Technology

Nintendo Switch Firmware Update 5.0.0 Available Now: What’s New

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

Just hours after a parental controls app for iOS teased firmware update 5.0.0 for Nintendo Switch, the Japanese company has officially released the update. It introduces some tweaks to parental controls to enable the blocking of certain games, faster purchase downloads, new user avatars, and a lot more. The firmware update 5.0.0 also allows you to add friends who have linked their Nintendo accounts to Facebook or Twitter.

The update is available for download right now. It should download automatically when your hybrid console is connected to WiFi. You can also download it manually, though. Just head over to System Settings and scroll down to System > System Update to trigger the download. The last major update to Nintendo Switch was the version 4.0.1, which was released on October 25 last year. It brought stability improvements.

For parental controls, the firmware update has changed the default PIN entry mode from on-screen keyboard to the control stick and buttons. It would help ensure that your kids don’t easily see the PIN you set up. Parents will now also be able to restrict access to captured videos. They can also whitelist specific titles for play. However, play-time limits will still apply to the restricted games.

Another feature introduced with the firmware update is the ability to suggest your friends’ Nintendo Accounts based on your Facebook and Twitter friend lists. If you are over 13 years old, you can link your Nintendo Switch Account to Facebook and Twitter to find your friends on the console more easily. Currently, you can add friends through Friend Codes or by requesting people you have played online recently with.

Now you can add Facebook and Twitter friends as well through Friend Suggestions, said the company. But those friends will still have to accept your invite before you can connect with them on the Switch. You can view Friend Suggestions from the top left Home menu > User Page > Friend Suggestions.

The firmware update 5.0.0 brings 24 new Kirby and ARMS series icons for people who wanted more icons to use with their friend profiles. You can also personalize the icons. The new version also fixes a bug that would hide some older play data.  It will also notify you when pre-ordered games are ready to play. If you buy a gaming title from your smartphone or PC, it would start downloading on the console faster than previously, even when the console is in sleep mode. Other minor tweaks include Filter News that would only display unread news or news from specific channels.

Last week, Nintendo confirmed during a Nintendo Direct presentation that the Super Smash Bros franchise was coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year. Super Smash Bros is one of the largest Nintendo franchises. It involves characters from the Super Mario series, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Animal Crossing, and other classic games. The characters are pitted against each other in an incredible arcade fighting experience.

Meanwhile, Nintendo has also updated the My Nintendo service to let gamers use their My Nintendo gold points to buy Switch games in the eShop. Users earn gold points when they buy Switch games. The points are worth 5% of the amount you pay. For example, if you buy a $100 game from the eShop, you’ll earn 500 points worth $5. If you accumulate enough points, you can purchase a new game without paying a dime out of your pocket.

The new reward program will benefit power gamers who buy new games often, accumulating gold points in the process. The gold points you earn are good for a full year. If you earn points in April 2018, they would remain valid through the end of April 2019. The reward program could help improve the Switch’s software attach rate.

Nintendo Switch has witnessed phenomenal success so far. It surpassed the lifetime sales of the Wii U in just ten months of its launch. The Switch sold 14.86 million units in the first ten months compared to the Wii U’s lifetime sales of 13.6 million units. The hybrid console sold 4.8 million units in the US and 3.8 million units in Japan. Gamers have embraced its hybrid design. The Switch sales are further driven by the impressive lineup of first-party and third-party titles.

After repeated delays, Nintendo will launch the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service in September this year. The online service will allow you to play with your friends online and get access to some classic games. Nintendo has made the online multiplayer service available for free since March 2017. It will remain free until the Online subscription service rolls out in September. The paid service would cost $3.99 per month or $7.99 for three months. If you buy an annual subscription, you’ll have to pay just $19.99.

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