The Switch has a home screen application that functions as a web browser, with a full-featured web browser, and access to the Nintendo eShop, which contains every game published by Nintendo and those available from independent developers. Nintendo offers the ability to make purchases in the Nintendo eShop using the Nintendo Network ID associated with a Nintendo Account, which allows for a seamless experience between Switch, Wii U, and other Nintendo hardware. Additionally, users can use these Nintendo accounts to buy digital versions of physical retail games, or downloads of digital games from the Nintendo eShop via the console itself. Users can also use the Nintendo Account to download and install free software updates, which can be done without having to connect the console to the internet. This is an advantage over other consoles, where all software updates must be performed online. These updates allow the system to run software that can make use of hardware features, such as the Joy-Con grip and HD Rumble features. Nintendo also provides a GamePad application for the Switch. The GamePad can be used to access the internet, watch video, display the system's homescreen, and control other connected devices, such as a Wii U or a Nintendo 3DS.
Double Fine's treatment of this project is unique among indie developers in that it has been public since its inception, with the company publishing a trailer for it on February 18, 2017. Double Fine has reported that they started this project because they wanted to be a Switch developer themselves, but ended up feeling underutilized in Nintendo's process. They viewed their project as a chance to learn more about the process of game development, help other developers not be burned out by it, and perhaps share this knowledge in another game. Double Fine says that it is a collaborative project, though the lead writer is actually the creator of the game, and as such, it is often re-written by other members of the studio. The game is being developed with Unity, and Double Fine has said that it is a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas, which was initially released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but later released for the Nintendo 3DS. Double Fine is also developing Mighty No. 9, a spiritual successor to Mega Man 9 for the 3DS. The game is being developed with the Unity engine, and it was released for the 3DS in 2016.
Nintendo's corporate strategy has been to release games early in the console's lifecycle, rather than simply releasing games at the same time as the other consoles. The company planned on releasing the Switch on March 3, 2017, which was around ten days before the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In contrast, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were announced in June 2013 at E3, with release dates planned at least a year later. The Wii U, however, was not formally announced until a November 2011 Nintendo Direct. This allowed Nintendo to release the system early, with its games available on the system's launch day, December 8, 2012, and have these games available well before the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. 827ec27edc