Nintendo Switch: Your Questions Answered (Battery Life, Ergonomics, Screen Quality, Etc.)

Earlier this week we asked you, the GameRevolution community, if you have any questions about Nintendo Switch. You didn't waste any time asking great, although sometimes silly questions

Below you will find all the questions and answers.


lordclyde: All the questions I have will probably be answered in the upcoming review. Battery life for the tablet and joy cons, how does the joy con controller feel compared to the pro controller, does Breath of the Wild look and play significantly better/worse than the Wii U version, is the home experience better than the portable experience, etc. I can wait.

GR: The battery life of the screen depends on what you're doing. When performing simple tasks it'll last more than six hours. However, when playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild it can last as few as three hours (yikes).

As far as the Joy-Cons go, during normal use you can expect at least 10 hours of battery time. It should be noted that both Joy-Cons consume battery at different rates, with the left one usually running out of charge much faster than the right.

The Joy-Cons feel surprisingly comfortable in the hands, and that probably means a lot coming for me considering I have a broken left wrist with a massive splint on it. Whether you're using them with or without the Grip, I think you'll be impressed.

Lastly, I prefer the portable experience since it's so different from what the competition offer. There's something incredible about playing full AAA console experiences on a beautiful, and portable 6.2 inch screen. Tablet and smartphone games just can't compare.

wildmario: How do the Joy Cons feel when holding and using them, no matter what the setup is? And does the Switch have an ethernet port?

While they are very lightweight and lack the high build quality you find with competing controllers, they are shaped in a way that I find comfortable in the hands. When used in handheld form the Switch is a lot more comfortable to hold than the Wii U GamePad.

There is no included ethernet port, although there will be a add-on you can buy.

De-Ting:On a full charge, how long does the battery last during non-stop usage? Are there any noticeable differences in quality between the docked and mobile modes?

GR: You're going to get between 3 to 6 hours of battery time from the Screen, and about 10 to 20 hours from each Joy-Con controller. Since the docked mode pushes the hardware to render at 1080p instead of the 720p of handheld mode, performance is strained more when you're playing on a TV. Otherwise, the experience is largely the same outside of the obvious differences.

Starling: Do you feel silly when you hold the whole thing in your hand while someone you know walks in? 😀

GR: "I have an L shaped couch… lower case." -Demitri Martin​

nine_ball: ​How much do the screen and joy cons weigh together? Does it feel too light your hands?

GR: They feel incredibly light and are made out of the same materials as the mid-generation 3DS. I would've preferred if they were more substantial.

R0ADK1LL: ​Does it make you the centre of attention at rooftop parties? OK, actual question: do you notice any performance difference between docked mode & the portable screen? How is the brightness, can you play if there is sunlight around?

GR: The ladies love the Switch. I'm not joking. 🙂

There are definitely performance differences between docked mode and handheld. I'll let the experts evaluate the technical specifics of that, though. Brightness is fantastic, but as with most screens you're going to have some visibility issues in sunlight.

Master_Craig: These questions have probably already been answered, but I gotta ask… how does the Switch feel when you're using it? Is it more comfortable than the Wii U's game pad (please say yes)? Have you tried playing the Switch as a hand held, and also tried playing it as a traditional console? How does Breath of the Wild look? Are you going to be sending me that Switch when you're done with it? 😛

GR: I like the shape of the controllers. It feels a lot better to hold than the Wii GamePad, that I can tell you. I've tried in equal balance of both docked and handheld mode and I prefer using it as a handheld.

Breath of the Wild is very pretty, and actually reminds me of The Witness (more on that tomorrow). While I can't send you my Switch, I will send you my highest regards for your recent deadlift milestone.

Mark W. Butler: Should I wait until after I turn on the system for the first time (and I'm assuming it updates for the first time) before I insert my MicroSDX card? Is it ok to just put it in before I power on for the first time? Yes, it's a stupid question, but with my luck if I do it wrong my switch will blow up and kill me and my amiibo.

GR: I can't say for sure, but I have no reason to believe that having the card plugged in during boot would be an issue. If it is an issue, it'll make headlines in no time.

Jrodsmrs51: I just want to clarify, if I wanted to bring the just tablet part with me when going away for a weekend, there is a charger I can bring, right? Like I don't have to bring the dock with me to charge the tablet?

GR: The Dock and Screen use the same power cable, which can be a bit of a nuisance when you need to pull the power cable out behind your entertainment center. But at least you have an option for charging and powering the screen individually when needed.

BigTruckSeries: Where's the killer app gameplay?

GR: Here you go.

PENGUINOFGOTHAM: my question is do physical games take up any memory and if it does how much space will it take up more or less then a digital copy i need to know this to decide if i should buy disc or digital i want whatever gonna take up the less memory even tho i ordered a 200gb sdxc sandisk card thanks again for answering questions

GR: There is no install for the physical version of Breath of the Wild. Because of this, I can't recommend the digital version.

sli: Like everybody else, I fear the joy-cons are lightweight and feel flimsy, like those Sams*ng phones. Please also compare Switch screen with a typical tablet, such as the nVidia Shield… it sounds like a shit low-res screen by today's standards, and given the WiiU's it does not inspire confidence. Why does the dock block the Switch's screen when TV-playing; it could've been used as a second screen (mini map anyone?) or even just a clock (i.e. Nokia Glance screen) or digital picture frame (not that anybody likes those).

GR: They definitely feel cheap, but at least they're comfortable to hold. I actually prefer the Switch Screen over the Nvidia Shield. It's a huge leap in quality over the Wii U GamePad, and I think most consumers are going to be impressed with it.

kingslayer: How's the battery life? Does it actually play Skyrim like it did in the reveal trailer? What's it's lifespan?

GR: Battery life is decent, although I wish the Screen lasted a bit longer in handheld mode. Skyrim is currently unavailable, so I can't speak to that. We won't know lifespan until a few years from now.

PolloBlaze: How much you want for it? You said ask anything.

GR: Everything.

QZ181: Two questions – 1. Any sort of trophy or achievement system? 2. What is the actual date for the end of the embargo?

GR: Online features are currently unavailable so I'm not sure. The preview embargo dropped today, and the review embargo will end on March 1st at 6:00AM PDT.

Sketch006: Does it blend?

GR: No, but the screen makes a great appetizer plate.

Heath_Hindman: Does Bomberman have microtransactions or not? Internet forum threads can't seem to give me a straight answer. So are they in there or not? And if yes, pay to win or just visual stuff?

GR: Bomberman is currently unavailable, so I'm not sure.

Thanks everyone for asking questions. If you have any questions that come to mind, you can post them in the comments below. As we get closer to launch we will be able to talk about online features and dive deep into software.


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