Gaming

Top 10 Improvements Nintendo Switch Needs To Make

Two months on with Nintendo’s Switch console – here are Screen Critics Shaun’s top 10 improvements that Nintendo could make to its Switch console.

The Nintendo Switch is off to an impressive start to life, but a good opening doesn’t guarantee success. The key to Nintendo’s success moving forward will be re-enforcing it’s software lineup with strong titles and ensuring these come at a steady pace. In recent years, the company has overlooked E3 in favor of its own platforms – but this year it needs to put up a strong showing that draws attention to the console and makes the wider audiences want in.Here are the 10 improvements Nintendo needs to focus on moving forward.

 

10. Improve Communication

The saddest thing about Switch is that its online component is so laughably barebones. In order to even access the component, you have to leave whichever game you’re playing and open up a separate area on the consoles UI. It’s so pointless right now, and doesn’t bode well for the paid online experience the company has been touting.

Right now you can only add friends, see what they play and when they’re online. Outside of these three things, the online component might as well not exist. Perhaps most frustrating at all, there’s no messaging infrastructure; meaning you can’t even communicate with friends (The Wii has a basic system by default). Improvements can’t come soon enough, and Nintendo has to up its game.

Let us talk to friends via text at the bare minimum. Let us set up alerts for when certain fiends show up online. Let us do something with this online component that makes it feel like anything but an afterthought. It’s so frustrating right now.

 

9. Improve The Store UI

Speaking of barebones, we can’t avoid talking about the Switch’s insanely weaksauce eshop. Yes its early days but I’m not looking forward to the day when Nintendo packs this thing full of games and we’re forced to go hunting for them.

You have a touch interface Nintendo – use it. Look at the way Apple and Android handle their app stores. it’s simple, its elegant. It doesn’t require frustrating back and forth to find demos in an increasingly long list of pictures.

The 3DS’s eshop got better over time – so I’m confident that Nintendo can deliver on this down the line. But right now, they’re begging for disaster with the current iteration of the store. Improvements are needed to avert what will become a pileup of epic proportions.

 

8. Deliver AAA-Third Party Games In 2017

In showing off the Nintendo Switch, I usually get two responses. The first is amazement – Breath of the Wild delivers and then some in being a game that makes people go “wow”. The second usually comes several minutes later, “When’s <Insert game here> coming out?

Nintendo has said that some of the biggest AAA-games are coming. Minecraft arrives next week, while EA has committed FIFA to at least one showing. But this isn’t good enough. It’s early days for the console right now, but we need to see that third party’s are on board with the console. The likes of Ubisoft (Who’ve only put out Just Dance thus far) need to get some big titles out on the console.

People love Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but they really want to see the games they love on the console. It would signal confidence and give non-Nintendo fans a reason to get excited. Yes the likes of FIFA might not be hardcore gamers choice – but getting that title onto the Switch would be a huge coup for the company. TO the casual gamer – they need to see that Switch has the support of big developers. They need to see those improvements in choice of games. Nintendo’s first party line-up is strong, but as the Wii U showed – it can’t carry the can all by itself.

 

7. Improve Build Quality

I’ve seen reports of various Nintendo Switch issues plaguing early adopters. From naff JoyCon quality – through to the left JoyCon issue. These are inevitable in a console launch, and Nintendo deserves time to iron them out. But before this puppy goes supernova, Nintendo might want to get its house in order.

My Nintendo Switch’s left JoyCon has an awkward looseness compared to the right one. I’ve tried several friends consoles, and its an issue that seems exclusive to my console – and it bothers me everytime I click the JoyCon in. (The issue is the fact that the left JoyCon’s metal frame is loose, as it turns out). I’ve seen friends struggle with JoyCon cutouts (Many not knowing about Nintendo’s offer to fix the device for free). Improvements are sorely needed in this area.

Build quality on a device like the Nintendo Switch is essential, as gamers will spend a lot of time with their device. They need to know that it can withstand anything thrown at it, and doesn’t come packing potential pitfalls out the box. I’m hoping that with these kind of issues raised, the company can iron them out and can make the console more enjoyable in the long run.

6. Release A Better Basestation

Perhaps the most embarrassing thing in the Switch’s launch box was the basestation – which was a laughable joke upon first impressions. Don’t get me wrong, it does its job well enough – but I don’t feel confident putting my console into the Dock at all times – and I wish Nintendo would re-think its design choice.

