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Brief Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch, or: Feeling Like a Kid Again

The Nintendo Switch was released on Friday, March 3rd, and I was lucky enough to have preordered my unit before they were hard to get a hold of (although I’ve read there are still plenty of units at brick and mortar stores). I took the day off of work, and to my chagrin, UPS arrived later than usual. When it did arrive, the driver approached my door hurriedly, and remarked “busy day”. I smiled and thanked him as he handed me the package I’d been waiting all day for.

I was nervous about the Switch, both because Nintendo faltered with the Wii U and because I hold the company in such high regard. My fondest gaming memories are beating Ocarina of Time for the first time (before all of my friends; a source of bragging rights for many months).

Twenty-three hours into using it and playing Breath of the Wild, the Switch is, in my opinion, the greatest console Nintendo has ever made. It’s everything I want it to be: a compromise between hand-held and television gaming that doesn’t feel like a compromise, plays the greatest Zelda game ever made (possibly the greatest video game ever created), and has exceptional build quality.

What’s more, the Pro controller is really great (perhaps not $70-great, but close), and there’s many third-party options for taking the Switch on the go.

The Switch has me contemplating taking the bus instead of driving into work so I can play it more, and what feels great about that is that it’s exactly as Nintendo wanted it. The entire marketing push for the Switch has been “play anywhere without compromises”, and so far, it really feels that way.

Yes, there few “true” launch titles, but many Nintendo consoles launch with scarce first-party options, and the likelihood that I beat Breath of the Wild before a significant Switch release (like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) comes out is slim. In fact, as a huge fan of the Zelda franchise and with just how large Hyrule is in Breath of the Wild, it’ll be a long time before I feel the desire to play anything else.

The Switch is bringing back the feelings I had when I got the Nintendo 64 for my sixth Christmas. It’s not nostalgia, it’s masterful execution of a gaming platform, complete with a breathtakingly beautiful Zelda title to be enamored with for the foreseeable future.