Switch Weekly
The State of Switch Survey 2022

The State of Switch 2022

Half a decade on, here is what folks make of Nintendo's hybrid console.

Five years and over 100,000,000 units sold. The Nintendo Switch success story is a fascinating turnaround from Kyoto’s House of Mario. The contrast when compared to the Wii U era is stark. This pivot to offering a hybrid machine was a risk, seeing Nintendo put all their eggs in one hardware basket — a bold change that differed from the multi-pillar approach of the past near thirty years.

The bet paid off of course, and now a half-decade later the Switch is a vibrant platform with consistently healthy sales, a huge library of diverse titles, and an ever-evolving product offering — all of which seem to show little sign of slowing down.

But sales figures only tell half of the story. Getting a glimpse at the real day-to-day user experience also sheds plenty of light on the overall perception, usage, consumption, and ultimately enjoyment of the wider Nintendo Switch platform. It’s here where the State of Switch survey comes in.

Now in its fifth year, this wide-ranging Nintendo survey seeks to check the pulse of the Nintendo community at large — asking various questions on topics such as play-time, hardware durability, software expectations, and much more (for those curious, you can see all the responses from previous years here).

Premium Edition Games

The 2022 survey is kindly sponsored by Premium Edition Games — their mantra is 'modern retro, done right' and they focus on preserving a growing range of amazing games physically on the Nintendo Switch, perfect for collectors and retro fans alike.

Today we’re going to go through the 2022 results, to see what folks think of Nintendo’s hybrid console now it’s been available for over five years.

Did folks think the OLED update was compelling? Is Nintendo’s online strategy the right one? Is Joy-Con drift still an issue?

Let’s dive into the results and find out what Nintendo enthusiasts make of the Switch in 2022.

Table of Contents:

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🙅 Those without a Switch

Each year I start the survey by asking whether the respondent owns a Nintendo Switch. This essentially splits the survey in two right off the bat — so I can ask a different set of questions for those that don't own a Switch yet.

Here are the results from those who currently do not own a Nintendo Switch:

  • Of all responses, only 1.7% of survey respondents said they do not own a Switch right now. This low percentage is expected for what's essentially an enthusiast survey.
  • Of those currently without a Switch, just over 17% indicated that they had owned a Nintendo Switch at some point in the past.

Reasons given for no longer owning a Nintendo Switch included: buying it to just play a certain title, wanting more capable hardware, and generally just not playing it enough — and as such, moving on.

I asked all those currently without a Switch if they do intend to get one in the future, and 82% indicated that they do plan on buying (or receiving one) at some point.

As for what is stopping a purchase right now?

Price remains a leading factor here, although the ageing Switch hardware was also flagged as a common reason. Nearly 60% mentioned the current Switch price points are not attractive to them. 45% indicated they were waiting for a hardware revision of some form (whether that's the long-rumoured Switch Pro, or whatever Nintendo plans to do next) before jumping in.

The chart above shows the breakdown here, with other reasons including things such as the available game library, online infrastructure, stock issues, and third-party support.

Interestingly, in last year’s survey ‘waiting for a hardware revision’ was noted as the leading factor for the first time. Over the years that this survey has been running, the price was always a top issue. In 2021, that shifted — no thanks in part due to strong hardware rumours at the time. In the past twelve months, we have now seen the introduction of the Switch OLED model. As such, this has seemingly satisfied some, as the price is once again the top reason why folks don’t yet have a Switch.

So, what price would they bite at?

  • Well, when it comes to the regular Nintendo Switch, $220 USD seems to be the sweet spot. The current suggested retail price is $299 USD.
  • The average price folks without a Switch would happily pay for a Switch Lite came in at $140 USD. The Lite is currently available with a sticker price of $199 USD.
  • When it comes to the latest Switch model, which is available at $349 - the average price folks said they would pay for this OLED model came in at $275.

When looking at the overall Nintendo Switch family of products, for those that are price sensitive, the Nintendo consoles are deemed to be between $60 to $80 too expensive compared to their current price points. This roughly aligns with answers given in years prior.

🤩 Tell me about your Switch

This section brings together responses from those who do currently own a Nintendo Switch console (making up 98.3% of all respondents).

  • Around 87% own the original Nintendo Switch.
  • Just under 15% said they had a Switch Lite.
  • Over 22% said they owned the newest OLED model.

This OLED percentage is surprising in some sense, but not in others. It placing higher than the Lite is somewhat unforeseen, if only due to its limited time on the market (5 months for the OLED versus 30 months for the Lite). I see this impressive take-up of the OLED model as quite the endorsement for what was largely seen as a nice, but by no means essential, upgrade on the original 2017 hardware.

You’ll note that the percentages above, when combined, total more than 100%, this is due to the question being multiple-choice, and a good number of respondents sharing that they own more than one Switch console. Over 1,100 respondents (around 24% of those answering) said they own more than one machine.

So, why own more than one Switch console? Well, multi-Switch households are now increasingly common.

Last year people detailed how they wanted a Switch Lite for carrying around, whereas the original hardware would stay docked as a ‘permanent’ home console of sorts. Responses this year detailed a similar story, but also outlined other rationales such as wanting another machine for a spouse, child, or general family use. Collectors, along with those replacing ageing original hardware, also popped up here as reasoning for having multiple hardware units. Plenty shared that they picked up an OLED to replace their 2017 hardware, whilst choosing to hold on to the original unit too.

Just over 28% of respondents got their very first Switch on launch day back in 2017. A further 26% of respondents got their’s at some point during the first year of availability — thus giving you a good idea as to just how engaged with the Nintendo brand those responding to this survey are — these are keen enthusiasts — over 54% of those answering the survey got the Switch during its first year on the market.

The chart below shows the breakdown of when respondents got their first Switch console:

When did you get your first Nintendo Switch?

I then asked those with the OLED Switch specifically if they were upgrading, or if this new model was their first Nintendo Switch console.

  • 90% of respondents with the OLED were upgrading from older hardware.
  • 10% shared that this OLED model was their very first Switch.

As for why people upgraded? I wanted to know what in particular was compelling about this OLED model to those who opted to get the latest hardware. To little surprise, the new screen technology was the leading motivation. Here are just a few of the comments from those who upgraded to the Switch, sharing why they did just that:

"I had a 2017 Switch, with general wear and tear and decreasing battery life. I play mostly handheld, so the new screen made was enough of a selling point, but the other quality of life improvements to the OLED model were a big factor as well."
"I had the very first model, which had short battery life. After years of use, the Joy-Con rails were getting soft, so the hardware was getting on a bit too. The OLED model has a much better battery life and tougher hardware, so it's a great upgrade. Smaller bezel and a better display sealed the deal."
"I'm primarily a handheld user, so the better screen was a big value-add. Also, the white color looks really nice."
Nintendo Switch OLED model — Photo by Jeremy Bezanger
"..a great upgrade on battery life, sound quality, and the screen quality too. I also think the WiFi antenna on the OLED model is better, I am able to play anywhere in the house now. Before I had to be somewhat close to the router."
"..has a slightly larger and prettier screen. When I bought the original model, my first thought was that the screen was too small. After playing handheld for many hours, I also realized the screen is not the greatest. The OLED solves both those gripes for me."
"Old Switch was having some hardware issues, so I wanted a new system and the OLED was the best thing on the market. I mostly play handheld mode, so I liked the idea of the bigger screen and improved battery life."
"I love the white color aesthetic."

