The Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest products in the gaming industry since its launch in spring of 2017. It is a unique hybrid console that can also act as a handheld system and can be played anywhere you go. The Nintendo Switch has come out so far as a pretty good success for Nintendo with how well the system has sold. So far it has sold over 20 million hardware units, as well as nearly 90 million software sales. In just 1.5 years the Switch has already sold more units than its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii U.
Like many Nintendo systems that came before it, The Nintendo Switch boosts a rather impressive library of exclusives with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The 2018 release lineup looks bright with the upcoming release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, as well as what we already know about potential 2019 games like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4.
Despite the promising success of Nintendo’s newest hardware, there are quite a few concerns about the system. Some of these could be major concerns that could affect future sales; others may be smaller, yet head-scratching flaws that make you wonder what on earth is Nintendo thinking. Here we will cover 25 problems with the Switch that shows Nintendo is still behind the times in certain areas despite the overall good quality of the system.
24 STILL No GameCube Support
While on the topic of the Virtual Console, it was pretty amazing to be able to have access to classic games from the NES to the N64. Since the Wii U launched in 2012, fans have been hoping for Nintendo GameCube games to be included into the Virtual Console library. However, there has yet to be a single GameCube game available on the Virtual Console.
There are plenty of classics that fans would love to dive back into such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, and F-Zero GX.
The GameCube support would greatly bolster Nintendo’s legacy content library and some games could further benefit from added features such as online play. With the recent strike of ROMs, GameCube games are becoming more difficult to have access to. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance was recently seen being available on Amazon for over $300. GameCube support on Switch should be a very easy decision, especially since the system can support the controllers.
23 Nintendo’s Voice Chat Functionality Makes No Sense
Nintendo’s approach to voice chat has always been some kind of crazy adventure. The company’s first method of voice chat was done with the Wii Speak accessory that conducted voice chat throughout the entire room and was really only used for Animal Crossing: City Folk. The Nintendo Switch does have voice acting, but Nintendo is opting to utilize it through the Nintendo Switch Online app. It can be a hassle to use another device just for voice chatting.
It’s hard to believe Nintendo can’t get something so simple right.
What is even more confusing is that the Switch actually can use voice chat by plugging in a microphone into the headphone jack of the Switch. The only game that supports this right now is Fortnite. What is silly about it is that the headphones have to be wired, so if you are playing docked you would have to be sitting real close to your docked Switch.
22 Nintendo’s Online Is Still A Joke
If there is one thing Nintendo has never really done well is having a good online service for their systems. The Gamecube only had one online game, and the Wii used those dreaded friend codes for every individual game. At the very least the experience was free, which minimized complaints for a little bit. However, now Nintendo is jumping into offering a paid online service that will likely have started by the publishing of this article.
It may only be $20 per year, but its features are extremely lacking.
The biggest pull is that you could stream NES games as part of your subscription and play online with others. That may sound great, but some of these NES games are ones that have been redistributed over and over again. The idea of playing Super Mario Bros. 3 again, even if it is online, doesn’t exactly sound exciting.
21 Seriously? You Can’t Even Message Your Friends?
One of the most perplexing omissions from the functionality of the Nintendo Switch is one of the most basic features you could implement in a system. For some odd reason, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t even have the ability to send message between friends on your friend list. Why would Nintendo not include such a basic feature? One could hazard a guess that it has something to do with user experience and interacting between random users, but it really doesn’t make much sense to not include messaging between Switch users.
20 The eShop Feels Like It Was Made In 2007
As it stands right now, the current eShop on the Nintendo Switch is honestly a mess. It lacks any kind of visual appeal for the biggest and most popular games and it doesn’t even have background music playing.
What is really sad is that the Wii U’s eShop is a far greater design and a more consumer friendly experience.
Many of the game entries get lost in the flood of indie titles, and when you select a game to view it only shows off a few screenshots and sometimes a trailer or two. The flooding issue is a major concern for games that don’t receive a whole lot of marketing support or games from very small indie developers.
19 Most Of The Good Games Are Just Ports
Nintendo has done an excellent job of managing the release schedule of their software for the Nintendo Switch. 2017 had at least one noticeable game released each month after launch and it continued in 2018. However, while there are great exclusives, there are many other great games that are ports. Some of these ports are fairly recent games such as DOOM and Wolfenstein 2, others are ports of games that have been out for multiple years like Skyrim and Rocket League. Then there are the cluster of Wii U ports like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Bayonetta 2, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. This isn’t a problem for those who have missed out on these games, but for many dedicated gamers, there have been a few droughts here and there within the Switch’s game lineup.
