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Should parents buy their children a Nintendo Switch?

POSTED: March 11, 2017 7:13 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

Video game fans across the country lined up outside Target, Walmart and Gamestop today all for the sake of one thing — the Nintendo Switch. But will families embrace the system?

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Video game fans across the country lined up outside Target, Walmart and Gamestop today for one thing — the Nintendo Switch.

But will families embrace the system?

The new console, which launched Friday in stores nationwide, isn’t available online, which has forced people to head to their closest Best Buy or Target to pick up their system, USA Today reported.

It’s also the reason so many people preordered the device, according to The Verge.

You can find your own Nintendo Switch by contacting your local tech store.

The system, which costs $299.99 on its own (there are bundles available), drew mixed reviews on Friday, according to The New York Times' roundup of critical reviews.

For example, The Seattle Times said Nintendo “needs to make a hit” with the new console if it wants to rebound from previous failures with its Wii-U device.

The system already finds itself in a corner, according to The Seattle Times, as it’s purely a gaming console without Netflix or app capabilities.

It comes at a time when people find gaming in other places, like their mobile devices. After all, a survey from the NPD Group found that 63 percent of children play games on their phones rather than through PCs or video game consoles.

That’s why Ian Sherr, a writer for the tech website CNet, isn’t sure whether his child will love the Nintendo Switch in the same way he enjoyed his own Nintendo system when he was young.

Sherr wrote that he looks back fondly on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Nintendo video game console that rose to popularity in the mid-1980s. (It’s so big today, in fact, Nintendo launched the Nintendo Classic console, a mini-version of the NES, to appease cult followers of the NES device.)

Sherr said he played his original NES system for hours without end.

Now, almost 30 years later, he has his own son. He’s worried his son won’t like the Nintendo console as much as Sherr enjoyed the NES.

“I'm looking at the likely device my son might use when he's ready to start playing his own games in a few years,” Sherr wrote.

There are some qualities of the Switch that excite Sherr, like the fact that it has some mobile-esque games included with the device. He’s just unsure if the Nintendo console has the staying power to hook his son, who’s still a few years away from gaming.

Opinions aside, Nintendo has worked to make its new device family-friendly. According to the Phone Arena, the new Switch has an iOS and Android app that explains to parents standard behavior when it comes to letting their children play games online.

In fact, the video includes Bowser and his son Bowser Jr., who talk about the Switch Parental Controls app, which allows parents to control how much time their children spend on the app.

“While other consoles require you to set up these restrictions on the console itself, Nintendo has taken it a step further by allowing parents to bypass the Switch altogether and manage gameplay from a mobile device,” Nintendo Wire explained.

These controls — especially the idea of letting parents control how long their children plays — should make for “a lot less stress,” wrote Andy Robertson for Pocket-Lint.

The system also comes packed with family-friendly games at an affordable price, Robertson wrote.

Less money, less stress and more fun games mean an overall better experience for the family, the website explained.

“On balance the Switch is a very exciting proposition for families,” Robertson wrote. “Not only does it have a great line-up of exclusive games, but the new controllers and ways to play will excite gamers of all ages. It offers innovative ways to play and does so with a streamlined approach that is both well thought through and excellently delivered. Add to this ... top notch parental controls and this is a system likely to be in high demand by mums, dads and their children.”
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