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A Closer Look At Nintendo Switch User Interface

Whenever a brand new console launches, I’m always eager to find out more about its user interface (UI). Nintendo hasn’t taken the wraps off to show us everything the Nintendo Switch has to offer, but it did offer a glimpse at some of the functionality that will be in place on launch day.

Although not explained in any way during its Switch Presentation, the Japanese Nintendo homepage featured a screenshot of the UI. It appears that Nintendo is keeping the Switch’s Home Screen rather minimalistic, opting to use flat graphical icons. It looks more modern in design than its 3DS and Wii U counterparts. It features big squares to show off the software that’s on the Switch itself or inserted into the Game Card slot. This looks slightly similar to the 3DS layout when it’s zoomed all the way in and the software is listed on one line, except on that system the squares are much smaller. Also, the icons at the bottom of the Switch’s screen are at the top of the 3DS’s UI.

The Switch’s UI is also reminiscent of the PlayStation 4’s and how it displays installed software. It’s one continuous bar that you can scroll through to find the game you’re looking for. Hopefully the Switch will feature folders out of the gate to make it easier to organize digital files.

The icons along the bottom of the screen from left to right are: News and Announcements, Nintendo eShop, Album, JoyCon, Screen Brightness, and Power. The Album will allow users to view the screenshots they’ve taken wile playing games. They can then add text to them and share them to social networks directly from the application.



Today the software company, Nicalis, shared a photo on Twitter that was quickly deleted, but saved by intrepid watchers. It shows off a Nintendo Switch Home Screen and there are some interesting tidbits we’ve learned thanks to this picture:



The first noticeable difference in this screenshot is that they have changed the background from white to black. This is a nice feature to have when playing in dark environments. I’m also hopeful Nintendo will allow us to customize and add our own backgrounds.

Looking at the icons along the bottom of the screen I noticed that the News and Announcements icon has a small green dot on the upper right side. This most likely signifies a pending notification.

Below that we see that pressing the – or + buttons will open the Options menu. Pressing Y will allow you to very quickly change users. Speaking of, you can see which user is signed in at the top left of the screen and also that the current game being played is 1001 Spikes, which is suspended while accessing the Home Menu. In the first picture, there are three users shown on the upper left of the screen. We’re assuming you can just tap to change users, but it could also be that all three are signed it at the same time playing a multiplayer game. Pressing X will close the software that’s currently running.

In the picture posted by Nicalis, we see games that have yet to be announced from the developer. 1001 Spikes, Cave Story, and Hydra Castle Labyrinth are all shown. The original Tweet mentioned that “Isaac was lonely so we brought a few friends to keep him company”. It seems obvious those games will be making their way to the Switch later in the year.

We expect to get a full unveiling of the UI in the weeks leading up to the March 3, 2017 launch of the Nintendo Switch. Hopefully Nintendo will put out some videos showcasing the features like they did with 3DS and Wii U. We’ll keep you updated as details emerge.


[Source: Go Nintendo]

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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