[Let's Talk] Do you care about Switch home menu icons? - Nintendo Everything

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[Let’s Talk] Do you care about Switch home menu icons?

Posted on September 30, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in Let's Talk, Switch

Much has been made about Switch icons over the past few months – particularly the way they look. Some system owners have been very vocal about the icons they feel just don’t look good. Snake Pass, LEGO Worlds, and SteamWorld Dig 2 are among the games players have requested to be changed.

I almost feel as though I’ve been living in an alternate reality watching this all unfold. Rather than focusing on what a quality game like SteamWorld Dig 2 is, some are instead fixated on that home menu icon. Personally, as long as I know which icon a game represents and the text is there, the actual design doesn’t matter much to me at all. But hey, I could be completely out of touch.

So let’s have a discussion about this. How important are Switch icons to you? I’m very curious as to how everyone feels about the topic since we haven’t covered it before, so share your thoughts with us below.

Highlights from last week’s topic: September 2017 Nintendo Direct reactions


Clearly the show was all about Mario Odyssey but the road towards its new details was pretty jam packed.

During the 3DS section it just sucked for me to see Kirby Battle Royale and other titles on it since recently my 3DS broke and I have no plans to fix it since I bought a Switch.

The Switch announcements were really good with each major genre covered in some way but I liked the focus on pointing out games like Morphies Law and Arena of Valor since they are from well known genres but bring in something unique and interesting.

The big Bethesda announcements are really cool and are in the right direction for third party support but they aren’t really my cup of tea.

Xenoblade 2 seems interesting and I’ve gotten constant recommendations to play one of the Xenoblades so maybe it’s time to try it out.

Kirby Star Allies seems like the Kirby experience I’ve been waiting for. The first Kirby game I finished was Return to Dreamland on the Wii so I’m glad that Hal is coming back to multiplayer form after the 3DS titles [which were amazing but seeing multiplayer characters go in the background (Bandana Dee) or have their own story (King Dedede and Meta Knight) was pretty dissapointing]. Bringing back the Yoyo, Cleaning, ESP (skipped Robobot), combo abilities, and almost every enemy playable seems very smart as those were very big Kirby gameplay aspects. I just hope they add some smart puzzles and other new mechanics to make these returning abilities just seem like underlying features.

Mario Odyssey seems really fleshed out and amazing so I can’t wait to play it as my first 3D Mario title.

Now on the Japanese side…

Ultimate Chicken Horse got a release window (October)! I have a bunch of friends on PC who play this game and have constantly recommended it so I can’t wait to try it out.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud was announced as well. If the servers work stateside I might try it out but otherwise its a solid announcement confirming more support from Sega (at least in Japan).

Overall the direct had what it needed but I’m sure it was more of a “rest of the holiday lineup” direct instead of a true look into 2018’s lineup (which will hopefully come with Nintendo World Championships, The Game Awards, and a late 2017 direct). Even though they are Nintendo games I’m anticipating like Smash Bros, there are many other indie and third party games that will cover that urge for me.



I thought that the Direct was alright, nothing crazy but definitely not the worst direct that I’ve ever seen. Especially since I got exactly what I wanted in a new Pokemon USUM update which included new info, especially considering it announced 2 new ultra beasts which is crazy and awesome. I just expected forms but eh. I will take them haha. Still surprised that we didn’t see a third thing but eh whatever I’m not upset.

Jack Bankhead

It wasn’t amazing to me, but Doom being ported with a promise of the same 60fps shows to me that developing for the Switch isn’t that hard. Bethesda made a custom engine, and it doesn’t appear they are complaining, as there is also Wolfenstein II coming in 2018, and the PS4 and Xbox One versions aren’t out yet. I’m very happy Bethesda is supporting the Switch, as I was afraid they weren’t.

I appreciated the extended look at Morphie’s Law, which looks very fun to me and if it is priced right (I think it will) will have a large player base. Arena of Valor looks… interesting, but I’m glad to see more genres on the Switch.

