Docked and undocked play time for Switch is "about even"

Nintendo's portable console still enjoys plenty of big screen time

Posted by Ashley King on June 28, 2018

The Nintendo Switch seems like the future of game consoles in that it's perfectly possible to take it with you on the go. Have a doctor's appointment? Finish up that last level in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker while you're sitting in the waiting room. It's the best of both worlds and I fully expected most people to be on board with using the Switch as a more portable option, but a new report suggests Switch usage both docked and undocked is about even.

Nintendo Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing Doug Bowser recently sat down with Ars Technica to discuss some of the Switch's stats now that we're well into the second year of the console's life. He said that most players prefer to split their time with Nintendo Switch 50/50 between docked and undocked mode.

"One of the nice things we've seen with the Switch is we're able to read more telemetry data in how players are engaging with the content. We get that when they connect, if they have a Nintendo account we have the ability to understand how they're engaging with the device. From a positioning standpoint we can look at various titles and how they're being played. That allows us to think about various ways with digital marketing and some of our videos to know how to position them."

Of course, those stats will differ between people, but it is interesting to see the docked Switch getting so much playtime. Bowser says that Nintendo doesn't differentiate between tabletop and fully handheld gaming, so it's impossible to differentiate between people playing party games like Snipperclips, 1-2-Switch, and Nintendo Labo.

A report released in October 2017 to investors shared similar data. Around 30% of Switch owners preferred to use the console in handheld mode, while only 20% of users showed a preference for docked mode versus handheld mode. Finally, Nintendo announced the remaining customers equally split their time between docked and undocked mode.

Nintendo's ability to gather this data will likely affect the types of titles we see published on the Switch in the future, but for now it's great to see gamers embracing both the docked and undocked aspects of the Nintendo Switch. Which is your favorite way to play?

Nintendo Switch - Grey Joy-Cons - $299

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