Nintendo's firmware update 13.0.0 had the headline feature of adding support for Bluetooth devices, which was overdue but nonetheless welcome. It did some other work too, however, such as an 'Update Dock' option for the OLED model equivalents, effectively ensuring support of the LAN port that'll be introduced in the new model.
One boost that wasn't in the changelog, however, seems to relate to game boot times. Now this isn't a load time for an individual game, but the transition of the Switch to booting the game up - that black screen with the little animated Switch 'click' at the bottom right. As highlighted by @pikuri_ on Twitter, this has sped up for some games to the extent that the click animation can't even fully complete.
We've been testing a variety of games around the NL team and reckon this is indeed the case in some examples - larger games still take a second or two to 'boot' and start loading properly, but some smaller titles in particular seem to be notably faster than before.
[Update: Our video boffin Alex is currently testing and thinks some games may be a tiny bit slower when comparing across updated and non-updated hardware, so it appears to be a little random. For example, that testing suggests a physical copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a little slower, along with a download of Hollow Knight. Yet in a similar test Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is seemingly booting faster, so it's certainly inconsistent.
This scribe has tested various download-only games (in a very unscientific way) that are booting quickly enough that the black screen animation doesn't complete or even start, so some titles are faster. Examples are Shinsekai: Into The Depths, Hades, Mega Man 11 and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.
In summary, results seem to vary, it certainly feels to some of us in the team that a number of download titles in particular are getting into the software quicker, but factors like connection speeds / microSD card speeds etc will vary for each user. Our gut instinct is that some games are quicker, but clearly not all.]
In reality this is a small boost at best, of course, and game load times after this initial screen will be the same as ever. It's a fun thing to note though, as Nintendo's firmware updates often have a few little tweaks that can easily be missed.
Have you noticed this in any of your games? Go on, try it out for yourselves.
- For the full history of Nintendo Switch updates, be sure to check out our firmware guide
- PSA: Remember To Update Your Joy-Con, As Well As Your Nintendo Switch
- How To Use Bluetooth Headphones On Switch - Connect AirPods To Nintendo Switch