Nintendo Switch

Overwhelming Majority Of Nintendo Switch Owners Prefer To Play At Home

Nintendo of America has conducted a poll to find out where its fans prefer to play Nintendo Switch. Although the console can be taken on the go, the vast majority of participants said their favorite place to play is in the comfort of their home. The other choices were on an airplane, bus/train and beach/park, but nothing came close to home. You can check out the complete results in the embedded tweet below. Where’s your favorite place to play?


  1. I’m thinking there’d be different results if they included a stable indoor place to play on the go like school or work during down time. Not everyone would be keen to play outside or on mass transit.

    1. I havent done Airplane, Train, Bus, Beach or even Park (at least a park that I would risk taking my $300 system to) in like 2 years. I do, however, enjoy playing at my friends garage parties, in my car during long drives, poolside, a few times at starbucks………what was I talking about again?

      1. The better question is: who plays with the switch while taking a shit. I bet the results would change.

      2. I played it while camping. My friend had his as well and we played MARIO kart together with two people on his switch and just me on mine. With local play we didn’t even need WiFi.

    2. I did airplane on my way home from visiting the UK. Mario Kart 8 local wireless play. It was fun.

  2. I wonder what the results would have been if there were only two options: home or portable. I feel like those other options are too specific.

    1. Yeah. I mean, what’s up with that 7% that voted for airplanes? Are they executives that are constantly on the go? Or are they the pilots and crew members of the planes?

  3. Well, that’s the good thing about the Switch. You have the option of both. I’d like to use the Switch as a portable if I’m like on a trip to someplace in a car as a passenger (earlier today for example would’ve been pretty convenient cause we were in traffic forever ugghh) and I guess occasionally at home. Just move around with it and stuff and maybe get comfortable on the bed haha. For the most part though, I’d probably use it on the TV. I’d prefer the Pro Controller and games likely look best on the big screw anyways.

  4. Lmao yea cus the majority of Americans travel so much on plane that they prefer playing there than at home. They also take their switch to the beach so they can relax,take in the rays, and hopefully meet someone special.

  5. I prefer to play all my games at home. The nice thing about the Switch is I can play the same games on my TV that I play at on the plane or in the car.

  6. An edit button would be a nice addition to the site.

    Anyway, I would’ve voted…

    …if I had a Switch. :(

  7. As a handheld, I don’t care for the Switch because the Joy-Cons are too small, and they have no grip for the hands (like the Wii U Gamepad does). The whole thing is just too flat. Also, the kickstand is too flimsy. But when connected to the TV using the Pro Controller, it’s awesome. I didn’t buy the Switch for the handheld aspect anyway.

  8. I am in the middle. I like playing at home both in handheld and docked. But I also bring the switch with me on car trips when I’m the passenger. I also like bringing it to school to play on my downtime and playing with my friends while I’m their. I love the versatility

  9. My adult son has a SWITCH & from time to time I tinker around with it. My preferred style of play is “Handheld mode (or hhm for short)”. I mostly play at home (hhm), sitting in the car (when I take my wife to womens clothing stores like JC Penny) , or at work on my lunch hour (work).
    I especially like playing the SWITCH when Im caught by a train at the railroad crossing. Im not to particular about playing on the tv due to the fact I have always been “about my 3DS, PSP 3000, GBA, GBA SP, SEGA GAME GEAR & even that clunky SEGA NOMAD. LMAO

    I just love handhelds. Always have…always will!

  10. With a system that replaces the Wii U, has big-budget 3D titles, and zero means of backing up save data (should anything happen to it outside), this isn’t too surprising.

  11. I can confirm it because I play with it at home and attached to the TV. Though I can’t see that poll, results should have been posted in this article directly.

  12. Maybe people would play on the go more if their screens weren’t warped.
    These statistics show that the flaws posed by the hybrid gimmick aren’t worth the benefits

    Just stop giving us features we don’t want and give us a quality product Nintendo

    1. You know that the warping is episodic and was greatly bloated by tech blogs right?

      The portability feature is why the Switch is selling in the first place. If someones need power that badly, they can use their PlayStation.

