No-one can accuse Nintendo of taking its focus away from the Switch now that it’s over five years old, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The release line-up of major first-party content is looking packed, the eShop is still attracting excellent download games, and Nintendo continues to look at ways to boost the Switch User Experience™. We recently had ‘Missions’ added to Nintendo Switch Online, for example.
This week we’ve now had Switch firmware update 14.0.0; it’s upgraded the Bluetooth functionality in terms of volume control, but most importantly has added folders! Well, Groups, which work a bit like folders.
At the top of this page you’ll see our lovely video chums Alex and Felix chat over the addition of Groups, and it’s hard to disagree with a lot of what they say. This scribe’s thoughts range from “hey, that’s neat” to “Five years, it took… five years!”. It’s Nintendo, too, so rather than react to fan demands with a chirpy “hey we’ve been listening and here’s the thing you wanted”, instead it’s a begrudging rebrand doing the feature Nintendo’s Way™. That’s fair enough, but it’s still odd.
The functionality itself is actually pretty good, albeit a tad uneven in some respects. It’s brilliant for taking the jumble of games in ‘All Software’ and putting them into manageable groups. Creating a ‘Backlog’ group is a big win, to be honest (assuming your backlog isn’t over 200 games), and should help those of us with sloppy purchasing and play habits to look at those unloved games in one place and actually prioritise them. There’s plenty of flexibility in how you name and present the groups, you can update them easily; that’s all good stuff.
Downsides? Like a lot of the Switch user interface, it’s painfully lacking in personality. No badges, colours or nice visual customisations beyond giving Groups goofy names and moving game tiles around. It’s also a bit of a pity that there’s no easy shortcut or access to Groups from the HOME screen, but that’s something that may be added in a small update in the future.
So it’s functional, a little quirky in execution but maintaining the personality-free approach to the Switch operating system. Yep it’s Switch folders, but the way Nintendo says they should be!
Overall though, it’s a nice update. Let us know what you think of it in the polls and comments below!