Here’s what Switch owners think after one year with Nintendo’s hot hybrid
🎮 The State of Switch 2018 Survey Results
I recently asked Nintendo Switch owners to tell me what they thought about Nintendo’s smash hit console as it approached one year of being on the market. Over 1,500 people took the time out to complete the survey, answering questions on what they thought of the hardware, the games line-up and more.
Now, one year after the Switch’s launch (on March 3rd 2017), here are the results from the very first State of Switch survey. There’s plenty to dig into here, so maybe grab a drink and settle in for some 📊 STATS.
Oh, and here are some jump links if you just want to check out a certain section of results:
🙅 Those without a Switch
Not everybody who filled out the survey actually had a Nintendo Switch. So let’s start here. I asked them why they didn’t own a Switch — here’s what they had to say:
- Just for reference, around 6% of those who filled out the survey are not currently Switch owners.
- Of those without a Switch, most of them do intend to buy one at some point in the future (around 95% of those answering without a Switch).
- Pricing and ‘timing’ seemed to be the most common reason for folks not having a Switch just yet. When asked what price they would be willing to pay for the machine the most common answer was around $200 USD.
- Most said they’ll probably get a Switch later in 2018 (no doubt, around the holiday season).
- The current library and/or waiting for a specific game was also a common reason for people holding off on having a Switch.
- From those who are waiting for a specific game before buying, Pokémon was out and away the most popular game that folks are holding out for. Animal Crossing and Smash Bros were also popular answers.
- Third party support, the lack of a virtual console, and the current online infrastructure were also cited as reasons for not owning a Switch, but these reasons made up a small number of respondents.
- One person said they were “still salty over the Wii U” and another made it clear that they wouldn’t get a Switch until it had the Crunchyroll anime streaming app. More media apps in general would be nice!
🛍 Getting a Switch
Ok, next up I asked those with a Switch (1,416 respondents) when they got them, and where from.
First up, I wanted to know when people got their Switch:
As you can see, most of those answering picked up a Switch on day one (myself included!).
Much to my surprise the majority of those responding picked up their Switch from a bricks-and-mortar store. Personally, I grabbed mine from Amazon, and kinda expected the retail versus online split to be much wider here:
Those who bought their Switch in-store grabbed them from retailers such as Gamestop, Walmart and Target (and GAME in the UK). It’s no surprise that Amazon was the most popular answer for those buying a Switch online.
When I bought my Switch I went for the Grey bundle, but quickly regretted it the more I saw those awesome Neon Joy-Cons.
Nintendo haven’t given any breakdown of which model is more popular, but I figured the Neon would be.
The survey (with its small sample size admittedly) proved otherwise:
More people have the grey bundle! That surprised me.
Oh, and the ‘Other’ option here is for bundles like Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey. Most ‘other’ answers were in fact for the Mario bundle with those nice red Joy-Cons — no shock here, that game has sold gangbusters.
Not Switch related, but I asked those filling out the survey about their other consoles, here’s the lowdown real quick:
- Around 80% own a PC.
- 45% have a PS4, with Xbox One ownership coming in at around 23%.
- Around half of survey respondents owned a Wii U.
- 19 people had never owned a Nintendo system prior to having a Switch.
🎮 All about the Games
The next set of questions were all about games people owned, what games they want to see on the Switch, and how they buy their games
- Switch owners have an average of around 10 games.
- Just over half of a Switch owners library is made up of digital games.
- Despite the Switch being region-free, only around 15% of Switch owners have bought a game from another region (either via the eShop or physical).
- Those that have bought from another region did so mainly as the game in question wasn’t available where they lived; price was also a leading factor.
- When it comes to first-party games over 90% of respondents said that they own Super Mario Odyssey. 86% own Zelda.
- Despite Mario being the more popular of the two, survey respondents explained that they had sunk more time into exploring Hyrule in Zelda than the many kingdoms of Odyssey.
- 71% said they own Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, not bad for a ‘Wii U port’.
- Just over 50% of respondents said they owned Splatoon 2, a great attach rate for what’s a relatively new intellectual property (IP).
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and ARMS both came in at around 25–30% ownership. Xenoblade is admittedly a little niche, but it’s a shame to see a new IP like ARMS not breakthrough like Splatoon did.
- 1–2 Switch, a launch title, had around a 13% attach rate with survey respondents. I still think this game should have been a pack-in.
After asking folks what Nintendo games they already had, I shifted focus to what Nintendo games they still want to see on the system. I asked what Nintendo franchise people would most like to see on the Switch.
🔥 The hottest answers?
- Super Smash Bros.
- Animal Crossing
- ….and F-Zero.
After quizzing Switch owners on first-party games, I asked them about third party titles. I started by asking which third-party game they have found themselves spending the most time with on the Switch.
Here are some of the most popular answers:
- Stardew Valley
- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
- Rocket League
You can see all responses here:
Then, I asked which third-party game is the most wanted on Switch. This is where the real pie in the sky lies. Any game you want on the Switch — what would it be?
