The Nintendo Switch is rapidly approaching, and information is pouring out all across the internet, revealing every tiny details and tidbit.
The hybrid console is still full of mysteries for the general public, and even us hardcore fans don’t know everything about the Switch — that’s why we’ve put together a handy list for everyone that already knows the basics. This isn’t a breakdown of facts for Switch beginners (you can find something like that right here), this is a deeper look into all those little features most of us don’t know about.
For even more Nintendo Switch info on Gameranx, check out this cute Switch startup Easter egg, or browse all the early info (and launch games) here. Don’t forget to sign-up for a Nintendo Switch account — registration is open now.
#1: Click Into The Switch Sound
Everyone loves that little “snap” click that Nintendo includes in all their marketing material. Well, it’s all over the Switch too. When you slide your Joy-Cons onto the Switch, the console will make that click sound. It’s a great addition, and it’s likely the first thing you’ll notice. It’s still completely awesome, and until now we weren’t sure if Nintendo’s signature Switch sound would actually appear anywhere — outside of maybe console start-up.
#2: More Mii Maker, More Fun
Mii Maker on the Switch has been expanded, giving you a few more ways to customize your Miis. The Miiverse might be well and truly dead, but you ca still share your Miis — and make them even weirder. There are many, many more colors to select for your hair, eyes, lip color, and eyebrows.
#3: Switch, Enhance!
Everyone knows about the Switch is easy to play anywhere thanks to the dock mechanic. By plugging the Switch into the dock, you can both charge and share your experiences on the TV screen like a traditional console. There’s also a bump in HD quality when docked — when mobile the Switch outputs at 720p, and when docked outputs at an upgraded 1080p.
#4: Sleep Mode Is Super Efficient
The battery life of the Nintendo Switch isn’t exactly amazing — with heavy-duty games, it’s reported to last only a handful of hours. That’s disappointing, but the sleep mode is extremely efficient. A brand new Switch only loses 2% battery life after 8 hours in sleep mode. That’s impressive, and that means you can travel with a Switch and not worry about draining the battery.
#5: Never Lose Progress Again
Speaking of battery life, if the battery on the Nintendo Switch runs out, it will automatically save your game before closing. Perfect for all us sleepy bed-time gamers, or for everyone that forgets to check the (relatively short) battery life on taxing games. Make sure you charge the Switch battery again before turning it back on though!
#6: Recharge On-The-Go
The Joy-Cons will charge when slotted into the Switch, even when it isn’t plugged in. When plugged-in or docked, you’ll charge both the Joy-Cons and the Switch console, but you can also recharge the Joy-Cons on-the-go if your Switch console has enough juice left.
#7: Watch Your Charge
While we’re on the subject of charging, here’s another tiny tidbit — when the Switch is docked, the charging icon is perfectly displayed for you to see. It peaks out from the docking station, so you’ll always know when the Switch is charging, and for how long. Plug your Joy-Cons into the side while docked and you’ll be able to see when everything is ready for a trip to your friend’s place.
#8: External USB Batteries Are Confirmed
Even more energy-efficient news — external USB battery packs are compatible with the Nintendo Switch. If you’re worried about the battery life and want to extend your gameplay sessions out in the wild blue yonder. Just make sure you get a battery pack with at least 15 volts, or it won’t charge fast enough to keep playing. Most packs are only good enough to charge your Switch when turned off or in sleep mode.
#9: Automatically Download From Anywhere
You can download any digital games on the fly, remotely. After logging into the eShop and your Nintendo Switch for the first time, you can purchase digital games from Nintendo.com and have them download automatically to the Nintendo Switch anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.
#10: Spread The Wealth
Here’s another handy change on the Switch; due to the new Nintendo Accounts, your eShop funds are now shared between the WiiU, the 3DS, and the Switch. If you already have money on the 3DS or WiiU, you can transfer your funds to the Switch, all you have to do is link your Nintendo Network ID to your My Nintendo Account.
#11: Share Your Screenies
You can do more than just take screenshots with the new share button, you can also edit! Okay, maybe “edit” is a strong word here, but you can add your own text to any picture you take. It’s extremely easy, and can be done from the Album tab in the Home Screen. After writing text, you can place it, resize it, turn it sideways, change the color — all that good stuff.
#12: Region-Locked No More
Nintendo Switch games are not region-locked. This practice has been common for Nintendo, but they’re finally loosening the grip on regions and allowing NA players to purchase and play JP games. No need to mod, alter, or trick your Switch. Any imported game will work, no matter where you’re from. That’s good news for fans of smaller Japanese games that don’t get official releases in the west.
We’ll add even more interesting tid-bits and life-enhancing features as we discover them! Got your own? Let us know in the comments!