A Brief Look at the Switch’s Stats

In case you weren’t already aware…the Nintendo Switch is almost upon us!  Nintendo recently released some additional information on the Switch, and even though this information is already readily available online, let me summarize a little bit of what I learned here for you.  First of all, the console’s release date is scheduled for March 3, a date which has another significance that I will cover soon.  That’s pretty exciting, I must say, as I was not expecting it to be available until at least summer.  And at about $300 (at least, for those of us in the US; the Switch’s Wikipedia article lists prices for other parts of the world, as well), that seems to be a pretty reasonable price considering the Switch’s console/handheld abilities.  But keep in mind that there may be some hidden costs….

Now for some stats that you may or may not like so much.  Two questions many of us had when the Switch was announced pertained to battery life and hard drive space.  According to the console’s Wikipedia article, battery life can span between 2.5-6.5 hours, depending on the game.  The Switch’s hard drive will be 32 GB, the same size as a Deluxe Wii U, but it can be expanded with SD cards, at an additional cost, of course.  For me, battery life would not be an issue, as I would likely only play the Switch on the TV anyway.  For those of you who intend to take advantage of the Switch’s handheld capabilities, however, please let me know below what your thoughts are on this.

The biggest issue for me would be the limited hard drive space.  I find it rather disappointing that the Switch’s hard drive, like the Wii U’s, is going to be so little.  Of course, as I mentioned earlier, you can expand the memory of the Switch using SD cards, but that will increase the cost.  Nintendo consoles have been traditionally less expensive than PlayStation and XBox, but that may not be the case this time.  To compare, my PS4 was $300, the same price as the Switch, but it came with a 500 GB hard drive and a game.  While the Switch’s $300 price tag may seem fair on the surface, the price can go up if you need to buy a separate SD card.  Apparently the Switch can support as much as 2 TB, but this is not a size you can actually buy at this time, as far as I know.  To give you an idea of the prices of SD cards you can find on Amazon, a 64 GB SD card is around $20, but a larger one, like a 256 GB SD card, is closer to $90 (2 TB is about eight times larger).  Depending on how much additional space you require, you may only have to spend a small amount to upgrade the Switch’s memory or a more substantial one.

Before I go any further, let’s get into an example.  The reason March 3 is an exciting date for multiple reasons is the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will also be released that day, both for the Switch and the Wii U, if I’m not mistaken.  Now that is pretty great news!  I honestly did not expect this game until the end of the year, so I’m super happy to know it’s coming out much earlier.  Now, to give you an idea how such a highly-anticipated game performs on the Switch, here are the stats.  The Switch’s handheld battery life when playing Breath of the Wild is on the lower end of the spectrum at three hours.  It will also take up about 13 GB of that precious 32 GB hard drive if you download the digital version.  I hear this is not an issue if you buy a physical copy, but if you intend to download the game, beware.  Apparently this is also roughly the hard drive space the digital version of the game would take up on the Wii U, so a physical copy will be a must for me.

So what will I do?  At this time, I have no intention of buying the Switch upon its release date, as I’m perfectly content to play Breath of the Wild (the physical copy!) on the Wii U.  As for the future, it depends on what games are released.  A free-roaming Mario game is finally scheduled for release at the end of 2017 called Super Mario Odyssey, so the Switch is going to look a lot more appealing come Christmas-time.  Even so, would I buy the Switch just for a Mario game?  I don’t know.  While we know much more about the Switch now than we did several months ago, whether or not it is something I’d want to add to my gaming collection remains to be seen.

Please leave your comments below, dear readers, and let me know your thoughts on the Switch.  Will you be buying it?  Does the price, battery life, and/or hard drive space concern you?  How much memory do you typically require for your consoles?

The Duck, Master of Basic Math…If It’s Gaming-Related

16 thoughts on “A Brief Look at the Switch’s Stats”

  1. Generally I’m pretty happy with things. Would have liked more hard drive space, though. Having a PS4, I am for the first time making the most of digital downloads. Now I have a rather expansive downloaded library and only three physical games! Won’t be able to do that on the switch at this rate – which is fine, but not great.

    Battery life seems fine to me. it would be difficult to expect much more than that. Besides. My phone would only last a few hours on pokemon go. My WiiU gamepad only lasts a few hours before it needs a charge. I blink and my 3ds seems to need charging again. It’s not gonna be that big a deal. Plus, everywhere you go has plug sockets nowadays, so unless you’re taking the switch for a forest hike, gamers will probably be ok

    I think. 😛


    1. That’s a good point, current handhelds don’t last very long, either, so if that works for most gamers, then the Switch’s battery life should be all right, as well. I guess that’s the trade-off. Older devices lasted much longer on AA batteries, but the cost of said batteries could really add up. Rechargable devices like the Switch and 3DS don’t last as long, but at least you don’t have to buy batteries all the time.

      My biggest issue is the hard drive. I don’t typically run out of hard drive space on my consoles, but the Wii U was the first console I ever had to reconsider getting games for because of the tiny hard drive (and I have the 32 GB version). I wanted to download Child of Light, but I was worried it would take up too much space, so I never got it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not going to be a day-one adopter, as I’m waiting to see what other games become available on it. Zelda and Mario are great, but for me two games aren’t enough to purchase a whole new console over. I think it has a great amount of potential, so I’m hoping a few innovative and interesting games will make the most of its technology and sway me to purchase one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, I can’t justify buying the Switch for two games, especially since I can just buy Zelda for the Wii U. That leaves only one game on the Switch that I would want, which isn’t enough to entice me to spend $300. I, too, think they can do great things with the Switch; it’s just a matter of waiting to see if they do.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As I don’t own a Wii U, I am aiming to get the Switch at launch, mainly for Breath of the Wild, and after that, we’ll see. The console is pricier than I would have liked (well, the console itself is actually the fourth-cheapest ever launched, adjusting for inflation, but the accessories are steep), but a Wii U still isn’t cheap here in the UK, as Nintendo rarely drop the price of their hardware. BOTW is more or less the same price on both consoles, so if I were taking the plunge for the Wii U, I might as well push the boat out a little more for the Switch.