Dragon Quest Builders wasn’t to me expected, but not a surprise because Dragon Quest Builders 2 is coming out. I’ll probably wait on Builders until 2 gets a better release window. Also, I’m very glad they explained more of what Octopath Traveler was, on top of having an immediate demo. Now I am very excited for the game. That’s really good marketing.

Having dates for Skyrim and Xenoblade 2 made me happy because I can now budget things (with Christmas coming up) better. More Mario Odyssey also is cool.

All the 3DS stuff was expected, but Minecraft for the New 3DS was not. Especially it not releasing it right then! Minecraft is practically on every modern thing.

My biggest complaint was that Snipperclips is getting 10 dollar DLC for a game that was barely worth 20 for me. I mean, no one needed DLC. If anything, 1-2 Switch does!

It was good, so a 7 for me in terms of the surprise that was Doom and Wolfenstein, but everything else was meh.


a competent yet satisfying direct. I’m happy with the bullet point system, effective and rapid. A good amount of surprises, not more because I’ve learned to shelve my overly creative wishes, and thus I can never be disappointed. However, there are things I would like to see and hear, but I’m patient.

Hidden Flare

Honestly thought it was pretty great. First games I’m glad to see, I personally like the mario party 3ds game, and i think it will still be a good game even though its on the 3ds. I also like the new kirby switch game and think it will be as good as the 3ds games and the wii game. I like Lyn in heroes so I’m glad to see her in fire emblem warriors. I like to see Doom is on the switch, I have considered it but I think I found where to buy the game if I want it. Oh and Mario Odessy reminds me why I want to buy it in October.I feel meh towards Xenoblade 2, it seems good to me but Im very unsure on it considering I played no games from the series. It’s long time in the direct didn’t really convince me. Octopath looks ok but I think I will have the demo show me how good it is. Though I’ll say I was disappointed with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon news, it feels like they haven’t shown anything special about this game.

Overall, some good, few meh, and a little bad but overall I think the direct was pretty great.

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  • Jack Bankhead

    They sort of do to me. The Switch menu is super refined and sleek, and a logo that does not upsets the look. If I were to stream games, I’d want a very good looking lineup of games with good logos. It makes the collection look neat, to me. Still, if the game is good, I’ll keep it.

  • James Fox

    Quite frankly, I don’t care about the home menu icons
    All i care about is whether or not the game’s good

  • ecoutercavalier

    I think they’re pretty important. Not more important than the quality of the game, but with the growing popularity of digital games there isn’t any reason to have ugly looking icons. I’ve definitely turned down physical purchases for digital when I don’t like a boxart. It won’t stop me from buying the game altogether, but I do sympathize with the people who are asking for better looking icons.

  • Hidden Flare

    Yay I’m on the highlights from last week! 🙂

    So uhh unsure on this… I mean I think Icons could be like the 3ds and Wii U. I think they should look more then the boxart of the game or it’s cover or whatever. But it really isn’t that much. If it looks good or funny then nice. If it isn’t…. Ok then.

  • Wiiu home icons are just better

    • Billy Bob Throrton

      dare to leave it on and hear hundreds of cutesy Mii noises. UGH. reminds me of the days of waking up to a DVD menu on a 10 second loop.

      • the wiiu automatically shuts off after an hour
        it is the superior machine

        also you should quit drinking

        • Billy Bob Throrton

          maybe you should start

          • i’ve had plenty of time to decide
            being reduced to the attitude, emotions and bodily functions of infancy isn’t appealing
            i’m not so uptight that i need to drink poison to relax

  • Stuart

    While not owning a Switch yet,sometimes do bother me seeying a really ugly icon from a good game. I mean,an icon will never prevent me of buying a game but I think is nice to see good arts while looking at your selection of games.

    • Stuart

      What I do think is vital tho are icons that are easy to discern. That when I am looking for a game in specific I could easily find it without having to seek in a sea of icons that mean nothing.

    • Hey Stuart! Sorry if I was a jerk in the past I apologize with you if we had different opinions, I wonder if you would like consider join our discord server, I feel you can contribute a lot with our topics and debating the lasting NR news, if you are interested in the future to join us the link is on my profile, thanks for reading this and have a good day sir!

