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If you are a parent who is new to gaming, it can be overwhelming to monitor your child as they game, much less make decisions regarding gaming systems and games. But purchasing a gaming system is just like any other household purchase we make. It just takes a bit of research and reading. This short Parent Guide to Nintendo Switch is meant to give you all the information you need to make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing a gaming system for your child.
Since its release in 2017, the Nintendo Switch has sold over 55 million units. While the console has yet to do as well as its grandfather system, the Nintendo Wii, it has become increasingly popular over its short lifespan.
With a plethora of first party games serving as the meat of the console library, the Nintendo Switch offers a library that will be very familiar to most gamers and families.
However, the Switch has become increasingly popular even with more hardcore gamers, in no small part to its ever-expanding gaming library.
Even in the wake of the newest console generation, demand is still high for the Nintendo Switch. Whether you are interested in the console’s incredible library of exclusive games, or its spectacular mobility as a system, there is something for everyone in the Nintendo Switch.
Additionally, with the release of even more high-profile exclusives, as well as the Nintendo Switch Lite, there has never been a better time to delve into everything the Nintendo Switch has to offer.
Following is the rundown on everything you need to know as a parent about the Nintendo Switch.
Parent Guide To The Nintendo Switch
A Brief History Of The Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console, capable of both at-home play on the television, as well as handheld play wherever you want. The console comes with a tablet, a home docking station, and two Joy-Con controllers that can connect on either side of the tablet.
The Joy-Con controllers can also clip onto a controller dock, allowing for a more traditional gaming controller. For at-home play, the tablet slides into the dock, which allows the console to connect to the television.
For mobile play, simply remove the tablet from the dock and click the Joy-Cons onto the screen. From here, you can play the Switch wherever you want, and even charge it on the go.
The Nintendo Switch serves as the successor to both the Wii U, as well as the Nintendo 3DS and its variants. The Switch is also a cartridge-based console, akin to the Nintendo DS library of systems. The cartridges are a double edged sword, as they allow for mobile play, and take up less room.
However, the cartridges are small and easy to lose should they not be put back properly. At nearly sixty dollars a game, this is something to be wary of as a parent. There are ways to easily and safely store cartridges via Nintendo Switch cases, but these are external accessories.
In 2019, Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch Lite, which is a mobile only variant of the console. The console is much cheaper than the standard Nintendo Switch model, but many of the features are removed.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is perfect for gaming on a budget, or if you want to purchase multiples of the console for your family.
Nintendo Switch Hardware
While not the most powerful system on the market, the Nintendo Switch does offer the best graphic capabilities of any Nintendo System to date. The graphics of the console are superb, and games such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild look absolutely stunning.
Even the graphics of the tablet look great, offering absolutely unbelievable graphics on a portable console. This is fantastic, as competitive games such as Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate can be easily played on the go.
Additionally, older variations of the Nintendo Switch are capable of about 2 ½ to 6 ½ hours of mobile game time. Newer models are capable of about 4 ½ to 9 hours of mobile game time. The Nintendo Switch can be easily charged at any power outlet with its AC adapter, meaning that battery isn’t usually a big deal.
It is important to note that some Switch models include Joy-Cons that are prone to drifting. Drifting is essentially when the joystick of the controller moves on its own, or at least tells the game to do so. This can be annoying, but is fixable and covered under certain warranties. You can also buy additional controllers to suit your gaming needs, but these are all external accessories and do not come with the console.
Switch Exclusive Titles
Being a Nintendo Console, the Switch has access to a stellar library of games including legendary fan-favorite franchises such as:
and many more.
Nintendo always has new games as well as downloadable content packs coming out for the Switch so there is always something new to play.
Want More Video Game Suggestions? Checkout these 10 fun video games that are actually educational!
Like Xbox and PlayStation, Nintendo offers an online service as a subscription, allowing players to play online with other gamers all around the world. Nintendo Online is required for online play, meaning that joining Minecraft servers and online games such as Fortnite will require the paid subscription service.
There are other benefits to Nintendo Online as well, including access to the Cloud. The Cloud allows online game saving so you always have your game progress connected to your Nintendo account.
Additionally, Nintendo Online subscribers get access to a limited library of NES games at no extra charge. This is a great way to introduce younger kids to the classic console, or just relive some great gaming memories.
The Nintendo Switch is an incredibly versatile console, with something on the console for every type of gamer. However, the system mainly caters to families and younger kids, with its bright and colorful gaming library.
That is not to say that the games for the system aren’t stellar gaming experiences. Additionally, the online service is cheaper than other subscription gaming services and includes lots of benefits.
The main selling point of the console, however, is the ability to portably game anywhere at any time. Road trips, vacations, long car rides, and waiting rooms are all perfect places to squeeze in some laps on Mario Kart, or build up your base a little more on Minecraft.