February 7, 2023

One of my biggest complaints about using a Nintendo Switch in handheld mode is that the screen is just too small. And unlike previous Nintendo handhelds like the Game Boy and Game Boy Advanceno company has been brave enough to release an outright booklight and magnifying glass combo for the Switch.

If you asked me how interested I would be, in a Switch with a massive 11.6-inch screen, I’d be counting down 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 think Nintendo knows best.) Well, that future is here — and it’s apparently been here longer than I realized. A company called Up-Switch makes the Oriona glorified Switch dock meets screen that can be sandwiched between two Joy-Con controllers.

This $299.99 accessory is like Kirby inhaling your Switch and the by-product gives you a bigger screen. The back of the Orion pops open to reveal a slot that opens to fit the console and connect through the Switch’s USB-C port. It has a kickstand on the back along with built-in speakers. The Orion has an HDMI port, which Up-Switch says can be used for other game consoles or streaming devices.

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

I would have given this gadget some credit for slapping the Joy-Con controllers on the side, but it includes removable controller grips, which seem all but necessary to make it comfortable to handle the full 1.5lb weight of to hold up the Orion. Note, however, that that weight doesn’t include the Switch’s 10.5 ounces, nor does the weight of the portable power bank you’ll need to carry on its back if you want to go mobile with this slightly erratic setup. you can ditch the power bank and plug it in with the USB-C power adapter Nintendo ships with every Switch, but it defeats the purpose of using the Switch in handheld mode once you’re no longer mobile.

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The Orion made the rounds with a few media outlets in late 2021 when it launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I especially enjoyed Nintendo lifecomprehensive coverage of it, including the video reviewthat makes no effort at all to bring to light some flaws that you would otherwise only know by trying it out yourself – such as that the Orion screen has a resolution of 768p and that it pales in comparison to the Switch OLED and the Switch’s original screen. Oddly enough, the dual speakers are on the back of the Orion, facing away from the person holding it.

Their recommendation, if you really want to fulfill a version of this dream that is clearly not meant to be a reality, is to invest in a portable 1080p monitor. As for me, I guess I’ll just keep dreaming of what could be coming in the oft-rumored Switch Pro.