Next, I asked which specific model people have. This splits out the hardware model question and breaks it down to the colour choice people make.

  • The Neon variant is still the most popular when it comes to the original Switch hardware.
  • When it comes to the Lite, the Turquoise remains the most popular choice with survey respondents.
  • Turquoise was one of the three original Lite colour options. Both Coral and Blue are later additions to the line-up.
  • As for the OLED, the White model is the prefered choice by a significant margin.
  • Of those with an OLED machine, over 86% have the White model.

Hover over the above chart on desktop to see precise values.

🎮 All about the Games

After establishing what hardware preferences folks have, I moved on to asking a set of questions all about the software side of things.

These questions aimed to discover what games people own, which games are most anticipated, thoughts on Cloud gaming, free-to-play titles, and more.

First, there was a question on just how many games those responding own for their Nintendo Switch console.

  • The average response was a massive 63 titles owned. However...

It's clear a fair few enthusiasts with sizeable collections answered the survey this year, as close to a dozen respondents noted they own more than 1,000 games — which is feasible considering the Switch is home to a library above 5,000 titles.

In fact, around 800 (17%) of those answering this question said they own over 100 games for the Switch. Last year, only 400 respondents said they owned over 100 games.

The below violin plot shows the distribution of responses over the past five years. The wider shape/spread shows how common a response is.

How many Nintendo Switch games do you currently own?

As you can see, the earlier years show a wider spread of smaller libraries — this then stretches upwards over the years highlighting the overall growth and diversity in the size of individuals libraries. The 2022 result is skinnier still due to an increase in those with sizeable (100+) game libraries.

Taking all of this into consideration, it's probably more reflective to look at the median value here, which comes in at 35 games owned.

In 2021 the median response was 20 games owned. This year-on-year increase feels about right and represents a very healthy attach rate.

With the Switch console now entering its sixth year, to see this figure rise year over year is an encouraging sign of a platform that remains in good standing with consumers.

So, with a median of 35 games owned, how does this break down in regards to physical versus digital game ownership?

I asked what percentage of Switch owners' libraries was made up of digital titles versus physical — and the figure stands at just over 53% digital.

Over the last several years this statistic remains consistent: In 2021 it stood at 51%, 55% in 2020, 52% in 2019, and just shy of 50% back in 2018.

Digital has the slight edge still (as you'd expect — the majority of the Switch's library is only available in digital form), but the appeal and draw of physical releases are clearly still a strong one, as the overall picture here remains one that is pretty much consistently 50/50.

I've always expected this stat to skew stronger in favour of digital as the years went by, but it just hasn't happened — Switch enthusiasts still love buying physical.

Next was a question on which Nintendo-published games respondents have picked up for their Switch.

Now, of course, from time to time Nintendo does provide official sales data for a range of their most popular first-party titles, however, I still like to ask this question to get a general idea of attach rates and to see which titles remain evergreen in Nintendo's line-up.

Nintendo Switch games 2021 - 2022

When it comes to more recent releases, here's what folks shared:

  • Pokemon Legends: Arceus was already at 39% ownership (which had been available for less than a month at the time of the survey) — a great result for this shake-up to the Pokemon formula.
  • 50% of those answering picked up 2021 hit Metroid Dread. A great attach rate for a title that had been available for roughly four months at the time of the survey.
  • 2021 title Mario Party Superstars stands at 26% ownership. 2018s Super Mario Party stands at 31% by comparison.
  • Around 37% of those answering this question picked up the HD remaster of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
  • Brilliant Diamond proved more popular than Shining Pearl with the Pokemon remasters standing at 22% and 14% respectively.
  • Just over 15% of respondents shared that they own Mario Golf Super Rush and WarioWare: Get It Together! (17% and 16% respectively).
  • Just shy of 10% of respondents picked up 2021s Game Builder Garage.
  • 8% of those answering got Miitopia.
  • Only 7.5% said they picked up Big Brain Academy: Brain vs Brain.

As for those evergreen system sellers:

  • 85% of respondents own The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • Just over 77% own Super Mario Odyssey.
  • 76% of those answering have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
  • 68% own Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Just over 62% of respondents have Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Next, I asked as Nintendo continues to port old games (such as Super Mario 3D World and Skyward Sword) to the Switch, whether this was something respondents would like to see more or less of.

Over 84% of those answering this question are seemingly happy for Nintendo to bring older titles over to the Switch. This is up from 76% in the 2021 survey. Generally, people seem to be more than ok with older titles getting the port treatment — I ask this question as there was definitely some online objection to the practice in the earlier days of the console.

My next question asked respondents whether if they had to pick a focus for Nintendo going forward, what would it be — more new titles, like Splatoon, or the return of older series, like F-Zero.

The split here was nearly 50/50. With 51.3% opting for more new titles, and 48.7% wanting to see older franchises return.

This response roughly lines up with those given in years prior (the chart below shows the historical breakdown) — and I think strikes a good balance: folks want a nice mix of old and new, but with a slight preference to exploring what's fresh.

If you had to pick a focus for Nintendo going forward, which would it be?

So, which single-game do you think people have spent the most time playing on their Nintendo Switch? This can be checked on a user's bio on the Switch. With such a wide range of titles available, this question always sees a vast, wide range of responses, however, the most common is always fairly consistent.

Here are the top five most common replies:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  4. Splatoon 2
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The only difference here between last year's results? Splatoon 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses have switched places in the top five.

Last year I speculated that Animal Crossing may take the top spot in 2022 — but alas, no. 'The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' remains top, year after year. Nothing can seemingly topple it as the most-played (by time) Switch game.

The chart below shows what other titles proved popular here:

Which single game have you spent the most time playing on your Switch?

Other all-time popular Switch games (by playtime) include The Witcher 3, Hades, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Rocket League, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Dragon Quest XI S, and Diablo III.

I then asked which game people felt they had spent the most time playing during the last year. It's one thing to see most-played across all time, but seeing the gaming habits of the last twelve months can often prove revealing — for example, in last year's survey, Animal Crossing came top — it was very much the 'game of the pandemic'.

As for this latest survey? Well, Animal Crossing came top again.

Animal Crossing on Neon Nintendo Switch

As you can see below, a lot of the evergreen titles still hold favourable top spots, but newer releases such as Monster Hunter Rise, Metroid Dread, and the Skyward Sword remaster saw plenty of play-time last year.

