No-one can accuse Nintendo of taking its focus away from the Switch now that it's over five years old, in fact it's quite the opposite. The release line-up of major first-party content is looking packed, the eShop is still attracting excellent download games, and Nintendo continues to look at ways to boost the Switch User Experience™. We recently had 'Missions' added to Nintendo Switch Online, for example.
This week we've now had Switch firmware update 14.0.0; it's upgraded the Bluetooth functionality in terms of volume control, but most importantly has added folders! Well, Groups, which work a bit like folders.
At the top of this page you'll see our lovely video chums Alex and Felix chat over the addition of Groups, and it's hard to disagree with a lot of what they say. This scribe's thoughts range from "hey, that's neat" to "Five years, it took... five years!". It's Nintendo, too, so rather than react to fan demands with a chirpy "hey we've been listening and here's the thing you wanted", instead it's a begrudging rebrand doing the feature Nintendo's Way™. That's fair enough, but it's still odd.
The functionality itself is actually pretty good, albeit a tad uneven in some respects. It's brilliant for taking the jumble of games in 'All Software' and putting them into manageable groups. Creating a 'Backlog' group is a big win, to be honest (assuming your backlog isn't over 200 games), and should help those of us with sloppy purchasing and play habits to look at those unloved games in one place and actually prioritise them. There's plenty of flexibility in how you name and present the groups, you can update them easily; that's all good stuff.
Downsides? Like a lot of the Switch user interface, it's painfully lacking in personality. No badges, colours or nice visual customisations beyond giving Groups goofy names and moving game tiles around. It's also a bit of a pity that there's no easy shortcut or access to Groups from the HOME screen, but that's something that may be added in a small update in the future.
So it's functional, a little quirky in execution but maintaining the personality-free approach to the Switch operating system. Yep it's Switch folders, but the way Nintendo says they should be!
Overall though, it's a nice update. Let us know what you think of it in the polls and comments below!
That "games for old people" group is attacking me directly.
My games library is pretty small on the Switch, so I will probably never be using this feature. It's cool that they added it, albeit in that trademark Nintendo fashion.
I'm also glad the "All Software" section now lets you show only the digital games. There's no real need for me to see physical games icons on the system.
Call them folders is a very close second to a group menu shortcut.
I think it's BY FAR the best Nintendo UI ever. Because it's simple. But, we don't have to agree on that. ^^
Everhood is fantastic, certainly one to save from the backlog
I don't get why it would be important that they're called folders when they LITERALLY aren't folders.
Two things I’d like them to do to make the feature ‘done’ in my opinion: being able to put a group as an icon in the menu and being able to pin a game or a group to a position in the menu.
Also, a few more ‘filter’ options (such as game cardridge or digital only games on or off) and the ability to search outside of groups would be nice.
Great addition though, Nintendo! Finally…
I actually prefer the groups over folders. Nice to organize software without cluttering the home screen with folders imo.
I get that people really wanted them, but for me personally I don't really play enough games at the same time to really warrant that level of organization. Like, my library is pretty large after all these years, but I don't feel a burning desire to have to sort it all if I'm not even really looking at it or navigating it.
That said, I can see an option to make the home menu default to the group page being nice.
@Degenerate_Mii It's married to the idea for the sake of game developers, explicitly third parties.
The more the OS has going on, the less RAM developers will have access to, and also the longer it can take to load into a game.
Never forget the Wii U OS load times because of how much the OS had going on, how busy it was and how much it did. The Switch OS is mere megabytes of RAM usage. If it had music, more visuals etc, thats more that needs to be loaded.
Heck, there were games on the 3DS, such as Smash and Generation 7 of Pokemon that took a really long time to boot, and also took a long time to go back to the Home menu. The reason?
The games upon boot had to tell the OS to effectively turn itself off so the games could load, stripping it down to the absolute bare minimum needed so the game could load what it needed to into RAM.
Wii U was Nintendo's worst UI if you ask me. Slow, messy, limited in many illogical ways, and constantly wasting your time with something that just wasn't games.
The upside was all the great tunes to come out of the eShop, and the ability to post any screenshot from any suspended game to any online service directly through the browser.
And Miiverse was occasionally a lot of fun, I will certainly not deny that!
@Pod people asked for folders, but they didn't get them when Ninty implemented metatags.
