Nintendo shares insight into the creation of the Switch's operating system (design takes up less than 200KB)

Earlier today, we had a quick summary of Shigeru Miyamoto's keynote at the 2018 Computer Entertainment Developers Conference. That wasn't the only presentation Nintendo hosted, though. The Big N also put together a keynote on the design of the Switch's operation system. We have details from the keynote courtesy of the Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki.

- Switch's OS concept was to make something easy to use & light
- Nintendo focused on the sound effects & animation with Switch OS, but didn't include background music to keep things quick
- Nintendo wanted the OS to feel 'comfortable,' and made a great effort to cut out elements that lead to discomfort
- text is sometimes better than icons, as some icons may leave players/users puzzled upon first glance
- one goal was to cut the amount of actions a player needed to take in order to achieve the results they want
- when choosing options on the menu, 'Yes' was left as the default option in order to speed up interactions
- menu animations were kept short and snappy, and were put in place to help the user navigate
- Switch's home menu design resources take up less than 200KB
- Nintendo sees the process of using the an OS as players making a selection, confirming it, and then waiting for results
- the NES was used as a reference when creating the OS, as the NES let players jump into a game right away
- sound effects were carefully chosen/timed to go with on-screen actions to help make navigation easier/more impactful
- virtual button layout for the OS was chosen based on where users would expect the cursor to move next
- Nintendo wanted to separate games from non-games on the OS, and adjusted size/color/density on-screen
- Nintendo liked the to-to-bottom approach, and wanted the screen to be as uncrowded as possible
- another goal was to not only make an OS that both appeared easy to use, and functioned as such

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: switch


Top Rated Comment
Wed Aug 22 18 02:36pm
Rating: 3

Say what you will about the switch OS, I have zero problems with it. I don’t need themes and music. A simple screen shot for the background would suffice. Idgaf about apps, web browser, etc. Keep it simple. It’s about getting in and out of games fast.

Wed Aug 22 18 02:30pm
Rating: 1

I've been trying to explain to people this is why the menus don't have music. Music takes up space in RAM and it takes processing power to run it. I'm amazed how small the menu footprint really is, though. They took the complaints about the Wii U to heart.

I've always had the feeling that the Switch is operating at its limit, in terms of OS running at maximum speed. And that's maybe partly why there's no web browser, although it's also Nintendo partly thinking of themselves instead of their customers. It could also be why the Switch needs a mobile phone for voice chat. Some of their decisions are frustrating and some quite frankly are stupid. There is also the battery of the Switch which doesn't last long as is without other features draining it even further.

I was saying earlier in another article that I think Nintendo will be finally gearing up for paid themes on the Switch. I will be curious to see if they slow down the OS when they inevitably come about. I too have talked previously about a Miiverse equivalent on Switch being announced when Nintendo finally reveal the details about their Online Subscription plan.

I'm sure the Wii U OS could have performed much quicker had it been as stripped back and barebones as the Switch. And if they had bothered to keep working on it. The did one substantial update and that made a huge difference compared to its sluggishness at launch.

The Switch OS has browser functionality built right in, its just not user accessible. The eShop is nothing more that a browser.

It’s been demonstrated to trick the eShop into launching other websites.

It also has the browser functionality used for joining WiFi hotspot.

Wed Aug 22 18 08:19pm
(Updated 1 time)

I would love to at least have the possibility to have BG images. On my PS4 I have this awesome up-skirt picture of B2....*Angel emoticon*

Got some real nice pictures from BOTW wild I would love to have as BG.

P.S: Damn that's small (that's what she said, eh?)!!!!

How is adding music an important thing for menus? I'm fine with the switch is because it's the fastest way to play games.

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