While the Nintendo Switch has been a source of amazing games… (sorry, lag), it still needs a lot of work to… (damn, lag again) become a truly wonderful console to play with for years to come. It’s online has been a sore spot, the library of retro games is disappointing, and the interface has not been changed at all.
Nintendo Switch Online
The Big N dropped the ball with the online system. A year into the Switch’s life, Nintendo added in a subscription model for access to the system’s online games, like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. At first, the promise of a better online experience with games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe seemed like a dream. Nintendo has always excelled with its gameplay, but the ability to play with others online has been mixed at best.
However, at the cheap price of $19.99 for a year, it seems like not much has been done to improve the online at all. In addition, how about a gifting system, a proper messaging system, and an in-system party-chat, so I can listen to both the game and the chat at the same time? The only added value right now is the excellent Tetris 99, and the NES and SNES games available with the subscription, which brings me to my next point.
The Lack of a Virtual Console
The ill-conceived move of having a small collection of games on a subscription-based model is head-scratching. The ability to play N64 and GameCube games (perhaps even Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and DS games) on a new portable system, alongside NES and SNES, seems like a money-maker for Nintendo. On the Wii and Wii U systems, each game sold at $4.99-$9.99US a pop, and with fans’ thirst for more content on the platform (with many games selling more on Switch than other console combined), it’s perplexing.
I’d love to play the old Pokemon games on the new system, or play some Super Mario 64 on the Switch. Smash fans would probably adore the ability to battle each other on Super Smash Bros. Melee without having to haul a CRT with them. There’s a wealth of content on previous Nintendo consoles that need a refresh, and old/new Nintendo fans are clamoring for them. It would also be great to not rely on the overly expensive used market, too.
Visual and Audio Enhancements
Despite the bright and colorful exterior, the Switch’s UI is incredibly bland. Unlike the Wii’s memorable layout and music, the Switch just glares back a white and black look with no music at all. Where’s that chirpy Nintendo branding that we know and love? I’d love to hear some menu music from Nintendo Minute’s theme creator Dale North. He also worked on The Download’s theme music.
The inclusion of themes like the 3DS would be fantastic too and would make for some excellent pre-order incentives on the Nintendo eShop. How about a theme for each character in Super Smash Bros. or one for Metroid Prime 4, teasing concept art for the game? The possibilities are there, and Nintendo are doing nothing with it. There could be purchasable themes, as well. Make that dough, Nintendo!
Is there something I missed? Let us know in the comments below what you think the Nintendo Switch needs to improve on, and thank you always for visiting SwitchWatch.co.uk.