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I bought a Nintendo Switch because I am a sucker for hype and limited supply. It was back when Nintendo was struggling (or pretending to struggle, depending on how cynical you are) to keep units in stock on store shelves. I saw an opportunity to get one and went for it before Amazon (I think it was Amazon) sold out again.

Turns out it wasn’t a great decision for me. I set it up alongside the Xbox and PS4 and hooked it up to the TV and after a brief burst of new-toy infatuation, it sat there collecting dust. Truth is, I’m not a huge fan of the popular Nintendo IPs (I thought I was going to love Breath of the Wild but honestly it left me cold), and there’s no reason to play a multi-platform game on the Switch unless you’re taking advantage of its handheld mode. Plus virtually every multiplatform game is more expensive on Switch than on the other platforms.

I don’t really have a lot of use for a handheld since I don’t commute or spend much time out and about, and we have 3 televisions for 2 people so there isn’t much competition for big-screen time in our house. But dang it, I wanted to put that Switch to use because I do have a couple of games on it (Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk) that I wanted to play.

Then last week I got it in my head that I wanted to dip into mobile games. Not even sure why. My eyes are too crappy to really enjoy mobiles games on my phone, and my tablet is so old a lot of them won’t run on it. I was thinking seriously of spending $400-$500 on a new tablet when I thought of the Switch. Instead of mobile games, how about some handheld gaming?

So for the last few days I’ve been treating the Switch like a handheld. I play it a little in bed at night (though that IS cutting into my reading time) and keep it handy so when I have a few minutes of downtime here and there I can pick it up and play a bit. (I’ve cut way back on social media and these little moments are where I used to check my various “timelines” so the Switch is filling those gaps now.) This is working great for turn-based RPG Labyrinth of Refrain, which I restarted. And while the Switch on a 60″ 4K TV looks just OK, the 7″ (or whatever it is) Switch screen looks great.

We’ll see what happens when I try to play Xenoblade this way… I’m not sure it’ll work as well since that game requires some focus. But at the rate I’m going Labyrinth will take me months to get through, so we’ll worry about that problem when it arrives.

I know I’ve said it before, but I guess I’m bad at listening to my own advice. The Switch is a mediocre living room console (at least it is if you’re someone who cares about great graphics) but a pretty awesome handheld. If you want something to play on the TV, get an Xbox One X. If you want a handheld though, the Switch is where it’s at (not that it has much competition in that space).



Comment:
1
  • Could you elaborate a little more on what you didn’t like about Breath of the Wild?

    Our household recently picked up a Switch, mostly for a fanatical Pokemon Go player to branch out into Let’s Go Pokemon. It’s already recouped some of its cost in doing so, but I was also eyeing it for Breath of the Wild. I haven’t jumped into that purchase yet (too many PC games occupying me presently) but was very tempted – be nice to go into it more informed with different viewpoints.