You get a Nintendo Switch. You’re super excited about having this great new system that you can play at home or on the go. Maybe you even decide to pick up one of the launch games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, or Super Bomberman R. (You should totally get The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.) You’re having fun playing a game or two, but then feel like you want to take a break or rest your hands. So, what do you do next with your shiny new system.
Nothing. You do absolutely nothing, because all the Nintendo Switch can do right now is play games.
Which is fine. I love games! I’ve been playing them since I was a toddler, goofing around with my parents’ Intellivision. But, when you get a new console or handheld, you expect it to offer some sort of well-rounded experience out of the box. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t do that, and that’s just plain sad.
Let’s talk about tablets. Which, honestly, is kind of what the Nintendo Switch is. At least, the core unit is. My first tablet was a Google Nexus 7. It could do everything, as it had game, multimedia, internet, and even some office programs. I’m not expecting Nintendo’s system to be like that out of the box, but it’d be nice if it were as multimedia-friendly as, say, the Amazon Fire tablet my mom bought for around $30 on Black Friday this past November. That bare bones tablet has internet access, plays MP3s, offers people ebooks, and lets them watch downloaded or streaming videos. The Nintendo Switch does none of those things at launch. None. You even need to download an update to use the microSD card.
Meanwhile, other systems are supporting multimedia functions out of the box. The 3DS lets you load MP3s onto your SD or microSD card. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One played music and movies. Even the PlayStation Vita can play music and video files. Isn’t it odd that the Nintendo Switch, a system that’s able to go with you anywhere, doesn’t let you listen to music or watch videos? Or even browse the internet?
It seems like multimedia elements should have been a priority for Nintendo. Especially since much of the Nintendo Switch marketing involves the system being on display at parties and events. Sure, people are all playing games in these promotions, but wouldn’t some kind of basic MP3 player have just made sense? I mean, the battery life isn’t the best, so I doubt people would really want to waste their juice on such affairs, but shouldn’t we have at least had the option?
The Nintendo Switch is a system that has a lot of potential. I genuinely think it could do some amazing things. Especially since it’s launching alongside a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I just wish there’d been a little more to do with the system at launch. It’d make the system easier to show off and recommend.