Small Home Gaming: Console Conundrum

Hi all. It’s Chris again with another dose of Small Home Gaming.

As a gamer living in a small home, there’s one thing that’s plagued me for quite a while now: game consoles. Consoles are great, but their sheer size and ability to monopolize a media station can make them formidable enemies of the small home ideology. Over the years I’ve had everything from a GameCube to a Nintendo Switch as part of our media setup. All of these consoles have served their purpose, some better than others. A couple, like my original “fat” PS3, tested the limits of our small space. It’s quite large and took up far more room than I was hoping. The Wii U, on the other hand, tested our setup in a different way. It’s much smaller and fit in our entertainment area much better, but the “tablet” style controller is not small and has its own separate docking station. This effectively means that you need to find space for two consoles instead of one.

Then, last year, Nintendo came out with the Switch.

Like many I lined up on launch day at a local retailer and brought one home, wondering what new challenges lay in store for our small home media center. In short, the answer is “none.” I pulled out the aging PS3, installed the Switch, and was left with what feels like buckets of space. In fact, the only real issue that I have is that it can be a little harder than I’d like to take the Switch out of its TV dock, but that’s mostly due to where I have it placed (the bottom shelf).

In addition to its small size, the Switch has some other “pluses” for small-home owners:
  • First, as a Nintendo console, the Switch is extremely family friendly. Sunshine and Sweetheart are still young enough that I spend the majority of my time downstairs helping keep an eye on things, which also means that any games played when they’re around need to be age appropriate. 
  • Second, the Switch is built to be portable. While I don’t carry it around with me much outside the house, it’s portable design means that I can crash on the couch for some game time while the kiddos (who were previously watching a movie) swarm me out of curiosity.
  • Finally, unlike its older brothers the Wii and Wii U, the Switch is much lighter on accessories. Nintendo’s last two consoles were a bit notorious for practically requiring a wide range of accessories to use for different games. The Switch has its share of accessories, but the only “required” ones are Joycon controllers (which are significantly smaller than Wii remotes).

Simply put, the Switch is easily one of the best small home gaming purchases I’ve made. It’s not the fastest, best-looking console on the block, but it is home to some of the biggest names in gaming. It’s also small, child appropriate, and reasonably affordable. What more could a small home family gamer ask for?