When the Nintendo Switch first launched, it faced a lot more scrutiny than any console has in the past. The concept was unlike anything we’d ever seen before, so we weren’t sure if it would work as advertised. It did, and then some. The Switch is one of the most versatile games consoles in history, with the added bonus of being able to be played both docked and undocked from a TV. It’s also a great system for playing online and has a robust store where you can buy new games or download full game demos for free.
The system comes with a lot of essentials, including the console itself, a pair of Joy-Con (which can be paired together to act as a single controller or slotted into the included Joy-Con grip), and everything you need to hook it up to your television. The display is an LCD, not a high-definition screen like those found on PlayStation or Xbox consoles, and it’s susceptible to scratches. That’s why it’s a good idea to put a protective covering on the screen right away or use a case when transporting the device.
On the bottom of the Switch, you’ll find a kickstand for tabletop mode and a microSD slot that can accommodate cards with capacities up to 2TB. If you want to play offline, you can also load games from a cartridge or off the console’s internal storage. Upon initial set up, the console asks you for your Wi-Fi details and user account setup information, which is easy to input using the console’s touchscreen.
As with all modern games consoles, the Switch requires an internet connection to deliver updates, downloadable content, and game news. It has a dedicated online store called the Nintendo eShop where you can purchase new games and download full game demos for free. The console also allows up to 8 nearby players to link their Switch devices together for local wireless multiplayer in games such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2.
While the system does have some great games from renowned third parties, the Switch’s most important titles are its own games. It’s a great way to experience the best of Nintendo’s back catalogue, with new spin-offs and ports of classic franchises like Mario Kart, Kirby, and Zelda.
But if you really want to see the Switch in its purest form, then there’s no better way than to play a brand-new game that was designed for it. The most notable example of this is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is the definitive version of the franchise – with more fighters, stages, and gameplay modes than any other Smash game before it. It’s a true testament to the creativity of the team behind it and easily one of the best Switch games for family gaming. Alternatively, you can always take your console’s portable form factor on the go by streaming AAA games from a phone or tablet that supports the platform’s app store and video game subscription services.