The Nintendo Switch as a handheld

Quick post this morning before work.

Last night I decided to head upstairs early, taking the Switch with me to play in ‘handheld mode.’ As a handheld, the Switch is awesome. It feels really good in the hands and all my concerns with the graphics quality vanish on the small screen. If I had to pick one thing to complain about, it’s that the tiny – and + buttons are hard to see/find in a dark room, but that’s just a muscle memory thing that will be cured via familiarity.

It is also a pretty cool feeling to be playing on the TV, then slip the Switch out of the dock and pick up right where you left off. I’ve done the ‘cross-play’ thing between the Playstation and the Vita and that was neat but it always required some kind of manual syncing. Since with the Switch it’s the same hardware, the transition is of course instant.

One last thing before I go. The Switch has a capture button like the PS4. For now it only captures screenshots (though if I remember correctly the intent is for it to eventually capture clips) and the only way to get them off the Switch is to share them to Twitter, Facebook, or save them on a MicroSD card on the Switch and then remove that card and pop it into a PC. Be nice if there was an easier way but what can you do.

What I didn’t discover until last night is that you can quickly add text to a screenshot. It’s super easy to do. You type your message, then you can scale it, color it, position it and rotate it. The only thing missing, I guess, is being able to choose a font. Still, I thought it was a really neat little bonus feature. Here’s an example (the shot is through Link’s “scope,” just for context. That’s why the colors are kind of muted — that is NOT a result of adding the text).

3 thoughts on “The Nintendo Switch as a handheld

  1. I was going to share an image last night, but it was in dock mode and I flubbed the button sequence so it didn’t happen. But this is where the tablet mode is MUCH better because I HATE using controllers to enter text. Having the tablet’s touch screen mode is MUCH better for sharing these and adding the text.

    But then again, I don’t want to have to take the thing out of the dock JUST to add a caption, and then slot the thing back to use on the TV #FirstWorldProblems

    1. No exaggeration, it took me 6 tries to type out that one line. “Y” is the quick-key for a space, and I kept hitting B because B on the Switch is where Y is on the Playstation so I kept canceling myself. And I did it so instinctively that I didn’t even realize what I was doing!

  2. Yah, video capture and upload/sharing is coming in a future update.

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