Nintendo Switch is taking the world by storm at the moment, and with good reasons. Sure the gimmicks and the games should be enough for us to rejoice this holiday season, but what if you had the opportunity to chat with your online friends?
Most of us at TaoTronics grew up with video games. Straight from the era of Pong, we saw the rise and fall of the Sega Genesis, the beauty of the Nintendo 64, and the ongoing battle royale between Xbox and PlayStation. But on all the gaming systems that we’ve used to collect items and complete missions, none compare to the tech genius that is the Nintendo Switch. It’s truly next generation gaming. And although we could sing praise for the Switch all day, every leap in consumer technology will understandably come with places to improve. Here are the top three features we wish the Nintendo Switch included.
No Bluetooth Audio
Nintendo has never been the first amongst its peers when it comes to online multiplayer gaming. That’s because the company has always emphasized party games – being in the same room as your friends, all connected to the same console, and all duking it out together for supremacy. But, with games like Splatoon 2 coming down the pipeline, which will have large scale multiplayer, the Nintendo Switch will need to be able to support effortless online chat.
So, does it?
The answer is a bit of a mixed bag.
That feature is now relegated to a separate app for your smartphone, and how its voice chat functionality works has already ticked off Switch owners.
An even better solution for Nintendo’s complicated voice chat setup?
Wireless headphone compatibility.
As of October 2017, the Switch has been updated to be compatible with wireless headphones so long as they come with a USB connector. What this sadly means, however, is that the Switch still doesn’t support Bluetooth headphones while undocked. The device does have embedded Bluetooth functionality, but the signal is reserved only for use with the Switch’s Joy-Con and Pro Controllers. The result is no easy, built-in ability for you to either practice your best trash talk online or keep your game’s volume down by using Bluetooth enabled wireless headphones.
If you’re determined to shout online about your mad skills to fellow players on the Switch, a solution to consider is a Bluetooth Adaptor. Here’s one that is small, portable, and can transmit stereo audio to a Bluetooth headphones. Not the most elegant solution, but good enough for now. Read about how to go about use Bluetooth headphones on Switch here.
Save Data is Gone Forever if Your Switch Dies
Finally, Nintendo Switch version 4.0.0 update rolls out save data transfers! Stoked?
But there’s a catch.
Nintendo decided to retain most of its archaic restrictions.
From Nintendo’s FAQ, you will be able to move user profiles and saved game data to another console. You have to connect both of the Switch consoles to the same WiFi network though. Once the transfer is completed, all the data you just transferred to the new machine will be wiped out from the original console.
The ability to transfer data is bittersweet, however, since you still can’t back up your precious data to a cloud or a microSD card — something that Switch fans have been asking for. Data transfers alone is useful if you’ve been playing on someone else’s system, then buy your own and want to move your data over. But it isn’t any good if you lose your console.
But either way, it’s reassuring that if you have to send your Switch in for repair, all your work finding those shrines isn’t lost.
Nostalgia has Limitations
For most old-school gamers, completing a perfect speed run of the Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES was always a goal just out a reach. But that never stopped us from spending countless hours trying. And since the advent of the Wii, and now the Switch, Nintendo has tried to rekindle that sense of nostalgia by offering some of its older catalogue for sale.
The challenge, however, has been that these old ROMs are regularly offered at full game prices, tempering the thrill of nostalgia with the feeling of a lighter wallet. As well, Nintendo has been tremendously slow at releasing its older games, with the most popular titles being regularly held back. That said, there are some indications that the Nintendo Switch’s so-called Virtual Console is on the way – just this month, the company released an update that provides support for GameCube controllers, a staple for Super Smash Bros. players to this day.
The solution, for now, is to sit and wait.
Well… that’s not the only answer. You can go out and pick up the hugely popular SNES Classic Mini, a bonafide nostalgia machine packed with tons of old school games. Or, go hunting in garage sales and thrift stores for long discarded Nintendo 64 consoles.
The choice is yours.
Nintendo Switch has the potential to be all things to all people: TV console, next-gen Game Boy, wacky motion controls, traditional hardcore game machine, even multiplayer-in-a-box. Maybe the console will even become home to outstanding augmented or virtual reality functionality. But to do all this, Switch needs to solve its continuing, underlying problems, chief among them are Bluetooth audio when undocked, streaming services, and cloud saves. Hopefully the company’s developers are working hard, as we speak, to perfect this great console.