@Pod Couldn't agree more. Also don't want menu music or eshop music. I like that they've kept things simple and streamlined and hope they keep it that way. Want music, play some on your own, or get into a game where there will be music. 🤷♂
I appreciate the ability to put all of my digital purchases in one place. When you have hundreds of Switch physical games, it's a bit tedious to scroll up and down the software library for several seconds. Instead it's left on the d-pad, click, L-button, click, launch game.
@Debo626 see and that’s why I think everything should be an option, people have said that having cool themes would slow down the switch so they could have an option that warns you it might slow some things down, music could be an option too and they could even bring back old Eshop musics and a new one and allow you to choose. I think the more options the better, as long as they don’t compromise other options
@Haruki_NLI i don't get why people don't seem to realize this (or, worse, do but don't care)--the snappiness is such an insane boon it's unreal, for both user and developer
Forget about what Nintendo does quirky…
What I have come to understand about Nintendolife is that for whatever reason they do not want to put women on their YouTube channel yet they love having Kate Grey write social awareness articles.
The fact that these are groups (a la Steam, Xbox) and not Folders (a la Wii/U, PS) is actually the most un-nintendo aspect of all of this.
Being able to create groups and be able to place any game that meets the criteria of that group (co-op, Retro, Nintendo, etc) rather than just one, is an objectively better system.
We just need them on the home screen now.
@Degenerate_Mii They learned from the Wii U. After the Wara Wara Plaza, a feature not many people cared about, made the system very slow when loading the main menu, they did Switch UI as light as possible, removing any idea about Mii plazas or whatever that made loading the menu slow.
Very poorly implemented but I will give nintendo credit for the fact that you can rearrange the icons in the Group, that was neat
All I need is the ability to access the groups by pushing a single button from the home menu, and I'm satisfied.
@Olmectron It really wasn't the Wara wara plaza that made the menu loading slow on Wii U, I have a devkit so I'm speaking from experience, it was the plethora of bloated functions that they began streamlining too late in the Wii U's life... but I think that when they released the "Wii" U, it was already too late due to poor naming conventions. They could easily implement folders akin to both Wii U and DS, but Nintendo wants to be "unique" and make it distinctly their own and not a copy of a previous generation's UI. This hinders them greatly and gives the end-user an experience that can feel lacking. I'm glad we have groups, but folders would be better and easy access to them even better than that.
That may have sounded like me complaining, but it is really me just being realistic about the update that we just got. It is an improvement, I am looking forward to more improvements as well.
I reckon themes will be here soon and will be linked to 'Missions' through the NSO app. Plain themes for Platinum coins and fancy themes for Gold coins.
@sixrings uhh what? Kate Gray has been in several of the YouTube videos.
@sixrings *Kate Gray
@Unit_DTH Groups are better really. No longer do I have to wonder each time wether I've put Zelda into the Action-Adventure folder or the RPG folder.
@Pod Right. So let's call them "tags" or "labels".
And I am fine with this implementation. I haven't played Mario 3D All Stars yet, and so I can put it in three groups "Nintendo", "Games for ol' people" and "backlog of shame" instead of creating a "Nintendo backlog of shame for old people" folder. Which would obviously result in 1 folder per game.
And maybe it takes 5 years to find out how to create "folders" which do not look as ugly as on the PS4.
@Pod Because it is really hard to have a folded piece of paper to contain other pieces of paper inside a digital system so that is why they are not LITERAL folders.
I tried it. Didn’t like it initially. I’ll try again later. Wish they were on the Home Screen like on the Wii U. But it’s nice to put the NSO systems in a group called ‘Virtual Console’ 😎
And the sentence mentioning backlogs…ouch. So painful because it’s true.
I find it annoying that when adding games to a group and sorting them, it doesn't let you use the filters 'All Software' has. I had to manually sort 96 shmups alphabetically and am dreading having to sort my arcade folder, which is even larger.
Edit - I'm an idiot. The filter is actually there when selecting software and if selected in alphabetical order, sorting them isn't an issue.
@khululy I guess these "groups" are more like the Apple MacOS tags or gmail labels. Folders are a really outdated way to organize digital files. I mean, even Nintendo, who is always 10 years behind, thought that folders would be a dump idea.
Seriously better late than never. This and the BlueTooth updates give me hope for Virtual Console. I'm sure we will see another UI overhaul with the next Switch iteration, these are small steps in preparation to it.
I'd still like a way to manually set what the first row of software is on the main row is, rather than just whatever was played or updated most recently. I turned off auto-updates just because I got tired of manually rearranging software for my OCD.