  • DonSerrot

    A game’s icon isn’t really all that important to me. It’s only there to help me get to the game I want to play. That said, I completely understand what Nintendo is going for with their guidelines. Icon’s on the Switch’s menu take up a lot of space and they want devs to use that space to showcase what their game is better. If it was on a smaller screen like a phone or a 3DS you would want a simpler icon because of how the details would get crushed at a much smaller size. There’s also the big problem in mobile games where copycat games try to replicate the icon of a more popular game to trick people into downloading their game and I’m sure Nintendo doesn’t want that sort of thing to start happening on the Switch too.

    So I’m kinda a middle of the road here. I like seeing devs listening to their fans and fixing things even if it’s making something insignificant look better but at the same time I’m not going to make a big deal of it myself and I won’t let it affect my enjoyment of an otherwise good game. I’ve been using Android for eons and I’m not pitching a fit about Google not following their own icon guidelines and that’s a situation that comes closest to being legitimate, this is well below that I’d say.

  • Mark

    This might be unpopular – but the only reason that I care about the game’s icon is because the Switch’s OS is so unforgivingly rigid. I wish that I could change the size, structure, and create folders in the same way that I do with my 3DS. That way, if the Zelda icon suddenly changed into something stupid, I’d just shrink it or hide it in a folder.

    I wish that the Switch had an OS update, to both their main Home page and to the eshop. Both are so cut-down and basic compared to what I was used to with the 3Ds.

    • It’s been over 6 months and the lack of Switch firmware updates is appalling.

      • Bruno Jenso

        That’s true – I like the clean look but some customisation options are long overdue. As long as they don’t force elevator music on us.

      • Anthony

        Yeah it sucks when they focus on trivial stuff like getting good, AAA games licensed in their pipeline instead of working on the really important stuff like home screen folders and icon sizes.

        • Two completely different departments that they each suck at.

          • Anthony

            Wolfenstein II says hello.

          • A game releasing this month on other platforms that we get an inferior port of sometime next year. Nice example.
            Know what blockbuster, multiplat 2017 games we haven’t gotten since launch? Ghost Recon Wildlands, CoD: Infinite Warfare, For Honor, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Tekken 7, Injustice 2, Overwatch, FFXV, Watch Dogs 2, RE7, Battlefield 1, Prey, Madden, etc.

          • Jenjoint

            You do realize that most of the games you mentioned were in development way before the switch was shown to developers. It’s funny people think games that took 3 plus years to make can be just ported to the switch in a few weeks lol.

          • Uh, how do you think launch games come about? Most of these debuted after the Switch released. Sounds like you don’t really know how game development works.

          • Jenjoint

            Um look at the titles that launched and explain which was a huge 3rd party game that was in development for years . Clearly you don’t understand how game development works. Why would a developer who’s 2/3 done with making a game want to risk delaying it to try to port the game to a new platform prime example ghost recon came out the week after the switch when would Ubisoft have had time to work on the port of that game? Also developers didn’t get dev kits until middle to late last year. Some have said they 1st saw the system at the January reveal

          • …developers didn’t get dev kits until middle to late last year. Some have said they 1st saw the system at the January reveal
            Which proves my point! Look how many third-party games launched on the XB1 and PS4 during their first 7 months! There is absolutely no excuse to justify why the only big-name third-party game Switch has gotten is a Minecraft port. There are hardly any games with online multiplayer and still no multimedia apps like Netflix, YouTube, or even a goddamn browser.

