Please Nintendo, fix this.
This week was the first time I wrote one of the New Releases articles for the site. The New Releases for Nintendo Switch has my name on it! See?! Whilst I waited for my car to undergo its LONGGG overdue service, I decided to set up shop in a very overrated cafe. I figured I could blast out the new releases in no time, and continue with other work I needed to complete. Oh, how wrong I was. Indeed, Whilst I sipped on my gross standard latte — which tasted like they sprinkled some form of dirt-sediment in a vat of outdated milk — I realised just how much absolute trash was releasing on the eShop every week.
Anyone familiar with either the podcast or the site will be well aware of my love for the Nintendo Switch. It’s my favourite console of all-time, and it continues to dominate a tremendous amount of my gaming each week. Given my love for the system, I’m guilty of persistently calling for more, more and more releases!
Look, I love ports, and I’m glad that the popularity of the Switch has fostered efforts to bring back everyone’s favourite games onto a portable, relevant console. However, the side-effect of this popularity is the level of mediocre-crappy titles that are breaking their way into the system. Suddenly, shovelware that was previously quarantined to the iOS and Steam are quickly infecting the Switch.
Every week, more iOS and PC ports of games that don’t even deserve their $2 pricetag on those systems, mass to the Switch with costs ranging from $15-$30. It’s diluting the quality titles and oversaturating the marketplace to a scary degree. At this rate, it won’t take long until (much like Steam), it will be close to impossible to discover the diamonds in the rough.
Though, there’s one distinct difference between Steam and the eShop. Nintendo. I don’t think it will come as a surprise when I say that Nintendo is uniquely horrible at implementing or adjusting any form of online service. So, when a company like Valve scrambles (and mostly fails) to find a coherent way to frame their marketplace so that the majority of us are never exposed to the swell of garbage, I find it unlikely that Nintendo will cope with similar issues.
As it stands, there are very limited categorisation options on the eShop. We can view the top sales, recent releases, deals and a giant A-Z list with a few filter options. Unless something changes, I don’t think this layout will be tenable for much longer. It’s already virtually impossible to discover some incredible games that were released closer to the launch of the Switch.
I get it, Nintendo, you needed to rapidly expand your library to quell people’s concerns. But you’ve got good stuff now, man! Even limited to first-party titles, the Switch is still a worthwhile console to own! You can start regulating the shop now.
The over-saturation of bad games isn’t a problem exclusive to the Switch, but it does have a particularly bright limelight which will keep getting worse. There are a few things Nintendo can do. For starters, they can implement some better categories in the shop, and potentially create a featured slide which rotates between well-received titles. Then, they could adopt stricter policies towards what games are given the green light.
Let me be clear, I have absolutely ZERO confidence in Nintendo’s forward-thinking ability to implement these changes or anything similar. But for the love of God, I hope they do.