Nintendo announced this morning that a day one patch for the Nintendo Switch will add online features to the console. The patch will bring the Nintendo eShop, online multiplayer, sharing images to social media (via the share button on the left Joy-Con), linked Nintendo Accounts, and allow users to connect to public Internet hotspots.
Nintendo didn’t reveal how big the Nintendo Switch update would be, but did say via a press release that the “system update downloads in the background, is designed to install quickly and doesn’t disrupt gameplay.” This is good new for those hoping to jump right into one of the handful of launch games once they get their console.
We will note that while the update is essential, it won’t change much about the way gamers experience their Nintendo Switch upon release. At the moment, the Nintendo Switch won’t offer any streaming apps like Netflix, nor will it allow online multiplayer gameplay on any launch titles. That said, other titles coming later, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, will likely allow players to experience online multiplayer.
The Nintendo Switch also won’t include a web browser at release. The combination of no web browser, no streaming apps, no game sharing, or online multiplayer suggests Nintendo’s focus is on the single player and couch co-op experience of players. There’s little doubt Nintendo will continue to add new features, including online feature, throughout the Nintendo Switch’s life. These features will coincide with games that release for the console.
Nintendo Switch releases March 3, 2017.