Super Mario Odyssey is the reason to buy a Switch. This might be the most enjoyable video game I’ve played since Super Mario 64 was released 21 years ago. It’s beautiful, complex, and impossible to put down. There’s so much to explore and uncover across so many worlds. I beat the game over the Thanksgiving break, but I’ve played for hours since then, trying to unlock the game’s final secrets. Combined with the new Zelda and Mario Kart games, along with all the third-party games available, the Switch has become as indispensable as I’d hoped.

Playing the same games everywhere. Over the last week, I played Super Mario on the train, on the couch, hooked up to my TV, and on a tabletop with the controllers detached. There’s something really special about being able to take a game with you wherever you’re going. You don’t have to stop playing because you need to leave for work, or because you have a flight to catch. I left the Switch’s dock at home when traveling, as it can charge from the same USB-C cable I use to charge my MacBook.

Everything you’ll find in a Switch box, and a cartridge.
Everything you’ll find in a Switch box, and a cartridge.
Image: Quartz/Dave Gershgorn

Playing all sorts of ways is unique. Recently, I’ve felt like I’m in a Switch commercial, as I’ve played with the console in just about every way possible. I’ve detached the controllers and played quick games of Mario Kart with friends. I’ve played on my TV, I’ve played in handheld mode, and I’ve played with it docked and flailed around with the controllers like I was playing on a Wii. There’s no other console on the market that has this level of flexibility, and it’s part of what makes the Switch unique.

There’s more to come. Nintendo is working on more original games, including new Pokémon, Yoshi, Kirby, and Metroid titles, that should debut in 2018. There are also rumors that Nintendo will create a sort of arcade for the Switch that will let users download and play popular old Nintendo games, like Super Smash Bros. Melee, or Animal Crossing.

The Switch has rapidly transformed from a promising piece of technology to one of the most exciting consoles ever. Unless Nintendo takes its foot off the gas and decides its future lies elsewhere, it’s difficult to see the Switch becoming anything other than one of Nintendo’s biggest successes of all time.

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