          • Jenjoint

            You still don’t get it the ps4 and Xbox 1 both were shown and discussed a year before they released so developers had dev kits with enough time to make titles. For some reason you still dont understand….. You can’t develop a game without a dev kit. I wouldn’t say Minecraft is the only big 3rd party game lol. DbZ, Mario Rabbit kingdom battle, Disgaea 5,NBA 2k18, Fifa. Think about this skyrim was shown when the system was 1st introduced last year and it’s taken Bethesda a year to port that so what makes you think all these other games would be out so soon. Also just because something hasn’t been announced doesn’t mean it’s not coming prime example…doom wasn’t announced at e3 but its coming. System has been out 7 months and so far has sold extremely well the games are coming . There are several online games too actually Mario kart arms Splatoon 2 NBA 2k18 fifa 18 DBZ 2, pokken tournament, Lego world,street fighter, Minecraft, puyo puyo Tetris, Bomberman none of those are Indies. As far as apps like Netflix etc Nintendo has said it’s focusing on games right now …. Why focus on services almost every device already does.

          • What you don’t get is that a console without heavy and early 3P support is a bad thing. As I said, Switch’s 7 months pale in comparison to its competitors’.

            DBX2: Sep’17 port of an Oct’16 game
            Disgaea 5: May’17 port of a Mar’15 game
            Pokkén: Sep’17 port of a Jul’15 game with sparse updates
            Lego Worlds: six months behind other platforms despite debuting when Switch did
            USF2:TFC: really, you’re proud of this?

            The lineup sucks, bro. Sony/MS have sold more 3P games in the same time and those systems are 3 years old. Switch can only survive on enhanced ports and first-party lifeboats for so long. I’m glad we have big-name titles like FIFA, NBA, and M+R to add to Minecraft, but it’s not enough.

          • Jenjoint

            Um you do realize when ps4 and Xbox one launched they got mainly ports …. assassin creed, Madden 25, NBA 2k14,call of duty, battlefield 4. It took MS a while to get any 3rd party support after the system launched. You need to clearly understand the industry. Majority of 3rd party games release late in the year which is when the ps4/xbox 1 launched. I got an Xbox 1 at launch and waited a while for 3rd party games to come after launch. Also let’s not act like Nintendo getting ports is something the other systems don’t do… GTA 5… ps3 xbox 360 got ported, skyrim got ported ,the last of us ported, 80% of the launch games ported. The switch is getting ports later because it released later. You complain about getting ports but want to complain about lack of 3rd party support….ports are 3rd party support tho. 3rd party games are coming just because they haven’t been announced again doesn’t mean it’s not coming……doom,wolfestein,la noire,Dragon quest builder, are examples of games that were recently announced that’ll release soon.

          • The difference is that the ONLY third-party game to be ported that was already available on Wii U was Minecraft. You also mischaracterize my complaints as about the presence of ports; no, it’s that most AA/AAA 3P games yet available are ports, and even the biggest 1P games are too.

          • Jenjoint

            What you miss is that having a strong 3rd party support at the launch doesn’t always help….the Wii u had a ton of 3rd party support at the beginning but they died off. The switch is the opposite it didn’t have a ton at launch bit it’s picking up pace. Now again not every 3rd party game will come to the system but that’s ok. Just because it’s called a AAA title doesn’t mean it’ll be a great game… Also MS is missing a lot of 3rd party games is that MS fault?

          • Jenjoint

            What you keep missing is the switch is selling… So developers are looking at it more now than before. Next year we will see more 3rd party support this isn’t the Wii u the sales for the switch continue to exceed expectations. Developers have had a year or less with dev kits. You cant expect 3rd party support right out of the gate when it’s a unknown system to a lot of developers

          • A g a i n, that’s the issue. It’s Nintendo’s own fault for not ensuring enough 3P games in 2017. We’re going in circles, J.

          • Jenjoint

            How many 3rd party games are they supposed to have within the 1st 7 months? It’s getting 3rd party games might not be every game you want buy to act like there’s no support is crazy. The ps4 and Xbox 1 didn’t have a lot great quality 3rd party games until after more than a year on the market.

          • Anthony

            Oh? No response on your Wolfenstein flub? No? Anything? Just gonna move right past that and keep being wrong?

          • Ohhhhh.wav

          • Anthony

            Also NO ONE is asking for a browser or YouTube on a Switch. You want YouTube whip out your phone ffs.

