My wife was never really into video games — until I bought a Nintendo Switch.
- I purchased a Nintendo Switch in March 2017, and haven't looked back since.
- It's easily my favorite Nintendo console ever made.
- It's also converted my wife, who was previously not a fan of video games before we purchased a Switch.
I've owned the Nintendo Switch for almost two years now, but I was smitten in the first two weeks.
The Nintendo Switch was my favorite piece of tech in all of 2017, but my love for the console has only deepened in 2018. It's easily my favorite Nintendo console ever.
It's not perfect by any means, but this unusual piece of hardware has already changed the way I live, and it has brought me closer to my wife, who was never into modern game consoles before the Switch's arrival.
Here's what I mean:
On Friday, March 3, I picked up my Nintendo Switch from Best Buy — with a copy of "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," of course — before heading home from work.
I preordered the Switch the night it was announced. I'm a longtime Nintendo fan, and I followed rumors about Nintendo's mysterious "NX" console for years. I believed Nintendo would correct many of the mistakes it made with the underwhelming Wii U, a game console I bought and, sadly, returned a year later.
When I got home with the Switch on that first night, I couldn't wait to set up the console. My fiancée (now wife) was less excited at first. She didn't play video games nearly as much as I did, and she hadn’t heard much about the Switch — but that changed as soon as we turned on the console.
The ability to create a customizable avatar changed my fiancée's mind on the Switch almost immediately.
Everything about the Switch experience is user-friendly. My wife loved being able to create two separate accounts — she customized hers to her liking, with an avatar and background color — so we could each play games at our own pace.
In all honesty, she wanted the two of us to create a single profile on the Switch, but since I wanted to have my own "Zelda" adventure, she was nice enough to accommodate my selfish desires.
As soon as we set up our user profiles, I handed my fiancée the controller and told her I wanted her to play the new "Zelda" first. In my world, this is the purest expression of love I can give.
I've always tried to get my fiancée into video games, especially 3D ones with complex controls like "Destiny," but "Zelda" was the first game to break through to her. She absolutely loved playing "Zelda" that first night and didn't stop playing for nearly a year. She got hooked, just like I did.
Here's my wife playing through the beginning of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild."
The best part is that my wife played this game completely differently than I did. When "Breath of the Wild" opens up after the first area and you can fully explore the massive world, I headed east, while she headed west. We took turns exploring totally different regions of this beautiful, fantastic world and sharing our experiences and tips with each other.
We also helped each other along the way. I'm woefully bad at finding nearby shrines, but my wife somehow always knows exactly where I need to go and helps me get there. On the flip side, she prefers puzzles and exploration to the game's combat, so I'll assist if she needs help fighting a difficult enemy. Teamwork!
That first full weekend with the Nintendo Switch, my wife and I hardly watched any movies or shows — any time on the couch or in front of the TV was spent playing "Zelda."
That has been many of our nights lately, too.
But our enjoyment of the Switch hasn't been all about "Zelda" — trying the new hardware has been an equally great experience.
My wife loves playing exclusively on the TV, but on nights when she's fallen asleep on the couch, I'll remove the Switch from its dock, plug in a pair of headphones, and play quietly on the couch next to her.
I don't feel like I'm getting a diminished version of the Nintendo Switch when it's in portable mode — in some ways, the game performs even better, and it feels like a more intimate experience.
My wife taking to the Nintendo Switch is the ultimate endorsement — not just because she didn't normally play video games otherwise, but because she doesn't recommend something just because she likes it. For example, earlier that week when the Switch came out, we went to see the excellent movie "Get Out" for my birthday. We both had a great time, but when I asked my fiancée if she'd recommend it to friends, she said, "Not necessarily."
Her rationale: While she enjoyed the movie, she wasn't sure if the experience was worth the ticket price or rushing to go see it. It will be just as good when it's available to stream online. (I disagreed, but respected her opinion.)
When I asked her the same question about the Nintendo Switch, though — Would you recommend it? — her answer surprised me: "Yes. You should spend whatever it takes."
I challenged her on this: "You really believe everyone should buy the Nintendo Switch, even though the only game worth buying for it right now is 'Zelda'? You wouldn't recommend waiting until later in the year for more games and a potential price drop?"
Her response: "No, everyone should buy it right now."
My wife wasn't joking about her full-throated recommendation of the Switch, which is crazy to me since it takes a lot for her to recommend something and she's by no means a "gamer." But she still thinks everyone should get it.
She prefers using the traditional Joy-Con over Nintendo's Pro Controller — again, my preferences are different — but she always talks about wanting to play more "Zelda." Even now, over a year and a half later, she still wants to jump back into the world of "Zelda." Considering how long we've been together, I find this eagerness to play a video game a revelatory development.
So you can see why I'm a fan of the Switch. "Zelda" alone is worth the price of admission — it's a timeless game anyone can enjoy — and the Switch hardware is extremely viable both as a living-room console and a portable device.
And the games just keep coming. We've had a great time with Nintendo's first-party games like "Zelda," "Super Mario Odyssey," and "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," but we've also enjoyed our fair share of third-party indie games, like "Hollow Knight." Up next: "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," which arrives in December.
I'm wowed by the little things Nintendo got right, like the fast boot-up and the simple and intuitive interface that gets out of the way. It's a smart piece of hardware that works very much — dare I say it — like an Apple product. It works the way you'd think a game console like this should work, and it feels like a magical experience.
It also feels like the Nintendo Switch is just getting started.
Even though it's less than two years old, the Switch has amassed an impressive library of games, and it's a hit at parties, too. Being able to play party games like "Jackbox" and "Monopoly" is super fun and intuitive; Nintendo clearly built this console for groups of people to share the controllers and have a laugh together.
Like I mentioned earlier, it's not perfect by any means — the controllers lack headphone jacks, and I've avoided using the Switch in tabletop mode because of its flimsy kickstand and bottom-facing USB port — but I'm guessing Nintendo will release new-and-improved hardware in a couple of years, as the company has done in the past (think: Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS).
Based on what I've experienced so far, I'm confident the Switch is going to deliver great experiences for years to come. It's a worthy investment if you can get your hands on one.