Which single game do you think you have spent the most time playing during 2021?

Other notable mentions here include Shin Megami Tensei V, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, Pokemon Unite, and the ever-enduring Fornite and Minecraft.

When asked about their gaming habits over the last few years, one respondent relatably said:

"You know, I honestly have no idea. Let's say Animal Crossing, though that was probably more a 2020 thing than 2021. Those two years tend to blur together for me - as I suspect they do for a lot of people."

Next, I wanted to know which genres folks feel are well represented on the Switch and those which aren't.

As for those best-represented on the Nintendo Switch, platformers came out on top, followed by RPGs, adventure games, and Metroidvanias.

Folks feel that there aren't enough Shooters on the Switch. This was the most common response by a considerable margin when asking which genre is under-represented on the Switch. Racing and Sports titles were also common responses here.

Over the past few years, a growing number of titles are now available to play on the Switch via the Cloud. These games are not downloaded locally and instead are streamed to a user's console via a live internet connection. The survey asked respondents their thoughts on such titles.

Over 95% of respondents explained that they have not yet bought a Cloud version game. This is of little surprise as the titles (such as Hitman 3, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and several Kingdom Hearts games) have generally not been well received — there is seemingly a reluctance of sorts to pay normal prices for a title you don't actually own. The Cloud game concept/offering hasn't quite found the right approach yet to be seen as compelling to consumers.

However, of those who had been convinced to buy a Cloud version game, the majority said they would be happy to do say again. I asked, having bought a 'Cloud version' of a game on Switch, would you do so again? — 67% said yes versus 33% saying no. I should have asked a follow-up question here to gain some additional customer satisfaction insight.

Moving on, over 65% of respondents shared that they have played a free-to-play title on the Nintendo Switch. These are games where the initial download is free, but users are encouraged to spend money on in-game items (such as a season pass, in-game cosmetics, and so on). Examples include the likes of Fortnite, Pokemon Unite, and Rocket League.

Fortnite on Neon Nintendo Switch

Despite a majority of Switch owners having tried/played a free-to-play title, only around 29% said they had then gone on to spend money in the game. Now, I'm unsure on the financials here, so depending on the volume of players, a near 30% conversion rate of those making a spend may be acceptable to the free-to-play game makers — I'd love some additional insight on this if anyone wants to reach out on what conversion makes the economics of free-to-play work.

The Nintendo Switch can play titles from all over the world. But are people taking advantage of the console's region free capabilities?

I asked those responding whether they had played any games from a region other than their own — be that either physical copies or digital games via the eShop.

The data suggests that less than half of Switch owners take advantage of the region-free nature of the Switch. 42.3% said yes here, meaning 57.7% of Switch owners have never bought a game in a region other than their own.

This 42.3% is up on the 2021 figure, which stood at just 23.8%. I can't attribute this notable jump in numbers to much beyond there just being a smaller sample size this year.

As for those who do take advantage of the Switch being region-free, the top reasons for using this feature were as follows:

A game's limited availability (58.2% of those answering) — such as it not being on sale in their country, a title being available cheaper in other regions (26.5%), different in-game content in regional versions (16%), or to get access to a game earlier (13.8%). A few even noted winning a competition for a game/eShop card from a different region.

"I always buy games physical when I can, so I bought Okami and Phoenix Wright Trilogy from Japan since that's the only region with them physically."
"I prefer physical games, so Super Rare Games releases and certain Japan-only physicals are in my collection."

🙌 How you play your Switch

This next section explores just how people are actually using their Switch day-to-day, covering things such as average playtime, handheld versus docked, controller preferences, and more.

  • On average, in a typical week, a Switch user will play their console for around 6.4 hours.
  • In 2021 the average answer was 5.5 hours played per week.
  • The average playtime, therefore, year over year, is up over 16%.
  • The median value for this playtime question was 6-hours per week, up 1-hour on last year's response.
  • When asked how many folks use 'your' Switch, the median answer was just 1. This matches with data from previous years and aligns with the supposed trend/preference of multi-Switch households, rather than multi-user single machines.

Next, I asked how people most often play their Switch. As a hybrid console it offers users a few different play style options. Here's the preference breakdown for when playing on Switch:

  • As you can see, playing on the big screen remains the most popular playstyle — but only just. 51.1% of respondents indicated they play on the TV the most.
  • This TV lead has narrowed when compared to the 2021 result and is down 4.6% on last year.
  • Handheld is the second preference with a combined (handheld and Lite owners) 46.7% of responses.
  • Table-top mode has seen a very small increase in favourability year on year and is up 0.4%. That OLED kickstand is pretty good.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
  • Just like last year, the average Switch owner has around three controllers (3.8 average, 3 median). This has been consistent now across the last four years.
  • Over 70% shared that the Pro Controller is their preferred control method when not playing handheld. This is up 5% on last year.
  • After the Pro Controller, the Joy-Con Grip takes second preference. Split Joy-Con is the third preferred option.
  • 39.9% of respondents indicated that they own a third-party controller of some variety.
  • When it comes to third-party controllers, those made by 8BitDo are most popular, followed closely by Hori and PowerA.
  • A handful of users indicated they use controllers made by PDP, Binbok, and Nyko.
  • 93.4% of Switch owners have a microSD card in their Nintendo Switch — a clear sign that the base storage isn't enough for the large majority of users.
  • 34.2% of those using a memory card opt for a 128GB capacity. This was the top answer, followed by 256GB, and then 512GB.
What size is the memory card in your Switch?
  • There's been a near 100% increase year-over-year of those with the pricier 1TB microSD cards.
  • Around 21% of Switch owners said they use a portable battery charger with their console. The Switch battery life generally isn't much of an issue for the majority of players.

📡 Switching Online

For this next set of results, I asked a range of questions on the Nintendo Switch online service, the membership plans, its general usage, and more. Here are the answers.

Just shy of 90% said that they currently are (or have previously been) a paying member of the Nintendo Switch Online service (88.9% of respondents).

This percentage aligns very closely with the 2021 figure of 89.6%.

Previously, the service had seen steady 10% growth year-on-year following its initial introduction back in late 2018. It's clear the service has now reached a plateau of sorts — an admittedly high one with an impressive near whole gain of the Switch audience. The Switch online service is seemingly an essential component of owning the device.