Make it feel premium, put a little bit more effort in. This is intended to be the centre piece of the consoles Switch ability’s, so why does it feel like an afterthought? Why does it feel so cheap?

There are plenty of options that Nintendo could go through to guarantee improvements to this problem, both from a design and quality aspect. For such an integral piece of kit, it’s not what I expected.

 

5. Digital Store Pricing Is Laughable

If you like in the EU/UK, you’ll already be aware of the fact that Nintendo’s eshop is already home to some pricing disparity. When Puyo Puyo Tetris arrived in all the different regions, it came with a nasty price bump in the UK. It led to many gamers being forced to make use of the US store – where the game was around £10 cheaper.

Nintendo’s decision to let the console be region free was a masterstroke, but creating different user accounts and having to buy Nintendo codes to see the benefit is cumbersome. It shouldn’t be this way, and Nintendo needs to enforce a stricter pricing structure across all its stores to end this pointless runaround. Improvements like universal pricing could fix this problem for good.

It’s a minor issue, but it’s something that only highlights the awkward lengths you have to jump to in order to get a fair price in some situations.

 

4. Bring Back The Community Aspects

The Wii U might not have been the huge success Nintendo wanted, but it played host to one of gaming’s more interesting ideas – Miiverse. This community hub allowed gamers to share drawings, ideas and eve post their feelings about the game (and how hard it was). Granted it wasn’t revolutionary, but it fostered some of the consoles most creative content.

The fact that there’s none of this right now on Switch is a huge downer. Nintendo has the bones for this in place, but there’s no way to talk to any other users. It’s all the more baffling as Mii’s are still in the console – yet there’s barely anything to do with them. Why hasn’t Nintendo integrated Miitomo into the experience, or at the very least created community boards for people to talk about games from their consoles.

Even the 3DS had portable aspects, like StreetPass and other assorted software. Why didn’t this make the cut?

 

3. Lack of Sharing Options

I want to show off my Nintendo Switch and it’s best games, but Nintendo makes that harder than it needs to be. The company has a physical screenshot button on the front of the console – but the options in where to share this are plain awkward

With only Facebook and Twitter allowed, sharing on other platforms is a non-starter. If you’re one of those Instagram users who likes to show off, good luck getting your photos there easily. It’s a real shame, as all this would take is a few minutes of work from Nintendo to implement.

The company should be willing to let you take your social content wherever you fancy – at least to the level where gamers can make that decision themselves. The decision to remove a web browser may have increased security on the console, but it’s locked out a huge potential chance for free advertisement.

2. Where’s the Virtual Console?

I held off on putting this one on the list – because it’s so widely discussed that it doesn’t even really need to be mentioned. Why on earth Nintendo rushed out the console without its Virtual Console platform ready to go, I’ll never know. But the decision leaves the Switch robbed of its potential, and it needs to be fixed.

Retro games can help bridge the gap and give gamers some downtown between playing the major titles. What’s even more amazing is that developers are still publishing retro titles to the Wii U – why on earth isn’t that being delivered to the biggest console on the platform. It may sound trivial, but retro titles are part of Nintendo’s appeal, and their continued absence only serves to frustrate.

We know they’re coming at some point (They’ll form part of Nintendo’s online service) but this isn’t good enough. We need details and we need to see how long we’ll be waiting to get those classics.  The Wii close to 300 classic titles, while the Wii U’s only managed just over 200. We need improvements to this – otherwise frustration builds.

1. Data Management Choices

Perhaps the biggest frustration on Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s decision to deadweight its data management options. The Switch has a laughably low amount of internal storage, meaning you’ll be reaching for an SD Card sooner rather than later.

The fact that I can’t use an SD Card to swap out my saved games from one console to another is just plain baffling. Does Nintendo anticipate gamers won’t upgrade consoles? The fact some games are arriving as digital exclusives only hampers this problem – as space is eaten up all too soon. Once the Virtual Console launches, I don’t want to imagine the kind of mess we’ll be wading through. There isn’t even a cloud option – so if your console dies a painful death you’re very much out of luck.

Nintendo needs to be more open and fair. They need to fix this problem so 60 hours of Breath of the Wild progress isn’t lost. It shouldn’t b an issue in 2017 – and it’s arguably the biggest issue I’ve had with my Switch thus far. Improvements are needed if Nintendo wants us to buy into their ecosystem.

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