For many gamers, achievement hunting in their favourite titles is just as exciting as the narrative-driven and multiplayer content on offer, if not more so. There’s something in many of us that fires up an urge to collect whatever we can get our hands on, and for some of the more hardcore players in the gaming community, a video game isn’t actually complete until every single achievement or trophy has been unlocked. So, why hasn’t Nintendo brought in an achievement system on their Nintendo Switch console? Even the recently-released Google Stadia has got in on the action, making the Switch the only major platform not to offer achievements.
Now, some would argue that Nintendo sticking to their guns is a good thing, as achievements can interrupt crucial in-game moments with pop-up notifications, destroying any immersion that has built up to that point. It’s a fair case to make, but with the simple addition of a console setting which would allow the player to either switch on or off achievement notifications, it’s something that could be easily gotten around.
Others would say that Nintendo are keeping achievements out of their exclusive titles and ported games, because reading the information on how to get them would steal away a sense of discovery and exploration. They don’t want gamers knowing what they’ve got to do to pick up a specific trophy beforehand, so they leave the collection out of their platform altogether. This one’s a bit more of a flimsy excuse, as we’ve seen Sony implement secret achievements for their games, which you have to unlock before you see the reasons for being given them.
It’s past time Nintendo got to work on an achievement system for Nintendo Switch: they could do something truly unique if they put their mind to it. How about digital stickers or pin badges? You could show off your collection on your user profile, and surely that’s something that will immediately encourage those playing to pump more hours into their Switch gaming? It’d also be another convincing incentive for completionists to pick up a multi-platform game on the Switch console, rather than elsewhere.
Whether you love or loathe achievements, it’s difficult to understand any reasoning behind not having them on a console, with an option to turn in-game notifications on and off. Nintendo are an absolutely incredible company with some of the best video games (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey etc.), and they’ll only increase their following if they introduce an achievement system. Nobody’s going to stop playing the Switch if achievements arrive, but plenty could be avoiding the console and getting their games elsewhere because of the lack of an implemented system.