TL; DR The Nintendo Switch games, form factor, and controllers encourage easy, fun gaming.
The Nintendo Switch is the best gaming system for hanging out with friends.
Whenever I have had a friend bring a Nintendo Switch over to play, it has been super fun. I have had friends bring them on vacation even, it seems weird, but having something to play while people are getting ready is nice too.
How do you choose if the Switch is right for you? Do you want to play the best, most popular, first person shooter games? Or are looking for hanging out socially where games are an enhancement, not the focus of the night?
Nintendo games are classics and the Switch is the only one with access to like Mario Kart and Zelda
Nintendo is like Disney, you have an idea of what a "Nintendo" game is. Or even early Apple. A Disney movie plays off of discovery and self-actualization and the hero's journey. Nintendo games usually play off of a simple game mechanics, quick learning curve, and fun. Apple was based on design.
Games that are fun include: Overcooked, Zelda, Mario Kart, Stardew Valley and a bunch of others.
Nintendo games usually have a low learning curve.
These games are easy to 'pick up' and so they are fun for social time with friends. Even someone who is playing for the first time can play and have fun.
That is actually a huge accomplishment.
There are a lot of games with a steep learning curve that do become fun, but Nintendo games you can usually pick up right off the bat. You might not be great, but having fun is winning.
If you want to play Nintendo games, you need a Switch system.
In general, some games titles are locked into certain platforms.
The only ones to note, really, are that Nintendo games (anything with Mario, Super Smash Brothers, Zelda...) are only on the Switch. The Xbox has Halo.
Other than that, most systems can play most games.
The Switch controllers splits into 'mini' controllers that encourage playing with friends. No other system does that.
Controllers are expensive. As such, when you own a system, you might buy one extra controller for if a friend comes over. It would be a waste to own like 4 controllers.
So, what do you do if there are like 4 people over?
Nintendo Switch seamlessly figures this out by allowing the two controllers to be split into four 'mini' controllers.
The mini controllers have the same functionality, just with a smaller form function. It works for casual play.
So intead of having 5 people and 2 controllers, you have 5 people and 4 controllers, and one person hanging out and switching out.
The portability makes it fun for traveling and taking around.
It is the only system that is portable. You can actually pack this system in your carry-on luggage and travel with it.
No other major gaming system provides this ability.
One consultant I know has this set up and it is awesome and ingenius. He is out of town in travel mode for 4+ days a week sometimes for months at a time.
The other two major systems (Xbox and Playstation) win on two fronts:
- raw processing power
- AAA first person shooters (FPS).
If you want to play Halo you have to play it on Xbox. If you want to play Call of Duty you have to play on Xbox or Playstation. You do not have access to these games on Nintendo.
Online play is available, but if you want to play a AAA FPS online, you pretty much have to get an Xbox or Playstation.
AAA FPS means the cutting edge, first-person shooters. These involve high-power graphics, smooth, fast action, and lots of other players. They pretty much congregate around one game per generation. A long time ago it was Half Life, then Counter Strike, and mix in things, but Call of Duty, and Halo have been the modern-day cream of the crop FPS games.
To be clear: the Xbox and Playstation have these games and the Switch does not.
But does it matter?
If you really want to get into gaming, and the type of gaming you want the most popular FPS, then you get an Xbox or Playstation. Or take the path less traveled and venture into building your own gaming PC *devilish laughter* .
This review was written with the idea of hanging out and playing with friends. This situation assumes social games, fun games, and easy to learn games. It assumes transportability. And it assumes that people can just pick up a game and start having fun without a ton of experience or having to learn a bunch of intricate button combinations.
Our solution is to get a Nintendo Switch when it goes on sale. This year, there should be some sweet bundles available!
Get a Switch or Build yourself a gaming PC?
The super, duper hack for choosing a gaming system: Nintendo Switch, Playstation, Xbox in 2020