          • Right, because smartphone and Switch screens are exactly the same

          • Anthony

            Wolfenstein II releases in like two weeks. Early reviews are saying it and Doom both run flawlessly on Switch.

  • Billy Bob Throrton

    It’s just like box art for games only you see it more so I’d say yeah. More for how bad it can get than how bad they are. I don’t want Nintendo to be like Netflix,their thumbnail for Moana is a baby with a rock and a chicken. In no way does that get across what the movie is and they do that kind of thing all the time

  • Justin McQuillen

    Send people who care about this to gulag

    • Bruno Jenso

      Whatever dude. No one is saying there aren’t more important things in the world. Of course there are. Probably most of the things important to you personally are trivial on the great scheme of things – but your still entitled to care. Don’t deny that in others.

      • Justin McQuillen

        gulag for this guy

        • Bruno Jenso

          That’s nice of you, as was your original statement.

  • Jack Franco

    Yeah. with box art being very bland these days it’s nice that a lot of Switch icon art can look pretty nice so I do mind if the icons look that way

  • Roto Prime
  • It’s supposed to represent the game itself in a tiny preview, so of course it matters. Psychologically, first impressions are vital for human decision-making, even when the subject owns the video games and is used to the images. Regardless of whether you realize it, these icons impact which game you’ll be inclined to play when you fire up your Switch with no strong choice in mind.

  • JasonBall

    I had no idea it was an issue. All my games look great on the menu. Had no idea some didn’t. Yeah, it matters. If you power up the Switch and see an ugly sore thumb it’ll make your overall experience worse.

    But it’s not worth whining about.

  • Connor The Dreamer

    I don’t, as the ones that are simplistic fit the Switch’s nature due to it being a tablet device, which makes most of the simplistic ones better than on other consoles. Heck, speaking of which, most of these simple images ARE the same as on other consoles, so complaining to ask devs to change it for the Switch versions only comes off as being really petty and immature. Literally anything else would be better to beg for. How about Achievements like the PS4/XB1 versions? But oh wait, it would be a big pain to do so because Nintendo was stubborn and didn’t implement it into the UI like they should have to be up with the times.

    This DOES bring up one big issue about the switch though… and that’s the UI. Icons or not, the UI itself is hot garbage and feels like a boring, generic tablet home menu. No fancy lively personality like on Wii U, and not even idle noise or adjustable icon sizes like the pre-folder/theme 3DS days. The fact that we’re waiting for folders AGAIN is just utterly stupid and unacceptable. If anything, the Switch’s UI is the thing that feels like something cheap, as if they want to say “This is a cool tablet” instead of “This is a cool NINTENDO system.”

  • Vigilante_blade

    Not really. It’s an icon.

  • Timothy Forrester

    I think it’s important. For right now since there are no backgrounds, that is all we have the icons. Especially with the digital only games. That is for them the cover art for that title.

  • Carlos

    Game icons are there so you can access a game, nothing more. If you can tell what the game is that the icon belongs to, then it’s doing its job. There are more important things people can waste their energy being upset at then icons.

    • James Fox

      exactly, What SHOULD matter is whether the game is good or not

  • techdude70

    “As long as the text is there…” But the icons most despised don’t have them (Snake Pass,Lego World, even Steamworld Heist (just D2), before they were revised. Lego World’s previous Icons is just a bunch of bricks which could have as well been Minecraft’s.

    Sure, it won’t affect gameplay, but ugly icons, feels out of place in your homescreen. You don’t want your home looking ugly either, don’t you…

    Now, I am starting a campaign to get rid of Pankapu’s Icon which is worst than Snake Pass…

    • James Fox

      What i’m getting outta this people are restricting the artistic expression of the game’s icon to just the box art or lazily slap the promo art and logo together

  • Billy Bob Throrton

    Everyone used to throw away their NES and SNES boxes and now they’re rare,sought after collectibles for those systems.

