8 things Nintendo Switch needs to keep winning in 2018
The Nintendo Switch is an impressive console, but it’s not going to remain impressive for long. While the launch was successful, the honeymoon period is over and no one is talking about Breath of the Wild anymore. People are slowly realizing that the Switch does far less than any other console in the market. While Super Mario Odyssey will take Breath of the Wild’s place as the Switch’s killer app, Nintendo won’t be able to sell the Switch on occasional killer games alone. Here are eight things the Switch needs to do in order to keep pace with the other consoles on the market. If Nintendo can provide these features in the coming year, then the Switch might just be here to stay.
Video game consoles do a lot more than just play video games these days. They have become all-in-one media centers. Aside from the recently added Hulu app, the Switch doesn’t allow you to do any of this. It seems like such a natural fit. Start a movie on your couch, get called into the office, take the movie with you, come home, watch it in bed. The Switch markets itself on portability and portable media is being pushed hard in smartphones, tablets, and other personal devices. Why not the Switch? Even Nintendo’s own 3DS lets you watch videos on YouTube.
The Switch updated it’s firmware to allow users to record short 30 second spurts of gameplay. This is nice but it’s far behind the competition. You can record much longer clips on the PS4 and Xbox One and, more importantly, you can stream your games to Twitch without much effort at all. Once again, this blends perfectly with the Switch’s portability. Popular streamers can host streams from conventions or other remote locations. E-sports tournaments can be streamed directly from the Switch’s hardware without needing capture cards. Every other electronic device runs Twitch these days, from console, to phone, to smart TV. It makes no sense that the Switch isn’t getting on board.
Better Buddy Lists
The gaming world is going digital and Nintendo is so far behind. Turn on a PS4 or Xbox One and you can immediately tell exactly what your friends are doing. You can hop into voice chat with them, join their games, and even watch them play. Turn on the Switch and you are only in your own little world. Nintendo has been incredibly resistant to the idea of online gaming, partially because of their family friendly image. If they want to cultivate the Switch’s image as being a hot new gaming device for young adults, they need to include the bare minimum of social functions… and no friend codes!
Smarter Data Management
Portability is the main appeal of the Switch, so it boggles the mind that the Switch’s save data is so… non-portable. The PS4 and Xbox one let you back up your save data to the cloud and download it to a friend’s console. If worst comes to worst, you can always back up your data on a USB stick or hard drive. The Switch doesn’t let you do any of this. The best you can do is connect two Switches to the same WiFi network to transfer data over. It’s just so strange that you can log in to a friend’s Switch and download any of your digital games with no problem, but transferring your save data is still a complicated mess. It’s like Nintendo added functions to their new console backwards.
Simple System Level Voice Chat
While this has been said before, Nintendo’s approach to voice chat is insane. It requires you to plug both the Switch and your phone into a dongle which is then plugged in to a headset. Note, the PS4 and Xbox One just let you use USB, 3.5mm, or Bluetooth headsets and enter into chat rooms with whichever friends you like. While the Switch was recently updated for use with USB headsets, there’s still no chat or party option to take advantage of it. Nintendo doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel here, they just need to offer what other consoles already do.
Social Media Functions
Not everyone needs to post everything they do to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever, but there are gamers that like to. The fact that the Switch cannot let them do it is a huge oversight. Once again, the Switch has limited capability to capture and share footage, but this isn’t a system level feature. As a result, the most we are getting out of it are a bunch of genuinely funny Breath of the Wild memes.
A Virtual Console
Nintendo’s current plan is to give anyone who signs up for their online service two free retro games a month. However, they haven't announced plans for a true Virtual Console. With the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles closing within the next year, gamers are going to want to go somewhere for their retro gaming fix, and no one has better retro libraries than Nintendo.
Smash Bros and Other E-Sports Titles
Every major console has an e-sports title to boast about. The PS4 and Xbox One have a variety of shooters and fighting games, from Call of Duty to Street Fighter V. The closest thing that the Switch has is Rocket League and the Switch isn’t the preferred platform for that game. Nintendo’s trailer advertised Splatoon 2 as it’s e-sports game of choice but, let’s face it, Nintendo isn’t going to leave its mark on the pro-gaming scene until a new Smash comes out.
What else does the Switch need to succeed? What features do you think it is missing? Let us know in the comments.