The console war between Xbox and PlayStation has been brewing for years now with each system trying to show its superiority in one way or another. Now, the new “updated” consoles such as Sony’s PS4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox Scorpio (to be released soon) have been marketing a boost in the raw power of the consoles. This mainly revolves around the mainstream thought and pressure that FPS and graphical power are the most important parts of modern games. But while Sony and Microsoft were focused on improving their consoles in that way, Nintendo stood in the background looking to rebound after the relatively unsuccessful Wii U. The result of Nintendo’s hard work and innovation was the highly popular Nintendo Switch.
The Switch’s main selling point was the ability to take it on the go and play anywhere. While some questioned the move away from convention, the public seemed to gravitate to the idea with their money in hand. The launch of the Switch has already proven to be successful, selling nearly 2.4 million systems so far. The Switch has also received some great support for the critically-acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, no doubt helping to sell the console (it worked for me). It has been nice to see that Breath of the Wild, while maybe not the most graphically powerful game, has been successful because of its immersive and addictive gameplay, helping to disprove the stereotype that you only need ultra 4K and 200 FPS to make an amazing game. If you haven’t had the opportunity to play the game just yet, I highly suggest checking it out. It has been one of my favorite games over the past few years, no doubt.
What really sets the Nintendo Switch apart from other consoles, besides the blockbuster hit Zelda, is that the Switch focuses more on the ability to take it on the go and to be able to play anywhere. With a society becoming more and more busy, with a focus of mobility, maybe this system was designed at just the right time for such a busy generation.
The ability to play the Switch on the go appealed to me immediately. Since I’ve started my third year of school, I’ve noticed that I have had less and less time to play the busier my schedule gets. More often than not, most days I spend more time at the hospital than at my apartment. But I thought, if I could take the Switch with me, then maybe I could play during my free time? I wanted to talk about some of the highlights and why I think that the Nintendo Switch is really a perfect match for anyone in the medical field, and maybe even for patients! This is coming from my experience and thoughts since I got the system on day 1.
Imagine being on night float (I know, its a terrible thing to imagine), and you suddenly find yourself with a free hour to relax or catch some shut eye. Sure, you could get some sleep, or maybe even study. Or you could break out the Switch and play some games! I was lucky enough to have my Switch for a 24-hour shift with one of my friends. After we finished at about 9 PM, we decided to take a break before bed. I broke out the Switch and we played some SnipperClips together (again another great game for friends). We had an absolute blast playing and it worked great. We had no trouble seeing it on the screen or using the joy-cons. Going forward into residency, I can see this being great for the more frequent night floats. Its great to bond with fellow classmates or maybe even help break the ice with some new classmates!
That Random Free Time During the Day
Okay, yes, this seems super vague and random, but come on, you all have had this before! A lecture finishes early and you have an hour and half before the next. Or a surgery finishes and you have two hours till the next. We’ve all had this little bit of free time during our days. While some people can find the motivation to get some studying done, I find it hard to get much done during these times. These have been fun little moments where I can just turn my Switch on and get some exploration down. Even if I’ve only had thirty minutes, getting that nice mental break during the day can help carry me through those tough ones.
If you’re an M3 like me, that means interview season is just around the corner. While terrifying to think about, I also realized that this means I’ll be spending a lot of time waiting in the airport and possibly on long flights. This will be a perfect time to have something like the Switch. Now you can take this console on the go and get some gaming done during that layover, or even in the air!
Inpatient Hospital Use
I was honestly amazed that Nintendo managed to make a console that could be picked up and played anywhere. It seems to perfectly balance portability and power in a system. Not only was this great for someone who maybe doesn’t spend as much free time at home, but it also has an amazing potential at the hospital for patients. Many pediatric wings have systems (most often Wii’s) that the patients can use, but the Switch provides a very unique opportunity for them. No longer are the kids tethered to the systems that need to be plugged in, but now they can take it on the go! Imagine a young pediatric patient going through chemotherapy at the hospital. Now, when he/she goes to receive their treatment, they can just pick up that Switch and bring it with them. Some could be anxiously awaiting a major surgery in the pre-op area, but luckily they have their Switch with them to provide distraction from the surgery ahead. Honestly, this seems like such an amazing opportunity for the Switch and a way to find its way into medicine. Being able to provide a child with a little bit of peace of mind and enjoyment while going through a medical problem seems like it could be such a rewarding thing for Nintendo. Hopefully pediatric hospitals find a way to make this work, although cost, availability, and sanity (passing those systems between patients as they come and go) might be a barrier to getting this through.
The portability of the Switch really makes this console a real standout and is definitely worth the consideration for the busy student and doctor. If you are looking for a console that frees you but might not be focused on pure power, then the Switch might be for you. The system isn’t without its flaws and fair share of questions. It still has an unknown future for online memberships, the initial memory storage of the system does not stand up to others, and the price tag of $300 can be quiet steep for some (and this is without the extras that most people want to get). But if you have the spare change and some of these ideas appeal to you, then I would look into getting one! Although, finding one can be quiet hard, so if you do, I wish you the best of luck!