We’ve all heard the console war debates comparing Xbox to PlayStation. Over Thanksgiving break, I listened to my dad and brother attempt to decipher which one they should aim to secure during Black Friday. However, both consoles weigh almost 10 pounds, making them awkward to haul around during road trips or bring to a friend’s house. For more lightweight gaming, two popular portable alternatives are the Nintendo Switch and iPhone gaming. Here’s what you should know about the two before you make your next gaming purchase.
Reaching almost 80 million sales since its launch in early 2017, the Nintendo Switch is a popular gaming option among both men and women in the college age demographic. As of February 2021, it also had the highest buyer penetration, which means that it’s being used by the highest number of customers in its specific market. Weighing in at only .88 pounds, the Nintendo Switch is an appealing option for on-the-go fun.
Sophomore Lindsey Luong from Wichita says that although she no longer plays it as often as she did when she bought it in July 2020, she appreciates the diverse selection of over 2,000 games.
“I recommend it more for people who like a wide variety of games and have people over to play with,” Luong says.
Due to the average game costing around $60, she says she isn’t interested in spending a bunch of money on additional games, especially if she doesn’t frequently play them with groups of friends.
However, Kacee Truong, a junior from Lawrence, says he has frequently played his Nintendo Switch with friends ever since he bought in on Black Friday in 2019. He appreciates the device’s singular console and says that it helps bring people together.
“There’s just a fun feeling when you’re all sharing that screen and playing on the same device, as opposed to being huddled in your own corner with your own phone,” Truong says.
Strongly competing with the Nintendo Switch, mobile gaming across the board is up by 12% since 2019 with 238.7 million active users in the United States and Canada. More specifically, iPhone gaming is a competitive option. In January 2020, the Apple Apps Store’s Games category was the most popular category, with three billion game downloads. Two perks of iPhone gaming are its price and selection. The average game price is 49 cents and there are currently 255,217 gaming apps available, with 93% of them being free.
Ethan Christ, a sophomore from Overland Park, says he uses his iPhone X to play games for about an hour and a half each day. He has played the Nintendo Switch, but doesn’t own one, and says that he instead prefers the convenience of iPhone gaming.
“If you’re busy and on the go and not at home a lot, it’s always really convenient and nice just to have your phone with you and be able to play on your phone as opposed to the Switch,” Christ says.
If you’re able to shell out between $200 and $300 plus more for games, go with the Nintendo Switch. Its group-focused dynamic and portability are valuable features that seem to appeal to those who want to game with their friends, yet still feel connected. However, it’s no sweat if you can’t or don’t want to purchase the pricey device, as iPhone gaming is also a popular option that is significantly less expensive and still offers literally hundreds of thousands of games.