  • AJK

    I have never been bothered about app icons before, but the Switch ui is so neat that the icons are suddenly something I care about. I am loving Steamworld 2, but having it constantly at the front of my games list with the old crappy icon was seriously bugging me. Well done Nintendo, you’ve turned me into one of those people lol

  • I was extremely disappointed by Snake Pass but rarely delete a game. When the icon changed to just the close-up of the snake’s face, every time I saw it was a literally ugly reminder that I owned it. I would boot up other games in succession just to bump it back in the list and keep it out of sight. Eventually I deleted Snake Pass, which I might not have some without such an awful icon.

    • Zoon Politikon

      You’re a fragile person, aren’t you?

  • Bruno Jenso

    Yes Brian, they are very important to me and I’m delighted to see others seem to care. Lets keep the Switch classy. Your post is coming from the wrong place and suggesting people care more about the icon than the game – you have misunderstood. This is/would be ridiculous. The point is the icon matters for **games that are good**. It’s precisely because they are good or great games that you wish to display them nicely on the home screen – because you are going to play those great games and see the artwork that represents them a lot. I don’t give a damn about the icons for crappy games because they are not going to make it to my home screen. Think about how people care about the artwork for their music collections. It’s exactly the same thing. For a game to be good in the first place it normally means the devs have gone the extra mile and given the game a certain polish. That should extend to the artwork that represents the game and should not look like a trashy icon. That suggests a trashy game. I think we all like to see good artwork actually – even those who say they don’t care still have a more subconscious reaction and like when things are represented well – even if they don’t explicitly vocalise it to themselves. My pennies worth anyway.

  • I think the quality of the game matters more than what the icon looks like, personally, and I’m kind of surprised so many people make a big enough deal about it that they delete the game altogether. I’m all for a nice looking home screen, but I barely even register what the icon looks like as I quickly scroll to what I want and press the A buitton. I also wonder what it says about Nintendo fans because I’ve read quotes from delevopers that say it is Nintendo fans who are the loudest complainers, and the same icon for other consoles don’t cause such an uproar.

    I personally would rather have customizeable home menu themes.

  • R.Z.

    First time I’m hearing about the icons being a problem, but maybe I’m not checking the right places.
    Personally I couldn’t care less, what I’d really like though is a possibility to organize my home menu like on 3DS and WiiU.
    Some icons are not as good looking as they could be but I can do with it.
    What’s really annoying to me though is that I can’t choose which icons are displayed and how.

  • Vadim Dzhantyurin

    The thing is it’s not just “icons” anymore. On 3DS and Wii U it was really small pictures, now on Switch it huge squares (especially in TV mode).
    Of course people start to care about it, when it occupies one third of the screen.
    And beautiful icons of Nin games (zelda, splatoon, mario kart) also do the job. No one want to have something ugly next to these beauties.

  • Personally, as long as I know which icon a game represents and the text is there, the actual design doesn’t matter much to me at all.

    The thing for me is that the text is not there. There is no text next to the icon. D2 makes sense to me the week I buy the game. I thought the icons of all three games looked good. But they weren’t functional. As icons on a list, they would have been neat. But if there is no text in the UI, we need to have text on the icon.

    And there isn’t text on the UI. Yes, when you select an icon the game name appears next to the icon. But on a touch device you need to know what you are tapping before you tap it. On a joystick device it’s best to be able to zip direct to what you need. With a mouse pointer it’s easy to hover over something. That’s the difference.

    Snake Pass was a snake. What if you end up with 3 or 4 snake head icons from different games? Imagine if every FPS just had a picture of a gun. Which one is which? Imagine of NSMB, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart, Mario Part and Mario Tennis all just head Mario’s head, with subtle variation. How could you tell which was which before selecting them?

    Someone who plays games 2+ hours a day it might be fine. But some of us aren’t going to remember the icon of every game we have ever purchased and played at a glance.

  • Anthony

    You look at the game icons for all of about 12 seconds while deciding which game you want to play, so no, I don’t care much about them. Also there’s probably no system out there that will get the sort of title cards the Apple TV has so to me they’re pretty much all bad by comparison. Personally I prefer physical, steelbook releases anyway…I’m that sort of gaming snob.