AP Computer Science Principles | Explore Task


The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s upcoming console handheld hybrid. It can be played at home on a television, but can be taken outside on a tablet. The innovation is in the fact that such a powerful home console can be taken anywhere, and console games can be played anywhere. Its purpose is mostly for entertainment, but there can be other uses applied as its library expands. My computational artifact is a video detailing the features and function of the console. My artifact does a good job of explaining the function, as I literally explain the many functions of the innovation.


To create this computational artifact, I used iMovie to edit clips of the Nintendo Switch. The clips were found on Nintendo’s Youtube Channel [2]. It was quite difficult to condense the many features and functions of the Switch in a one minute, so I had to speed up certain clips and trim down some. I also had to make sure what I said fit within the time limit, so I recorded many attempts, and edited the best together. I used the split tool for splitting and trimming clips. I also added music, adjusting the volume so I can be heard.


The Nintendo Switch will likely have a mostly positive effect on society, economy, and culture. It’s one of the first console hybrids that the world has ever seen, and it’s seeming to be very popular. It has become one of the most pre-ordered consoles of all time [1], and the trailer is the 40th most watched video within 24 hours, and the only gaming related one [4]. This also benefits Nintendo financially, because if this system sells well, Nintendo will make more money. As well, it benefits the gaming industry as a whole, because it may lead to competitor companies to pursue similar routes in mobile/handheld gaming, if the Switch is successful enough. It will also open more opportunities for people to become gamers, and can potentially unite casual and hardcore gamers. A major success in the gaming industry can lead to financial and cultural successes to all gamers, as it makes more people eager to join the gaming scene. More people means more customers, more money, and more profit.


There are a few harmful effects of the Nintendo Switch. Because of its portability and accessibility, it could potentially lead some people to become so obsessed with it that they take it everywhere they go, blocking out family and friends. The Nintendo Switch could also sell poorly, countering many of the cultural benefits I mentioned above. I highly doubt this, as its popularity is incredible, and it hasn’t even been released yet. [1] [3]



The Nintendo Switch uses game cards purchasable at stores as well as downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop. These game cards are non-writable, such as discs in all consoles of this generation. This means that you use the cards to play the game, but the game data is stored on the system itself. You can also insert Micro SD cards to expand storage space. Downloadable games can be played directly from the system menu, without any game cards. You can download games using the system’s Wi-Fi functionality, which can also be used for online play. The system also has Bluetooth functionality, and some other form of wireless communication for local wireless play. This means you can play with multiple systems if you are close together, regardless of if you have Wi-Fi or not. The system itself is the tablet, and that is where the data is stored, so you can play anywhere.


There are a few concerns with the Nintendo Switch. The battery life doesn’t look terribly great for more demanding games, the system’s power is not as strong as modern consoles, and the storage space is very small. The system only comes with 32 gigabytes of internal storage, which is not a lot, especially for most modern games. Because the system is portable, controllers and the system itself can be lost. Another concern is, because the system has Wi-Fi functionality and a special online program made by Nintendo, it can be potentially hacked, and personal information can be revealed.



[1] “Nintendo Switch Pre-orders Already at 80% of the Console’s Initial Shipment in Japan.”VG247.com. VG247, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <https://www.vg247.com/2017/01/27/nintendo-switch-pre-orders-already-at-80-of-the-consoles-initial-shipment-in-japan/>.


[2] YouTube. “Nintendo Switch Hardware Overview.” Online video clip. YouTube, 7 February 2017. Web. 14 February 2017.


[3] Kerr, Chris. “Nintendo President Expects Switch Sales to Match the Wii.” Gamasutra. Gamasutra, 2 Feb. 2017. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/290668/Nintendo_president_expects_Switch_sales_to_match_the_Wii.php>.


[4] Wikipedia contributors. “List of most viewed online videos in first 24 hours.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 19 Feb. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_viewed_online_videos_in_first_24_hours>.