But what about those hold outs? I asked the remaining 11% why they have never signed up to be a member of the Switch online service. Here are a few comments from those who aren't currently members:

"Nintendo has also been unable to prove they can create a strong and stable online service."
"I don't like the idea of paying for access to a game library that only lasts as long as my subscription stays up-to-date. I would much rather have a Virtual Console style plan where I pay one time and get to keep the games I paid for as long as my system is in working order."
"Online play should be free. Platform holders think they provide a 'service' by gating it behind a paywall. I already paid for the games and I pay for my internet. The online functionality isn't 'missing' until I cough up more cash - no, it's there, but gated off."
"Cloud saves shouldn't be locked behind paywall."
"Paying an ongoing subscription fee for what should just be one-time purchases of Virtual Console titles is an offensive money grab. Due to the fact that Nintendo has not historically offered durable player accounts with associated purchases following players from system-to-system, Switch owners would almost certainly repurchase VC titles if given the opportunity."
"Doesn't seem like good value. If this was more like Xbox Game Pass I would be interested, but paying to emulate a few old games that I paid for numerous times already doesn't wash with me."
"...I don't want to spend money to play some old NES games I've already played/not interested in."

Of those with an active subscription, just under 60% are on the annual plan (57.4%). This is the most cost-effective option, so this makes sense.

The chart below shows the breakdown of which membership Switch Online users currently hold:

As over a third of respondents indicated they are in a family membership (a cheaper shared plan for up to eight members) I asked whether this group option was being shared with anyone outside of their actual, immediate family. Over 55% indicated that they were using the plan with a mix of family, friends, and others. As I've said before, this makes sense as it's easy enough to do, there are no checks on who is in such a group, and it results in noteworthy savings.

So, what are the driving factors behind signing up for the Switch Online service? I asked a multiple-choice question to find out:

  • Unsurprisingly, 'to play online' is the leading factor. Over 80% of respondents noted this as one of their motivations for becoming a member.
  • Second to playing online, was access to classic games. Nearly 70% said having access to a range of NES, SNES and now N64 and Genesis titles was a key reason for holding a Switch Online membership (69.2%)
  • Just under half of Switch Online members noted that Cloud saves was an important driver in their decision to be a member.
  • Exclusive games, special offers, and game trials also saw plenty of mentions here, but are by no means leading factors.

Next, I asked whether those with a membership had cancelled at any point, and why this was. 22% shared that they had cancelled their Switch Online subscription at some stage.

As for why? Well, common reasons included: to save money, not being satisfied with the service, not using it enough, and a lack of updates/content.

Here are a few of the comments left on this point:

"Because it is not good value for money, I only want it for game saves and online play, the rest as far as I am concerned is just pointless."
"..the value just isn't there. Online is useless with no chat/voice options. You can't just invite friends to games. Nintendo are literally clueless when it comes to online gaming."
"Didn't like the direction Nintendo was heading with the way too expensive for lower quality N64 game package."
"I was not happy with the matchmaking for my country (Brazil), where I simply can't find players anymore in games like Mario Tennis, ARMS, and Smash Bros. Also, I can't deal anymore with the lag in games like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2. All Nintendo games are peer-to-peer rather dedicated servers. I won't play online anymore until Nintendo decides to step up their game."
"Hard to justify the cost when the online infrastructure is so poor"
"Switch Online does not offer good value. It's not impressive. I like having cloud saves, but the amount of classic games they have on offer is intriguing but it's weird to me that they're being so coy with the service. It's like they're intentionally not going all-in..."
"Didn't feel the price was worth it given the single player games I mostly play. Not a fan of the quality of Nintendo online as well."

In late October of 2021, Nintendo launched the 'Expansion Pack' for their Online membership service. This is essentially a new tiered option that has been added to the Switch Online membership. For an additional fee, users gain access to new perks and features, including N64 games, SEGA Genesis (Mega Drive) titles, select DLC, and more.

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack

When this additional tier was announced there was notable online pushback at the price point (essentially double that of the base subscription) — as such, I wanted to ask a few questions about this new tier and see what people make of it.

I asked whether Switch Online members had signed up to the additional 'Expansion Pack' tier. Only 32.1% of respondents shared that they had, meaning nearly 70% of users opted not to sign up to the new, higher tier (67.9%).

Whilst this survey was running Nintendo announced that best-seller Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would be getting new DLC tracks. These 48 tracks would be available for purchase, but they would also be made available for 'free' to Expansion Pack members. I asked if these 48 tracks being included in the Expansion Pack tier had changed anyone's decision to potentially upgrade.

This Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC offer made just over 33% of respondents think again, sharing that they are now considering upgrading. A sizeable 66.6% said that despite this DLC being bundled in for Expansion pack members they still are not interested in the higher-priced membership tier.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass

So, with nearly 70% of respondents choosing not to upgrade to the Expansion Pack, and the Mario Kart 8 DLC not convincing a majority to upgrade either, I wanted to know some of the reasoning behind why folks were not opting to upgrade their membership.

I asked: why have you not signed up for the Expansion Pack tier?

  • Hundreds of respondents simply said the additional tier was 'too expensive'. By far this was the leading response.
  • Plenty of folks highlighted how they felt there isn't enough extra games to justify the price.
  • Another common response here was a lack of interest in the N64 library — a key feature of this new tier.
  • The flip side of this was a handful of folks sharing that they were waiting for the available library of N64 games to grow before joining.
"When I judge the price of this subscription against what games I already own and what games I want to play, I find I would rather save the money I would have spent each year on the subscription and put it towards buying original cartridges of the games I want."
"It's overpriced for what you get. Also, I've heard a lot of reports of emulation issues / input lag with the N64 games - I'd love to play them but not with the issues they have."
"I don't have Animal Crossing or Mario Kart, and $50 a year is way too much for some old N64 games. I would've bought them on the eShop if they were virtual console though."
"It's disgustingly expensive, the Nintendo 64 emulation is bad, and I resent Nintendo's decision to tie classic games to a subscription."
"I'm one of the people who enjoy owning their games so I'm already not a fan of the way classic titles have been handled through Nintendo Online. I'm not going to drop an extra $50 a year to play Ocarina of Time and Banjo Kazooie AGAIN and not own them outright."
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise

Whilst on the subject of the Expansion Pack, I asked those who were members if they had played the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise DLC that is made available to members at no additional cost.

  • 47.7% indicated that, yes, they had played the DLC.
  • 30.7% shared that they had not tried it, despite owning the game.
  • This leaves 21.5% who are Expansion Pack members, but don't own the game and therefore cannot try it.

Next, I asked whether respondents use/visit the 'Nintendo Switch Online' section on the Switch system. This is the red icon on the console home screen that opens a hub of news and offers about the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Here's the breakdown:

  • 42.8% of those answering said they 'Rarely' use this section.
  • 32.6% said they 'Sometimes' make use of it.
  • 15.6% 'Never' use the Nintendo Switch Online section.
  • 9% said they 'Regularly' use this info hub.

As an aside: Since the survey went live Nintendo have since added missions and rewards to this section - as such, I'd imagine the usage of this space will have risen as a result, and will no doubt be reflected in next year's survey.

