What did we learn about the Nintendo Switch from Jimmy Fallon’s show?

Jimmy Fallon got his hands on the new Nintendo Switch console on The Tonight Show; here's what he discovered

Not since Nigel Farage opened his gift-wrapped Brexit referendum result has a grown man looked so much like a hyperactive five-year-old on Christmas morning as Jimmy Fallon playing the new Zelda on the Nintendo Switch. “I’m geeking out right now!” he yelled as Nintendo US president Reggie Fils-Aimé lifted a large yellow Mario mystery box to reveal the new Nintendo machine, having already screamed his way through a level of Mario’s smartphone debut Super Mario Run like someone who’s never seen pixels in formation before.

But apart from the fact that Fallon greets a new Zelda game like most people greet a lottery win or long-lost twin, what did we learn from his few minutes fiddling with the Nintendo Switch, designed as both console and hand-held device? Here’s the skinny…



It’s sleeker than the Wii U

The Wii U is already a cross-breed of mobile and console gaming, with game elements playable on both the big screen or the controller tablet. The Nintendo Switch helps delineate the experience better though – you can play on screen with a traditional hand-held controller or pull the console itself from its casing and use it as a tablet-style portable gaming machine. Fallon’s hands-on session revealed how much user-friendlier the new system is than the Wii U’s unwieldy mattress of a controller; it has the look and dimensions of an iPad which, compared to all previous hand-held consoles, will make it far less embarrassing to use on the tube.


It’s seamless

The Switch’s official trailer seemed to revel in the amount of socket plugging, kickstand raising, controller fiddling and general twatting about you had to do in order to switch between the console’s various uses. Faff central, from the look of it, but Fallon’s preview proved that it’s a pretty seamless crossover. In the age of ‘not actual game footage’ you can never trust the advert’s instantaneous switch between screen and tablet when you pull out the console, but so it was in Fallon’s studio – from widescreen blockbuster to fiddly notebook in a blink.


There’s no giant leap in graphics

Nintendo is settled very comfortably in its niche of relatively flat, family-friendly cartoon confections, so we were hardly expecting gritty, photo-real slaughter scenes here. Still, the impressive-but-not-quite-Fallout 4 Zelda footage that Fallon played didn’t unveil much of a next-gen improvement in the Nintendo visual experience. And surely that’s the next great step for Nintendo – games that leap out of the screen at you.


It’s a revolution in micro-consoles

Arguably the most impressive thing about the Nintendo Switch is that all of its major workings are contained in a tiny package compared to Sony and Microsoft’s almighty bricks. While we’ll have to wait for the spec reveal on January 12 to find out how much horsepower they’re packing into such a slim machine, the Switch undoubtedly throws down the gauntlet to Nintendo’s rivals to cram more meat into their crates in future, or make meaner, leaner machines.


Jimmy Fallon would wife Zelda

I mean, how much did he cream himself over running up a hill and killing two Bokoblin? Get a room…


Reactions to the preview varied in excitement. This guy lost his balls.



This guy, not so much.