The Nintendo Switch Feature I’m Most Excited For

The Switch is now a week away from release, and I’ve been sampling information about it from sources around the net. I’ve stumbled upon what I consider to be one of the system’s best features, and with all the cool things you could say about the system, it’s probably not one you’d be thinking about.

It’s the new Capture button. 

The Importance of Screenshots

So, I’m a blogger, as you probably know. 😉 I blog about my gaming experiences. That means that I’m constantly walking a line between being immersed in a game and thinking, “Oh, man, I need to get a screenshot of this for tomorrow’s blog post!”

Screenshots are a pretty big deal to me. Even when I’m not using them as a supplement for blogging, I’ve always taken screenshots of awesome moments in a game just to hold on to the memories.

This is an area where Nintendo has failed me in the past.

Nintendo’s Failure

To take a screenshot on the Wii U or the 3DS, you have to jump through so many hoops:

  1. First you have to pause your game
  2. Then you have to leave the gaming software and wait for MiiVerse to load up
  3. Then you have to select the image you want to save, and confirm

All this takes a few minutes of your gaming time. But the real problem is it removes you from your game. Instead of you just pressing a button to take a screen and continuing to game, you have to stop everything you’re doing, likely in the middle of a cool cutscene or important moment worth capturing, wait forever for the MiiVerse to load, then return to the important moment in your game after your immersion has been demolished.

I can’t begin to tell you how bad this is for a gamer like myself.

Then, you can only retrieve your images by logging into the MiiVerse. Not to mention, the images weren’t the best quality or size. And MiiVerse also limited the number of shots you could keep there.

A sample of a Wii U MiiVerse shot.
…Vs a sample of a 3DS saved screenshot from MiiVerse.

There are a few 3DS games where taking screenshots are built in, such as Animal Crossing. But this is rare. And they’re not high quality screenshots, either.

A sample of the size/quality image from an AC screenshot. :/

It also requires you to pull the SD card out of your 3DS and place to transfer them to your computer if you want to use them for anything. This isn’t a big deal to players who have the old style 3DS, but the New 3DS requires you to open the back plate to access the SD slot!

NO! Bad Nintendo!

This is the reason I will never upgrade my old 3DS!

Oh, and let’s not talk about the games that DON’T let you save screenshots, even to MiiVerse. Pokemon, I’m looking at you. WHY?? I have to stop and grab my phone every time I want to take a picture of something important in my Pokemon games, and that’s a crying shame.

Poor quality phone photo because Pokemon doesn’t allow screens. 🙁

Screenshots and Social Media

I can’t help but wonder if this plays a little part in how the Wii U struggled to find a hold in the gaming world. Like it or not, gamers are probably on the Net, on social media, and want to share their experiences through it. But they couldn’t share Nintendo game shots without jumping through so many hoops.

Even I kinda gave up on blogging my Nintendo experiences because it was just so difficult to record cool moments. The way they designed it made it so that I ether just played the game without screenshots, or interrupted my experience to capture the game. And that’s not fun.


I guess the concept of MiiVerse (and I do like some things about it) is that it is a Nintendo-safe social media-ish outlet to share these things. For some people, that works. But let me tell you, I sent out a call for folks to friend me on MiiVerse when I first got my Wii U. I still don’t have a single friend there. I rarely use the forums. I don’t share screenshots there. I want them on my blog and my Twitter account!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way… and I bet the lack of sharing tools to more traditional outlets can’t have helped Nintendo in the age of social media.

Switch Switches It Up

I didn’t mean to write a whole essay on my frustrations with the Wii U and 3DS screenshot systems. I guess I had more to say about that than I realized! While the previous systems and their attachments to MiiVerse was annoying, I was overjoyed to see that Nintendo has taken that into consideration and fixed it on the Switch!

In fact, they’ve turned it completely around. There’s a Capture button on the left joy-con that instantly takes a screenshot. In the future, I’ve read, it may be used to capture video as well!


These images are saved to the system instantly. There’s no messing with MiiVerse. No pausing a game during an important moment. It’s as it should be.

Now, I don’t know if the screens go to the system’s internal memory or to the SD card. I do know that there’s an option to share screens, I’m assuming to social media. If the images are saved to the SD card as well, that would offer a way to transfer to a PC for saving, editing, etc. I also don’t know the quality of the saved images, but from the video I saw, they seem much improved over Wii U and 3DS.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. In this case, it’s a big win for those who like to share important gaming moments. Most of all, it’s a win for Nintendo… because the more that fans share, the more other people will be exposed to the games, and the more likely they will convert new fans and prospective buyers.

Good job, Nintendo! 


  1. Well it is good that Nintendo is finally catching up in this area. It’ll be interesting to see how easy it is to access your media.

    Xbox is pretty good with this, and 3rd party services make it even easier. Here’re my Xbox Screenshots: from a 3rd party site.

    But Xbox doesn’t have a dedicated share button. I use Kinect and just say “Xbox take screenshot” or something… it’s been a while.

    PS4 has a dedicated share button, but getting content off the console means copying to a USB stick, or sharing to social media and snagging that version.

    If Switch has both a share button (which it does) and makes it super easy to access your screenshots via the web, they’ll have the best of both worlds, once they get video clips added (which I believe they have said is coming).

    1. That’s very cool! I’m not familiar with Xbox or Playstation, but it’s good to know that they’re all more shareable, including the Switch now. I’m not sure why someone thought it was a good idea to keep Nintendo screenshots locked away in a little MiiVerse world. :/

  2. Oh, if only I could take screen shots in Pokemon Sun. Like you, I keep reaching for my phone to get the occasional blurry and askew picture. I am on the fence about the Switch, but if a real Pokemon game came to it, I would be there.

    1. I keep hearing about a possible Pokemon “Star” — which is rumored to be a third version of Sun/Moon. I don’t know if that’s going to be a thing, and I’m not sure what my interest in it would be if it’s just the same as Sun/Moon. I’ve never been one to purchase the same Pokemon game, different version.

      That being said, I’d love to see a proper Pokemon game on the Switch, too. Even if Pokemon Star is a thing, just to test the Switch waters, if it leads to new titles on the Switch, yes please!

  3. Yes! The Capture Button! When Share was first announced for PS4, I wasn’t sure what the point was. But then I realized how it worked wonders for blogging and social media. Once the Capture Button was announced for Switch, I was also excited because Nintendo finally had a meaningful sharing function that would hopefully be better than their faulty 3DS/Wii U Miiverse system, like you mentioned. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is another one of those announcements for the Switch that I didn’t even really pay attention to. I guess I was thinking that it would be more useful for people who like to share screenshots on Twitter/Facebook than myself. Although thinking about it now it would be useful for me too, depending on how easily it is to get screenshots.

    Like you I gave up on trying to share screenshots from my Wii U/DS because it was so much a pain. I even wanted at one point to write about Splatoon but not having an easy way to take a screenshot during a match made me give up on it. Then there was My Castle adress for Fire Emblem that I wanted to share via twitter with someone else not too long ago. I had to take a picture of it with my smartphone since I couldn’t take screenshots of the lower screen where that information was and it just didn’t look good… -_-

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