While Nintendo Switch is not brand new anymore, buying one can be a smarter decision than trying to buy one PS5 or Xbox Series X right now. Getting the next generation PlayStation or Xbox is admittedly difficult to do. But even if you have the opportunity, you may want to reconsider.
Spending your money on the follow-up to the current console you choose seems like a no-brainer. But what do you really want from a new console? I would argue that some of the best things about using a new console are not present in the new PlayStation or Xbox.
Nintendo Switch: What I Love
Take for example the game library. Most games you can play on PS5 and Series X are the same as you can currently play on PS4 and Xbox One. Furthermore, it is possible that a handful of platform exclusives are not so inspiring for you. Meanwhile, over at the switch, there are more than three years of releases to explore.
The diversity of games available is a credit to Nintendo. Of course, your mind may be drawn to Mario, Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros, Legend of Zelda and the like. These high quality franchises are good reasons to buy a Nintendo console. However, you will also find a surprising number of great third-party games on Switch. Highlights include Doom and The Witcher 3, as well as one of the best indie game libraries outside of the PC. All next-generation exclusives on PS5 and Xbox Series X are fixed budget conditions, and many of them are either remakes or sequels. I will not blame you if these lineups have made you cold.
When it comes to hardware, the switch also has some important advantages. By all means, compare TFLOP and maximum resolution output, and laugh at the lean GPU inside the switch. But while it’s nice to chase higher frame rates and nicer graphics, these do not guarantee that you’ll have fun with a game. And if graphics are your priority, it’s probably better to look at a gaming PC instead of a console.
Then there is the fact that the switch’s less powerful hardware makes it portable: easily its standout feature. I would never have thought of this before I bought my own switch, but having access to a fully equipped console anywhere is a luxury that cannot be overstated. Even if you’re locked in right now to prevent the spread of you-know-what, it helps to have the freedom to play games somewhere other than my desk, to keep the mental divide between work and home from crumbling.
You also get the versatile Joy-Cons to try out. These controllers have built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes, while still working in the same way as a traditional gamepad. You can still play games as normal, but also try less traditional motion control experiences. You also do not need additional peripherals, such as expensive VR headset. I feel that Joy-Cons is easier to use than a regular gamepad, since you can use both halves separately, with your arms relaxed on the sides. Maybe this is not a common way to play, but it’s definitely how I like to use them.
Nintendo Switch: What I do not love
Let’s be honest about where the switch is irreparably weak. Multiplayer and online functionality are, to put it bluntly, a mess. Some games require Nintendo’s Switch Online online multiplayer subscription service, but others allow you to play over the Internet for free. To enable voice chat, you need to use an app on your smartphone – a device that already does enough without you also having to be a gaming device. This does not bother me, since I am a lone player most of the time. But going for a switch is probably a bad idea if you are a dedicated player of Call of Duty, Fortnite or the like.
For Nintendo’s defense, the Switch is probably the best console for local multiplayer, considering that Joy-Cons can be used as two separate game controls. Up to eight four-player switches can also work together in the same room. Want a new controller for Xbox or PS5? It will cost an additional $ 70. And good luck gathering enough monitors and consoles in one place for a 32-person local PS5 / Series X multiplayer session without hiring a community center.
The switch’s internal storage is both smaller and slower than what you get with Sony and Microsoft consoles. You get 825 GB of SSD space on the PS5, and a 1 TB SSD on the Xbox. The switch has only 32 GB of memory. However, Switch games usually take up less space thanks to lower graphics fidelity. And if you run out of space, you can at least expand the switch’s memory easily with any microSD card. Compare and contrast with the expensive proprietary SSDs you need to make more room for your Xbox or PS5.
I think even the most dedicated PlayStation or Xbox tab has some good reasons to switch to a Switch, even when the next big wave of PS5 and Series X stock arrives. Granted, your decision depends on why you enjoy playing games. If you are interested in graphic fidelity, robust multiplayer or are a dedicated fan of an exclusive franchise, you may not want a switch. But if different types of games – and access to them outside the living room – appeal to you more, you might want to consider Nintendo’s hybrid console instead of Microsoft’s and Sony’s latest machines.