Video Games

Why 144hz (or 120Hz) Is the Way to Go for Gaming

For quite a while, I would occasionally get people asking when I'm going to invest in my first 144Hz monitor. As a gamer who had clearly never taken the time to research the topic, I usually dismissed the idea and said I was happy with what I have — and that's true. I'm typically pleased with the tech that I own. But then something happened...

I decided to finally look into 144Hz monitors, so I eventually came across the Dell S2716DG. And that's when my interest suddenly piqued. Having read several reviews on Amazon and watching a handful of YouTube videos, I knew I had to check this thing out for myself.

Before we get into why I cannot recommend going with a monitor that has a refresh rate lower than 120Hz, check out my unboxing video of the Dell S2716DG below:

So, what's so special about a monitor's refresh rate — and what does it mean, exactly? The refresh rate of your monitor is a calculation of how quickly it refreshes the image within one second. For example, a 60Hz monitor refreshes the image 60 times every second. Replace that number with a refresh rate of 120 or 144, and you get the point.

The faster the refresh rate, the smoother performance you'll experience. And believe me, going from 60Hz to 144Hz is a massive upgrade. It's the same feeling I experienced when I first used the iPad Pro with ProMotion. Everything in general, gaming especially, appears more natural and lifelike.

Having used my 144Hz monitor for a few days now, below are some interesting points you might find enticing:

  • Whether you're gaming or not, performance is significantly better that I had originally imagined
  • 144Hz is far smoother than anything I've experienced with 60Hz
  • 1ms response time is excellent, and especially useful when gaming
  • Adjustable height and angle controls are easy to use
  • Thin bezel allows for seamless integration with other low-profile monitors
  • Quality 27-inch display for less than $500

It's also important to note that despite the Dell S2716DG using a TN panel and not IPS, you can hardly ever notice. Colors appear to be quite vibrant, viewing angles are forgiving, and build quality in general is something to be appreciated.

Oh, and you know what? I've been enjoying the monitor so much that I decided to buy a second one. Check out a preview of my dual 144Hz monitor setup:

Are you interested in buying the Dell 2716DG for yourself? Check it out on Amazon. You'll be glad you did.

Why the Nintendo Switch Will Eventually Replace the 3DS

Whenever a new flagship product is released by a company, you have to wonder what the future holds for that product's predecessor. In this case, I'm referring to the recent launch of the Nintendo Switch and how much of an impact the Nintendo 3DS is going to take in effect. While the two products are currently serving different markets, there is no reason why they cannot eventually overlap at some point.

As of today, the Switch is off to a great start. With already selling more than 1.5 million units, the future is looking bright. Sure, that may seem like nothing when compared to the 65.3 million Nintendo 3DS units that have been sold worldwide, but it's certainly worth noting — especially if you factor in how many sales the Wii U brought in during its first week. It wasn't pretty.

So, what's it going to take for the Switch to be the only Nintendo system on the market?

First of all, convincing the millions of 3DS owners isn't exactly going to be easy. Any kind of significant transition between products can take a while, and that's exactly why Nintendo is going to take their time. They understand how truly large the 3DS fanbase is, so they are not going to risk alienating their own users. And besides, the 3DS already has far more games than the Switch currently does.

Secondly, it's important to consider battery life and how important it is for those gamers who are looking to play while on the go. As of launch, the estimated playtime of the Switch while undocked ranges from 2.5 hours to 6 hours. This can vary depending on what game you are playing at the time and how intensive it is on the system. For example, playing a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can easily drain the battery in less than three hours. I've experienced this firsthand.

Now let's talk about portability. If you try fitting the Switch in your pocket, you're likely going to have a difficult time. It was obviously not designed for this purpose. This is especially apparent since Nintendo is well known to refer to the Switch as a home console first and a portable console second. And honestly, I cannot argue against that. While the convenience of being able to use the Switch in handheld mode is nice, I almost always prefer playing it in my living room via TV mode.

