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Monday, March 21, 2022

Nintendo Switch Update 14.0.0 Brings GROUPS (which are not FOLDERS)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They're very different.

Today, you can update your Nintendo Switch to version 14.0.0. The big new feature? Groups. (And the smaller new feature are volume controls on Bluetooth audio devices.)

If you want to know more about how to create groups, there is a Nintendo Support article for you. Note that, as of publishing, they put captions under each image that only say “Caption”... That's a goof-up. Take it from the guy who publishes five articles a week: you want your captions to say something about the image. Not just say caption. There's an example of this later in this article. (I must warn you that sometimes KoopaTV's image captions are more humourous than educational... but there's a good balance.)

You may remember a feature called folders from the 3DS and the Wii U, the Switch's predecessors. You'll notice that at no point does Nintendo refer to the new groups feature as a folder, yet members of the (FAKE NEWS) media, as well as some average people, are using this f-word. So what is the difference?

First, turn on your 3DS or Wii U. On your opening menu are a bunch of tiles. If you tap on an empty spot, you can make a folder and name it. On the 3DS, you can even put a badge on the front of the folder. You can move icons that represent software into the folder. Once an icon is in a folder... poof. It's moved. It doesn't still exist in the opening menu of tiles. It's only in the folder. It's hidden unless you open the folder. I think I've made my point.

Compare this to the Nintendo Switch's groups. First of all, the Switch menu doesn't even use a tile-based system. You need to scroll all the way to the right (or to the left once from the left-most icon) to go to All Software. It's only in All Software do groups exist. You can put games into groups and name the group, but when you put the game in there, it doesn't move or stop existing from All Software. It's copied into the group. It co-exists in both places, and can keep co-existing if you make several groups and put the same software in those several groups.

Oh, and you don't actually see the groups unless you press the L button from All Software. And you certainly don't see them if you're on the normal Switch HOME menu. In other words, groups are locked away on a hidden screen of another screen you probably never go to. I don't see the use of them since I don't see them, period. And unlike folders, they don't clean up your menu in a way that you can comfortably customise.

Nintendo Switch groups feature Ace Attorney Trilogy Great Chronicles system update version 14
You too can have the content in this group called “Ace Attorney” for just $39.59.
The CAPCOM Publisher Sale lasts less than a week as of publishing and Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection is 34% off!

Oh, but there is some... utility to this that I'm just not the target audience for. Let's say you're someone who actually digitally downloads a lot of games. You've abandoned physical media. And I mean a LOT of games. Maybe you're super big into indie games, or when there are games on sale on the eShop, you go buy as many as you can. So you might have hundreds of titles. And maybe you don't play one game to completion and go to another, but you switch between many games very rapidly but want to keep going back to them. So you probably have a low attention span and therefore probably will never read this paragraph of the article because of how close to the end it is. MAYBE then groups might be useful.

But if you primarily play physically purchased games (where the game in your system is what you intend to play, and it'll always be the first thing on your HOME menu), then groups aren't useful. Or even if you just cycle through a handful of digital games at a time they're not useful, because it takes way too many button presses/stick movements to access where groups live compared to just selecting the game you want to play. It takes four actions to actually open that Ace Attorney group above! And then one more to get the cursor to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. And to be fair, that's faster than if I wanted to select Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy from its current spot in All Software.

Again, folders had the utility of keeping things clean. Not just be a shortcut. I miss them. But in the spirit of hiding things for cleanliness, what I really want is for my Play Activity on my Switch profile that my friends see to be customisable in what games appear there. I'd rather people see my playtime on Fire Emblem: Three Houses even if I haven't played it recently than seeing that I played the Nintendo Switch Sports Online Play Test for “a little while.”

Ludwig sees people saying that groups and folders are the same thing because they both sort things. That's a stupid way to think. You can sort All Software by last played, name, by play time, or by publisher. Those are all ways to sort things... none of which are considered folders. Or groups. They're different. If you insist on disagreeing with Ludwig's take, state why in the comments section below. He has no plans to make any additional groups, but he would like the opportunity for future Ace Attorney games to release. ...Not just to put them in that group, but because he wants to play and own those. You should, too.


  1. Makes me miss the badge Arcade. The folders always looked so nice, especially when you got a badge that actually correlated to the contents of the folder.

    Part of Nintendo’s charm is that they DON’T do what the other big game developers do, and while that’s been biting us in our behinds lately, I’m still holding out hope they’ll go back to so many of the fun features from the 3DS/WiiU in their next console. I don’t think the switch is going to get eShop music, or anything fun like that at this point, regardless of this announcement.

  2. In defense of this feature, I am gravitating more and more to non-physical medium Switch games lately.

    1. Back in MY day, in order to gravitate towards something, it needed to have a lot of mass! And digital games just ain't got any!

  3. i would like new themes fr fr idrc bout this shit

    1. There's so much potential for 3DS-like themes they could...sell for extra money!


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