The Nintendo Switch Features Most People Forget

A Nintendo Switch user connects a Joy-Con to an OLED model.

Photo: Nintendo

The The braces feature of PlayStation 5 has allowed users to award prizes to fellow players in multiplayer games, with the idea that it would promote friendliness and camaraderie in the gaming community. But Sony has formally withdrawn it from PS5 this week for one reason: no one was using it. Most people (hello) didn’t even seem to know it existed.

This sparked a thought process: what other game consoles still have useless features? Take the Switch for example. Sure, Nintendo’s hybrid handheld has had enough quiet helpful little tricksLike it its universal zoom function. But it also has some that can probably be purged without anyone caring — or even noticing.


The “Find controllers” function

Of the many options in the Switch’s “Controllers” menu, the “Find controllers” feature collects the most dust by far. Open it up and you’ll see a menu with a list of Joy-Cons associated with your console. Hold down the “A” button above the Joy-Con you’re looking for and it will rumble. softly. On the hearing frequency of animals. It’s meant to help you find detached Joy-Cons that might be misplaced, but isn’t quite effective enough to do its sole job – no matter you actually need at least one Joy-Con on hand to to use it in the first place.

Unfortunately there is no console function that addresses the plague of Joy-Con drift.

The “News” app

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Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Most of the seven permanent icons on the Switch’s home screen are genuinely useful shortcuts to submenus. One, however, is used only by the people who accidentally click on it: the “News” app. Open it up and you’ll see a reverse chronological feed of digitized press releases from the annals of Nintendo’s marketing machine. (You can also see the three most recent “stories” on the left bar of the screen when you boot up the console.) But if you’re looking for gaming news, you’re not going to read it on a gaming console—which you’ve presumably booted up to, y’know, play games. You’re especially not going to read it on that console if the text is so very tiny. You’re far more likely to get your news from a favorite game site.

voice chat

Despite what you may have heard, yes, the Switch has voice chat! Quite. It’s a complicated mess. On PlayStation and Xbox, to start voice chat, plug in a headset and start voice chat. However, on Switch you must: go through a multi-step process and launch a corresponding smartphone app. Nintendo could scrap its voice chat without anyone caring. Really, if you use a smartphone app to talk to your group members, Discord right there.

Keyboard support

Everyone hates entering a password (twice!) to buy something from Nintendo’s eShop, using the console’s tiny touchscreen keyboard. This workaround won’t work in handheld mode, but you can plug a USB keyboard into the dock and use that to type instead. But also: The time it takes to pull out a keyboard and plug it into the Switch’s dock probably takes longer than any task you initially tried to get around. (If you need to get to the eShop faster, justactivate the password requirement.) Nintendo could probably lose keyboard support without much ado.

Screen Lock (or, well, that it’s an option)

Image for article titled The Nintendo Switch Features Most People Forget

Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Yes, the Switch’s screen lock feature is hugely useful indeed, I dare say it’s essential. Turn it on and you’ll give your console a sort of purgatory between wake and sleep state. You then have to tap the same button three times to use your console, which can prevent it from accidentally turning on when it rustles in your bag, for example. Frankly, it shouldn’t even be an option: it should be the default. Down with choice, I say, and let screen lock be the default.

dark mode

Just kidding! Just kidding. But hey, wouldn’t it be nice if the Switch had more color themes for its background? Hello? Hey, where did you go?

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