Reading the reviews for any product sold online has become so commonplace, it’s a trope. The lack of that feature raises suspicion among online shoppers who wonder – what don’t they want us to know?
If you’re faced with several options when it comes to a purchase, common wisdom is to “check the reviews.” Checking the reviews usually involves scrolling down the page until you see stars. But checking the reviews on an eShop game on Switch involves more than that. That’s because Nintendo trialed an eShop reviews feature — and just as quickly removed it.
Nintendo eShop Reviews Launched
Nintendo’s much-needed eShop reviews feature launched on February 23, 2018. The feature was axed just five days later on February 25. The feature was webpage-based, so it never officially showed up on the Nintendo eShop.
Here’s how it worked:
- After signing in on the Nintendo eShop webpage, users could give games 1-5 stars.
- A list of tags below the rating seemed to take inspiration from Steam Tags.
- A headline feature allowed users to add a title to their review.
- A comments box for the full review required at least 50 minimum characters.
- A checkbox asked gamers to describe their gaming habits.
- A checkbox for whether a game contained any spoilers or not.
Nintendo appears to have given special consideration to this feature before launching it. The tags feature drew inspiration from Steam tags with categories like ‘easy to learn,’ ‘fun to play,’ ‘immersive,’ and ‘challenging.’
Five days after gathering feedback from users with this eShop reviews system, Nintendo canned it.
eShop Reviews Offline
Fans quickly noticed the absence of the new feature. Nintendo addressed fan concerns with a statement, saying the feature was only intended to be a trial.
“Customer reviews have been taken offline as we evaluate this feature and its functionality,” a Nintendo spokesperson said. “We currently have no estimated date on when an update will be provided. We appreciate the positive response and thank the reviewers who provided such thoughtful commentary on the games,” reads the full statement.
Gaming website Polygon got a longer statement, where Nintendo admitted the feature was a trial.
“Nintendo.com recently offered a trial customer review feature to let users share feedback about Nintendo Switch games on our website. The response has been positive, and Nintendo appreciates the time and effort that reviewers put into their thoughtful commentary on the games. Nintendo has removed this feature as we evaluate the future of the ratings functionality on Nintendo.com. We have no estimate on when an update will be provided on the status of this initiative, but we appreciate the enthusiasm shown for the trial.”Nintendo, on why they’re removing eShop reviews feature
Since that update, more than a year has passed. Nintendo has issued several updates to the website and the Switch. Yet no way to review games in the eShop has returned. Many customers have complained about it, directly to Nintendo and on social media. But it’s highly unlikely the feature will be making a comeback in its trial form.
Can we at least get stars on Switch?
If the eShop reviews system returns at all, it may be in the form of stars with no text. The wordless star ranking system for 3DS is a good indicator as long as averages appear. But don’t get your hopes up — eShop game sales are doing just fine without a reviews feature.