Switch Gaming in Libraries

Nintendo’s newest system, the Switch, was released this year, and libraries with gaming consoles for programs should take notice.

The Switch has had a very successful early start, outselling its predecessor the Wii U and beating Nintendo’s own estimates.  Nintendo’s stock value has jumped significantly due to its success, and it’s currently the hot thing in the console gaming market, despite the fact that the number of games available is still fairly limited.

For those unaware, the Switch is marketed as a hybrid console – both a handheld and a TV-based console in one.  Players can seamlessly put their Switch into a dock connected to a TV and resume playing where they left off, either detaching the “Joy-Con” controllers on the sides of the unit or using a separate Bluetooth controller.  In addition to traditional buttons, Joy-Con have motion controls as well, similar to the Wii’s, and many games take advantage of that.  Multiple Joy-Con and controllers can be synced to the same Switch, and while online play is available, there are many great in-person multiplayer titles that lend themselves well to Library programs.  Libraries with Wiis or Wii Us may want to trade up – by permanently securing the Switch in its dock and downloading all games so that switching between them is an easy process, setting up a play kiosk in a Teen or Children’s area is relatively easy.

Several games are currently available that would be good for multiplayer in a Library setting:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – A feature-packed incarnation of the Wii U version, and always a good choice for local multiplayer.
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 3 – Based on the old series “You Don’t Know Jack,” this collection of multiplayer games is very well regarded.
  • Snipperclips – Solve puzzles cooperatively in this sleeper hit.
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris – A combination of two classic puzzle games
  • ACA NeoGeo games and Ultra Street Fighter II – Faithful ports of classic fighting games are currently available for download on the Switch. Additional classics will be coming on the upcoming Virtual Console, but as of this writing, few details are known about it.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – While this is a single-player experience (and a very long and involved one, to boot), it is also the best-reviewed game on the system (and indeed, one of the best-reviewed games of all time…)
  • Minecraft Switch – Yes, there’s a version of this for Switch, too…
  • 1-2-Switch – A title meant to showcase what the Switch’s Joy-Con can do – very focused on multiplayer, but not terribly well-reviewed.

The Switch retails for 299.99, a price that will get you the unit, a dock, a charger, HDMI cable and two Joy-Con.  Additional controllers are pricey, however, with Joy-Con running 79.99 per pair and a Pro Controller costing 69.00.  While the Switch has 32 GB of storage, it can be expanded via micro-SD cards, and considering the file size of games nowadays, that will become essential quickly.

A few libraries have already adopted Switch gaming:

  • North Tonawanda, NY – http://www.ntlibrary.org/2017/03/new-borrow-games-for-the-nintendo-switch/
  • Kaukauna, WI – http://www.kaukaunalibrary.org/event/nintendo-switch-play
  • Perry, OH – http://www.perrypubliclibrary.org/content/nintendo-switch-coming-april-12th
  • Salt Lake City, UT – https://www.facebook.com/events/1899239053639100/

Share your experiences as well!

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