  13. The poll is pretty much flawed.
    “People with homes” is a group that is overwhelmingly much bigger than “People who recently flew on a plane” for instance.

    Furthermore even though I myself belong to both groups, my airplane time was but a few hours which is nothing compared to how much I’ve played at home – I would vote home based on familiarity alone.

    That said, I play during lunch break – at friends’ – while watching Netflix – with friends at uni and so on and so forth.

    If they were to ask something like “which is your favourite way to play – docked or undocked”, those would be much more interesting numbers.

    My vote would shift from “at home” to “undocked” for instance.

    1. Just curious, do you kind of use your Switch in a similar way you’d use a Wii U in the house? In this case I’m equating handheld mode with off-screen mode.

      1. Yeah I definitely do. I dunno how many of us there are but I was a huge fan of off-TV play.
        In that regard it’s nice to not have the range limitations anymore.
        (Guess I’m sad I gotta physically move the “gamepad” to its dock to get back on the big screen though…)

        1. That’s interesting! That’s definitely the impression I got from the way some people were talking about the Switch before it came out.

          So, if Nintendo had made a system like the Wii U with a lighter, longer range gamepad, 720p screen, HD rumble, and maybe detachable motion controllers, would you have actually preferred that in any way?

      2. Well there would be aspects to it I would have preferred, but…
        Let’s consider what we’re talking about here, this WiiU successor;
        (TLDR? Skip to final paragraph)

        Nintendo has had a penchant for not making essential decisions on time,
        resulting in machines that couldn’t quite do what they were eventually put to doing;
        The Nintendo DS has sufficient hardware to draw and power one screen, it’s got two.
        The 3DS has sufficient hardware to draw and power two screens, it’s got three.
        The WiiU has sufficient hardware to draw one screen, it was meant to have five. (well, effectively two)
        – and yet its price isn’t too far off a base PS4

        To be capable, the successor would have had to be at the very least as strong on its core unit alone as a PS4Pro.
        At the very least that strong, in order to deliver two images of normal-PS4-like fidelity, and this would be expensive.
        Then you add the price of the improved gamepad; not marketable
        (in theory, I dunno, people weren’t happy about what they perceived to be “paying extra” for the kinect)

        Then you consider the original GamePad; For what it is it’s a sort of amazing piece of tech.
        Or rather, the streaming that’s being done is amazing. Talking wireless A/V crisp 480pW@60 with less than a frame’s worth of video lag – with minimal comperssion artifacts depending on range/interference.
        It’s a pretty good tool to expose lag, in fact, as it beats out most consumer television sets available, and ‘appears’ on par with BenQs and the like.
        Would this scale to even longer range and 720p without severe drawbacks? How expensive would that be?

        On the other hand you have the Switch which is doing a similar thing; its range is infinite where time and power outlets allow, its screen 720p with zero vlag and zero compression regardless of position – all using inexpensive tech.
        It is a handheld console capable enough to display its output on a big screen, and the handheld aspect is instantly marketable as opposed to the second screen experience which people still don’t see the value of. (It’s there and all, they just don’t even know)
        Switch’s only major drawbacks are power, the dock, and single screen output.

        Now, the Switch hardware build is futureproof.
        Beyond being able to simply scale it down for a lighter/truly handheld version, it is incrementally upgradeable whenever nVidia improves their Tegra chip – Something they’ve already done.
        If they feel like it they can push out some New Nintendo Switch, Switch X, Switch Pro, with the power to run anything the current halfgen (PS4Pro, X.B.O.X) can run, down the line.

        I would absolutely buy this Wii Ultra and keep it alongside my Switch, by the way. Pros and cons to both.
        But I doubt anybody else would.