18 720p Just Isn’t Acceptable When Docked
It’s no secret that Nintendo elects to focus more on innovative ways to play games as opposed to building powerful consoles that are similar to Xbox and PlayStation. While it certainly has given them an advantage at times, the reality of having an underpowered system can be hard to commit more time to if you own more than one platform. There are a few Switch games that can play at the 1080p, 60 FPS standard, and those games do look fantastic. However, there are plenty of games, specifically multiplatform games, that can suffer in performance. While it is very impressive for porting companies like Panic Button to somehow work a game like DOOM on Switch, for many players, playing that game at 30 FPS compared to the smooth 60 FPS on other systems just isn’t good enough.
17 The Joy-Cons Can Still Be Dysfunctional
Like most consoles, the Switch had many technical issues when it launched in March of 2017. One of those issues was related to the Joy-Con controllers that are used for the system. Occasionally, there will be times where they simply lose connection or fail to respond to any inputs.
Another issue that these controllers will have is a drifting problem where movement of the analog stick is input without actually moving the stick. This can cause characters to walk on their own without moving. All of these problems occurred within the launch units, so if you purchased your Switch when it launched, you will likely have to get your Joy-Cons repaired by Nintendo at some point or buy brand new ones.
16 You Won’t Be Able To Play Zelda Undocked For Very Long
With a system like the Nintendo Switch that can be a console in a handheld system, one of the more obvious drawbacks will be the battery life of the system when played in handheld mode. When playing certain heavy games like Breath of The Wild, the Switch’s battery life will only last for a few hours, even with adjusted brightness settings.
You only have enough of a charge to play during one road trip to another city or a somewhat short flight.
It doesn’t help that you’ll need a stronger portable battery if you want to charge it, but there are ways to work around it and get the most out of your time away. Either way, even if it is just a few hours, there is still a great satisfaction owners can have in playing console games anywhere.
15 The Nintendo Switch Online App Is Still Worthless
The Nintendo Switch Online App was released alongside Splatoon 2 during the summer of last year. The app’s main purpose was to connect players together for various multiplayer games. After a year of its release, the only game to utilize this app as of the time of writing is still Splatoon 2. Within the Splatoon 2 tab it does track some statistics and such, but other than that, the app is largely useless. If there was more of a community link involved with the app then maybe it could be something worth checking out.
14 A Second Pair Of Controllers Isn’t Worth It
With advancements in technology, gaming can get more expensive as the years go on. Nintendo has taken that on another level with the pricing of both the Joy-Con controllers and the Switch Pro Controller. With Nintendo systems you typically want more controllers for local multiplayer games, or simply for fashion reasons like multiple colors.
Joy-Con pairs cost $80 and a single Pro controller is $70.
Not only that, but with the Switch’s handheld nature, owners would typically look for accessories to help carry their Switch around. Most carrying cases for the Switch will cost around $20. So with $300 for the system, $60 for each game, $20 for must-have accessories, and $70-80 for any more controllers or accessories, you’re easily spending nearly $500 right away on the Nintendo Switch.
13 Only Enough Storage To Download A Handful Of Games
If you plan on downloading many games into the Nintendo Switch, you won’t be able to store much into the system. Of course, Switch games are well compressed and won’t take up as much space as games on PlayStation and Xbox games, but you won’t have much internal space to store many games onto the system.
The Nintendo Switch out of the box only has 32 GB of internal storage.
Purchasing a micro SD card is just another accessory that will be needed for any dedicated Switch gamer. It’s recommended that you should get at least a 64 GB micro SD card for the Nintendo Switch, 128 GB would be a safer option.
12 Virtual Console Needs To Come Back
With the announcement of the Nintendo Switch Online service featuring streaming NES games, Nintendo also announced that they are ending the use of the Virtual Console brand. As of the time of writing, we only know the online service to include NES games without any mentioning of other systems.
No, Virtual Console might give players a reason to keep their Wii U a little bit longer.
The Virtual Console service has been one of the better elements of Nintendo’s online offering and some form of a library of Nintendo’s legacy content is a must for any system that they develop.
11 Those Splatoon 2 Disconnections Are Still Annoying
The Nintendo Switch primarily uses P2P online for its multiplayer games. That means that when a system connects online they are connecting to every other system in a match. Each system uploads data for each system in the lobby to download. The problem with this is that many people do not have many 100% perfect online. So even if your online connection is solid, there is still a chance a disconnection happens. This is why many Switch users suffer from random disconnections in Nintendo games such as Splatoon 2. Additionally, if you are on the go, you won’t be able to play P2P games with a mobile hotspot. However, there are games like Rocket League and Fortnite that do use dedicated servers instead of P2P.
10 There Isn’t Even A Web Browser In This Thing
One feature that you would think most media based technologies would have is an internet browser. While the Switch does connect to the internet, allowing you to post screenshots and videos to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, It does not have its own accessible internet browser. It’s unclear why Nintendo couldn’t simply have even a basic browser accessible at launch, perhaps the Switch as it is right now may not be able to support certain apps and plug-ins, but in this day and age, it’s another missing feature that can make the Switch feel like outdated technology.
