What parents need to know about the Nintendo Switch

What parents need to know about the Nintendo Switch

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What parents need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch launched earlier this month to a ton of fanfare and sales. Gamers are buying the console so quickly that many of the major retailers can’t keep up with the demand.

But what about families? Is the Nintendo Switch something that parents need to hurry up and buy? Let’s take a look some things I think will help you decide.

Cost and what you get for your money

The Nintendo Switch retails at $299.99. You get the console’s bare essentials, such as a controller, and the cords. You don’t get any games.

Retailers tend of offer bundles that cost more but add value through games and peripherals. GameStop, for example, is currently offering a “starter bundle” that includes a couple games and accessories for $599.

Mobility is the main thing

The Switch’s main selling point: the ability to play the games detached from your TV.

It’s as easy as sliding the Switch into the dock to play on a connected TV or taking the console off the dock to play wherever you choose.

There’s a kickstand on the back of the Switch, and the controllers can be used a couple different ways.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Some of this may sound familiar to people who use Nitendo’s Wii U, which has some of the same functionality. The Switch builds on the Wii U’s mobility and improves it by making the console far more portable and manageable.

What about the games?

The blockbuster game that launched with the Nintendo Switch is “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” the only obvious star in a thin launch lineup.

Mario Kart’s April release will help attract families, and Nintendo does have a long history of developing great first-party games. So you can expect to see all the Mario games eventually make it the Switch.

Franchises such as Minecraft, LEGO and Splatoon are scheduled for release later this year. The one question is if the console will attract game developers, something Nintendo has struggled with.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

It’s way too early to buy

It pains me, a gamer since birth, to say it, but it’s too early to buy the Nintendo Switch if you’re looking to get value from the purchase.

The console has a tremendous upside, but the library of games isn’t great, so you’ll be spending the money now for the promise of games later.

The new Zelda game appears to be as great you should expect from that stellar franchise, but that’s basically it until “Mario Kart.”

Making things worse is that the Switch isn’t backward compatible with previous Nintendo consoles. That means you can’t play any of your Wii U games on the Switch.

So feel free to sit back a few months and wait for more games to release, if you can hold off the gamers in your life.

The new Nintendo Switch game console is displayed at a pop-up Nintendo venue in Madison Square Park, March 3, 2017 in New York City. The Nintendo Switch console goes on sale today and retails for 300 dollars. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Louie Villalobos is a parenting blogger and digital producer for azcentral and allthemoms.com. You can follow him on Twitter @louievillalobos and find his podcast oniTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Just search for “I am your father.”

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