One of my biggest complaints about using the Nintendo Switch in portable mode is that its screen is too small. And unlike previous Nintendo handhelds like the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, no company was brave enough to release a straight book light and a magnifying glass window assembly for the Switch.
If you ask me how much I care, then, in a Switch that has a huge 11.6-inch screen, I’ll be counting the days until I can own what looks like something cool. (Not quite what I had in mind for the Switch Pro, but I think Nintendo knows best about it.) Well, that future is here — and it looks like it’s been here for longer than I realized. A company called Up-Switch makes the Orion, which is a screen-meets-dock that can be placed between two Joy-Con controllers.
This $299.99 accessory is like if Kirby sniffed your Switch, and the byproduct offered a larger screen. Orion’s back opens, revealing a slot that opens to fit the console, and connects via the Switch’s USB-C port. It has a kickstand at the back, along with built in speakers. The Orion has an HDMI port, which Up-Switch says can be used for gaming consoles or other streaming devices.
I’d give this gadget some credit for letting you hit the Joy-Con controllers on the side, but it does include removable control knobs, which all seem necessary to make it comfortable to hold the Orion’s full 1.5-pound weight. Note, however, that this weight does not include the 10.5 ounces of the Switch, and it does not include the weight of the portable power bank that you’ll need to strap to the back if you want to go mobile with this rather odd setup. You are Can Ditch the power bank and plug it into the USB-C power adapter that Nintendo includes with every adapter, but it’s against the purpose of using the Switch in portable mode if you’re no longer mobile.
Orion made the rounds with a few media outlets in late 2021 when it launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I especially enjoyed it Nintendo LiveComprehensive coverage of it, including a video review, which pulls no punches in revealing some flaws you only know by trying it yourself — like the Orion display has a resolution of 768p and it pales in comparison to the Switch OLED. And the Show original switch. It’s also puzzling that the dual speakers are located on the back of the Orion, directed away at the person holding them.
Their recommendation, if you really want to live a version of that dream that clearly isn’t meant to be a reality, is to invest in a portable 1080p monitor. As for me, I guess I’ll keep dreaming about what might happen with the much-rumored Switch Pro.