  • Very few people make use of the poorly supported official Switch Online app for voice chat — just 5.2% of respondents.
  • Discord is by far the favoured solution for having an active voice chat when playing on the Switch. Over 80% of respondents listed this as their favoured option.
  • 15.5% said they use Meta's Messenger or Instagram for voice chat when playing on Switch.
  • Just over 13% use Apple's Facetime for voice chat when playing on Switch.

As Nintendo's official solution is poorly supported and sees little user adoption, I asked which hypothetical scenario would be most preferable as a voice chat alternative:

  • The majority of respondents (51.1%) would like Nintendo to add official voice chat support to the system at a native level, doing away with the need for a separate app.
  • 33.9% would rather see other voice services (such as Discord) integrated directly into the Switch.
  • 11.9% said they'd like to see more games just adopt their own built-in voice chat option — like how Fortnite and Overwatch do.
  • Only 3.1% of those answering said they'd like to see Nintendo continue with their current solution, and just add more games to it. Not the best endorsement really.

Nintendo Switch Online

The next set of questions sought to find out just how much Switch Online members are making use of the range of classic games available to them as part of their membership.

  • I asked whether respondents had played any of the classic games available as a member, and a striking 91.2% said that they had.
  • When it comes to the NES library, however, most members aren't spending much time with them: Over 50% of respondents have less than 5 hours playing what's on offer.
  • Around 25% said they have spent between 0-3 hours with the SNES games available. However...
  • Generally, the SNES library fares much better, as over 20% shared that they have spent over of 20 hours playing the Super Nintendo games on offer.
  • It's a similar story for those with access to the N64 games on the Expansion Pack tier. A good slice have played very little, and a comparable number of folks have sunk 20+ hours into the 64-bit library.
  • 42% said they have spent up to 3 hours with the SEGA Genesis titles on offer, but also a sizeable 34.8% said they haven't played any of the SEGA games available.
  • The chart below shows the breakdown across systems and hours played:

I round out this section on the Switch Online service by asking a few 'user satisfaction' questions. I start by asking whether paying members think the current basic Nintendo Switch Online membership represents good value for money.

66.7% of respondents believe the current base level Switch Online membership does offer good value for money. 33.3% believe it does not. A good number of happy customers, but plenty of room for improvement here too.

I asked a similar question of those on the pricier tier, posing whether as an active Expansion Pack member users felt it offered good value for money.

The story is somewhat different here, as a majority of 53.4% do not believe the Expansion Pack is a good value as it stands right now. 46.6% believe it does. I'll note that the Mario Kart DLC announcement occurred during this survey's run, so the value perception may have shifted slightly here as a result.

Do you think the Nintendo Switch Online membership represents good value for money?

I asked current members to rate the Switch Online service out of five. The average response came in at a middling 3.1.

Finally, I asked for any comments folks may want to share with their thoughts on the Switch Online service generally:

"While as a principle I do not like having to pay a fee to play the games that I've already purchased online, the extra content provided with this subscription, along with the option to split the cost amongst friends means I am less averse to such a concept than I would otherwise be."
"Nintendo really should stop using peer-to-peer and go with dedicated servers."
"Embarrassingly low on content if compared to their competitor's services."
"Fair price and provides everything I need."
"..even Nintendo's highest tier is cheaper than its competitors entry level subscriptions. For better or worse, subscriptions are here to stay."
"Discounts on Nintendo published games would be good, along with member sales and PS Plus style offers."
"Frequency of classic games being added has slowed down considerably, which makes it harder to justify the value when compared to services like Game Pass that even includes new releases. Classic game emulation is fine, but the library is still pretty small."
"I feel the retro game app concept is great and, on paper, is better than virtual console, but the execution hasn't been the best so far."
"..give a 'budget option' that only includes online play and maybe cloud backup."
"I don't have an issue with the pricing, but the release schedule is slow."
"I like that it seems as Nintendo is trying to expand on what the service offers so that it is worth the money."

💸 Buying habits

This next set of results looks at things such as typical spending, thoughts on discounting/sales, the eShop, and more.

I asked where those responding got their Nintendo Switch.

  • Most opted to get their Switch in-store: 49.6%
  • 37.% got their Switch via an online retailer.
  • Just under ten percent (9.3%) indicated they got their Switch as a gift.
  • The remaining responses were either second-hand purchases or marked as 'other'.

Next, I wanted to get an idea of a typical monthly spend on gaming, and the average comes in at around $60 USD. This is of little surprise as it's the usual price of new retail releases. The breakdown of responses can be seen on the chart below:

My next question asked respondents if they pre-order games. 68.7% of those answering said yes, they do pre-order. 31.3% indicated they do not.

As for why people typically pre-order titles? Common responses included: getting pre-order bonuses, ensuring they get the game for launch day, so they can pre-load the game (when digital), and just for convenience.

Plenty of responses also just said they like to pre-order as part of the 'hype' and to build some excitement around the launch.

When buying physical Switch software I wanted to know if respondents had a preference for making the purchase in-store or online? The result here was actually fairly balanced, with a near-even split. There was a slight preference for online sales, but not by much.

With such a vast library, the Switch often has a good number of games available on sale or discounted. In fact, the eShop will often feature deep discounts on a range of digital titles. As such, I asked at what percentage discount might those answering 'impulse purchase' a game that they were not otherwise considering?

The tipping point here? Well, the data suggests that when a game reaches 50% off folks are more willing to make an impulse buy.

Next were a few questions about physical special edition software, and limited physical releases.

I asked what people look for in Collector's Editions of Switch software releases. Typical expectations for such special editions include things like artbooks, bundled DLC, figurines, soundtrack content, and a steel bookcase. Here are just a few comments from respondents on what they like to see and expect:

"Hard cover artbooks, items that expand on the game's lore or show us more about the game's development (concept art, dev comments, story art, etc). Physical items that can be used or displayed like pins, stickers, posters, figures or key chains. Soundtrack in USB media — CDs are no longer used and just collect dust."
"Concept art or a digital art book (even better with artist commentary), DLC included, in-game items and/or costumes."
"A nicer box, a full color manual of sorts with artwork and making of [..] and maybe the soundtrack on CD or vinyl."
"..either a sensible price or multiple versions at different prices. Most collector's editions I pass up due to the price, Breath of the Wild had a great system for their collector's editions with multiple versions. Not everyone wants a Master Sword display, some just want the maps or art of the game, etc."
"A substantial artbook, alternate game case art, an included figurine (or Amiibo), full soundtrack (I'm tired of these "sound selections" that we get these days), and a really cool box to put it all in"

On a similar front, I asked whether respondents had ever bought 'limited' physical release Switch software.

Here are how the results broke down:

Next, I asked whether respondents are purchasing fewer games than they used to for their Nintendo Switch because they have a 'backlog'. This is when someone puts off buying new titles because they have numerous unfinished games in their collection which they want to complete first before making new, additional purchases.

  • 42% of respondents detailed they are now buying fewer new titles as a result of their 'backlog'.
  • 52% answered no to this question.