        1. Excellent response! I do have responses to each many of those things though.

          I see what you’re getting at but as for the handheld, but a 3DS successor could have been made to be very similar in power to the Switch in docked mode or at the very least a decent amount more powerful than the Switch in handheld mode and could still maintain 3D with only two screen. Much of the additional cost of 3D, both in price and processing power, was because it used a custom screen with half-wide pixels in order to improve pixel density by 2x without changing the aspect ratio. On a successor, a standard 1280×720 display could do 3D the same way TVs do, by splitting the screen in two. The result would still be a huge improvement over the clarity of the 3DS’s 3D with barely any more processing power being needed over it’s 2D mode. Essentially, it would only cost them a parallax barrier. Offer up an optional dock and controller and you could have most of what the Switch offers with a cheaper initial price.

          I absolutely agree with you about the Gamepad being an impressive piece of tech and I absolutely do think the tech could scale up just do to the newer tech available. Technologies like 802.11ac, h.265, and IGZO displays all came out within the year after the Wii U’s release. The first two would increase available bandwidth and range while reducing required bandwidth and the IGZO displays (made by Sharp, the same render that made the 3DS and Wii U screens) would noticeably reduce the amount of power the screen would use especially when display mostly static imagery like menus. Then if they added an extra antenna or two they could do stuff like beam forming and further increase range.

          I also don’t think it would necessarily need to be as strong as the PS4 Pro either. That would definitely be nice but I think the two screen concept is best done with simple, private screen, menu-like data being on the gamepad which wouldn’t really task the system in any way other than needing the added fill-rate. And any games that would want to do 3D images on both screens would be a rare like it was on the Wii U.

          As for the price, the additional cost of the screen, streaming tech, and additional processing power (over the Switch) could be lessened and partly hidden by a few things. For example, the Blu-ray drives in the PS4 and XBO cost them about $20-30 and because Blu-rays are slow for gaming, they need hard drives to install the games onto which cost at least $20 more. By using cartridges like the Switch does, it removes the need to include a hard drive (though they could include the ability to use them still) and the cost of the cartridge slot is less than a dollar. So it effectively removes $40-ish off the bill of materials that could go right into the gamepad.

          Now this is sort of part of grand vision that I had for what the NX should have been so bare with me lol If the handheld and the home console were made in a way that the home console used a scaled up version of the chip used in the handheld (lets say it’s PowerVR, Mali, or something like that) then dev cost for the chips get combined to some extent and both systems could play the same games. They could also share parts and accessories between them to further keep costs down. And just to take advantage of the home console’s specs they could have a VR headset that’s exclusively works on it. They could theoretically send the signal wirelessly or through a wire (USB Type C) and, since the system would be built with that in mind, they could also undercut the PSVR to some degree because they wouldn’t need a break out box to have one person play in VR while others play on a TV.

          Game development would be similar to development on the Switch, PS4(Pro), or XBO(X). It’d have the performance scaling of the latter two, but each would have it’s own unique features that games can take advantage of instead of just being spec bumps. Both systems would also benefit off each other feature-wise. For example, right now many devs don’t have 3D support in there console games because so few TVs support 3D, but if all the handhelds are 3D capable than any devs that support 3D on the handheld could support it on the console with no additional effort.

          I dunno, maybe it’s just me but I feel like there’s a lot strength to have dedicate handhelds and consoles complimenting each other like that. The handheld would build of the success of previous handhelds while incorporating much of the power and feature set of the Switch while focus on the handheld market and price range, while the power and feature set of the home console would give people are reason to buy the home console, too. And if the VR headset could be taken apart like a Switch and double as regular controller, then that would definitely sell the utility of the second screen. After all, VR games where one person plays on a headset and the others on a TV is essentially asymmetric gameplay.

          As for the Switch, I don’t really see it being as futureproof as some people see it because it attempts to do be too many things at once. Like it’s size is connected to the size of the Joy Cons and dock and I don’t think anyone wants to get or use JoyCon minis and get a replacement dock. Reducing the size would also negatively impact cooling and battery life making it last under 3 hours for MK8 and BOTW. They could make a smaller one that integrates the Joycons and gets rid of the ability to dock it but I don’t think that will save enough money to make it worth it for people. I really think the Switch is everything that it can be. I don’t even see there path forward for chips since Nvidia is leaving the mobile chip market. All they have after the X1 is the X2 (which is roughly 50% faster) then after that is a 25 watt chip made only for their self-driving car platform.

