Gaming News

A Defining Gaming Feature Of The Last Console Generation Is Mostly Gone

Nintendo is the last of the gaming giants to drop Twitter integration.

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 24: Two men use an Oled model Nintendo Switch gaming system while playing vi...
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Playing games on the Switch just got a little lonelier. Nintendo, the last console manufacturer that allows gamers to easily share screenshots and videos of gameplay on X (formerly known as Twitter) announced Wednesday that they will be phasing out the feature once and for all.

The announcement comes just months after Sony and Microsoft sunset the ability to share game clips on the popular social media platform. It marks a definitive blow to one of the defining features introduced at the start of the last generation of consoles a decade ago.

“On June 10, 2024, we will discontinue integration for X (formerly Twitter) as well as the ability to send friend requests to friends on social media (social media integration) from within the Nintendo Switch friend suggestions feature,” Nintendo announced in a blog post on their customer support website.

Playing games on Switch will feel a little lonelier after Nintendo drops support for sharing screen captures directly to Twitter next month.

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While Nintendo did not explain why they were dropping Twitter connectivity, it’s likely due to the platform’s increased Application Programming Interface (API) costs under the leadership of Elon Musk. It was once free to integrate other services into Twitter, and vice versa. But in Musk’s infinite wisdom since taking over the platform in 2022, these features have been part of his plan to make the platform more lucrative.

For tech companies that want to continue enabling API features, X is charging upwards of $42,000 a month, according to The Verge. Microsoft became the first of the three console makers to cut Twitter support back in April 2023. Sony followed suit last November.

Despite leadership’s direct part in Nintendo dropping X’s integration, the site’s dedicated Gaming account encouraged players to continue sharing their gaming highlights via their smartphones, calling gamers “one of the largest and most vibrant communities on our platform.”

“We are dedicated to enhancing and supporting gaming-related features,” the tweet reads. “Our partnership with Nintendo remains strong, and we are working together to ensure a smooth transition for all users.”

While the removal of social media integration isn’t a feature that will dissuade anyone from the medium, it is jarring to see such a crucial part of what made the last generation of consoles so different from the one before. This sort of connectivity was so crucial to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, that the three console makers implemented a dedicated screenshot and share button on their respective controllers.

In the case of Sony, they shipped the console with rudimentary software called “Share Factory” for producing videos for social media viewing.

Granted these features aren’t going away because manufacturers aren’t interested in the feature, but because of the money-grubbing antics of billionaires desperate to make pocket change off the backs of their platform’s most basic functionality.

Games like Spider-Man 2 have entire online communities dedicated to snapping cool screenshots and sharing them on social media.

Insomniac Games

It’s a major loss for players who like archiving their favorite moments and visuals. For games like Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 and CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, sharing in-game screenshots and messing around with robust photo modes have become an integral part of the community experience. The removal of this integration adds an extra step to what was once a painless process.

It’s worth mentioning that TikTok has become a great place for sharing fun gaming moments. However, the vertical-oriented nature of its content makes it less conducive to sharing native captures. YouTube has always been a solid alternative platform for videos, but its algorithm makes it fairly easy for new users to get buried under the thousands of hours of content produced by established creators and streamers on the platform.

Twitter was truly the best place for quickly sharing highlights or interesting moments with friends and the world. But while it’s an unnecessary loss for players, it’s an even bigger loss for social media platforms.

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