The Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on march 3rd, and Nintendo is pushing the console fairly hard in Japan, not only placing it in the hands of fans during dedicated events, but also making display units available for gamers to look at and touch to their heart content.
Today I got my hands on one of such units at the Sofmap Amusement Store in Akihabara, Tokyo, and was able to grope and observe it for about twenty minutes. Even batter, I managed to take plenty of close-up pictures for your perusal.
The unit I manhandled was a display units with parts of its innards removed, which means that (obviously) it doesn’t function, and it isn’t representative of the final weight of the console, but everything else is the real thing.
In the gallery below, you’ll see a whole lot of pictures of the unit, taken as close as my camera allowed, including the ports, the slot for MicroSD memory cards hidden behind the kickstand, the game card slot (closed and opened), the ventilation holes hiding the fins of the cooling system, the headphone jack, the rails that allow the Joy-Con controllers to slide in place and extract, and every single button, from the ones dedicated to gameplay to the power and volume buttons.
Basically, it’s the full course.
Incidentally, despite the lack of internal components, the unit felt solidly built, a far cry from the toy-like construction of previous Nintendo consoles. It’s also fairly fetching to the sight (despite the tons of fingerprints on the screen, but this was open for everyone to touch, so that’s not really unsurprising).
On the other hand, it’s certainly very big for a portable. The only thing I had handy for the sake of comparison was a PS Vita game case, but it’s certainly large, and the difference in size with PS Vita and 3DS is easily felt.
This might certainly hinder those who would like to use it as their portable of choice for their regular commute, depending on how crowded the vehicle is. I can’t see many using this in Tokyo during rush hour, when you struggle to whip out your smartphone due to the crowd. Yet, if your train is not as packed, it might be more doable, even if less than ideal.
Of course, it’s definitely small enough for less regular portability, like traveling, and on the plus side, the additional finger estate makes it much more comfortable than a PS Vita to hold for those who have big hands like me.
But without further ado, you can check it for yourself below, with a second blue/red unit and Joy-Con charger as a bonus. Unfortunately this one was behind glass, but it’s still nice to see.