Years ago, when you unboxed your new console, plugged it in, and switched it on you basically had what you had—for better or worse. Now, for better or worse, a software update is more or less expected either on day one, or shortly thereafter, for any new console. There is still, however, some reasonable expectation that the system should operate as expected without any major issues. Unfortunately, only days before the launch of Nintendo’s newest console, there are already concerns the Switch might not be quite ready for launch.
We had the opportunity to preview the Switch for a short time, and within that time, we saw the great potential the Switch has for offering something new and innovative for Nintendo fans. But, though the Switch has similarly garnered largely positive reviews, those who have had the ability to spend extended time with the system are expressing concern Some are even going so far as to call the Switch a beta test, rather than the finished product.
Recent reviews have noted an issue with the left Joy-Con controller suddenly experiencing lag, or becoming disconnected from the system altogether, and this appears to be a fairly wide-spread issue. Whether this is an issue with the controller itself or a software issue that could be corrected on day one with a patch is still up for debate.
Another major issue is that no one’s been able to test online connectivity with the Switch, so there is no word yet on how the online store will work, or how Nintendo accounts will be set up. This includes whether the Switch will allow people with existing Nintendo accounts to migrate their previously purchased downloads over to the Switch. How the online infrastructure as a whole will operate is still very much up in the air, and the for-pay online system will likely remain a mystery even past launch, as it isn’t scheduled to become available until this fall. Making things more worrisome is Nintendo’s silence on these concerns.
Other issues are the additional cost of controllers beyond the Joy-Cons, including the Pro controller and the charging grip. Chris Kohler mentions a design issue in his Wired review that might be a bit problematic: the charging cable plugs into the side of the tablet that should rest on the table when using the stand, thus making it difficult to use in tabletop mode while charging. Of course, this will only mean a boon for manufacturers taking advantage of this obvious flaw in design.
The Switch’s day one patch will answer some of these questions as it will open the eShop, online play, and other features like image sharing and the setup/linking of Nintendo accounts. But, for now, one might argue more is unknown about the Switch than known and, unfortunately, many of those questions won’t be answered until launch day.