As has become the norm for games and consoles alike, the Nintendo Switch will be requiring a launch day update to get all of its functions and services in working order. Nintendo has stated that “the system update downloads in the background, is designed to install quickly, and doesn’t disrupt gameplay.” Since the update went live for people who already have their Switch, it seems Nintendo wasn’t lying about the quick install. The main purpose of the update will be to bring features like the Nintendo eShop, social media connectivity that allows you to post screenshots of your gameplay to places like Twitter very easily, and online multiplayer to the Switch. Nintendo has posted official patch notes for the update, in Japanese, but thankfully Perfectly-Nintendo has translated them.
As you may have seen in a previous article detailing one person’s experience when they received their Switch early, the eShop was inaccessible stating that it needed the launch day update. The eShop, as of right now, only has nine games available, those being: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I Am Setsuna, Super Bomberman R, 1-2 Switch, Shovel Knight: Specter if Torment, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Snipperclips, Just Dance 2017, and Fast RMX. The eShop is similar to previous iterations, with the added bonus of games labeling what Switch modes they support. The update also enables SD cards to be utilized, which is very important if you plan on digitally downloading your games rather than buy physical copies, although it is worth noting that reports presently state that save files are on the Nintendo Switch’s physical memory and cannot be put on SD cards.
The launch day update will also enable the ability to link Nintendo Accounts to your Switch, as well as allowing the Switch to connect to WiFi hotspots that require some type of login before internet access is granted, such as hotels or your dorm. The Switch doesn’t have a built-in web browser, which makes this particular part of the update a necessity for many. Also revealed since the update went live is the return of Friend Codes although slightly easier to use now that you can search locally for other Switch users and search through the people you’ve recently played with.
Another main purpose for the update is for enabling the linking of your Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account to your Switch. This means that if you already have money on your 3DS or WiiU then, by linking your account, you’ll be able to access those funds to buy games for your Nintendo Switch. There is also a neat feature that will be added along with the update that will let you set up your TV to turn on when you put the Switch in its dock. You will have to see if your TV is able to use this feature first, and you’ll have to make sure it’s in standby mode as well as potentially needing to adjust some HDMI settings. As of today, there have been postings on places like Reddit stating that the update fixed issues with Joy-Cons de-syncing, a major issues in most reviews, but places like Eurogamer dispute that claim.
While it is annoying that the trend of day one updates shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, it’s at least encouraging that it’s nothing major dealing with broken features or console bricking bugs. The fact that Nintendo is still sticking with friend codes is baffling to me, they are unintuitive, overly complicated, and just worse is every way than normal friends lists. Despite the early reviews, I’m still excited for the Switch and the recent Nintendo Direct showcasing all the indie games coming to the system has me optimistic that the Switch has a lot of potential.