9 That Kickstand Is Way Too Fragile
One of the alternate modes you can use to play Nintendo Switch is the tabletop mode. Table top mode is where you can place the Switch system on a flat surface and open up the kickstand to have it rest facing diagonally toward you. This is pretty handy to play as if you don’t feel like holding the entire Switch system while playing undocked. But there is one problem; the kickstand that is used to keep the system up is actually quite fragile. After wear and tear, the kickstand itself will easily become dislodged but it can be placed back on. Also, after a while the kickstand may just become loose on its own and may dangle a bit.
8 The Switch Still Lacks Some Quality Third Party Support
The Nintendo Switch has actually gathered some decent third party games from companies like Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Square Enix. While Nintendo has done a good job gaining more third party support on the Nintendo Switch, it is still lacking a bit. There are still big name companies keeping big name games away from the Nintendo Switch.
It would be nice if the Switch could get games like Grand Theft Auto V.
Of course the obvious problem is that the Switch isn’t as powerful as other consoles. This makes things very difficult for certain high budget games to appear on the system. Because of this, Nintendo will always be a step behind for big name third party games.
7 Nintendo Is Putting Most Of Their Eggs In One Basket Each Year
While the overall quality of the Nintendo Switch library is very good, Nintendo’s marketing of what are the system sellers are just a few games in each year so far. In 2017, Nintendo heavily relied their marketing on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. While in 2018, Nintendo’s main focus is on Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While it’s pretty normal for a console to rely on a couple games as their highlight for a year, Nintendo doesn’t put much marketing effort in other quality but not major brand games. This has always created an inaccurate perception that Nintendo only has a couple great games each year when in fact they sometimes have many.
6 When Is That Netflix App Coming?
What is really unusual about this is the reasoning both Nintendo and Netflix give for why the Switch currently does not have a Netflix app available. The app is apparently complete and ready to be released whenever. But if you were to ask Nintendo what is going on with the status of the app, they say “Ask Netflix.” When you ask Netflix, they respond with “Ready when Nintendo gives the green light.”
Seriously when is it coming?
Netflix is available in nearly every multimedia devise. This is a key app for the more casual customer, Nintendo can’t really keep this delayed any further, otherwise people may just stay with PlayStation and Xbox.
5 It Would Be Nice If The Switch Had Folders
Folders were first introduced in the Nintendo 3DS and later the Wii U. These folders could be created and used to store whatever games together the user wants. This was actually a helpful feature in that you could arrange games based on whatever criteria you want. If you want to focus on unfinished games or store games you are finished with, you can create a folder and set your library up however you like.
Those with a ton of Switch icons will want this feature.
The Switch does not have this feature whatsoever, and it would be a nice thing to have too. At the very least it would allow users to actually move the icons around.
4 Console/Handheld Hybrid Is Great And All, But It’s Not For Everyone
For many potential players, the Switch’s most relevant feature may not matter for a lot of people. It’s awesome how the Switch can go from the TV to a handheld devise so easily, but not everyone will care. To these people that may only use the Nintendo Switch one way or another.
If looked at as a home console only option, the Switch comes off as underpowered. On the other hand, if looked at as a handheld only system it may come off as too expensive, and too big. This means that the Switch’s appeal must cater to those who actually would take advantage of both ways.
3 Cloud Saves Only Works For Certain Games
Cloud saving will be a part of the Nintendo Switch Online service that will start at the end of September. It has been revealed that not every game on the Switch will support cloud saves, certain games like Splatoon 2 will not support it to avoid users from getting an unfair advantage. While it is understandable to fight against any form of cheating, it may complicate things for games like Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee as there is a lot of content beyond just Pokémon creatures that would be nice to save.
2 The Switch’s Home Screen Is Boring
Many video game consoles today have menu themes that are actually pretty nice, some that you wouldn’t mind having in the background while you are doing something else. Nintendo has had some nice themes in the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U for displaying Miiverse posts. The Nintendo Switch however, it is actually too simple. All it is, is just a basic screen with only white or black themes. There isn’t any background music and it makes the home menu just flat out boring. The Nintendo Switch needs to have optional game themes similar to what is available for the Nintendo 3DS.
1 Still No Achievement System
Honestly, Achievements on Xbox and Trophies on PlayStation is one of the more overrated features, but there is a good bragging right for many gamers who like to show off their overall profile in what games they have played. This could be done really nicely for Nintendo if they were to ever implement a universal achievement system. This would be helpful in bringing many Nintendo fans together and urge them to try a wide variety of games.
There isn’t much work needed to establish an achievement system, and besides, many games already have their own internal achievement feature. It’s not a major problem, but it is one that would be a positive addition to the Nintendo Switch experience.