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Should I Buy a Switch in 2023?

It’s that time of year where we look at what each console has to offer going forward. What is the back catalogue like? How much do you have to look forward to? What is the tech like for today’s shrewd gamer? If you’re looking to buy a new console for Christmas or in the New Year – these are the articles for you. Is it worth buying a Switch in 2023?


The Switch is an absolute mystery. Offering up bundles of Nintendo-themed fun, it is long in the tooth and third-party support is almost always better on the newer consoles.

But the games are there. If you’re happy to put hundreds of hours into individual titles, 2023 is looking like a bumper year. You will have no problem at all filling your time.

The elephant in the room is still the console’s age, its technical output and the distinct possibility that Nintendo could announce a successor at any time.

And so the situation comes entirely down to use-scenario. Want a Nintendo Switch? Know exactly why you want it? Will naff graphics annoy the hell out of you? These are all questions worth answering before you fork over your money.

Switch Games in 2023

The Nintendo Switch games start coming in January and they don’t stop coming for months – and that’s just what has been announced. You can expect the second half of the year to have at least a few surprises.

In January Fire Emblem Engage hits shelves, followed by Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe in February. The Advance Wars remasters could be released at any time.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Pikmin 4 will also be hitting Switch over the coming year.

Now granted, a couple of these are remasters/remakes, so mileage may vary. But Fire Emblem, Legend of Zelda and Pikmin 4 alone are big hitters that’ll keep you busy for hundreds of hours. Equally, if you’re only coming to Switch now, you can add years of titles to the catalogue, including major entries in the Legend of Zelda, Mario, Super Smash and Mario Kart franchises.

Don’t expect major releases from big third-party companies. And if they arrive, they may be only playable over the cloud – meaning you must play them over the internet.

But if the first party stuff is for you – and believe me, you won’t be alone – then you can’t go wrong. With each passing year, the Switch catalogue becomes more attractive – and more expensive. Games don’t really come down in price, so take that into account when you’re looking to buy.

Showing Its Age

But it’s impossible to get away from the fact that the Switch is old now. And it wasn’t particularly snazzy at release.

Yes, its major gimmick is that it is both a console and a handheld, and that covers up a multitude of sins. If you’re the sort of person that likes to play when there isn’t a TV (or internet) around, then the conversation ends here. There’s nothing else for you, short of mobile games or emulation on your phone. Those are viable options, but not particularly sexy underneath the Christmas tree.

Outside of mobile gaming though, the Switch is more than showing its age. It was released in 2017, meaning it’s at the tail-end of its lifespan. While the majority of TVs sold today output in 4k and HDR, Nintendo offer neither. And that’s not just about pretty colours and sharp picture – it doesn’t take much searching to see what graphical compromises have to be made to even get a game on card. That means lower framerates for things happening in the background. It means buggy ports that look like a shadow of what appears on other consoles.

Your ten-year-old will probably be thrilled with Mario and Zelda – especially in light of the upcoming Mario film that’ll be out in the coming year. But he might ask why Fortnite doesn’t look as graphically nice as on his big brother’s PlayStation 5 – or on his phone.

Older kids or those with more discerning tastes should probably hold off. There have been rumours about a new or more powerful Switch for years. This isn’t without its concerns. You might wait and the improved device doesn’t happen, in which case why did you wait? Or it comes out and none of the Switch stuff is compatible with the new device – a genuine concern when it comes to Nintendo.


Should you buy a Nintendo Switch for 2023? The answer is complicated. Unlike the other consoles, which are easy to recommend for their newness, the Switch has one foot firmly placed in the middle of the 2010s.

But that’s no reason not to buy. Switch has a great catalogue, and if you have the cash to splash out on releases new and old, you can’t go wrong. But don’t expect it to last five years. If you buy a console this year, a new one could be up for grabs as soon as next Christmas. And you don’t know whether your purchases will cross over.


Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott