Great recap & analysis, Charlie! I'm sure Nintendo saved itself a lot of maintenance headaches by opting for a single, unified UI.
Is there literally zero difference when you hook it up to a massive TV vs the tiny handheld screen, though? I wonder if there would have been a way to detect HDMI input or something and at least display more tiles horizontally, effectively a mostly-unchanging-but-slightly-responsive design.
The UI is displayed at 720p even on a 1080p TV. Games output varies.
I don't believe there is any difference at all whether the UI is display on the Switch's screen or an external display. It is always displayed at a 16:9 ratio. The system knows what it is outputting the display to. Nintendo choose to make it exactly the same.
I was pretty surprised to find out that the UI doesn't scale based on TV/handheld mode. But Charlie makes a good point about how well they thought out the UI whether it's a 6" screen right up against your face vs. a 50" display ten feet away.
I worked internal reviews like this when I was at Sony (for the PlayStation) and it's exciting that people are starting to care more about game UI and console design in general. Definitely seems like Nintendo is paying attention.
Nice review. I've yet to play around with a Switch. Excited to check one out eventually. This looks worlds ahead of the Xbox or PlayStation interface. Both of them have become more cluttered and ad filled over the years. I still miss the days of the Xbox blade system.