I’m boycotting the site until further notice because of “games for old people”
I hate how soulless the Switch UI is as much as the next person but I gotta admit...its pretty refreshing after eveytime I use my PS4 which is sooooooo laggy and terrible with menus and interface.
Probably won't use it but I already have zero complaints about the OS. I'm really baffled by how hard it is for people to scroll through a list of games. I don't use any organization on the PS4 or Xbone either, just give me the big list. If anything I enjoy it more as my library has grown, just like I enjoy scanning over hundreds of cds when I'm going to pull one out. It's nice to take a moment to enjoy the library before starting a game. Smell the roses once in a while.
I love the way Nintendo implemented this! I'd rather have these 'groups' so I can create lists based on what I'm looking for without the games being unavailable from my other lists. I have groups for things like Multiplayer and for Platformers and some of the games belong to both. In the scramble of hosting a get-together, I just just open my Multiplayer group and see who wants to play what without having to look at my dozens of games one at a time and remember if they have multiplayer.
I never wanted folders on Switch, primarily because folders are ugly AND impractical on 90+% of systems. ^^
I'm unlikely to use this system as well, but who knows, it might grow on me.
@PtM Um... the difference between groups and folders (the joke of it) is like the difference between 6 and 1/2 dozen.
Lovely organization. I should create a "Backlog of shame" group myself.
finaly i have a way to orgazine my games.
I’d like to see more variety in backgrounds for the home menu and some sort of chimes or music like we had on the wii and wii shop.
Keep them off the home page. The home page is slick, quick and umm...can't think of another word rhyming with ick. Anyhoo, if you can obsess about putting games into folders that help you sleep at night, I'm sure it's not too far out of your way to actually visit them.
I dare say I'll dabble in them but they were hardly a deal breaker for me in the first instance. Same with themes. I mean...how much time do you guys want to spend in an operating system? Bonkers!
For me, I want the key chain loop (like the DS had) so I can dangle my arcade charms. Beats themes every day of the week for me.
Yeah I heard about that. Thank you Nintendo.
I guess this is going to be as close as I can get to “hide unavailable physical game icons”
Why did it take them so long? I guess they were too busy making games lol.
Waw it's only taken them 5 years to manage to create folders!!!
Not surprisingly that the vertual console has gone backwards
Scary when you think about it
@CharlieGirl I loled at backlog of shame
It actually does have an option to only show digital games on the All Games screen now! (is what I heard)
I guess I'm the only one feeling that, but my main annoyance is that the folders just copy the files to a directory, rather than Move it so it's not showing on the all games menu.
Never really as ungrateful and entitled as xbox players, but I try.
Felt like exclusively Alex. Then Alex bestie Jon. I must have missed the Kate days. I gave up on the channel to be honest.
I've already discovered like 10 games I didn't even know I own including a couple I swear I've never heard of! The sheer level of disorganization in the pre-groups games list was overwhelming. This addition was extremely welcome; it will literally change how I play games and maybe help me reduce my infinite backlog.
I never really see the use of folders, if the search options are good enough you don't really need them. Just filter the results any way you want and it's done.
*not talking about the switch by the way, I don't own near enough games on the console to not know what I have.
@Pod I just checked, you’re right! It’s a miracle lol. I kinda wish it would remember that filter each time I select “all games” though…
@sixrings I'm confused with what this has to do with the article. Besides, if you've stopped watching the channel, I don't think it's fair to make accusations about it.
I really like the new group feature and I especially like the ability to have games in multiple groups. This will make local multiplayer sessions a lot more comfortable in the future. Between this and the recent addition of missions/profile icons I am pretty content
I'm outraged by the lack of proper folders and wish Nintendo to be cancelled.
Now, who wants to discuss 19th century bimetallism?
People who want them on the Home Screen don't know what they need. They need to be told what they need for their ideas are bad.
I don't want an automobile,
I want a faster horse!
Soooo you can’t name your own folders a la Playstation? Weird and dumb. Switch still has the worst digital storefront ever. Even Wii U’s layout blows it away.
Don't really have enough games for this feature to be necessary for me. Or moreover I don't go back to enough games to make the list on my screen be arduous. Typically I just move on from one game, don't touch it again, get a new one and the process repeats.
@StarPoint absolutely nothing. I just saw another video with only men and it irked me. But you’re right I was mistaken.
@joey302 yes you can? its one of the poll options, even
@Unit_DTH There is more to it than that. Folders are conventionally partitioning, while groups/ categories/ tags often denote overlapping subsets.
