The Nintendo Switch Features Most People Forget

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

photo: Nintendo

That The awards feature of PlayStation 5 has allowed users to offer prizes to fellow players in multiplayer games with the idea that this would help promote friendliness and camaraderie in the gaming community. but Sony has officially retired it from the PS5 this week for one reason: nobody used it. Most people (hi) didn’t even seem to know it existed.

That got you thinking: What other game consoles still have useless features? Take the Switch for example. Sure, Nintendo’s hybrid handheld has plenty of those quiet helpful little trickshow its universal zoom function. But there are also some that could probably be deleted without anyone bothering – or even noticing.

The Find Controller feature.

Of the many options in the Switch’s Controllers menu, the Find Controllers feature collects the most dust by far. Open it and you’ll see a menu with a list of Joy-Cons paired with your console. Hold down the “A” button over the Joy-Con you’re looking for and it will rumble. Calm. At an animal hearing frequency. It’s designed to help you find detached Joy-Cons that might be misplaced but aren’t really effective enough to do their one job — regardless, you actually need to have at least one Joy-Con handy to even put them on use .

Unfortunately, there is no console function that addresses this the scourge of Joy-Con drift.

The “News” app

Image for article titled The Nintendo Switch Features Most People Forget

screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Most of the seven permanent icons on the Switch’s home screen are really useful shortcuts to sub-menus. However, one is only used 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” in the left bar of the screen when you boot up the console.) But if you’re looking for gaming news, you won’t be reading it on a games console – which you probably booted up with, you know, play games. You especially won’t read it on this console when the text is so tiny. You’re much more likely to get your messages from a popular gaming site.

voice chat

Despite what you may have heard, yes the Switch has voice chat! Somehow. It’s a tangled mess. To start voice chat on PlayStation and Xbox, plug in a headset and start voice chatting. You have to on the Switch though go through a multi-stage process and launch a companion smartphone app. Nintendo could ditch its voice chat without anyone caring. Really, if you use a smartphone app to talk to your party members, Discord is the way to go exactly there.

keyboard support

Everyone hates entering a password (twice!) to buy something in Nintendo’s eShop, which happens with the console’s little touchscreen keyboard. This workaround doesn’t work in handheld mode, but you can connect a USB keyboard to the dock and use it for typing instead. But also: the time it takes to pull out a keyboard and connect it to the Switch’s dock is likely to take longer than the task you were trying to circumvent in the first place. (If you need to get to the eShop faster, simply deenable password requirement.) Nintendo could probably drop 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 helpful indeed, dare I say essential. Turn it on and you give your console a sort of purgatory between waking and sleeping. You’ll then have to tap the same button three times to use your console, which can prevent it from accidentally turning on if it’s shuffling around in your bag, for example. In all honesty, it shouldn’t even be an option: it should be the default. Get rid of the choice, I say, and let the lock screen become the standard.

Dark mode

I’m kidding! I’m kidding. But hey, with that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice if the Switch had more color themes for its background? Hi? hey where did you go The Nintendo Switch Features Most People Forget

Curtis Crabtree

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