The Nintendo Switch has had a busy couple of months for those of us who enjoy indie games. Between playing Breath of the Wild and looking forward to the upcoming Mario Kart 8 Deluxe release, several titles I’ve downloaded from the Switch eShop have been filling my time.
However, I can’t help but notice as I’ve been browsing the eShop, it’s going to get very complicated very quickly if Nintendo doesn’t make some improvements. Here’s a quick list of five things I want to see Nintendo implement in the eShop sometime in the future to help alleviate some of the messiness before it becomes a problem.
More Search Options
Right now you can search for games on the Nintendo eShop, but the only variables you can add to this search are for price and genre. Those are powerful sorting options, but they’re not enough. What if I want to see a list of all games that are on sale right now? Or games that released this past month? How about only indie games that are digital downloads?
There’s no way to find games according to these parameters and I think they’re pretty common enough that they should be included in the Switch eShop interface.
A Review System
Unlike other digital storefronts like Steam, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live, the current Switch eShop system has no way for players to rate the games they’ve downloaded and played. That feels like a real oversight when you consider that people who have purchased and bought the game can give a better idea of whether or not the game is as great as some critics say it is.
I can understand Nintendo probably doesn’t want to hire the people it would require to make sure the reviews are policed for language since kids will undoubtedly be using the device, but it’s doing a disservice to your customers to at least not let them have a star rating system that is based on actual consumer purchases. Hell, even Netflix has that.
Ideally, I’d like to see a system that works similarly to Steam, where you can see how much playtime a person has invested in that game when they left their review and only people who are verified purchasers can review the game. That way you can avoid people who downvote brigade games just because they don’t like the graphics/content/developer/whatever reason they justify this behavior with.
Cloud Saves for Data
This is something that is most likely coming once Nintendo implements its paid-for online platform, since a cloud network does require maintenance. However, it would be best for Nintendo to implement this system sooner rather than later, as we’ve been reporting on some people getting their systems back from repair with unrecoverable saves.
That’s highly unfortunate since Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that commands a huge time investment. Adding a way for users to backup their saves to the cloud or even to their microSD card would be a great way to avoid these situations from happening in the future, especially with heavy-hitting titles like Fire Emblem and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 slated to be released this year. Who wants to lose their 130 hour save? Not me. (Not to mention, all other major gaming platforms have cloud saves implemented already. Get on it, Nintendo.)
Separate Virtual Console
This is already becoming a problem for the Switch eShop with just the Neo Geo games that have been released. They’re mingled in alongside the other games that are actually new content and not just emulated games, which feels strange when you’re used to the Wii channel system that kept all the virtual console titles together.
I hope Nintendo goes with that approach again, since the Switch has the potential to be the best virtual console machine Nintendo has ever released, if they do it properly. Give us the ability to browse these old virtual console games separately from new releases and give us a little bit of history about each console.
While Nintendo has said they want to focus on the Switch as a dedicated gaming platform, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has also admitted that streaming services like Netflix and Hulu will come in their due time. It’s only a matter of time before we see these services appear on the Nintendo Switch, which is a good thing.
The Switch has a much larger screen than most smartphones, making it an ideal platform for watching movies and TV on the go. Just because it can also play games doesn’t mean it can’t also be used for entertainment! This one isn’t high on my list, but I do acknowledge that it’s a feature the eShop is missing right now.
Do you have any features or improvements you want to see to the Switch eShop? Let us know in the comments!
Nintendo eShop Card – $20