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7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is one of the best-selling consoles of all time, thanks to its unique blend of home and portable play, and the excellent, exclusive Nintendo games. If you’re in the market for a video game console, you might consider buying the Nintendo Switch, or the Lite/OLED variant.

While the Switch certainly has a lot to praise, there are also plenty of things it doesn’t get right and we’d love to see improved. As such, we’re going to explain all the reasons why you might not want to buy a Nintendo Switch.


1. Expensive First-Party Games

If you want to play games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, or Metroid Dread, you need a Nintendo Switch. You can’t play these games on any other platform. While Microsoft and Sony sell plenty of first-party titles on PC, Nintendo knows many people buy the Switch for its exclusives.

The problem is that Nintendo sells its games for $60 and maintains that price for as long as possible. On other platforms, it’s not uncommon for a game to drop in price after a few months, and most certainly after a year. For Nintendo’s first-party games, you’re lucky to shave even $10 off the asking price.

While the eShop does host the occasional sale, the discounts don’t run that deep. Nintendo knows it doesn’t need to lower the price of its games too much because people are willing to pay it.

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2. Lack of Streaming Services

pokemon tv

If you only want your console to play games, that’s fair enough. However, it’s a massively missed opportunity that the Switch hasn’t secured more streaming services. Imagine how great it would be to watch the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max on the Switch’s screen when traveling.

As it stands, the Switch only has a handful of streaming services such as Hulu, YouTube, and Funimation. It’s a good start, but there are so many more services that are freely available on the Xbox Series S/X and PS5. Why can’t the Switch have them too?

3. No Backwards Compatibility

The Nintendo Switch has no traditional backwards compatibility. There’s no disc drive, so your GameCube, Wii, and Wii U games won’t work. However, don’t think that your cartridges from your DS or 3DS will work here either.


Simply put, the only physical media the Switch can play is Switch cartridges.

Instead, Nintendo offers retro games through its Nintendo Switch Online service. For $3.99/month or $19.99/year, you gain access to the Switch’s online multiplayer services and a collection of NES and SNES games. You can get Nintendo 64 games too, but these are locked behind the Expansion Pass membership. This costs $49.99/year.

If cancel your membership, you lose access to all of these games. Essentially, you’re only renting them, and if you own them physically already it doesn’t matter.

4. Old Games Repackaged for the Switch

It’s no secret the Wii U was a flop. Nintendo has used this as a chance to repackage many of its great Wii U games for the Switch. Titles like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Super Mario 3D World all first appeared on the Wii U.


Technically, the Switch hasn’t had its own version of Mario Kart. Mario Kart 8 first saw the light of day in 2014, before landing on the Switch three years later.

Granted, some of these games now boast improved visuals or new features. However, for Wii U owners at least, it feels cheeky that the Switch is used for these repackaged experiences.

5. No Achievements

Xbox has achievements and PlayStation has trophies. The Switch has… nothing. For some people, that won’t matter. For others, earning achievements is part of the fun. While some developers chuck them in as an afterthought, others use them as rewards for challenges or discovering Easter eggs.

Related: What Are Easter Eggs in Video Games?

Regardless, there’s satisfaction seeing that pop-up on platforms like Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox to tell you that you’ve earned an achievement. If you love to hunt them, the Switch isn’t for you.

6. Joy-Con Drift

Red and Blue Joy-Cons on a White Background

One of the biggest problems with the Nintendo Switch lies in its controllers, the Joy-Cons. Since the Switch launched in 2017, players have been plagued with the curse of drifting Joy-Cons. This is where the analog sticks move slightly of their own accord, causing input issues.

For a long time, Nintendo refused to acknowledge the issue. Now, the company will repair drifting Joy-Cons for free, even if you’re outside of warranty—in some regions.

However, Nintendo hasn’t actually resolved the core issue. New Joy-Cons can still suffer from drifting. This is especially problematic for the Switch Lite, where you can’t simply replace the Joy-Cons because the controllers are integrated into the deck.

7. Online Lacks Essential Features

Nintendo has always lagged behind with its online functionality and the Switch is no exception. Not only is charging for online multiplayer a cheek in the first place, but you don’t exactly get a lot for your money.


Unlike Sony’s PlayStation Plus that gives subscribers great free games every month, Nintendo Switch Online can’t even get the basics right. You need to download a smartphone app to voice chat; it’s archaic.

For another highlight of stupidity, you need to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online to save your games to the cloud—that’s already nuts. But to take it one step further, some games, like Animal Crossing, don’t support it and have no good reason not to.

Should You Buy a Nintendo Switch?

If you’ve read all of this and you don’t see them as major problems, that’s great! Millions of people enjoy the Nintendo Switch and you can be one of them too. However, we do think these reasons are substantial enough to give pause to the idea of buying a Nintendo Switch.

While we suspect some of these may never get addressed, hopefully Nintendo will continue to improve the Switch for a long time to come.


The Nintendo Switch
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