    1. I wish I hadn’t gotten the Wii U and had just waited for the Switch. (Of course, I didn’t know the Switch even existed when I bought the Wii U, so…) Since I spent money on the Wii U, however, I don’t know when I can ever justify buying the Switch. They need to release a lot more interesting games to motivate me to spend money on it. Breath of the Wild (which I can get on the Wii U) and Super Mario Odyssey aren’t really enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am undecided on the open-world Mario games, and Switch or not, may not bother with Odyssey. Mario 64 was good, Sunshine was rubbish and Galaxy… It was kinda ok but not spectacular. I hope Nintendo port Mario Maker to the Switch, but I’m betting they won’t do that this year (won’t want to steal Odyssey’s thunder).


      2. I actually really liked the open-world Mario games myself (I think I’m one of Sunshine’s few fans), so I’m pretty excited about Odyssey. While I want the Switch to succeed, a contradictory part of me hoped there would be no games for it that would interest me because I didn’t want to be tempted to buy it. I don’t think I can afford any new consoles for a while. Must resist.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hard Drive space isn’t going to be an issue in my opinion:
    Unlike the PS4 and Xbox One, you don’t need to install the games to the hard drive for them to run – they just run off the cartridge, which should be fast enough. Cartridges are also small enough to be portable, and no doubt the cases for the Switch will have cartridge pockets.
    Secondly, I find Nintendo games are usually cheaper when bought at a brick-and-mortar store, or go on sale more often at these stores. Nintendo’s really stingy with online game purchases, so they never really go on sale.
    This is in contrast to the Vita, which often has some amazing online sales (I think on average, I’ve spent $10 per game on my vita based on sale prices).


    1. I was wondering how that would work with the games being on cartridges rather than discs. Yeah, that should certainly help with the hard drive issue. I think the main problem would be downloading digital copies of games onto the Switch, though that wouldn’t be a problem for me, either, as I normally prefer physical copies of games anyway. I think I’ve noticed that, too, with online games. Nintendo games never seem to go down in price, whereas I’ve gotten PS3 games for $10 by buying them on Amazon. Weird…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As a Nintendo fan, I would have pre-ordered the Switch with or without a good reason at launch… which I did. I already have a Wii U and could have just as easily played Breath of the Wild there, but I already set aside the funds and pulled the trigger the moment pre-orders went live.

    The 32gb HD is concerning for folks doing a lot of digital downloads, but at least microSD cards are cheap enough and Nintendo didn’t go all Vita and do the proprietary thing. Still sucks as an additional cost. For what it’s worth, I never once filled my 32gb Wii U HD since I always bought physical copies of games. But Wii games can be a little big in size, so Virtual Console purchases can certainly add up.

    Even if Nintendo lacks third-party support and Switch ends up as another Wii U situation, at least I’m fortunate enough to have a PS4, 3DS, Vita, etc., with plenty of games to play between the big Switch releases. It seems like a great secondary system. With the option to play games on the go, however, I may find myself buying cross-platform games on Switch over PS4 for that exact reason. Even if they’re release considerably old games, like Skyrim, I’d be interested in having those options on the go. Skyrim could easily make a lengthy road trip fly by (with a car charger, of course!).


    1. I was lucky with my Wii U that I only got physical copies of current games, and the only Virtual Console games I got were SNES or N64, so they took up minimal space. As much as I want to stay current with Nintendo consoles like I used to, I don’t think I can justify the costs anymore. I just don’t buy enough Nintendo games anymore to make another console worth it, plus I don’t typically play handheld games, so that aspect of the Switch isn’t as appealing to me, either. It’s interesting that you say the Switch seems like a good secondary system, and it makes sense. It’s not as powerful as its competitors, so it doesn’t seem like a proper main console, but it has enough cool features that it has its own unique role to play.


      1. That’s how I felt about the Wii U and Wii. Both offered unique experiences that only Nintendo can deliver, but there were so many other games that caught my interest they just didn’t offer on either console. I don’t see Switch being any different.


      2. For me, the Wii U was not even so much a secondary console as it was simply a convenient way to record Nintendo games for Youtube. It’s just disappointing it lacked the capabilities to play GameCube games. That’s the only gap in my recordable Nintendo options (until the Switch’s release, anyway). At least I do intend to spend a substantial time with Breath of the Wild on the Wii U. That’ll be the first Wii U game I play to completion in years.


      3. I still have both Zelda remasters and Xenoblade to play through and I’m currently going through Paper Mario Color Splash to try and chisel away at the backlog before the Switch releases. I didn’t spend a TON of time with the Wii U over the last 12 months but recently knocked out Tokyo Mirage Sessions the other day.


      4. I have a few unfinished games on the Wii U, as well, but for whatever reason, I never had the motivation to play them through to the end. I got stuck at the final world in New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, and then I gave up a decent ways into Hyrule Warriors when I couldn’t progress any farther. And for whatever reason, I just didn’t feel like playing much of the new Super Smash Bros. I guess after amassing a huge collection of trophies in Melee and Brawl, I just didn’t feel like doing it all over again on the Wii U.

        Liked by 1 person

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