The Switch hasn’t even been out for a year but it’s already my preferred console. With games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, it’s easy to see why. The fact that I can take it anywhere is what seals it for me: the Switch is this year’s best gadget, and a big reason why I’ve all but forgotten about my PlayStation 4.
This isn’t a knock against the Xbox One or PS4; home consoles are still valuable and going nowhere. It’s just that Nintendo’s console is so much more flexible and dynamic. Now, anytime a new game is announced, the first thing I do is see if it’s coming to the Switch. I don’t even consider its console alternatives at all.
Take, for example, Stardew Valley. The farming simulator made a name for itself on the PC—and much later on consoles—offering challenging gameplay and charming graphics. But, turns out, it was tailor-made for the Switch, allowing users to jump in and out of the game at a moment’s notice.
Rocket League, a massively popular game on PC and console, was also given renewed life on the Switch. Never did I imagine being able to play a heated multiplayer match while riding the train from Los Angeles to Orange County. The Xbox One and PS4 simply can’t compete with that.
Again, that’s not a knock against Microsoft or Sony. But it’s indication of just how powerful Nintendo’s console can be, even if it doesn’t offer the best graphics. Thanks to the Switch’s core functionality, however, it more than overcomes its graphical shortcomings.
I’ll be the first to admit the Switch falls short in several areas, and it’ll never be the go-to console for first-person shooters. It won’t ever do 4K or play Blu-ray movies. For a lot of people, these are dealbreakers. But, again, the Switch’s functionality makes up for any shortcomings. Often, the portable console provides me with the best media experience.
Another example: even though Inside has been out for PC and console for months and is now available for iOS, I’m still holding out for the Switch release. I can’t wait to play it while siting up in bed or while traveling for work.
That being said, the Switch will encounter a number of really important competitors next year. Nintendo’s console is going to miss out on a lot of good games, including Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us II, Spider-Man, Far Cry 5, and many more. Still, it’ll be the console I prefer whenever a new game is announced. Its portability is something I value much more than high-resolution graphics and Blu-ray movies.
And the potential for a robust library of NES, SNES, N64, and GameCube games is unbeatable, but that’s beside the point. I’m just saying that when Capcom’s Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection comes out next year, I’m getting it for Switch, no question, knowing full well the graphics and sound will be better on my PS4.
With over 10 million Switch units sold around the world, I can’t be the only one who feels this way.