Technology

The Orion looks like Kirby swallowed your Switch

One of my biggest complaints about using a Nintendo Switch in handheld mode is that its screen is just too small. And unlike previous Nintendo handhelds like the game boy and GameBoy Advanceno company was brave enough to release a simple reading lamp and magnifying glass for the Switch.

If you asked me how interested I’d be, then in a Switch with a massive 11.6-inch screen, I’d be counting the days until I could own what sounds like a glorious thing. (Not quite what I had in mind for a Switch Pro, but I guess Nintendo knows better.) Well, that future is here – and it’s apparently been here longer than I thought. thought. A company called Up-Switch makes the Oriona glorified Switch dock that meets the screen that can be sandwiched between two Joy-Con controllers.

This $299.99 accessory is like if Kirby inhaled your Switch, and the by-product provided a bigger screen. The Orion’s back opens, revealing a slot that opens to fit the console, connecting via the Switch’s USB-C port. It has a kickstand on the back, as well as built-in speakers. The Orion has an HDMI port, which Up-Switch says can be used for other game consoles or streaming devices.

Up-Switch Orion

The Orion requires a Switch to become a bigger Switch.
switch up

I would have given this gadget some credit for letting you slap the Joy-Con controllers on the side, but it includes detachable controller grips, which seem all but necessary to make it comfortable to support the full weight of 1 .5 pounds of the Orion. Note, however, that the weight doesn’t include the Switch’s 10.5 ounces, nor the weight of the portable power bank you’ll need to have strapped to its back if you want to go mobile with this somewhat odd setup. You box Ditch the power bank and plug in the USB-C power adapter that Nintendo includes with every Switch, but that defeats the purpose of using the Switch in handheld mode if you’re no longer mobile.

The Orion made the rounds in some media at the end of 2021 when it launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I particularly appreciated Nintendo’s lifeextensive coverage of of it, including the video reviewwhich makes no effort to expose some flaws you’d otherwise only know about by trying it yourself – like the fact that the Orion’s display is 768p and pales in comparison to the Switch OLED and the original switch display. Plus, oddly enough, its two speakers are located on the back of the Orion, aimed at the person holding it.

Their recommendation, if you really, really want to live some version of this dream that’s clearly not meant to be a reality, is to invest in a portable 1080p monitor. As for me, I guess I’ll keep dreaming about what might happen in the oft-talked-about Switch Pro.

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