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Switch State Survey Highlights NSO, Joy-Con Drift, and Hope for a Long Generation

Switch State Survey Highlights NSO, Joy-Con Drift, and Hope for a Long Generation

Image: Nintendo Life

back in in early February, we referred you to the State of Switch Survey 2022, an annual process run by Switch Weekly that surveys thousands of people on a wide range of topics. The results of these entries have now been published and are well worth a read; there were some interesting, if not necessarily surprising, results.

We were particularly interested in the Nintendo Switch Online section, with the backdrop that Nintendo confirmed the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Race Pack for the expansion pack during the investigation process. For starters, 88.9% of respondents confirmed they had the standard NSO subscription, which isn’t surprising since it’s a requirement for online play (and cloud saves). More than a third of people take advantage of the family subscription, including more than 55% with a group including friends and “others”, allowing users to have access at a low price.

Adoption of the expansion pack, however, remains modest. The survey showed that only 32.1% of respondents who subscribed to the OSN had upgraded to the newer service. Even after the MK8 content was added, only around a third of respondents said they would “think it over”. Common complaints from those who chose not to upgrade were familiar – it seems many Switch owners think it’s too expensive and doesn’t offer enough value.

Meanwhile, on that old topic of Joy-Con drift, a whopping 68%+ of respondents said they’ve encountered the issue, a number that continues to rise as systems and controllers age. About a quarter said they bought replacements “more than once”, while third-party Pro Controller and Joy-Con alternatives are popular. On the one hand, the age of the system and controllers makes this unsurprising, but nonetheless it’s certainly one of the most notable drawbacks of the Switch generation to date.

The survey is also an interesting reminder that the enthusiast base of Switch owners still emphasizes physical copies of games. The combined percentage of “digital” titles versus cartridges was 53% downloads; considering the number of downloadable games only on the Switch, it’s actually a rather small number. It’s a ratio that has barely changed over the years of the survey, showing that the physical market is still alive and well for Switch games, at least among dedicated fans.

The last section we’ll highlight is about fan thoughts on the longevity of the Switch generation. The median response to “how many more years Switch owners have been waiting/hoping for Nintendo to continue supporting the platformwas four years old, bringing us to 2026. This matches Nintendo’s public statements that it considers the Switch to be about halfway through its life cycle, and respondents are likely still including some form of “Pro or upgrade as part of the Switch’s lifecycle. Considering the fact that over 22% of respondents already have an OLED Switch, just months after its release, it’s clear there’s still contentment reasonable with what the Switch platform has to offer, even when it’s just upgrades related to battery, build quality, or screen.

The survey contains many interesting statistics (yes, fans always want a return from F-Zero), so we recommend you check out the full results by clicking the link below.