Nearly half of those answering this year's survey shared how, at some point during the Switch's five years on the market, they have experienced stock shortages of some form (47%). This is up on the past two years — the response in both 2021 and 2020 was closer to 40%.

But what items have those responding struggled to find? I asked which products folks faced stock issues with: This year the Nintendo Switch OLED model was by far the top answer here. It was clearly a hot ticket item that was hard to come by at some point.

Here are just a few of the other most common responses: Nintendo Switch hardware (across all models), Ring Fit Adventure, Amiibo, Joy-Con (including special sets like the Skyward Sword controllers), the Metroid Dread Collector's Edition, and the Switch Online N64 Controller. Curiously a notable number of respondents also shared how they struggled to get a copy of the recent release Pokemon Legends Arceus.

Last year I surmised how stock issues such as these were only made worse by the pandemic — as such I imagine this year over year increase we are seeing here is the long tail of this — combined with any pre-existing operational issues and supply problems.

When the Nintendo Switch debuted in-stores back in 2017 the hybrid nature of the device was novel — and is in part a large part of the devices broad appeal and success. This form factor resonated with people. As such, it's been interesting to see similar devices come to market. The most notable recent example of course is the Steam Deck.

Steam Deck

I asked respondents whether they had pre-ordered/bought one of Valve's new Steam Deck devices — only 9.7% said that they had, 90.3% said no. Of course, it's early days for this product, but I was curious to see if there was any immediate purchase intent from Switch owners — an audience we know likes the form factor on offer here.

Closing out this section is a set of results focusing on the eShop.

I start by asking how folks make use of eShop game listings — establishing just how much people pay attention to things such as screenshots, trailers, etc.

  • When it comes to reading a game's description on an eShop listing most respondents read it in full (44.7%).
  • A further 49.6% of respondents said they will partly read a game's description.
  • As such a total of 94.3% of those answering will read some or all of a game's text-based description.
  • 67.4% said they look at all available screenshots on an eShop listing.
  • Over 88% said they will watch some or all of a trailer if available — although most indicated they typically won't watch it all the way through.
  • 11.5% shared that they never watch a trailer on an eShop listing.

Next, I asked if Switch owners make use of the Wish List feature available on the eShop. 71.2% said they do.

When it comes to demos available on the eShop a massive 88.8% of respondents said they had downloaded a demo from the eShop at some point.

Sales on the Switch eShop are common, with many games often being aggressively discounted to sub $1 price points. Such titles, irrespective of any perceived quality, will often be prominently featured on the eShop, just by nature of how the charts currently work. As such, I asked respondents if they thought discounted games being prominently featured on the eShop are a net positive or a net negative to Switch's ecosystem? Over 87% saw this as a positive practice. My takeaway here? Users see the elevation of certain titles 'bubbling to the top' and the overall cost benefits as outstripping any potential extra work involved in doing any research on potential software quality.

75.8% of Switch owners shared that they have bought a game from the eShop solely because it was on sale.

Finally, I asked what improvements Switch users would like to come to the eShop. The number one request was for the eShop to see performance improvements — many users complained about lag and general responsiveness being poor.

Other common eShop improvements people want to see include: the addition of music whilst browsing, adding user reviews/ratings, improved search and filter options, discoverability enhancements (lots of respondents said they'd like to see more curation on the store), adding a shopping basket function, and UI changes. One person said showing data from 'How Long to Beat' would be useful — which I thought was a novel suggestion, another said they'd like to see Metacritic scores when available.

Here's a selection of some of the comments left in regards to the current eShop:

"As of right now, it feels very slow and sluggish to navigate through so improving the stability for a more smooth and responsive experience would be a big plus."
"A shopping basket feature is desperately needed. It's ridiculous that after purchasing a sale game, you have to then scroll through all the previous games to get back to where you were. On many occasions the eshop just resets itself and then you have to start again."
"Genuinely think there's too much on there to sort it any better. It just needs to run better, sometimes it crashes when over 1000 items are on sale"
"Add a ratings system, so people can get a general idea of what games are worth their time. Also, stop adding so much software! There is far too much available on the eShop to the point that it actually slows down at times, and a good chunk of it is low quality or basic terrible ports of mobile games and such. Have a way to sift through the garbage to find the treasures within."
"Add quality control. There's a lot of shovelware and terrible mobile titles. It's very difficult to sort the good from the bad. The website Deku Deals does a much better job at this"
"The promotions and latest releases tabs are horrible to sift through. Sorting should be easier and maybe trending, new and popular games could be featured more prominently"
"Ban games from being permanently discounted by huge amounts, stop prioritising discounts on the main screen, [..] some games are clear cash-grabs."
"At this point, I've completely written off the eShop and just use DekuDeals and the Nintendo website to buy items. The console eShop has been so inundated with shovelware and items perpetually on deep discount that it's practically unusable. The only way to find anything is to search, which is too slow on the Switch system itself."

🧰 Durability, Improvements & Changes

Next are the findings from questions on hardware durability, software quality, software features, and the like.

I begin with the most pressing durability question: whether respondents have experienced Joy-Con drift?

  • Over 68% of those answering said that yes, they had suffered from Joy-Con drift at some point.
  • In 2021 the figure stood at 65.9%. As such, those seeing Joy-Con drift is up 3.5% year-over-year.
  • Drift remains a seemingly widespread issue and is something that seems to affect a large number of Switch consumers.
  • Despite a majority of Switch owners seeing drift issues, only 29.1% said they had sent their Joy-Con into Nintendo directly for a repair.
  • From those that did send their broken controllers to Nintendo, over 90% got a repair for free (93.2%).
  • If Nintendo did charge, the typical cost for a repair seems to be around $40.
  • Just under 350 respondents said they have had to send in their Joy-Con controllers to Nintendo for repair more than once.
  • I asked how many times folks have replaced a set of drifting Joy-Con (not seeking out an official repair) — over 25% of those answering shared they've bought replacement controllers more than once.
Nintendo Switch Joy Con controller

Beyond Joy-Con drift issues, I asked a multiple-choice question to see whether Switch owners have experienced any other hardware-related problems. 27% said they had — the most common of which was Joy-Con controllers disconnecting (36.6%). Just over 16% said the dock had scratched the screen.

Other somewhat established issues seem to be broken kickstands, plastic damage (cracks, warping), and battery ageing.

Issues such as dust, dead pixels, and unresponsive touch panels do not seem commonplace.

I asked Switch owners what is the one thing they'd like to see improved about the Switch hardware.

To little surprise, the overwhelming majority want the drift fixed. Almost all of the responses to this question was some variation on 'fixing the drift' or 'Joy-Con durability'. This is the single most important hardware issue plaguing the Switch and it's a shame to still be writing this five years in.

Other highly requested hardware changes included battery improvements, and more powerful tech (processing power).

