Microsoft has expanded the availability of free tools in Microsoft Teams for personal accounts so that people can use the app to connect with…
The Nintendo Switch event made for an entertaining watch on Friday, as the Japanese firm revealed a price and release date for the hybrid console.
However, it’s clear that there are a few sticking points to be had at this stage, with the launch library looking very thin, for one. But what about the device and associated online service? Here are a few things Nintendo needs to nail with the Switch itself and online functionality.
A proper cloud-based account system
Nintendo has always been one step behind the competition when it comes to online functionality. While the original Xbox and PS2 (to a large extent) emphasised online play, the GameCube was limited to the Phantasy Star Online games. A similar situation played out when the Wii came out, with friend codes and ho-hum connectivity being a downer.
The Wii U hasn’t been much better, as a stolen/non-functional console generally requires you to phone Nintendo and confirm a bunch of information to get access to your gaming library again (if you don’t have them on a hard drive). Heaven forbid, you forget to back up your saves… A cloud-based system for saves/ownership is a must for the Switch to be an attractive purchase.
Let us keep those NES/SNES games
Nintendo also used the Switch event to reveal a paid online service that gives users a NES or SNES game each month. Or rather, it lets them rent the game for a month.
In an era where Microsoft gives Xbox gamers four titles each month while Sony gives users six games across three consoles, Nintendo’s move makes for disappointing news. Here’s hoping Nintendo lets gamers keep the titles.
And while Nintendo is at it, they should add proper voice chat to the console instead of via a mobile app, as has been suggested.
Hard drive functionality
Yeah yeah, the Nintendo Switch is supposed to be a hybrid of portable and home console. So that means carrying a hard drive on the go is an awkward endeavour.
But there’s nothing to stop Nintendo from adding hard drive support to the Switch in dock mode (at the very least). After all, a 1TB drive is cheaper than a 1TB microSD card…
Where’s the pack-in title?
Nintendo is renowned for innovating/popularising new hardware features, delivering consoles with unique features, and the Switch is another step away from established conventions.
So where is the pack-in title to be included with the system at launch? After all, the Wii had Wii Sports, helping familiarise people with the system. The company should’ve included 1-2-Switch as a pack-in title or sold it for a much lower price than other titles.
Sort out the JoyCon charging situation
One of the more prominent issues raised lately has been the fact that the JoyCon controller grip doesn’t actually charge the JoyCon controllers. Now, you can merely plug the JoyCons back into the console to initiate charging, but it means having to play in portable mode then.
It doesn’t help that Nintendo is selling a separate US$30 charging controller grip, instead of including it in the box.