Console for docking and it provides a stable environment for it in case of bumping or vibration on the surface it is placed on. I found the docks made for the WiiU gamepad took quite a lot of gentle jostling to get it in the sweet spot to be able to charge….and yet somehow it still moved out of place if just the smallest bump happened near it.

The Switch is designed to be a single screen experience, wherein you either play on the Console itself, or on a screen with the Console attached to the Dock. Unlike the WiiU gamepad, dual screen functionality was not included in the console design.

HDMI & Power

Pulling through the tiny boxes that contained the charging cable and the HDMI cable, I came across the second most important component of the Nintendo Switch… the Joy-Con. Okay realistically, the Joy-Con is comprised of two separate controllers called “Joy-Con L” and “Joy-Con R”. These controllers can be attached to the Console via the side rails using a locking mechanism (so they don’t just fly off if you get enthusiastic during a game session), and using the release button on their rear face allows for easy removal. Both Joy-Con contain HD Rumble, which helps generate fine tactile feedback and also contain an accelerometer and gyroscope for motion control support. Joy-Con R has an infrared depth sensor used to identify objects and motion gestures, and also a NFC reader for Amiibo detection. Each Joy-Con includes four front facing action buttons (Joy-Con R contains signature A, B, X, Y buttons and Joy-Con L contains directional buttons), an analog stick, and plus(+) or minus (-) button and trigger buttons

The Left & Right Joy-Cons
The Joy-Con Grip

Now I may have small hands, but being a gamer who is used to having a handful of controller such as that of the XBOX One or even the WiiU Gamepad, the Joy-Con controllers seemed to be too tiny and awkward to use as individual devices separate from the Console. As this is an option in some games for multiplayer gaming, it reminds me too much of the Nintendo Wii controllers that were nothing more than a pointing stick with buttons. Luckily the box also contained a Joy-Con Grip controller, which the Joy-Con controllers can be attached to in order to emulate a standard gaming controller, for that ergonomic button mashing compatibility that one needs at times. I don’t see myself ever gaming with the Joy-Con controllers on their own, because I don’t usually have big gaming parties needing several controllers, but also because I usually have to share the television with the XBOX One needs of the household….so they will probably stay attached to the Console. But its nice to know there are options.

I was amazed to see how many components came with the system, but effectively the system unboxing indicates that the hype lives up to the product delivery. With all the additional features including removable controllers, docking and versatile interfacing, there is a way to enjoy the Switch no matter where you are. I thought it is genius to have a kickstand on the Console, as to allow for shared gaming on the go. It is technology advancement like this that gives Nintendo the edge on keeping the casual gamers interest in the market, because it sure is easier to lug around a small little screen than a full sized console.

And easier to take to school or work…cause who is paying attention anyhow??

Whether you are a Nintendo gamer from the beginning or a noob gamer, the Nintendo Switch is both an affordable and user friendly system that allows for dedicated individual and multiplayer fun across an endless scope of games. I personally find that for someone who needs a good gaming system for family game night or even for starting out, the Nintendo Switch is much easier to get use to controls with and has a game title library that spans a much broader range so that everyone can play.

While I have still not had a chance to play the Switch myself, now that its unboxed, there is no stopping me now. But check out some of the reviews on Game-Refraction.com that other journalists have completed on some of the current available titles for the system and give into the temptation…. You know you want one….!!!

Here is the system preview trailer to further entice you:

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