Five years have passed since the Nintendo Switch was released, and in that time, the console has exceeded nearly all expectations. The system has sold over 100 million units and continues to see success with its most recent iteration, the OLED model. Nintendo, despite relatively sporadic releases of its IP, is continuing to update the system and its games in unique ways. The most recent update, for instance, gave the home interface a folder system.
There are still many features Switch owners would like to see, however. Folders, or “groups” as the interface refers to them, were one such feature. It seems as though Nintendo is either unaware of or is ignoring the desires of its player base, as there are plenty of other features that have been more widely requested than folders. Each of these particular features would enhance the Nintendo Switch’s performance in different ways.
Themes for the Switch
The most widely requested feature for the Nintendo Switch’s interface is hands down the addition of new themes. Since the launch of the Switch, players have wanted to change the home menu’s color palette to something besides “dark” or “light.” Black and white color schemes are a nice option, but leave the player wanting more. A variety of color themes ranging from solid colors to character schemes were available for the Nintendo 3DS, so it’s fair to expect a few more options for the Switch. What’s more, 3DS themes also changed the home music and icon design.
Web Browsing and Streaming
Themes are a no-brainer for the Switch, but other features seem more like a wishlist item than a must-have integration. Web browsing, for instance, isn’t absolutely necessary but is something that would enrich the Switch’s home interface. There are standalone apps that implement some aspects of web browsing (the YouTube app, for example), but nothing that compares to the internet features seen in previous Nintendo consoles. There was even a channel on the Wii that was a fully functioning web browser: a web browsing experience analogous (or at least very close) to the desktop experience.
Similarly, the Switch should introduce more video streaming services to the platform. This was something that Nintendo aimed to do with “TVii” for the Wii U back in 2012, but failed to popularize. The failure is largely attributed to slow loading times and the Wii U’s poor sales, but the Switch can improve upon this by providing apps for streaming services besides YouTube and Hulu.
Detailed Summaries of Playtime
Another feature that should be added to the system’s interface is a more comprehensive breakdown of gameplay time. The Switch already does this, but it’s not nearly as robust as it has been in the past.
Whereas the Wii’s Nintendo Channel was a designated space for showing playtime across all titles down to the minute, the Switch’s playtime stats are only available on player profiles, only show the most recent titles, and round to the nearest hour. It would be nice to see a more accurate breakdown on the home screen, one that notes how fast a game was beaten and keeps track of playtime even after re-downloading apps. Using this info, it would also be interesting to see data visualizations based on playtime.
The Switch has been a colossal success — that much, no one can deny. Between games with original IPs and third-party ports, the Switch offers a comprehensive library of games. Nintendo has yet to address many of the most common requests and complaints regarding the system, though, and it seems as though this won’t change any time soon. The addition of folders to the Switch home menu is a great step in the right direction, but many other features probably won’t be introduced. With any luck, a new iteration of the Nintendo Switch (perhaps the elusive Switch Pro) will incorporate more player feedback.
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