Here are some comments from respondents on the subject of the Switch hardware and its general durability:

"With the exception of the Joy-Con, the quality is very good."
"We're 5 years in and this thing I play mostly handheld is still holding up. A few cracks/warping along the top, but it still works. I can't complain too much."
"There is a severe quality issue with Joy-Con that needs to be addressed."
"The Switch OLED seems like a step in the right direction for durability."
"Nintendo has always made the best stuff. My Switch has been my little pandemic buddy and I don't doubt it'll last as long as I need it to."
"The hardware is not powerful enough, a lot of games, even first-party titles are struggling with performance."
"Overall, I am extremely pleased with my launch day Nintendo Switch. Like every other Nintendo console and handheld I've owned, it has held up very well over the last five years. Battery performance has degraded, as expected, and I had to replace a very heavily-used Pro Controller, but otherwise, it's been an excellent unit."
"The only thing I tend to worry about is the console's physical lifespan. The original NES and SNES have been able to survive the past 20-30 years under proper care/maintenance, but I question whether the Switch will make it to 20."

Just under a third of all respondents shared that they had experienced some software issues with the Switch. Most of these were explained as a game crashing or freezing. A few said they suffered from save file corruption.

In 2021 Nintendo added the ability to use Bluetooth headphones with the Switch. I asked whether Switch owners have made use of this new widely requested feature?

Less than half of Switch owners indicated they have tried this feature. 44.6% said yes, whereas 55.4% said they had not paired Bluetooth headphones with their Switch yet. After five years on the market, I imagine changing habits on pre-existing hardware and routines isn't easy.

One respondent asked: "Why did Bluetooth headset support take more than 4 years to implement?" — a very good question.

Finally, I asked what single software improvement Switch owners would most like to see. This year, 'themes' came out on top with 17.7% of all responses. Folders (being able to organise Switch software) was the second most requested feature — and funnily enough, Nintendo has added this to the Switch in the last few days.

Here's the breakdown of software improvements folks most wanted to see:

What is the one thing you'd like to see improved or added to the Switch, from a software perspective?

🔮 Looking ahead

This final set of questions looks ahead, asking folks what they still want to see on the Switch, and more.

The first question seeks to find out which Nintendo franchise people feel is still missing from the Switch library.

Thankfully over the past half-decade, many flagship Nintendo franchises have seen releases on the platform - meaning many of the common responses from years prior (such as Metroid and Paper Mario) have now seen a Switch version come out.

Here are the top five responses from the 2022 survey:

  1. F-Zero
  2. Star Fox
  3. Earthbound (Mother)
  4. Golden Sun
  5. Kid Icarus

Metroid took the top spot last year but has now fallen out of the top five thanks to the 2021 release of Metroid Dread. I will note however that 'Metroid Prime' remains a common response when looking over the full results — folks are still keen to see more of Prime 4.

With Metroid fans being appeased with Dread, it's little surprise to now see F-Zero take the top spot as the Nintendo franchise most wanted on Switch. Admittedly, since the survey was first published we have seen the release of F-Zero X on the Expansion Pack Switch Online Service, but this is very much a side-dish to the main course many want: an all-new F-Zero game.

A similar story can be taken from third place entry Earthbound — the original game is now available to play on the Switch Online service, so is this enough, or are fans clamouring for a new entry? I'm sure next year's data will shed light on this.

Outside of the top five, other common responses included Punch-Out, Rhythm Heaven, Wario Land, Chibi-Robo, a new Donkey Kong game of some sort, and a new entry in the Mario & Luigi RPGs.

A good number of responses also requested new entries in both the Mario Strikers and Wii Sports series — something we now know are on the way, in Mario Strikers: Battle League and Switch Sports respectively. One survey respondent said exactly that, requesting: "Switch Sports — an evolution of Wii Sports, not a re-release".

So, what about third-party releases? I asked which third-party franchise people want to see come to the Nintendo Switch most.

Once again, for the fourth year running now, the Persona franchise is the most wanted on Switch. Yes, we have spin-off titles such as Persona 5 Strikers, and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax on the Switch — but this repeated request is for the mainline series to be made available on Nintendo's hybrid.

Here's how the top five looks:

  1. Persona
  2. Final Fantasy
  3. Metal Gear Solid
  4. Fallout
  5. Call of Duty

Last year's number two spot was taken by Grand Theft Auto - but as the series (by way of the Trilogy collection) is now on the Switch, requests for the franchise have expectedly fallen — however, plenty of folks still wanted to see more GTA games on Switch (most notably GTA V).

Taking GTA's number two slot is Final Fantasy - now, there are plenty of Final Fantasy games available on the Nintendo Switch, so the request here is for 'Tactics', 'Pixel Remasters' and the 'VII Remake' specifically.

Last year Kingdom Hearts was the fourth most requested missing Switch third-party franchise — of course since the 2021 survey we have since seen Kingdom Hearts titles come to the Nintendo Switch. However, these releases are all Cloud versions, which left many disappointed, and although the Cloud releases may have satisfied some, plenty of folks requested non-cloud versions once again here. Kingdom Hearts placed as the 14th most requested — nearly all of which with a note for it to be a 'proper' native version.

Call of Duty on Switch has always been a popular suggestion, and the 2022 data is no different. One respondent called its absence from the platform: "a glaring omission". One positive here — Microsoft has suggested that they are open to bringing the Activision shooter to the Nintendo console, and rumours suggest as much too.

The chart below shows the top ten requested titles:

You'll note the chart shows just how many also want to see the Batman: Arkham games come to Switch — another thing that is looking increasingly likely.

Other common responses here included Yakuza, Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Chrono Trigger, Madden, and Red Dead Redemption. A handful wanted to see Elden Ring on the Switch. A shout out to the eight folks who joined me in requesting Viewtiful Joe makes it over to the Nintendo hybrid.

Next, I asked Switch Online members which one game they most want to see come to the service (whether an addition to the NES, SNES, N64 or Genesis collections). Funnily enough, and just like last year, cult classic Earthbound was the top request, however — shortly after launching this year's survey both the NES and SNES titles were added to the Switch Online cataloguethis is one long-standing request that's now thankfully been fulfilled.

So, putting Earthbound to one side here's a selection of the other top requests (in order of # responses): Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, GoldenEye 007, Pokemon Stadium, Donkey Kong 64, Banjo-Tooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day. There are plenty of N64 titles making the cut this year.

Sticking with the Switch Online, I asked: if respondents had to pick one, which library of games would you most like to see come to the Switch Online service next?

This was an open question, meaning respondents could put in any system of their choice, Nintendo or otherwise. The GameCube library came out on top as the most requested and is what folks want to see on the Switch Online service next. The GBA was second, followed by the Game Boy (and Game Boy Color) library. Dreamcast, Wii, PS1, and Sega Saturn were next in the running order wishlist. I'll note a handful also requested to see Xbox Game Pass on the service, which isn't strictly what the question was asking/intending — but is interesting to note the demand all the same.

