What Did We Learn from the Nintendo Switch Leak?

Bob Mackey
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

The general public may have to wait until March 3 to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch—if they pre-ordered one, that is—but at least one lucky person managed to nab one much, much earlier. And while we members of the press are obligated to withhold our impressions and criticisms of the Switch until a prescribed date, the same rules don’t apply to your Average Joes and Janes out there who manage to find much-anticipated hardware weeks before release. (Yes, you should be jealous.)

An Advance Look at the Switch

True, lots of folks have already played the Switch at various events; we created plenty of content based on our hands-on experience at a somewhat-recent Nintendo event in New York City. But while we were privy to the many games soon to be available for the Switch, this anonymous leaker is experiencing quite the opposite situation. Since they have the hardware but no games, they’re only able to reveal what’s been previously hidden from the public: the Nintendo Switch’s user interface.

This might not sound incredibly exciting, but spending time with the Switch’s user UI definitely gives you a sense of its present and future functionality.

The Switch Breakdown

Unfortunately, this lone Switch owner can’t update their Switch—this act currently gives them an error message when attempted—so it’s very possible a day-one update could make some drastic changes to the console’s UI. But, based on the video above, and further comments by the video’s creator, we’ve at least been able to determine the following based on the current state of the Switch’s UI:

  • From the outset, the Nintendo Switch’s internal storage amounts to 25.9 GB of memory out of a total of 32 GB. Obviously, the operating system and various pre-installed apps need somewhere to live.
  • Miiverse is gone, and Miis are no longer the UI’s focus, but you can still create/edit Miis and use one as your login avatar. You can also choose one of several icons of famous Nintendo characters to represent your account.
  • The Switch comes with white and black desktop themes, the latter being ideal for when you want to return to the home screen while playing at night without blinding yourself. It hasn’t been announced yet, but these default themes seem to set the stage for more advanced themes, like the ones found on the 3DS.
  • Nintendo eShop purchases are linked to your My Nintendo account, and not the hardware itself. (Hallelujah!)

Just Around the Corner

For most of us, games serve as the most attractive prospect of the Switch, but it’s exciting to know at least one system has popped up in the world outside of the press’ iron curtain. And after nearly five years of the Wii U, it’s hard to believe the latest Nintendo Console lies just a few weeks away. Be sure to check back with Fandom for plenty of launch coverage as we dig into this exciting new console and everything Nintendo has in store for early adopters.

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Bob Mackey
Bob Mackey is Games Editor at Fandom. Since joining the games press in 2007, he's written for sites like 1UP, Joystiq, The A.V. Club, Gamasutra, USgamer, and many others. He also hosts the weekly podcasts Retronauts and Talking Simpsons. Follow him on Twitter @bobservo.