If Nintendo treats the Switch anything like they did with the 3DS, then it's safe to predict at some point we will see multiple iterations of new hardware — including a smaller, more portable version, and possibly even a Switch XL of some kind. Mobile gamers typically like having the choice in different play styles, so I could see all of this happening sooner or later.

But what's all this fancy hardware talk without the games? Well, that's where things can become a bit complicated. As of right now, the Switch simply doesn't have many physical games to choose from. Titles like Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and Splatoon 2 may not be too far off, but Nintendo is going to need a lot more than that to hold the attention of millions of gamers worldwide.

Nintendo, however, has a little something called the Virtual Console — an á la carte library of downloadable games from past generations that are playable on modern systems. The opportunity to replay your childhood classics is huge and definitely something that is welcomed by gamers, myself included. Already available on the Wii U and 3DS, I think it's only a matter of time until the Switch gets support. When that happens... Well, things are going to be looking really good.

And finally, wouldn't it be nice if there was one console for Nintendo to focus on? Rather than being forced to fragment the market like it is now, directing all time and attention to just the Switch could be quite beneficial for gamers of all types. This would mean all game releases being accessible by one unified group of players and third party developers feeling confident in knowing their work is reaching a mass audience. It could also allow for more frequent system updates, introducing new features at a faster rate than normal.

As fun as it is to speculate what the future holds for Nintendo, it's still way too early to tell. Considering the Switch hasn't even been available for one month, it's impossible to predict this early in the game. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to enjoy my Switch and its current offering. What can I say? Zelda has me hooked.

My First Weekend with the Nintendo Switch

It would not be a major video game console launch without an exceptionally long weekend vlog to accompany it, and that's just what I did this past weekend. Similar to what I did with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One a few years ago, I documented my first impressions of the Nintendo Switch — including thoughts on the hardware itself, compatible accessories, and of course, the games.

What began with the usual anticipation of anxiously awaiting that big brown truck to pull up outside my house, I eventually found myself holding the box that held my brand new Nintendo Switch. Also in my possession were the games that I chose on Amazon, alongside a few accessories I decided to treat myself to.

I couldn't believe the moment was finally here. I had to do things right, so naturally I set up a quick corner in my office for taking photos and sharing them on Instagram. Something I didn't fully expect to be in the photo was a copy of 1-2-Switch, which was generously gifted by Harrison. Check out his YouTube channel here and say hello. Thanks again, Harrison!

Moments later, my living room had turned into a recording spot for all things Nintendo Switch. My in-depth unboxing video ended up being more than 17 minutes in length, so I think it's safe to assume that my video is one of the longest unboxings on YouTube. What can I say? I was excited. The moment needed to count.

The rest of the weekend consisted of nerdgasms on top of nerdgasms. I was experiencing that love for Nintendo that I felt years ago with the original Wii. Nintendo was once again doing something truly innovative. That's not to say the Wii U was not innovative in its own way. It was, and it still is.

But the Switch? I have a good feeling about it. Sales wise, the console is already off to a great start. I'm just hoping Nintendo can keep it going strong throughout the next few years. I've got faith in them.

Getting back to the weekend, my first impressions of the Switch were overall very positive. The Switch may not be perfect, but what is? Everything has its shortcomings. But let me tell you, the pros easily outweigh the cons. I plan to touch upon this in future videos.

Focusing on the positive for now, switching between TV mode and handheld mode via the included dock was seamless, the Pro Controller was a joy to use, and the display on the Switch is surprisingly nice. It didn't match up to my initial reaction to something like the iPad's Retina Display, but it looked pretty damn good — especially coming from Nintendo, a company that typically hasn't used the best looking displays in the past.

The Switch is, without any doubt, a huge step for the gaming industry as a whole. Of course, it's going to take some time for Nintendo's newest console to gain traction in a market that is extremely competitive. For now, I invite you to check out my vlog right below and share the excitement. Days like this don't come around often enough.