Nintendo hasn’t shared any details about the user interface for its upcoming Switch console, but anxious fans learned a lot yesterday when someone leaked a video of the system in action after getting their preorder early. Now, I want to take a closer look.
Switch launches March 3 for $300, and that means that many of you are about to spend a whole lot of money on something that is still partially a mystery. And after the painfully slow Wii U interface, you should probably know what the Switch is capable of before Amazon charges your credit card. That’s why I want to dive into the leaked video of the console’s interface to help give you a better idea of what Nintendo is about to ship in two weeks.
Let’s take a look. I’ll break everything down below, but you can also see my walkthrough in the video above.
The setup process
The Switch features a basic setup. You connect to the internet, choose your language, and select other basic settings. Then you get to the screen to set up a new user. This is likely a system-level user that is independent of your online Nintendo Account, but you can almost certainly tie the two together.
The main menu
This is the main screen of the Nintendo Switch. Here you will find the digital games you have installed or the game card you have in the system at the moment. The person who uploaded this video currently doesn’t have any games, so they don’t have anything here. But you can also see the various other options along the bottom for News, eShop, Album, Controllers, Settings, and Shutdown/Sleep.
- The News menu is a feed where Nintendo will provide updates to players about new content and features.
- The eShop is the systems online store.
- Album is where you’ll find screenshots you take by pressing the Share button on the left Joy-Con.
- Controllers is where you can set up other input devices.
- Settings gives you the system options.
- And Shutdown/Sleep enables you to turn the console off.
More about settings
The meat of the leaked video was really in the system settings. We learned a handful of new things about the Switch from this overview. Here’s some of what we now know:
- You can create and edit Mii characters using the Switch.
- Switch has a light and dark theme. The dark theme looks like it will go easier on your eyes at night.
- With nothing else installed or updated, the system has 25.9GB of free space in its internal storage.
- You can control the HDMI RGB levels, which means you can opt to get better black levels at the expense of color data. We’ll have to experiment more with this to see how it works.
The Switch launch is so close that it’s not surprising that we’re getting these kinds of first looks from the public. At the same time, it’s nuts that Nintendo hasn’t provided this information itself. The company likely wants to focus on the games and the unique capabilities of the hardware, but it should also want to show off its interface and system options. This second-hand look makes the Switch look like a smart, mature device with a simple and clean operating system. It’s not bursting with features, but it is well designed and a strong indicator of the quality of the console.