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Nintendo Switch

3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Tool description
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It is equally popular with younger and older gamers: The Nintendo Switch. What’s special is that you can use the game console either at home on the (TV) screen or on the go. There are many different games and an app with which parents can set the console more child-friendly.

In a nutshell:

  • Available since 2017
  • Cost: approx. 300 € – 350 €
  • Wide range of games for the whole family
  • Parental control functions as an app for iOS and Android

What can the Nintendo Switch do?

The Nintendo Switch (or “Switch” for short) is a game console from the Japanese developer Nintendo. It consists of the console itself, which resembles a tablet with a touchscreen, a docking station that allows you to connect it to a larger screen, and (by default) two controllers. The two controllers can be connected to the left and right of the console. Thus, the Switch can be used on the go – for example, on a long train ride. However, the two controllers can also be detached and used at home alone or individually by several gamers at the same time.
The controllers have certain sensors and can be used with motion control in some games, similar to the previous model, the Nintendo Wii. For example, you can swing the controller like a club in a golf game.
The switch can also be connected to the home WLAN. Thus, game content (e.g. self-made photos from the games or high scores) can be put online, new games can be bought or extended.

What fascinates children and young people about it?

For many gamers it is interesting which games are available for the respective console. The consoles of the competition Microsoft Xbox X or Sony Playstation 5 have better graphics, but the Switch has many games that are only available for this console, such as from the Pokémon and Zelda, or Animal Crossing series, which all have mainly young fans.
The games for the Switch are very diverse overall. There are many games that are suitable for children and teenagers, and also games that can be played together in the family, such as from the popular Mario series.

What can be problematic about the offer?

Besides games for younger gamers, there is also game content unsuitable for them, such as first-person shooters. Therefore, pay attention to the age labels of the USK. Moreover, in some cases, the time spent playing games can become far too much, even to the point of becoming addictive. So you should make sure that your child is not exposed to games that are not approved for their age, and that you decide together on game duration and times. The parental control settings of the console can help you here.

What does the provider think?

You can set parental controls directly on the console or with the Nintendo Switch Age Restrictions app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS. Here you can create an account for yourself and one for your child, and then link them to the Switch. This way, the playing time can be limited and certain non-age-appropriate content can be blocked. You can also have them send notifications to let you know what your child is doing with the Switch.

What should parents pay attention to?

While parental controls can give you a bit of peace of mind, they can also make your child feel monitored. It is important to show interest in your child’s favorite games, talk about what he or she experiences while playing, and agree on common rules. In addition, Switch offers many opportunities to play together and have fun. Take a seat and let your child explain the world of play to you.

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