  14. This is so funny cause every time I mention for example: I rather play FIFA on my ps4 than on my switch cause it has superior graphics , online support , and a bigger community with good players to play against , (wich can be said about pretty much every third party game released on ps4+switch) people tell me the switch offers portable. My responce is 94 million people bought a ps4 and xbox vs 13 million WII U’s cause they do care about the best home experience and this again proves my point. Sure its not all about graphics but the strongest consoles got the biggest library’s of games and thats why I buy a console for actual games. pretty much nobody cares about the handheld experience and people that do play on a tablet or phone already. if you take the entire gaming population probally 5% or less wants a portable console based on these stats aswell. (not talking about tablets or phones but a actual console like 3ds or switch)

    1. Going by Wikipedia’s numbers –

      where Wii, 360, PS3, WiiU, X1, PS4 and Switch represent home consoles
      and DS, 3DS, PSP and Vita represent handhelds

      – there are sold 79% as many handheld consoles as there are sold home systems.

      These are rough numbers, but it’s pretty apparent that your “5% of gaming population want handheld consoles” is waaaaaay off the mark.

      1. Which would mean in the current gen some 37% of the gaming population wants a dedicated handheld gaming system.

      2. So why does only 17% use his Switch outside the house? People buy a home console for the home console part. besides the 3ds doesn’t play the xbox and ps4 library with high end games does it?

      3. Where are you reading “outside”?
        Poll’s talking about beaches trains and airplanes. Places most people don’t spend a lot of time, especially compared to home.

        If they had the sense to ask about docked/undocked you would get the statistics you think you’re talking about now.

      4. Fair enough but from a Core gamer perspective handheld has never been to intresting. People rarely talk or know Gameboy games from back in the days but everyone knows Nintendo 8 bit games. I personally lost my intrest for hanhelds like 17-20 years ago , I just buy them for Pokemon.

        When you look at the E3 for example and you take 15-25 of the biggest games shown allot of them will skip a Nintendo console. For me personally thats why I buy a home console to play the major home console titles , outside of this website I never speak to or know anyone that disagrees on this. Infact every gamer I grew up with from 8bit to gamecube era no longers buys nintendo consoles because of the lack of major titles. Ofcourse you still got Nintendo first party but even that isn’t what it used to be. I understand that games take allot more work to build and Nintendo’s team simply isn’t big enough to keep up with al the titles we used to have, altough i still think thats a lame excuse cause they make loads of money or could hire other company’s to do it for them but still.

      5. Also all my ex girlfriends, mother , aunts and god knows who played gameboy, gameboy advanced, ds , 3ds ect and they pretty much never touched a home console in there life cause those handhelds offered the kind of games you find on your phone and tablet these days like Tetris, Dr Mario, Nintendogs ect.

        I’m not saying I never played Tetris or DR Mario but it’s its not the kind of game I buy a handheld for let alone a home console. Its aimed at a different audience unlike core gamers who played a gameboy for Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, metroid and other major titles back in the days.

      6. Well, you’ll find most of what you said there to be anecdotal rather than representative of any group of people.
        Most people who buy handheld systems also own a home console like a 360 or PS4, for instance.
        That said I agree the target audiences for handheld systems are vastly different – which might be why only some one in three gamers seem to consider it.
        If I were to guess… major handheld audiences seem to be people who prefer quick sessions – the same kind that enjoys mobile games, and people who want to keep playing games regardless of where they’re at – core.
        Your other points were kinda off topic, but hey I’m already typing an embarrassingly huge wall here so why not quintuple the size. Feel free to TLDR the rest.

        Where major titles go today you find most of them on any one of X1, PS4 or PC. They all carry the exact same titles however, so in order to further expand your access to major titles you need a Nintendo platform aside.
        That’s one of the Switch audiences – people who like games and don’t want to care about where they’re at.

