The Game Boy you always wanted as a kid, but better.
The ability to play my games on both the TV and on the go is something I didn’t ever really think was possible. The system design cleverly blends a table with conventional gaming controls that several others have tried, and failed. It is easy and very satisfying to “unclick” the controllers from the sides of the tablet portion for use as either individual controllers, or to dock them into the included grip for use as a more conventional controller. Although the controllers are on the smaller side, I have not experienced any discomfort with extended, hours-long play sessions so far. The buttons are easy to differentiate and I did not find myself pressing more than one at a time, etc. Nintendo does make a pro controller for those who want something different, so your mileage may vary.
The tablet itself easily slides into the included docking station and within seconds is displaying game information on the TV. The included HDMI cable (still not a standard inclusion for all media devices these days) is a good length so I was able to connect to the TV with no problems. The included power/USB-C cord was likewise a good length so I didn’t have to compromise on where I stationed the dock. Battery life has been about as expected for a tablet pushing out such high-quality games, and I have not had issues with running out of power, especially since you can charge via USB-C which I use for my phone as well.
On the downside, the lack of apps for streaming video (the system currently has only Hulu which does not work in Canada) and a backward attempt at implementing voice chat for multiplayer games like Splatoon 2 highlight some areas that still need improvement. Nintendo has a track record of lacking a strategy when for the simple things we take for granted as gamers, like online services or being able to easily chat and play with friends.
I’m really happy with the unit and overall it’s a great gaming experience when portable and even with requiring some extras to get going (screen protector, micro SD card, case).
Games look really good, even if the res gets dropped hard in titles like DOOM they got some fancy tricks to make it still look really nice. I mean, a tablet, playing DOOM – that’s awesome.
Should you get one? Easy answer: Look up a list of games for it and if you find a good number of titles that you want/must have then sure, go for it.