Nintendo Offers Peeks At Switch eShop, Software

Nintendo has been less than forthcoming about the Switch console's software. The company published the device's specs in January, revealed that it won't feature the Virtual Console earlier this month, and published yesterday a video showcasing the indie games that will head to the Switch, but it's been pretty quiet about the console's software design. That changed with a couple of new videos showing off the Switch's eShop and base software.

In the most recent video, we're shown how the Switch's eShop and News features work. The eShop is just like you'd expect--Switch owners will use it to discover new AAA game releases, indie titles, and, eventually, the Virtual Console games that will make the leap from old consoles to the new device. News collects information about those games (trailers, announcements, behind-the-scenes info) and updates from Nintendo in one easy-to-find place.

A launch day software update is required to access the eShop. Nintendo has repeatedly said the update download is quick and unobtrusive. That's good news, considering that Switch owners would probably rather play one of the console's few launch games than wait for a software update to finish, and makes it just a little bit easier to forgive the fact that the Switch will ship without Virtual Console access or even a functioning eShop out-of-the-box.

Another video shows what it's like to start up the Switch for the first time. The process looks simple enough, and shouldn't challenge anyone who's set up a console in the past, but it could still be a useful primer for first-time console owners or the non-techies to whom Nintendo often markets it products. The video also shows off the redesigned Mii editor, the ability to set profile images using iconic characters like Mario, and other tidbits.

Neither video is as endearing as the parental controls video featuring Bowser and Bowser Jr. published in January. But they do their jobs well--we now have a better idea about what the Switch's software is like, and anyone struggling with the console's interface will have a handy little guide. Switch will debut on March 3, and for anyone who didn't get the chance to pre-order the device, both GameStop and Best Buy will have some units in stock.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.