The above gives a good idea as to what series/franchises people would really like to see on the Switch.
However, it’s worth noting that the above data only shows franchises that saw 10 or more responses. The answers to this question were so, so varied — over 250 different series were mentioned including Ace Attorney, The Sims, NieR: Automata, Viewtiful Joe, Just Cause and many more.
One side point: I was surprised that Fortnite made the chart above (with 43 people saying they want it on Switch), whereas PUBG only saw five responses.
So, ports on the Switch have caused their fair share of debate, with plenty of folks arguing both for and against them. Personally, I don’t mind, and it turns out neither do most Switch owners, with nearly 80% of you being ok with it.
I then posed the question as to where Nintendo’s focus should be, in regards to revisiting old series like F-Zero or creating new ones such as Splatoon.
I was kinda surprised at the response to this one, with it being much closer than I would have thought. Yes I would like to see the classics brought back as much as the next person, but if I had to chose a direction I think I’d definetly prefer for Nintendo to focus on fresh properties. Nintendo is best when they being crazy, inventive and fun.
The big one now: What upcoming game for the Switch are people most looking forward to. The caveat here was that it had to be a game that had already been announced as coming to the console
Pokemon is the #1 most anticipated Switch game, with Metroid: Prime 4 close behind it. Funnily enough, we know nothing about both of these games… 😏
Here’s the full results:
Ok, talking of Nintendo being crazy and inventive: Labo.
Of course Nintendo’s cardboard creation isn’t out just yet, but I still wanted to test the water to see how people were feeling about it.
Personally, I think the Labo sets look like great fun, and the reveal took people by surprise for sure. Did anyone see this coming?
So, I simply asked if people were interested in it — turns out more people said no than yes to this one, but only just. Here’s the breakdown, coming in at 55% No to 45% Yes:
👐 How you play the Switch
I wanted to know how people play their Switch — handheld or docked?
I play my Switch pretty much exclusively in handheld mode, so much so that I can’t really remember the last time I had it docked, but…
Turns out, this one was real close, with Switch owners split kinda down the middle.
I also asked about controllers and found:
- Most people only have one additional controller.
- The Pro Controller is the preferred way of controlling the Switch.
When it comes to memory, just over half (55%) said they’ve added extra storage space via a microSD card. The most common size was 128GB (which you can get for around £35).
Oh, and despite concerns with battery life only around 20% of respondents said they owned an external battery for their Switch.
I also asked about how many people play each Switch — specifically via the use of User Profiles. It turns out, much like Nintendo’s vision for the machine, for most it’s a solo affair.
In terms of time spent playing the Switch — most owners spend about 6.5 hours each week gaming.
📡 Going Online
When the Switch was revealed Nintendo announced plans for a paid online service, which would be supported via an app for smartphones. Now, we haven’t got the online service proper just yet, with it being delayed until later in 2018 — but we did get the Online app. For some reason it only works with Splatoon 2 right now. But either way I had a few questions to ask about the Switch and playing online.
Just under half (49%) of Switch owners have downloaded the Nintendo Switch Online app for either Android or iOS. Of those who have used the app, a whopping 82% aren’t satisfied with it.
You would think this would put people off paying for Nintendo’s online service in the future, but around 70% of respondents said they’ll happy pay a fee for Nintendo’s online:
Oh, and I also was curious as to what’s people desires were for the Virtual Console (something that’s yet to arrive on the Switch). I asked if people would prefer a subscription, giving you access to a back catalogue of titles, or the option to just buy the ones you’re interested in. This one split perfectly (50/50!) — suggesting you want both options I guess.
📰 How you get your news
These were just a few questions on how Nintendo speaks to you. First up I just wanted gauge how many folks watched the Nintendo Switch Launch Presentation live back in January of 2017. Turns out around 70% of survey respondents had — so we know those answering are an engaged bunch!
Next up I wanted to know which format for delivering new game details is preferred. Turns out most of you (60%) really dig the live Nintendo Direct format, with the classic E3 presentation falling out of favour.
A handful of people here selected ‘Other’ — the responses were mainly for websites like Giant Bomb and Nintendo Life, with a few of you even saying Switch Weekly (too kind!).
👍👎 Switch Satisfaction: Hardware & Software
The one thing people want improved with the Switch hardware more than anything else? It’s battery life. Around 37% of respondents said they’d like the Switch battery to last a bit longer. After that the second most requested hardware improvement was for the hybrid machine to have more internal storage. Here’s the full run down:
Popular ‘Other’ choices here included a bigger screen, bluetooth support, improved build quality and a ‘performance enhancing dock’ to name a few.
After asking about hardware improvements, I wanted to know about what changes in software people would like to see. Now, not one software feature stood out with a convincing margin, but cloud saves and media apps saw the most requests.
Generally, people love their Switch. I asked how happy folks are with the console, and on a scale from 1 to 5 (with five being the highest), the average response came in at 4.58. Pretty darn good customer satisfaction I’d say! 😍
That’s it! Those are the results from the very first State of Switch survey. 🎉 Not a bad first year, I’d say.
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