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Nintendo Switch: 'Docked' And 'Undocked' Play Times Are About Even

The original pitch for the Nintendo Switch when it was first announced was that it was the first hybrid handheld/home console. The Switch is advertised as having three modes of play; one where it is placed in the dock and displays its image on a TV, one where you hold in your hands, and one where you disconnect the controllers and play it with another person while the system is placed on a stand.

The reception to this idea was mixed, as many people imagined that it would mainly see use as a home console. It wasn't until the Switch was shown off at press events that the fans started to realize the potential of Nintendo's latest system.

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Now that the Nintendo Switch has been out for over a year, there is enough data to work out how often people use the various modes of play.

Doug Bowser (the Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing over at Nintendo, not the villain of the Super Mario series) has revealed in an interview with Ars Technica that the amount of time spent between the two play modes of the Nintendo Switch is about even. This means that the current audience for the Nintendo Switch tend to switch between the two modes, though some players will likely favor one over the other to some degree.

The time spent in either mode is often determined by the type of game being played, with Doug Bowser naming the latest Just Dance game as a title that is more often played in docked mode than handheld.

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This data cannot determine the difference between playing the system in handheld or tabletop mode, so the people at Nintendo aren't sure if there is a significant divide between those modes of play.

It bears mentioning that these numbers have been accrued from players who have connected their Nintendo Switch to the Internet, as this is how Nintendo has gathered the data. This means that the analysis might be off, as players who take their Switch with them while traveling may not connect their system to the local Wi-Fi, or may not be able to if they are traveling on a plane.

If this information is accurate, then it means Nintendo was successful in their achieving their goals with the Switch. The idea of a console that can be used for gaming at home on a big screen and that can also be taken on the go, has captured the hearts of gamers across the globe. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a great litmus test for this, as Nintendo fans were given the chance to play a brand new home console quality experience on the go, which has raised expectations for the future of the system.

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