Nintendo, It's Time To Fix Switch's Most Glaring Oversight
Nintendo Switch is celebrating its third anniversary, so it's time to get real, Nintendo.
Somehow, Nintendo Switch is already three years old. It launched on March 3, 2017, and it's proven to be a truly fantastic system, with an extensive library of great games, including a few with PC cross-save support that effectively turn Switch into a portable extension of your gaming PC. We've already had one of the hardware revisions you'd expect from a Nintendo system, and system updates released over the past few years have introduced some new functionality. However, none of those updates have brought with them an essential ingredient that's been missing since Day One.
I'm speaking, of course, about the lack of music on the Eshop. This may not be as practical as another of the Switch features that I've also been asking for over the past few years--folder support--but that's not what's important. Part of what made everyone love to shop on the Wii Shop every Wednesday, aside from the presence of the Virtual Console, was that truly catchy groovin'... like a bossa nova beat that accompanied the experience. Wii U had its own shopping music which actually changed at times, signaling that someone at Nintendo did actually care about this.
Cut to the launch of the Switch--a system where buying digital games exclusively makes a ton of sense--and there was nothing. Bring up the Eshop and you'd be greeted with an interface as spartan and utilitarian as the system's menus. There have been some improvements since launch, such as the addition of a way to browse the available game demos, but the Eshop can still nonetheless be laggy and unpleasant to use. And you know what would make it better? Some freakin' music.
By my calculations, the Eshop would be 2800% more enjoyable to use if it literally just played the old Wii Shop music while you browsed. But almost anything would be an improvement, and while I know game companies always have reasons for their decisions, the complete absence of any music or fun touches on the store still bewilders me.
It's not as if the Switch doesn't have any signs of personality. There's the small audio flourish as the Eshop initially loads, and the different sound effects that play on the Lock screen depending on which button/joystick you press. So why not make people want to boot up and spend more time browsing the Eshop?
In a cruel move, Nintendo just released a new Switch system update that coincides with its anniversary. Would this finally be the one to boost the aural experience of shopping for digital video games? Nope, it turns out this is another update with no user-facing features, which is always a disappointment in general, let alone when you're hoping for one particular thing to be implemented.
I love my Switch. Three years in, I still believe it's my favorite gaming system ever. I just wish someone over there would just trip and fall onto the giant "release the Switch Eshop music" button that I'm convinced exists at Nintendo HQ.
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