Nintendo Switch Update's New Feature Misses The Point Of Folders
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Nintendo Switch Update’s New Feature Misses The Point Of Folders

If there’s one steadfast, unshakeable belief we have tried to communicate here at GameSpot Dot Com, it’s that the Nintendo Switch needs folders. We have been very, very vocal on this over the last five years. So imagine our surprise when Nintendo suddenly released a new Switch firmware update, adding Groups, a feature that lets you group games and applications together with custom labels. Why, that sounds like folders!

After some well-earned champagne-popping and congratulating ourselves on successfully encouraging Nintendo to do the right and moral thing, we downloaded the update. Our jubilation quickly turned to bafflement, then disappointment, then frustration, then hunger, then frustration again, then white-hot anger. How did they mess this up?

For as long as the Nintendo Switch has had a Home screen, it has listed the last 10 things you opened, with the rest dumped into a giant pile of “all applications.” The longstanding request for folders aimed to bring order to this chaos by allowing us to sort items into categories for easy indexing.

In short, folders are a decluttering tool. That’s the reason they exist. You sort games into subgroups to get the disorganized mess of icons off of your Home screen. The power to choose which games go under what label is of secondary importance. The most important factor–and again, the entire raison d’être of folders–is to move your programs and applications out of sight.

The Nintendo Switch Groups feature does not do this. Instead, your Home screen still consists of the last 10 things you opened, and the rest are still shoved into the messy “everything else” pile. An Archive function exists, and has for some time, but this doesn’t remove that game from the Home screen or move it to the end of the All Games stack. Your only options to free up a slot from a game you’re no longer playing are to delete its icon entirely or open enough different games to push it away. Inside this crowded All Games stack, you can press the L button to bring up your Groups, which is where you’ll finally find your nicely organized folders. What. The. Hell.

Look, Nintendo. I know you understand how folders work. I’ve never been fortunate enough to visit the no-doubt Willy Wonka-esque paradise that is Nintendo HQ, but I’m relatively certain that in that office you use computers. And I’m also relatively certain that on your work computers, you don’t have every program and file right there on your desktop. You have them organized, right? Into folders? Now imagine if someone suggested that instead of organizing them into folders you should leave every single program and application and file on the desktop, but also create nicely organized shortcuts in a separate file folder system that’s two layers deep. You would probably ask: why? And you would be right to do so, because that would be an objectively terrible suggestion!

Why would anyone, anywhere design it to work this way? It’s maddening.

I don’t want to be unreasonable. I know that system updates take time and work and testing. My one request is that now that you’ve implemented some kind of cursed lumbering mutant version of folders, you next set about doing it right. Let us actually organize games into folders, or at least pin our Groups onto spots on the Home screen. And please, don’t make us wait another five years.

Failing that, we will accept bringing back the Wii Shopping Channel music. We’re willing to be flexible on this.

If there’s one steadfast, unshakeable belief we have tried to communicate here at GameSpot Dot Com, it’s that the Nintendo Switch needs folders. We have been very, very vocal on this over the last five years. So imagine our surprise when Nintendo suddenly released a new Switch firmware update, adding Groups, a feature that lets you group games and applications together with custom labels. Why, that sounds like folders!

After some well-earned champagne-popping and congratulating ourselves on successfully encouraging Nintendo to do the right and moral thing, we downloaded the update. Our jubilation quickly turned to bafflement, then disappointment, then frustration, then hunger, then frustration again, then white-hot anger. How did they mess this up?

For as long as the Nintendo Switch has had a Home screen, it has listed the last 10 things you opened, with the rest dumped into a giant pile of “all applications.” The longstanding request for folders aimed to bring order to this chaos by allowing us to sort items into categories for easy indexing.

In short, folders are a decluttering tool. That’s the reason they exist. You sort games into subgroups to get the disorganized mess of icons off of your Home screen. The power to choose which games go under what label is of secondary importance. The most important factor–and again, the entire raison d’être of folders–is to move your programs and applications out of sight.

The Nintendo Switch Groups feature does not do this. Instead, your Home screen still consists of the last 10 things you opened, and the rest are still shoved into the messy “everything else” pile. An Archive function exists, and has for some time, but this doesn’t remove that game from the Home screen or move it to the end of the All Games stack. Your only options to free up a slot from a game you’re no longer playing are to delete its icon entirely or open enough different games to push it away. Inside this crowded All Games stack, you can press the L button to bring up your Groups, which is where you’ll finally find your nicely organized folders. What. The. Hell.

Look, Nintendo. I know you understand how folders work. I’ve never been fortunate enough to visit the no-doubt Willy Wonka-esque paradise that is Nintendo HQ, but I’m relatively certain that in that office you use computers. And I’m also relatively certain that on your work computers, you don’t have every program and file right there on your desktop. You have them organized, right? Into folders? Now imagine if someone suggested that instead of organizing them into folders you should leave every single program and application and file on the desktop, but also create nicely organized shortcuts in a separate file folder system that’s two layers deep. You would probably ask: why? And you would be right to do so, because that would be an objectively terrible suggestion!

Why would anyone, anywhere design it to work this way? It’s maddening.

I don’t want to be unreasonable. I know that system updates take time and work and testing. My one request is that now that you’ve implemented some kind of cursed lumbering mutant version of folders, you next set about doing it right. Let us actually organize games into folders, or at least pin our Groups onto spots on the Home screen. And please, don’t make us wait another five years.

Failing that, we will accept bringing back the Wii Shopping Channel music. We’re willing to be flexible on this.

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