        Another difference in games is the high quality of Sony’s and Microsoft’s online services have led to a massive focus on them. On a Playstation 4 or Xbox 1 you are likely to be alone playing either single player, or online against somebody else who is alone. Nintendo home consoles is the last bastion of couch multiplayer.
        Another Switch audience – people who have other people over.

        You say your mom and ex girlfriends might buy a handheld for things like Nintendogs and Dr. Mario – but the core gamers back in the OG Game Boy days used to get them for major titles like Zelda and Metroid.
        Ignoring how Metroid Prime Hunters was as close as any console, handheld or home, have ever gotten to a proper Quake 3 Arena experience – and how Link Between Worlds is one of the best Zelda ever made –
        Switch is now the first handheld to offer “real” games in a handheld format. Breath of the Wild, Prime 4, a fully featured FIFA 18 etc. By that logic Switch just solved the “core” issue with handheld gaming.
        (Oh and it’s got the closest thing anybody ever got to a proper port of SF2X, for nostalgia)

        Finally as tystud already pointed out, the Nintendo DS is the second most selling console of all time. Shy just one million from PS2’s 155 million sales figure.
        Now, the Nintendo DS is from a time before there was any audience but the core one, and regardless the cut you figure core gamers actually have on it there’s just no way you can keep saying “handheld has never been interesting to the core” with a straight face knowing this.

        Speaking personally, anecdotally, if I ever hear people talk about Game Boy games they played it’s most likely a throwaway mention of one of it’s sorta few high quality titles. Something like Pokémon, Tetris, Link’s Awakening, Donkey Kong or Wario Land. Fair deuce.
        But go a generation younger and people look back at the GBA as one of the best consoles they ever owned. Defining experiences like Zero Mission, Advance Wars, Aria of Sorrow, Golden Sun or Astro Boy.
        I don’t hang around too many people who grew up with the DS, but having an even more varied library of even higher quality titles no doubt it has meaning to them. I wish I could’ve had something like Ghost Trick or TWEWY at the get go.

        As for the E3 thing, if you play video games you know they highlight all kinds of terrible games.
        They will gladly highlight shovelware like Ryse: Son of Rome while skipping mentions of say Bayonetta 2 and Xenoblade X. What they show is no indication of compatibility with core gamers.



      EA TRY UNDERSTANDING THE SWITCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Um…both the DS and the 3DS outsold the PS4 and the XBOX One. DS at 154 million, 3DS at 67, PS4 at 63, and for Xbox: they were so ashamed that they hid the numbers. So I’d say portability is much more important that you think. Not to mention the original Wii outsold them both, as well as the XBOX 360 and PS3. Wii-101, XBOX 360-84, PS3-83.
      I think Nintendo has proven time and again that portability is important and graphics are not so much. The Wii U failed for various other reasons though.

    4. I think anybody whose taken notice of my opinion of the Switch knows how many flaws I see in the Switch’s concept but I do think this poll is a little flawed. It would have been better to do a similar poll to this but also do one that asked handheld mode vs TV mode. I’m kind of curious how many people actually use their Switch’s are actually using it in a way that warrants making the whole system portable and how many people would find just as much use of out it working much like a Wii U but with more range and resolution on the gamepad. I do think a decent amount of people who bought the Switch liked the concept of it being portable but never really found themselves making he full use out of it’s portability.

      I don’t know how accurate your statement is regarding the popularity of portable systems versus home console. Anybody would mention that handheld systems have generally sold better than home consoles but the culture around handhelds and the play habits of handheld owners are so different that it becomes hard to compare.

      I’m sure that you must have seen some of those videos on YouTube of being doing battery life tests on every new iteration of a handheld or with the Switch and you’ll notice that they often have multiple iterations of each handheld. And because of the price of handhelds and the amount of special editions and colors they come in, they’ve become collectible to people which isn’t as much of thing with home consoles. That would definitely bloat numbers of numbers of hardware sales even if the amount of players is lower. Handhelds also don’t tend to have significantly more software sales than a home console even if it sold way more units. That could be because of differences in play habits or because the ratio of systems per person is different. The average lifespan of Nintendo handhelds has often been just over 10 years, too, while home consoles get upgraded more frequently.