Moving on, I asked which upcoming game folks were most looking forward to. This is any game already announced as coming to the Switch — here's what was most anticipated:

  1. The Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Kirby and The Forgotten Land
  3. Metroid Prime 4
  4. Splatoon 3
  5. Triangle Strategy

No surprise to see the Breath of the Wild sequel take the top spot once again. Over 40% of responses marked this as their most anticipated Switch release - I imagine the trailer shared during E3 last year helped here.

Kirby being second makes sense, as a demo for the game was made available whilst the survey was running, and the game was due to release soon after the survey closed (late March 2022 — it's now available) — as such, this game was no doubt at the front of many respondents' mind when answering.

Metroid Prime 4 has long been a popular entry here, and I can't see that changing until it arrives.

Splatoon is a much loved (relatively) new IP from Nintendo, so it's no surprise to see it hold a spot in the top five with a new entry on the horizon.

Finally, Triangle Strategy rounds out the top five. It's now available of course, but like Kirby, I imagine it was at the front of many folks' minds when answering.

Other common responses here include Bayonetta 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the now delayed Advance Wars 1+2: Boot Camp, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Hollow Knight: Silksong, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, and the recently announced Mario Strikers: Battle League, Switch Sports, and Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa

Following the Switch's continued momentum, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has yet again reaffirmed that the company believes the Switch is "in the middle of its lifecycle" — but does this ambition match with user expectations? I asked just how many more years Switch owners expect/hope Nintendo will continue to support the platform.

  • The average response here was a further six years — taking the Switch into 2028!
  • The median response expected another four years of support, which would bring the Switch up to 2026.
  • Both responses place the Switch in and around a ten-year lifespan and also roughly line up with what Furukawa has been saying.
  • If this comes to pass, it will be interesting to see how the platform is future-proofed and maintained across the next several years.

What Nintendo does next is always an exciting prospect — whether that's revised hardware to extend the lifecycle of the platform or new hardware at a later date. Whatever the future holds, one thing is for certain: people have built sizeable game libraries during the Switch's time on the market — as such, backwards compatibility is a hot topic when looking ahead. I asked, how important is it to you that Nintendo's next console, whatever that may be, is backwards compatible with the Switch?

  • 67%, a sizeable majority, noted backwards compatibility on future hardware was 'Extremely Important'.
  • Only 2.2% listed backwards compatibility as 'Not Very Important'.
  • The remaining 30.7% of those responding listed backwards compatibility as 'Important', 'Moderately Important' and 'Somewhat Important' respectively.

Beyond Nintendo, I also ask what other systems people own to get a broader sense of things. To no surprise the PC comes out top with 74.2% of respondents owning one, the Mac came in at 23.7%. When it comes to just pure gaming platforms, 42.6% owned a PS4, 23.3% have a PS5, 18.6% have an Xbox One, and 18% own an Xbox Series S|X. As for VR platforms (Quest, Vive, etc) ownership currently stands at 12.7%. 3.8% said they are signed up for Google Stadia. 2.6% said they own the Analog Pocket handheld.

To round things up I ask respondents how satisfied they are with the Nintendo Switch console.

On a five-point scale, the average lands at a rather good 4.4. This is up slightly on last year's score of 3.9. I imagine the introduction of the new OLED model has helped here in nudging this up. On the whole, people seem very pleased with the Switch platform.

To close, here are some conclusive comments (both positive and negative) from survey respondents:

"You hit a home run with the hybrid console/handheld system. Being able to play major release games in handheld mode has been changed gaming for me. I hope this feature is continued and expanded upon going forward."
"The Switch lives in a weird middle ground. The system itself is way too big to be portable, yet the Joy-Con were made as small and as unergonomic as possible in an attempt to claim it's portable. The result is a completely miserable experience - the system hurts to hold and playing all but the simplest games is a miserable experience."
"While there has been the fair share of controversies within the five years of the Switch's lifespan, I am extremely satisfied with both my experience and the experiences I have shared with my friends bonding over this console. Any of the issues that are notorious for plaguing the system I either find minor or have not affected me, and while I can recognize that they do affect others, I also must take my own bias into account in saying that the Switch is my favorite console of this/last generation and is a worthy purchase for anyone interested."
"The poor durability of the Joy-Con controllers is the main thing stopping me from buying a Switch. Literally, every person I know who owns one has experienced Joy-Con drift."
"..a very versatile and exciting console. I don't know if Nintendo has ever developed so many great games for a single system."
"The Switch desperately needs a hardware refresh, even Nintendo's first-party ambitions are struggling with the bottlenecks of the technology. I intend for the Steam Deck to become my primary way of playing anything that isn't first-party due to these technological hurdles."
"Whatever happens to the Switch in the future, I hope the next generation of Nintendo consoles will learn a lot from it. The ability to switch from TV to portable play is a fantastic feature of the console I would love to see continue. I also hope issues like Joy-Con drift are learned from and avoided in future Nintendo systems, including any newer models of Switch."
"This is currently my favorite system. There is so much Nintendo has done right this console cycle and I think it's a winning formula I don't want to see go away or change."
"..a fantastic concept device that really made the dream of a portable that could double as a home machine a reality. [..] That being said, its best days are behind it."
"The Switch turned out better than I was expecting. However, backwards compatibility is really important from here on. If Nintendo doesn't support Switch software on its next system by default that'll be really disappointing."
"The convenience of the Switch makes it an easy choice for my main gaming console. While it's not as powerful as other home consoles, I will buy a game on Switch before anything else because of the portability aspect. I have owned and played more games on the Switch purely for this reason."
"It's been a great ride since 2017. There's been plenty of highs, some lows, a lot of excellent games, and plenty to discuss. I love my Switch, and it's certainly quite a useful thing to own. Nintendo certainly learned from the days of the Wii U, and I hope they'll continue to learn from the Switch for their next console."

🎉 That's it!

Ok, that's a wrap. As ever, a massive thank you for taking the time to look through all of the results shared here. I really do hope you found the results to be interesting.

I'm grateful also to all those who took time out of their day to fill out the 2022 survey, and share it on. To see the response year on year to this extensive annual project truly is so gratifying.

If you have any thoughts or comments having now read all of the results then please do drop me a message via Twitter or an email directly at chris@switchweekly.com.

I'd also like to extend a thanks to the fine folks at Premium Edition Games for sponsoring this year's survey and helping make it possible.

Finally, as I'm sure you can imagine, going through all of this data and putting the results together into this report takes an appreciable amount of time (made all the more difficult this year thanks to me finally catching Covid during me writing up the results!) — as such, if you've enjoyed this then I'd love if you could consider 'buying me a coffee', or supporting my work via Patreon. Oh, and if you're unaware, I also publish a weekly Nintendo newsletter — you should subscribe. 😊

Chris ✌️


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