Nintendo Switch: Everything You Need To Know

Nintendo Switch Specs

The regular model with controllers:

Dimensions9.4” x 4” x .55”
Weight.88 lbs
Touch screen6.2”, 1280 x 720 resolution
ProcessorNVIDIA Custom Tegra
Storage32GB, expandable via microSD
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, AUX
Battery life4-9 hours, depending on usage

OLED model with controllers:

Dimensions9.5” x 4” x .55”
Weight.93 lbs
Touch screen7”, 1280 x 720 resolution
ProcessorNVIDIA Custom Tegra
Storage64GB, expandable via microSD
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, AUX
Battery life4-9 hours, depending on usage

Lite model:

Dimensions8.2” x 3.6” x .55”
Weight.61 lbs
Touch screen5.5”, 1280 x 720 resolution
ProcessorNVIDIA Custom Tegra
Storage32GB, expandable via microSD
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, AUX
Battery life3-7 hours, depending on usage
Nintendo Switch - playing game
A person playing the popular Animal crossing game on the Nintendo switch. Image: Shutterstock

Nintendo Switch: Where To Buy

You can buy a Nintendo Switch bundle at most electronics or department stores that carry gaming products. These include:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • GameStop
  • QVC
  • B&H
  • Adorama
  • Newegg
  • PC Richard & Son

The Nintendo Switch and its accessory bundle are also available to buy online from most of the above retailers’ websites, from Nintendo’s online store, or from online retailers like Antonline and Amazon.

Click here to get the Nintendo Switch regular, OLED, or Lite models on Amazon.com.

The History of the Nintendo Switch: What To Know

Released in 2017, the Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s seventh significant video game console. Its massively successful launch helped Nintendo regain its relevance in the modern gaming world.

Although the Switch works best as a home console, it was designed to be a hybrid machine. You can use it as a standalone unit in your hands or on a tabletop, propped up with its kickstand. You can also plug it into its docking station or connect it to your TV.

The Switch was first conceptualized shortly after the disappointing launch of the Wii U. Nintendo’s sales were declining, and they desperately needed a product that would breathe new life into the company. Where the Wii U looked like a rehashing of old material, Nintendo wanted their new product to be a completely new experience.

They started working on a device that could act as a bridge between various types of gamer polarization. The goal was to create a console that could be used for both casual play of leisurely video games and longer-term play of titles that required deeper commitment. They also wanted a device that would work both for gamers who prefer to sit down and play with their friends in a social setting and those who prefer gaming by themselves at home or on the go.

To this end, Yoshiaki Koizumi, who assembled the Switch’s hardware development team, tried to mix and match developers with different areas of expertise. He wanted to make sure that the people who designed the console were pros in multiple disciplines with plenty of real-world experience beyond gaming.

The hardware they designed showed off this adaptable philosophy. The console is based around a battery-powered tablet with haptic and multi-touch capabilities. The control accessories can be separated and locked into place on either side of the tablet or combined to make a more traditional controller. You can also pair your console with a pro controller if you like an old-school feel.

On the software side, the Switch team wanted to make sure there would be a steady, ongoing stream of video games for the device and that it would be able to integrate with major social networks. They created an efficient pipeline for the development and approval of games from outside designers, including development kits and broad software compatibility. Their goal was to have a minimum of 60 independent games for the console during its first year, but the system was so popular that the number ended up growing to over 300.

During the development phase, Nintendo decided to play their cards close to their chest. This added to the new device’s mystique and helped build hype. It was referred to publicly as the NX, with the official name and specs kept tightly under wraps.

The first preview trailer was released in October 2016, a few months before the launch date. It was the first time the public heard the console’s official name, the Nintendo Switch, as well as the details of the adaptable features behind the name. Fans loved the idea, but Nintendo stock initially fell because investors were skeptical, worried by the lack of technical information.

In March 2017, Nintendo released the Switch simultaneously in the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong.

Nintendo Switch Versions: Each Edition

Video explaining how to unbox the Nintendo Switch OLED.

All Switch versions can play the same games and have the same interface, chipset, RAM, screen resolution and frame rate, microSD expansion, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. Here are some of the differences.

Original Switch: V1 and V2

The first and second versions of the original Switch are identical except for a small processor upgrade in the V2 that gives you about two or three more hours of battery life.

OLED

The OLED’s screen is about an inch bigger than the original with organic light-emitting diode technology that gives you brighter colors and darker blacks. It also has louder speakers, twice as much internal storage, an Ethernet port, and a more robust kickstand. The price is $50 more than the original.

Lite

The Lite model is about an inch smaller and an ounce lighter than the original, with a battery life about two hours shorter. The screen is half an inch smaller, the controllers aren’t detachable and there are no TV docking options. The Lite’s price is $100 less than the original.

The Public Response

After the official launch, the main criticism leveled against the Switch was its initially limited library of video games. Many of the games that were available at the launch date didn’t take advantage of the Switch’s full range of features. This criticism was thoroughly repudiated by the end of the console’s first year as hundreds of new titles from indie developers began to flood in.

Critics also pointed out that in spite of the console’s pros, the software was buggy and the Bluetooth had trouble connecting with the left controller in many units. Nintendo responded quickly, shoring up the software and adjusting the Bluetooth antenna to fix the connection issues.

Early critical response aside, the Switch’s launch was an immediate success. In its first month, it sold 3 million units, a million more than Nintendo had anticipated. In January 2018, Nintendo reported that the Switch had become the quickest-selling device in their history with over 10 million sold in the first year after its release.

For a long time, sales were so high that manufacturers couldn’t make enough units to meet the public demand. Nintendo was once again king of the console, earning their highest revenues in a decade.

Click here to get your own Nintendo Switch bundle on Amazon.com.

Nintendo Switch: Everything You Need To Know FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid gaming system that can switch between a home console and a handheld device.

When was the Nintendo Switch invented?

Nintendo began evaluating the concept of the Nintendo Switch in 2012, a short while after releasing the Wii U. On March 17, 2015, Nintendo first announced it was working on a new dedicated game platform that would become the Nintendo Switch.

Who invented the Nintendo Switch?

Yoshiaki Koizumi, deputy general manager of the Entertainment Planning and Development Division at Nintendo, oversaw the Switch’s creation. He credits the junior developers working under him for the forward-thinking that led to the Switch’s fluid design.

When did the Nintendo Switch come out?

The first edition of the Switch was released around the world on March 3, 2017.

What was the original price of the Nintendo Switch?

In 2017, when it was released, the original Nintendo Switch cost a penny short of $300.

How much does a Nintendo Switch cost?

The recommended retail price for a Nintendo Switch is the same as when it was released, $299.99.

How do you charge Nintendo Switch controllers?

The simplest way to charge your Switch’s controllers is by attaching them to the console and plugging the console in via its USB port or dock.

How do you reset a Nintendo Switch?

Perform a soft reset by holding down the power button on top of the device for about 15 seconds until it powers off. Press the button again to turn it back on.

Perform a factory reset by opening the Home menu and selecting the System Settings page with the gear icon. Scroll down, and click the System page at the bottom left. Scroll through the System page, and click on the Formatting Options page at the bottom right. Click on the Initialize Console button, and then follow the instructions to delete all your console’s data.

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