The Nintendo Switch is already shaping up to be one of the most disruptive gadgets in recent years.
We can’t reveal too much about the games we’ve been playing but what we will say is that the hardware itself is brilliant.
However, in the short time we’ve been using the Switch we’ve realised that to make the most of your £300 console and to make sure that it survives day-to-day usage you’re unfortunately going to need to spend a bit extra.
To help add some perspective to the final cost of the Switch, we’ve put together a list of what we think are must-have accessories that’ll make sure your Switch actually works the way you want it to and survives the odd drop or two.
1. MicroSD Card
If you haven’t already heard, the Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB of onboard storage. That’s not very much.
While the physical game cards will only use the Switch’s 32GB for save game files, if you want to actually download your games digitally from Nintendo’s eShop then without one of these you’re going to get frustrated, fast.
Considering Zelda is over 10GB in size it’s not hard to imagine that after a few months you’re going to be struggling to keep more than a couple of games on the Switch at any one time.
Thankfully it comes with a microSD card slot that will support cards up to a staggering 2TB (they don’t exist yet). MicroSD cards are a lot cheaper than they used to be and so you should be able to pick up a 128GB card for about £40.
Price: £20-100+ from Amazon
2. Screen Protector
Now normally a screen protector is just something you would get as a luxury to prevent yourself from staring at that one scratch you got from a set of keys that’s now driving you insane.
Nintendo’s Switch is, not that you need reminding, £300 worth of games console. If Nintendo wants you to start chucking it around on the go you’re going to want to protect that beautiful 6.2-inch screen.
Price: £14.99 from Game.co.uk/Amazon
3. Carrying Case
Now this again might seem self-explanatory but don’t come crying to us when those beloved JoyCons take one trip too many in your backpack and eventually head off to the place in the sky where all Nintendo peripherals go to die.
Yes they’re sturdier than we expected them to be but they are by no means sturdy enough to survive being thrown around your bag day after day.
Also in the week we’ve been using them a deep fear has dawned on us. Break just one of those and that’s £42, break both and you’re looking at an eye-watering £74.99. Buy a case already.
Price: £16.99 from Game.co.uk
4. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
”But I already have a controller?” we hear you cry.
Yes you do, and in fact you have two if you turn each JoyCon controller sideways. However, in our time using it we’ve found that while Nintendo has done a remarkable job creating a controller that can work on the go and at home it’s far from perfect.
Playing Zelda with the JoyCons is not an entirely enjoyable experience. Also while it’s true that we grinned with glee as we turned them sideways and played Mario Kart the JoyCons feel primarily designed for playing outside, when you need something that’s infinitely portable.
So what do you do?
Well what you don’t do is spend another £74.99 on another set of JoyCons. Instead we’d suggest you wait until there’s a cheaper third-party controller available OR invest in the still very-pricey-but-at-least-it’s-cheaper £64.99 on this, the Pro. It’s a joy to use and it does exactly what it say on the tin.
Price: £64.99 from Game.co.uk/Amazon
5. Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip
For reasons known only to Nintendo your brand-new Switch comes with a Grip that will hold the JoyCon controllers but does not have the ability to charge them.
Instead if they run out mid-play you will need to either connect them to the console and play in Portable Mode or just go and make a cup of tea for an hour.
To help fix this problem, they have very helpfully released a Grip that not only holds the JoyCons but will also charge them at the same time. They charge using USB-C, just like the Switch and every other Switch accessory so at least you won’t need to get yourself another cable.
Price: £27.99 from Game.co.uk/Amazon
The Best Gadgets You Can Buy In 2017
Xbox One S
If you own a 4K TV and also own an original Xbox One then the Xbox One S is the console for you. It is quite simply Microsoft’s best Xbox ever, it’s also the cheapest 4K Blu-ray player you’ll be able to buy this side of Christmas. Your games collection will look stunning and if you trade in your old console the relatively small cost shouldn’t sting while you wait for Microsoft’s uber-console Project Scorpio to arrive next year.
Apple iPhone 7
This is Apple’s best iPhone ever, and if we’re honest it’s one of their most innovative devices yet. Its exceptional camera, combined with with a slim, water-resistant body mean that while it's not a leap in design it is a leap in just about everything else. No it doesn't have a headphone jack, but wireless audio is finally ready.
Sky Q as a complete package is the future, not just one single feature.It’s knowing that everything you’ve ever recorded is available in every room. It’s knowing that you can download any recorded show onto your iPad. It’s also knowing that every Sky Q box also doubles as a WiFi hotspot.This is where Sky Q makes sense. This is an all-in-one system, it does literally everything. There’s no switching, no painful tinkering, it all neatly fits together and if there’s one thing us humans like it’s everything working just as it should.
