All the way back on September 23, 1889, Nintendo was founded by a gentleman by the name of Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, Japan (that means Nintendo is celebrating 130 years of being in business this year). But I know what you're thinking, and no, Nintendo in 1889 is not the same as Nintendo 2019. They did not have electronic gaming devices in 1889 like they do now in 2019. The types of games being played differed greatly from 1889 and now. Hanafuda are handmade, playing cards of Japanese origin. Instead of using numbers, the cards were often decorated with animals, flowers, and other artwork. Hanafuda is how Nintendo got its start. Even after 130 years, Nintendo is still going strong in the gaming industry, granted a different type of gaming, but gaming nonetheless.
Let me hit y'all with a little nostalgia. The very first gaming console I remember playing was the Atari. My brother had gotten it from our cousins because they were upgrading to a new system. I remember playing Pong, Pitfall, and a racing game [I forget the name of it]. But the first gaming system I remember getting super excited about was the NES or Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt and Track Meet [with the giant pad you used to run and jump over hurdles]. I remember that you had to blow into the end of the cartridge to make it magically work again. I remember having to sometimes stack another cartridge on top of the cartridge you wanted to play because the mechanism holding the game down wasn't working properly. Hell... "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A." Contra, baby! Nintendo was my childhood; I'm positive Nintendo was to a lot of adults what tablets are to children today.
Throughout the years, Nintendo has been able to stay with the ever changing gaming and technology industries. The original Nintendo Game Boy, Super Nintendo Entertainment System (we just called it the Super), Virtual Boy, Nintendo 64, the many iterations of the Game Boy, Game Cube, the many iterations of the Nintendo DS, Wii, 3DS, and the Wii U. Nintendo has been doing very well for many years. And now we get to the Nintendo Switch.
First released on March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch has gone on to become one of the more popular gaming consoles available (even though it's in direct competition with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One).
The Nintendo Switch bills itself as a hybrid console allowing the user to play 3 modes in one: TV mode, tabletop mode, and handheld or portable mode. According to nintendo.com, "Nintendo Switch is designed to fit your life, transforming from home console to portable system in a snap." These capabilities allow the Switch to stand apart from the competition (both the PS4 and Xbox One are stationary; can only be played in "TV mode"). Just as the names imply, TV mode allows the user to connect the docking station to a TV and play as you would any other console, tabletop mode allows the user(s) to detach the controllers and use the tablet as a monitor, and handheld mode allows the user to pick up the entire console [with controllers attached] and not miss a beat. If you're a gamer on the move, the portable Nintendo Switch, really is the most convenient console.
Play features include being able to choose your control style. Depending on the game you're playing, you can choose to use only one controller or both, play with the orientation vertical or sideways, and with the controller attached to or detached from the console. You have the capability to host a Nintendo Switch party with your friends and family by linking up to 8 systems wirelessly. You can also take your talents online and face off against opponents from across the street or across the globe. As always, different games offer different options; not every game is compatible with all available features.
Other system features include access to the Nintendo eShop. Here you can shop for the latest games as well as some of the classics. You can also get the latest DLC or downloadable content. From nintendo.com, "get the latest game updates, announcements, and more with this up-to-date news feed." Why go anywhere else for your gaming news (other than VPP Gaming Network, of course!)? You can also capture screenshots on your console using the Capture Button. After saving your favorite screenshots, you can view, edit, and share them to social networks.
The Nintendo Switch features the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls mobile app. With this app, parents can control just about anything and everything their children have access to on the Switch.
Parents can download the app from both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. According to the Nintendo website, "You can set limits on how long or how late the Nintendo Switch console can be used each day. When the time limit has been reached, an alarm notification will pop up on-screen.... When setting up your parental controls, you can choose from pre-set age categories for faster setup. Or, you can set custom options based on the age of your child. This way, only games that are appropriate for the age you select can be played on your system. (Parents may override this using their PIN). ... You may also choose to “whitelist” specific games, excluding them from the Parental Controls Restricted Software setting. (Be sure your Nintendo Switch is updated to version 5.0.0 or latest, and your Nintendo Switch Parental Controls App is updated to version 1.5.0 or latest for this feature.).... You may also set restrictions on who can make Nintendo eShop purchases via your Nintendo Account settings." This truly does allow parents to have better control of the content their children are exposed to.
Nintendo, as a whole, is home to over 2000 games (and forever growing). Often times, you find games and/or franchises that are exclusive to certain gaming consoles. For instance, the Halo and Gears of War franchises are found exclusively on Xbox and the God of War and Infamous series' are only for the PlayStation. Nintendo is no different. Quick, what is the first game/franchise/character that comes to mind when someone says 'Nintendo?' If you didn't automatically say Mario (and/or Luigi) and Pokemon, then you friend, have been living under a rock for the past 30 years. Okay, so not everyone is a gamer; I get it. But I'll be willing to bet everyone has at least an idea of who Mario and Luigi are and what Pokemon is/are. Super Mario Bros. is what truly put Nintendo on the map as a gaming juggernaut. Other franchises found exclusively on the Nintendo consoles include: Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, and Kirby [among many others]. Yes, that means that in order to play any of those games, you need to get yourself a Nintendo console (preferably the Switch). You can get a Nintendo Switch by visiting the official Nintendo website [here].
The website does a great job of breaking down their games into distinct genres, making searching for a certain type or title so much easier. Genres include: Indie games (with titles such as 'Overcooked 2,' 'My Friend Pedro,' 'Stranger Things 3: The Game,' and 'Ape Out'), Spooky Fun ('Luigi's Mansion 3,' 'Mario + Rabbids Kingdon Battle,' and 'Moonlighter'), Chills and Thrills ('Dead by Daylight,' the Resident Evil franchise, 'The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season,' and 'Dark Souls: Remastered'), and Great Role-playing Games ('Fire Emblem: Three Houses,' 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,' and 'Final Fantasy VII') among many others. You'll have to check out the website and see for yourself what other genres Nintendo has to choose from.
Currently, you can purchase the 'classic' Nintendo Switch and/or the Nintendo Switch Lite. What is the difference you ask? As you read above, the Nintendo Switch has three different play modes: TV mode (connect docking station to TV), tabletop mode (detach controllers and play on small screen), and handheld mode (play with controllers attached). Nintendo Switch Lite only has one play mode: handheld, meaning the controllers cannot be detached from the screen. Although both consoles are technically portable, the Lite is only available as a portable console. Because of this, the dimensions of each console are different; overall, the Switch Lite is just slightly smaller than the 'classic' Switch. The 'classic' Switch has a touch screen of approximately 6.2 inches, whereas, the Lite has a touch screen of approximately 5.5 inches. Also, because the Switch Lite is a handheld device only, it is only compatible with Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode. For example, in order to play Mario Party (which does not support handheld mode), you would need to get wireless controllers and connect them to the Lite anyway. The Switch includes a docking station and HDMI that allows the user to connect to a TV; the Lite is not compatible with the Nintendo Switch dock and does not support output to a TV (dock and cable not included). Other features the Lite doesn't offer are the IR Motion Camera and HD Rumble. Those features are only available with the Joy-Con controllers [which are not included with the Lite]. Although there is a slight price difference [only about $100).... if you're looking for a console that is strictly for someone on-the-go, the Nintendo Switch Lite is the perfect fit. If you're looking for a console you can dock and connect to a larger screen TV, it doesn't get much better than the original Nintendo Switch.