The Nintendo Switch is nearly 2 years old, having initially released in March 2017, and since then has taken the world by storm, shipping 32.27 million units and 163.6 million games. Which is pretty impressive! Nintendo is back in style, loading the console up with amazing exclusives and ports, and being a great hub for indie and AAA games alike. But, it’s not perfect.
So I decided to think on what the Switch needs to really hit the success of the Wii, which had a lifetime sales record of over 100 million, or at least be a better, more modern console than it already is. Which is hard, because it’s an amazing little machine that combines the best of console and handheld gameplay in a neat little package. So, here’s 5 things I think could vastly improve the Switch and make it possibly the perfect console for every audience.
Better app support
Most modern consoles have a variety of apps on board. Ranging from their own personal offerings like the PlayStation Access App or the Xbox XLEi app, through to third-party streaming apps like Netflix or Animelab. There are also a variety of browsers, music streaming services, VR experiences, cloud storage services and everything in between. Even the Wii sort of paved the way in this regard with dedicated weather and news channels. The Switch, on the other hand, is a little lacking in this department.
The only real ‘app’ to speak of that the Switch currently has is YouTube. Which is great, I watch a lot of YouTube! But it’s not much of an offering when compared with other consoles. Even the 3DS had more apps, as well as an internet browser, another feature the Switch lacks. Yes, there’s a hidden way to access a browser so don’t yell at me in the comments. But, it’s not an official way and is incredibly obtuse to access and doesn’t even fully function properly as a browser, so it doesn’t count.
If the Switch had the ability to stream, provide news and weather updates or even just a little painter app on the go, it would get a lot more use from me than it already does. Although, with Hulu available on the American Switch store and various streaming services and apps available on other Nintendo consoles… Is it only a matter of time before we see the eShop getting a dedicated bundle of apps? I sure hope so. Please let me stream The Good Place from my Switch, Nintendo.
Okay, so this one might not be right up there for everyone, I get that. But I’m the kind of person who has to compulsively slap stickers on everything to make it look cool. And, as a result, I also love changing wallpapers and themes on my various devices. Just to add that little ‘yes, this device belongs to me and is a reflection of my personality’, sort of thing.
Again, a lot of other consoles allow this. I have a really cool Slowpoke theme on my 3DS and I love it. But, the Switch instead just kind of teases us with a ‘themes’ option in the menu. And then, only giving us light and dark themes. The dark theme is the correct answer if you were wondering.
But, I would love to be able to at least include a wallpaper on my Switch. Maybe they could include dynamic themes that scroll with the menu screen, like the huge Smash Brothers Ultimate mural. Or, perhaps something more static but included custom sounds and icons. I can imagine a Super Mario Odyssey theme would be absolutely delightful. The included icons, while very cute (I use Bob the cat from Animal Crossing), aren’t enough to satisfy my need for customisation.
A revamped store
I can’t tell you how much I love the Nintendo eShop. I’m on there constantly, and I think this is by far the best, most diverse eShop we’ve had in a long time. It’s amazing to see Nintendo supporting so many indie creators. Plus, I’m always surprised when I load it up and see a new indie title, or even some AAA titles like DOOM managing to make their way to the Switch. All while still looking absolutely amazing. It’s super cool! I could browse the eShop all day.
And, unfortunately, I have to browse the eShop all day to properly explore it.
It’s not bad, exactly, and perhaps this is a minor thing that comes down to personal taste again. But, I find the main splash page and the options available to not be inclusive enough for a store that houses so many options. While it does offer options to choose by genre and by price, these aren’t in the main list. Instead, they are only available when going through the search option. Even then, it’s laid out in such a way that just feels a little clumsy to me.
Or, maybe I’ve just been spoiled by platforms like Steam which give me every option to search by under the sun and then some.
More retro offerings
Listen, Nintendo. I love the original Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Brothers. Everyone does! They’re pretty good! But I’m also very tired of being given those games as your ‘retro’ offerings every single time. You have other platforms and games! The Switch is more than capable enough of running them, too!
The Virtual Console was one of the best parts of the Wii and honestly one of the best ideas for a console full stop. When it doesn’t have backwards compatibility this is the next best thing. It would be great to be able to get my hands on SNES, N64 and even GameCube games through a service like this. Even offerings from other retro consoles would be great. I really want to play Ristar again.
I know it’s coming! I know it’s on the way! But I’m super impatient, okay! I miss all my animal buddies. When I was a kid I had no friends and Animal Crossing for the Gamecube and I can’t tell you the amount of time I spent with those friends. Same for every release since then.
Let me back in, Nintendo! Let me live unrealistic situations like owning my own home or being able to afford a furniture set that actually matches!