This is Google’s iPhone. It’s that simple. As such there are achievements and compromises. If you’re after an incredibly well-built, powerful Android flagship, Google have given you a truly five-star smartphone. If you’re a photographer, the Pixel’s camera and cloud storage option make this a no brainer. This is Google's first 'made by us' smartphone and it's absolutely brilliant.
Hive Active Heating 2 Review
If your boiler is compatible and you’re willing to spend the initial £249 (including installation) then Hive is one of the most complete smart home systems we’ve ever seen. While Nest offers third-party accessories like Philips Hue, Hive almost fights back by keeping things simple: If it’s got the Hive logo on it you know it works. Components are reasonably priced and the entire system has been utterly rock solid, we haven’t had a single issue since installation.
Amazon Echo works best when you have other gadgets that it can utilise such as Hive, Nest or Philips Hue. On its own its an incredibly smart speaker, paired with these other gadgets though and it becomes the fully fledged conduit to your home. It’s also really good at doing homework. Alexa really is the first gadget we actually felt comfortable talking to.
Roli Lightpad Block
Don't be alarmed by its alien appearance. This is actually one of the most innovative music-making gadgets we've used all year. A large transparent gel-like surface is both touch and pressure sensitive allowing you to create music in a way that's both utterly unique and incredibly intuitive. The accompanying app is properly easy to use and once mastered the Lightpad can become the only tool you need to create an entire song.
Apple Watch Series 2
The Series 2 is the complete package. It’s the smartwatch that we feel Apple always wanted to make. It’s a fitness tracker, health monitor and wellness device that’ll help you stay fit and, just as importantly, calm in mind.
BeoPlay A2 Active By B&O Play
At £299 this is not a cheap option, however for that money you’ll get a product that’s just as happy being your main living room speaker as it is keeping you company on a road trip. The sound quality is truly room-filling and at the high standard you would expect for a Bang & Olufson product. The A2 Active is quite simply one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is powerful but won’t run out of battery, beautiful yet able to work underwater and capable of transporting you to alien worlds through the medium of virtual reality. If there’s a product that encapsulates all the of the best technologies on offer today it’s this one. Oh and it won't catch fire, so that's nice.
At the moment, if you own a PS4 and are desperately excited to get into virtual reality, PlayStation VR is the only place to start. It’s comfortable, gloriously easy to use and when the hardware and software work in harmony it’s an utterly breathtaking experience. Visceral, emotional and yet entirely accessible, it’s a technological marvel.
Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature
Anyone who wants an industry-leading sound but without the usually eye-watering price tag. Yes, these are £699, but when you think that the average audiophile will spend upwards of £1000 on a pair of HiFi-quality headphones these make every bit of sense. They’re B&W’s best headphones ever and they’re quite frankly one of the best pairs of headphones we’ve ever used.
PlayStation 4 Pro
If you’re looking for an affordable (it costs as much as the original PS4) entry into the world of 4K gaming then the PS4 Pro is a no brainer. Pair it with a 4K HDR TV and games look absolutely astonishing. At present most games are simply being given a new coat of paint but going forward there will be an army of titles designed with this console in mind.
The OnePlus 3T is simply a continuation of the ethos that makes OnePlus phones so good. It’s exceptionally well-built, powerful and offers you everything you could want in an affordable and meaningful package. No smartphone will give you more value for money.
Beats by Dre Powerbeats3 Wireless
Beats by Dre
While Apple's AirPods might have got most of the limelight in the post-iPhone 7 world it's actually Apple-owned Beats who have given us the ultimate solution to the lack of a headphone jack.The Powerbeats3 are ultra-portable, durable, wireless headphones that are a doddle to set up and last for days then we’ve found the pair for you. They sound great, they’re comfy, they’re perfect for sports and they last for days. These are very, very good.
TVs are massive these days. They're also really really expensive. The KS9000 then has a very special place in our hearts because at a very sane 49-inches it's the most living room-friendly TV we've seen in recent years. Oh and because it's part of Samsung's flagship range you're still getting probably one of the best 4K TVs on the market.
Sonos Play:5 (2nd Gen)
While it was released in December of 2015, Sonos' newest speaker has played an undisputedly important role in how we consume music in 2016. This was the year of wireless and Sonos continued to show us that when it comes to ditching those wires, they were one of the best.
Withings Activite Pop
This is the anti-fitness tracker of fitness trackers. Boasting a beautifully minimalist design the Pop is all about getting the job done without shouting about it. A simple measurement dial at the bottom shows you varying metrics for how active you're being while Withings' app reveals just how much data is actually being collected. While Fitbit has led the way in Fitness trackers, Withings has been offering even the most resistant consumer a change to start taking better care of themselves./