Technology

Nintendo Switch Firmware Update Brings Tons Of Useful Features

Nintendo Switch is no longer a brand new console. It’s been around for more than six months, and users have been asking for some cool features that had been missing from the hybrid console. On Wednesday, the Japanese company pushed out the Nintendo Switch firmware update version 4.0.0 that brings a bunch of features users have been asking for. Unfortunately, some of them seem half-baked, which may disappoint many owners.

Nintendo Switch Firmware Update
Image Source: Nintendo.com (screenshot)

Nintendo Switch firmware update allows you to capture videos

You can download the new Nintendo Switch firmware update right away. One of the biggest new features is the ability to capture videos. A single press of the capture button would take a screenshot. Now holding down the capture button would record a 30-second video of gameplay. It stores the footage in the system’s album. You can trim the start or the end of the clips before sharing them on Facebook or Twitter. Right now, it doesn’t support sharing on other social networks.

Restricting the capture length to just 30 seconds is unlikely to go down well with most players. You won’t be able to record the long action sequences. Though it’s a welcome addition, it still doesn’t match up to the streaming features on rival consoles. In Nintendo’s defense, it is better than users having to stitch together the furiously captured screenshots into a flipbook.

Another drawback of the video capture is that it doesn’t work with all the games. Nintendo says it works only with four games right now: ARMS, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We can expect Nintendo to add support for more games in future updates.

Data transfer: A half-assed feature

Another major feature is the ability to transfer your user profile and saved game data from one Switch to another. However, it doesn’t allow you to back up your data. Once you complete the transfer, the original data will be wiped out from the source console. Your purchases and progress will be accessible on the target console. It is useful only if you have set up a user profile on someone else’s Switch, and now you have purchased your own.

Nintendo says both the source and target consoles have to be connected to the Internet and have to be together to transfer the data. It means you can’t bring data to the new console if the original Switch is broken or lost. Nintendo’s data transfer feature is not the same as backing up your data on an external memory card. Fans can only expect Nintendo to back up data in another Nintendo Switch firmware update.

A few small tweaks

The version 4.0.0 also contains a few minor features. It offers profile icons with characters from The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Odyssey. The latest Nintendo Switch firmware update also gives you the option to pre-load the pre-ordered games from the eShop. Nintendo has also given the News Feed a new look. The local multiplayer games will no longer be affected by a user not downloading the latest update. If you are part of a local group, you can update everyone’s system firmware to the latest version.

The latest version has also changed how the console will list the TKIP-secured WiFi networks. Networks relying on the TKIP security will now appear as grayed-out rather than being completely hidden. There is also an update for the Joy-Con controllers.

Nintendo trying hard to catch up with demand

Nintendo is yet to achieve demand and supply equilibrium more than half a year after the Switch launch. Demand for the console remains sky high, and analysts expect even higher demand during the holiday shopping season. The company had sold nearly 4.75 million units between March and June this year. Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that Nintendo had more than doubled the Switch production to two million units per month.

Despite the production ramp up, Nintendo isn’t confident that it would be able to fulfill all the holiday orders. Hosiden and Foxconn are responsible for assembling the console. Analysts have predicted that the Switch would be among the hottest holiday gifts this year. Interestingly, the Japanese company hasn’t yet launched its flagship hybrid console in some of the largest markets.

The Switch is expected to hit the store shelves in China in early 2018, which should further drive the sales. Taiwan is expected to get the console by the end of this year. China lifted the gaming console ban roughly three years ago. Since then, console sales have been rising consistently in the country. Nintendo has teamed up with Tencent to bring the latter’s games to the Switch.

Sony recently said that it had no plans to launch a Nintendo Switch-like hybrid console because it believes smartphones will become the primary handheld consoles for most users in the future. Now Sony’s new publishing label Unties has announced that it would launch games for the Nintendo Switch. Unties’ debut title Tiny Metal, a strategy simulation game, will be released to the Switch on November 21st.