The State Of Switch Survey Highlights NSO, Joy-Con Drift And Hopes For A Long Generation

Image: Nintendo Life

Back in early February we pointed you towards the 2022 State of Switch Survey, an annual process run by Switch Weekly that polls thousands of people on a broad range of topics. The results from those 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 Course Pack for the Expansion Pack during the survey process. For starters 88.9% of respondents confirmed they have the standard NSO subscription, which is unsurprising as it’s a requirement for online play (and cloud saves). Over a third of people take advantage of the family membership, with over 55% of those doing that with a group that includes friends and ‘others’, enabling users to have access at a low price.

The take-up of the Expansion Pack, though, remains modest. The survey showed that only 32.1% of NSO-subscribed respondents upgraded to the most recent service. Even after the MK8 content was added, only around a third of respondents say they’d ‘think again’. The common complaints from those that have chosen not to upgrade were familiar – it seems plenty of Switch owners feel that it’s too expensive and not offering enough value.

Meanwhile, on that old topic of Joy-Con drift, a whopping 68%+ of respondents said they’d experienced the problem, a number that continues to rise as systems and controllers get older. Around a quarter stated they’d bought replacements ‘more than once’, while the Pro Controller and third-party Joy-Con alternatives are popular. On the one hand the age of the system and controllers make this unsurprising, but nevertheless it’s certainly been one of the most notable downsides of the Switch generation to date.

The survey also gives an interesting reminder that the enthusiast base of Switch owners still put a significant emphasis on physical copies of games. Respondents’ combined percentage of ‘digital’ titles as opposed to cartridges was 53% downloads; when you consider how many games are download-only on the Switch, that’s actually a rather low number. That’s a ratio that’s barely changed over the years of the survey, showing that the physical market is still alive and well for Switch games, among devoted fans at least.

The final section we’ll highlight relates to fans’ thoughts on the longevity of the Switch generation. The median response to “how many more years Switch owners expect/hope Nintendo will continue to support the platform” was four years, taking us to 2026. This does match Nintendo’s public statements that it considers the Switch to be around halfway through its lifecycle, and respondents likely still include a form of ‘Pro’ or upgrade as part of the Switch lifecycle. Considering the fact over 22% of respondents already have a Switch OLED, just months after its release, it’s clear that there’s still reasonable contentment with what the Switch platform has to offer, even when it’s only upgrades relate to battery, build quality or the screen.

The survey has a whole lot of interesting statistics (yes, fans still want an F-Zero comeback), so we recommend you give the full results a look at the link below.

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