Nintendo today announced an update to the Switch, with the portable console adding support for social media friendships. Unfortunately, it feels like a blatant reminder of the features the console is missing.
One of the features packed into the 5.0.0 update is the ability to add friends from Facebook and Twitter, if you have the two services linked. You must be older than 13 in order to use either social media site, natch.
Facebook seems excited about the connection. Leo Olebe, director of games partnerships, said: “Connecting gamers together is important to Facebook, and the Nintendo gaming community is one of the largest and most engaged on our platform. We want to meet gamers where they are.”
As convenient as it is, Facebook and Twitter support is a bandage over several of the gaping holes in the Switch’s software — for example, we still don’t have YouTube, or Netflix, or any kind of a social hub. We don’t even have a web browser.
I know it’s fashionable now to compare the Switch favorably to the Wii U, since the latter was the larval stage of the former. The Switch is undoubtedly a splendid piece of machinery, but even the Wii U already had several of these features by a comparable point in its life cycle.
Within days of its launch, the Wii U had a web browser, YouTube, and Netflix. It also had primitive voice chat, albeit which only worked with wired headsets. The Switch currently has none of those things. The 3DS has had them for years.
If Nintendo is going to begin adding support for outside apps, it should probably add the standards first. Otherwise it feels as though we’re getting shafted on the small features in this excellent console.
TNW’s 2018 Conference is coming up in just a few months, and we’d love to see you there. To find out more about the event and how to attend, check our event page.