      Just to give you some numbers:

      system | hardware \ software
      3DS | 154 million \ 844 million
      X360 | 85.8 million \ 1.06 billion
      Wii | 101 million \ 965 million

      NES | 61 million \ 501 million
      GB | 118 million \ 501 million

      SNES | 49 million \ 379 million
      GBA | 81 million \ 377 million

  15. A switch party at home is the favourite option! For Mariokart, some friends join us online. For Splatoon, the same but local play is really the Holy grail… It’s just fantastic to have 4 player local salmon run or 8 player Splatoon!
    We’ve organised a big switch party for the next splatfest! So many people are coming! :-)

  16. I love my Switch but I play it docked at home like 90% of the time the other would be around my mates house on portable mode and maybe bits at work but that it… I hate portable gaming lol

  17. I’m thinking: Doesn’t people the most usually spend their time mostly at home ANYWAY? The Switch statistic would probably correlate by that fact, like anything else.

  18. This is the usual Nintendo’s mistake.
    First they come out with some new idea (whatever it may be worth), then they cower at the first problem.
    Users’ opinions should not be relied upon, lots of people couldn’t find their ass with a mirror on a stick.

    A few years ago, Nintendo’s main selling point was going against the flow: when Megadrive was all about speed, SNES was colour and sprite size; recently Nintendo tried to privilege gameplay at the expense of sheer graphical performance. Does it pay? Well, if you consider games like Paper Mario, Toad, Mario 3d World, Zelda BoTW, certainly it does.
    Would those games have benefited from a more powerful console? Maybe, but that is not the point. PS4 and Xbox could have rendered BoTW at higher resolution and/or frame rate, but not on the go.

    Have all of Nintendo’s innovation gained a permanent place in the gaming scene? Not at all: Virtual Boy, WiiU’s controller, etc, are considered gimmicks, but it is very easy to judge with the benefit of hindsight. On the other hand, some of Nintendo’s experiments, like the analog pad, have become staples.

    The REAL issue is: should Nintendo keep trying to innovate, with the possibility of failure, or jump on the bandwagon, create a new console with the same architecture shared by PS4 and Xbox to give users the same games with virtually no differences AND cross play?

    My opinion is Nintendo should give haters the finger. I buy Nintendo consoles and games because, simply put, Nintendo’s games are (with VERY FEW exceptions like The Last Guardian) the only ones worth playing.

    When you grow up, you have to make choices, and the main choice with videogames is between lots of mediocre games and a fistful of very good games.

    It’s not a hard choice at all.

  19. ||It doesn’t matter where they play, what matters is our plan…||

    ||No one cared where we were until we released the Switch…||

  20. I’ve only seen one other person besides myself play their Switch on public transportation.

  21. Definitely, agree it should be docked vs. undocked. Considering most people would spend a lot more time at home vs. the other options it wasn’t a well designed poll. I play mine on the train daily, but that’s only 1.25 hours of the entire day. Where I may spend 2-3 hours playing at home in addition. So of those options it would clearly be “at home”. Docked requires a TV, so if you were really feeling how many people are taking their switches off the dock “true handheld” mode, you’d get a more accurate response. I do normally play in handheld mode as I prefer it and don’t need to take up the TV (my favorite aspect of the Wii U), so my answer to that would clearly be undocked.

  22. James the Joker {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & make that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones optional.} says:

    Nintendo of America probably too scared to do a more accurate poll asking people do they prefer docked or undocked mode. Ask the real question, cowards! I want to know which mode would actually get the most votes!

  23. The correct question should had been “do you perfer to play it docked or undocked” having it at home doest differentiate who perfers to play it docked or handheld.

  24. I havent told you yet, how I fogot to do that, which mode I play best at.

    Grunty likes her handheld mode but when playing Splatoons, I sit in front of the TV like an ugly green toad.

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