Although we’re a little bit in love with the Nintendo Switch, it’s far from perfect. In fact, there are some BIG Nintendo Switch features we’re still waiting for.
Whether that’s support for online chat, Virtual Console or simply an option to chill out with some Netflix between searching for Korok seeds, there are a few features we’d love to have.
Here are our seven most important missing Nintendo Switch features:
1. Support for Streaming Services
Nintendo has said since launch that the Switch would be getting Netflix and other streaming services “in time”.
“We’re talking to a range of companies about other services, companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon – things that will come in time,” explained Nintendo of America boss, Reggie Fils-Aime. “What differentiates us is the way you play with the Nintendo Switch and what you can play. And that will continue to be our focus into the future as we continue driving this platform.”
The Switch is one of the only tech products we own that doesn’t have any kind of streaming service – even the 3DS has Netflix. While we understand that Nintendo wants to differentiate the Switch as a dedicated gaming console, that doesn’t mean that it can’t offer a few other services.
After all, with the games library still fairly limited, we’d love something else to do on the Switch when we eventually grow weary of Breath of the Wild.
2. Online chat and other services
You can currently play online multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch for free. Okay, so aside from the limited Splatoon 2 Global Testfire and the upcoming Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there’s not much online multiplayer to dabble in yet, but hey, the option is there. But, you can’t actually talk to anyone whilst you play or do anything else you’d love to using the Switch’s upcoming online service.
Nintendo’s plan is to bring its full raft of online services to the Switch in stages and the majority of useful features will sit behind a paywall similar to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live. At the moment, the service is in its ‘free trial’ stasis, with only online multiplayer available at this stage.
The full service isn’t launching until the autumn, when the mobile app is released for Android and iOS (although a free, limited version of the app is coming this summer). That app will let you connect to the Switch, invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with your friends, just as you can on other consoles.
It’s a long time to wait until the Switch’s online services even slightly resemble what Nintendo actually wants them to look like. The actual subscription price still remains in the wind too.
3. Actual subscription perks
With the fully fledged Switch online service, you’ll also get access to a NES or SNES game to play free for a month. Yes, you read that right. Free… for a month. Unlike Xbox’s Games with Gold or PlayStation Plus titles, you don’t get to keep the games you get with the Switch service – which still doesn’t haven’t a name. After the initial month of play, it seems you’re going to have to buy the titles you enjoy on top of your monthly payment.
Nintendo claims subscribers “may receive special subscriber-only price promotions for certain products in Nintendo eShop”. But we’re still not convinced.
If we’re going to pay for a subscription service on top of buying the incredibly expensive Switch titles, we want some real perks. Not just limited access games and definitely not a few eShop discounts.
4. A full Nintendo eShop
At the moment, the Nintendo Switch eShop is what you’d call a little barebone. When it first launched with the Switch in March, it didn’t have a search function. It’s a little better now, but it’s clunky, difficult to navigate and very, very limited.
You can only view the recent releases, charts, a list of games coming soon and you’ve got the option to redeem a code. In fact, there are only 24 games currently available via the store to buy right now at the time of writing, with another six listed in the coming soon section.
Compare that to the PlayStation or Xbox stores, or even the Wii U’s eShop, and the Switch’s storefront looks very minimalist indeed. Nintendo promises that there’ll be more than 60 indie games available on the console by the end of the year, but that’s still comparatively slim pickings.
5. Virtual Console
Of course, the fact that Nintendo’s latest console currently also lacks Virtual Console support doesn’t help the Switch eShop’s cause. The Virtual Console service is Nintendo’s way of offering backwards compatibility for games on older console generations, but you have to pay for the privilege.
Reports suggest that the Switch will be the first modern Nintendo console to feature GameCube titles as part of its Virtual Console line-up. But, all Nintendo has said on the matter so far is that virtual console would “not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch. We will share more information in the future”.
There’s still no estimated launch date for Virtual Console or official confirmation as to what games will be on offer. Maybe that’ll change at E3 in June, but we’ll just have to wait (impatiently) and see.
6. Achievements or trophies
There’s something about hearing the ping of accomplishment. Whether that’s a PlayStation trophy or Xbox achievement, everyone loves being rewarded just for playing a game. They might not mean anything in reality, although we’d love to whack them on our CV, but we don’t know a single gamer who doesn’t love them.
That’s why it’s so sad that Nintendo’s latest console still doesn’t offer some kind of achievement system for its games. Heck, even Steam is doing them now.
After all the hours we’ve put into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we really should have platinumed it by now. Why won’t you let us, Nintendo?
7. An internet browser
An internet browser won’t be a missing Nintendo Switch feature for everyone, but for us, it’s a bit of an oversight. The PS4 might survive without an in-built browser, but the Nintendo Switch’s portability means that an internet browser would be much more appropriate.
Imagine being able to flick between a Breath of the Wild recipe guide in the middle of your latest adventure in Hyrule, without having to pull out your phone or tablet. Well, you can’t – at least not right now, anyway.
“Since all of our efforts have gone toward making Switch an amazing dedicated video game platform, it will not support [web browsing], at least at launch,” explained Nintendo President and CEO, Tatsumi Kimishima in an interview with Time.
There’s a downside to an integrated browser though, and that’s memory. A browser takes up a lot of system memory, so not having one means that all your storage will be used solely for gaming. And that’s never a bad thing.
Are there any Nintendo Switch features you’d love to have? Hit us up with your thoughts on Twitter @getfandom