There was an air of cautious excitement for Sept 18, as many Nintendo fans wondered what the result of the long awaited Switch Online would be. Surely the extra time spent trying to get things tightened up would pay off right? Many of us remember the clunky Wii and Wii U versions of online service, the jumble of disjointed ideas that never truly meshed. Yet this was different… This cost money. So for a small fee, it must turn out better than what we got for free. Or did it?
Lets break it down into Yays and Nays:
Yay! 20 Classic Games right at my portable fingertips, Mario, Zelda, Tecmo Bowl to name a few. The ability to take some classics on the road is one benefit I never would have dreamt of as a kid playing them on my wired down NES.
Nay! Basically this is a re-release of the NES Classic but for the Switch, so if you spent you or your child’s college money on Ebay to get one… Oops. I know Nintendo is just milking me for more money, yet I throw it at them without a care in the world.
Yay! Playing the Classics Online. Pretty cool right, who wouldn’t want to play the classics online with a friend? Super Mario Bros. 3 being a prime example. This shows Nintendo’s ability to still find ways to freshen up those IP’s that have been carrying them through the decades.
Nay! Playing the Classics Online. Yes, its probably cheating to make this a Yay and a Nay, but sometimes hopes and reality don’t match up. For one am I the only one not impressed by the “Clap” feature. Also of note you can only play with friends. So if you don’t have friends, you better join the chess club, (Do they still have those?).
Yay! Cloud Saves. I probably shouldn’t be excited that Nintendo finally came onboard with what the rest of the technological world has been doing since 2006. Yet I am, and in a way it was worth the wait. With a few simple clicks you can set up, shut down, or manually back up your save data. Very polished, and efficient process. Matter of fact most first party games to include BOTW, and Mario Odyssey were easily backed up in about a minute.
Nay! The Online App. Basically a listless desert devoid of substance. Its only defining feature the communication piece which is cumbersome and feels unnatural. Honestly more effort to use than its worth, (Yes the App is free). Come On Nintendo! Every other system has had this figured out for several system generations. My only hope is that maybe text, or pizza delivery features will be added to spice it up a bit.
Yay! The Price, I know everyone has been drinking buckets of Hater Juice because Nintendo decided to charge money for online service. But for the price of a KFC family mealy, (20 bucks) you get online access, and some rotating classics that I imagine will expand over time. Beats the competition in my humble opinion.
Nay! Where is my Netflix? Where is my Amazon Prime TV? Even the Wii had Netflix, so whats the hold up? Just Googling “Netflix on Switch”, will reveal several articles stating that its the Big N taking its time. If there is one thing Nintendo does, its drag its feet. Most people I imagine will ignore the major streaming apps glaring absence, at least while the games are flowing into the system. Yet as the flood of titles becomes a trickle of indies, people will begin to ask questions. Nintendo needs to keep the momentum going as they fight to capture the hearts of the newest generation of gamers.
Nintendo’s latest iteration of online is somewhat lacking. It feels like a vague framework of a unrealized idea. However on the positive, I do feel like it has room to grow and will do so. Even the barren waste of an app has potential, (Did I mention the app hurts my soul?). The Online experience will only get better. Now lets not kid ourselves, we still wont have what XBONE or PS4 has. Yet thats not what we want, thats not why we turn on our Switch. No we want what is Nintendo, innovation and unique perspectives. However when it comes to their online experience, we are still waiting for them to realize what that perspective is.
Disagree with my train of thought and think Nintendo Online is the best thing since fried ice cream? Or do you agree that the Switch Online could use a little more love? Let me know in the comment section down below, or discuss in our wonderful forums.
Some say he is a leaf on the wind, others say he is the wind beneath their wings. Either way he is a huge Nintendo fan and has been gaming since the age of 8. One part Jedi Master, and two parts Starfleet Redshirt he has been known to quiet the ocean and make mountains sit. He comes to you now to share in all things Nintendo.