My only issues with this implementations are 3:
1. It's not immediately available on the Home Screen. I still have to scroll all the way right to get to All Software before then clicking the right shoulder to get to Groups. There should be a quicker way to get to groups.
2. Since I have a lot of software, it's arduous to spend the time to sort through the mess of titles to find what should go where. And because they're not folders but groups, It's hard to remember if I got the game in a group yet or not.
3. Because I have games on multiple SD cards based on space availabilities, it's impossible to create groups with all the software I want in the group at any given time.
@Degenerate_Mii it didnt have a ui ya ding dong
@marandahir I mean you can just flick left on the home screen to get to the All Software. That kinda solves issue one on its own.
I grouped the _______ out of that those things.
(very constructive comment, I know)
This is giving my anxiety lol. What folders do I make? What do I put in them? How many is too many? How many is not enough? Is this a relevant category? I have a "Nintendo" folder for first party games, an "RPG" folder for RPGs, an "Indie" folder for indies... I feel like this is a bad way of organizing. I need to reassess.
If you want a shortcut to groups on home menu then make your voice heard Nintendo has proven that they always listen to user feedback countless times in the past
"Games for Old People" has a 1999 and 2002 Star Wars game in it? I mean...Atari Flashbacks and Namco Museum, sure, but your definition of "old" is pretty new, haha!
As its currently hidden, its basically useless to me. I just want folders on my home screen. Why is that so much to ask?
WUT. How did I not know this?
Why is Triangle Strategy in the 'Nintendo' group?
Love how this is a thing, I've spent hours creating groups already, but I just wish it was more like the way Sony did folders on the PS4.
Sop happy that they are groups (or metatags or whatever) rather than folders... Basically it's like a restaurant of which every restaurant has its own selection, but many serve a good steak...
It's bizarre that it wouldn't honestly, but maybe that's coming in another update soon. ^^
Typical Nintendo. Finally listening to something the fans have wanted in 5 years, and they do it in the laziest way humanly possible and totally ignore what people have asked for since the beginning.
Sony and Microsoft at least TRY to listen to fan feedback and fix things. Nintendo sees the feedback an just goes "Meh f**k em"
Yeah I feel like it's not so important what these are named... A rose by another name smells just as sweet, right??
Anyway, someone here pointed out you can filter to only show downloaded games, and that shrunk my list down by so much, thank goodness
....again it would be nice and a good possibly ez money opportunity for Nintendo to just release skins that just change the background picture and maybe play different music...... It doesn't have to be complex
Hell, even allowing a few more background color options like red blue and yellow might help
@PtM You are defining those items for a much more in depth system than the one that Nintendo has implemented. They have given us "folders" with a new name. There are no notable subset divisions within these "groups" that we can make, at least not yet. My comment referred exclusively to the New Groups addition to the Switch OS.
Incoming organisation nerd comment: The 'groups' feature provides the perfect opportunity to set up your Switch like a Kanban board. A group for 'Ready', a group for 'Doing', and a group for 'Done'. I suppose online multiplayer games would live perpetually in the 'Doing' group.
@Degenerate_Mii I agree
@Unit_DTH What I'm saying is you can add a game to multiple Groups. Normally, on a PC, one can place a file only into one folder. This is the reason why they're not called Folders on Switch.
@AnalogWave See, folders are better for Kanban boards, as you can have your game only in one folder. With groups, your game can appear in all three sections.
@WaveBoy You can do both.
@EriolGaurhoth New games can also be for old people.
Thank goodness, the 9 games I've bought since the switch launched just look sooo untidy...
Honestly wish they would have added features that were just added to the PS5. Ability to pin certain games to the main screen.
Would be nice if switch started using filters, Sony could do for some more filter options. Wouldn't mind pining a zelda group to the main screen.
Honestly I've never been a fan of the switch's OS. It's a dumbed down version of the XMB or the PS4 media bar. No shame in replicating damn well near perfection, but instead of improving upon it, they just made it worse.
Hopefully the Switch 2 has a less Lazy UI/UX design philosophy.
@CharlieGirl Yup, some quality games there 🤣
Making the groups "Demos" and "Backlog" alone has given me hope for the future of my Switch.
The epitome of being a bratty child sums up this article.
It's like you'll never forgive not getting the pony you wanted when you were 5 years old and will complain about everything forevermore
They need to be on the main screen
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