What The Nintendo Switch Needs In 2020

Yes, I'm out of ideas! Let's talk about things my CAD$400 plastic brick could use in the year of our Lord 2020. Published on Mon, Mar 30, 2020. Written by Michael Bassili.

Despite being locked indoors for the past few weeks, I have been in a bit of a writer’s rut. And what better to dig oneself out of a rut than to produce shallow content!

Welcome To The
COVID-19 Content Drought

There are dozens of features the Switch lacks. There are even dozens of currently-implemented features that could use some work (e.g. the online functionality). But there were a few things that I’ve found myself yearning for.

  1. More main menu themes and sound effect options
  2. Better performance while browsing the eShop
  3. User ratings on products in the eShop
  4. Better/more curated selections of games in the eShop

Let’s skim through these in order! (1) The 3DS had a wide selection of custom menu themes. Each theme had its own sound effects and aesthetic. I was personally a big fan of the MGS3 system theme. Side note: the MGS3 3DS port wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t not-terrible. Maybe I should review old 3DS games… In any case, there were options. The Switch currently only has two themes: light and dark. While I appreciate a good dark theme, it’s no replacement for a creative system theme.

Gotta go fast! (2) The performance of the eShop is confusing. I’m not 100% sure the reason for the poor navigation performance while browsing the eShop, but it’s not good. I suspect it’s pulling entries dynamically as you scroll, downloading images as-needed, resulting in performance dips. As a programmer, I’ve thought of a few solutions. One could be to batch-download store items. Show a loading screen every 20 items or so while downloading the next batch of 20. In terms of UX design, having smooth browsing performance broken up by loading screens “feels” a lot more responsive than constant lag.

There’s a great shovelware issue on the Switch. Like the Wii, most of the eShop is garbage. (3) There needs to be some way of rating products on the eShop. You could restrict rating to users which either have the game card registered on their console, or who own the product digitally on their Nintendo account. User ratings go a long way to ensuring quality titles are properly promoted on your sales platform. This would also open up the possibility of having a “highest rated” section of the eShop. It can update every week, showing the highest-rated games of the past seven days.

And that brings us to… (4) More curation on the eShop. The “best sellers” section of the store is helpful, and so are the categories under the search menu. But the “great deals” section is oversaturated with cheap garbage nobody wants to buy. A rating system could help filter the trash from this list, but it would be nicer if there was some sort of curation on the store. One option would be to allow users to assign tags to games they own. The store could cluster similarly-tagged products together on the store. Those clusters can be sorted by their user-ratings too.

Ta-da! Content! I’m gunning for the system themes, but I’m not holding my breath. Plus, I think the Switch is great. Unlike the PS4 and the XBONE, the Switch just plays games. No ads on the home screen. No useless, degenerate apps. Just games. It’s unfortunately refreshing to see a video game console that only plays games. It feels like other mainstream consoles nowadays are trying to replace my TV, laptop, my car, etc. It’s nice to have a single item that does its job extremely well.

A big thanks to Kyle Isaak for his continued support of Mike’s Gaming Trove. If you want access to exclusive articles and goodies (and/or you also want to help support the site), you can support us on Patreon.

636 Words
3 Minutes To Read
Posted on 30/03/2020

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