Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo Switch for backpacking: to buy or not to buy?

The Switch is the obvious choice when it comes to traveling with a gaming console due to its relatively compact size and portable nature. The idea of sinking hours into Skyrim on a plane seems very attractive to me. A good RPG can become a mental time machine; you look up real quick and five hours have passed before you know it. This could mean a much easier travel experience when it comes to wasting time in between destinations.


I decided NOT to buy a Switch, and here's why:

  1. Above all else, it was going to take up too much room in my bag (which has no extra room to begin with). Then you add a charger and accessories. I would’ve had to dedicate more than half of my daypack to it. This is real estate I can't afford to lose.

  2. A bit of research showed that the battery life is roughly 3 hours of gameplay. That's too short of a time for me, and carrying around an extra power bank to extend it further proves the first point.

  3. The Switch isn't crazy pricey (~$300), but it's an extra piece of tech that could get lost/stolen. Even if nothing happens, I would worry about the possibility. This is mental real estate I can't afford to lose.

  4. Now here comes the eye-roller: lugging a Nintendo Switch around the world wouldn't add to my "personal growth": I’m far more likely to miss out on life with my face buried in a game (e.g., meeting people / seizing opportunities / ignoring natural beauty).

Instead, I chose to stick with my Kindle. Reading is something I wish I would do more, playing video games isn't. Now don’t get me wrong: I love and will always love me some good ole vidja games, but the Kindle's multi-week battery life and tiny size is what drove it to snatch that W and join me on my travels.

TL;DR - Thought about buying a Switch, but stuck with my Kindle instead.

- Embry