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Nintendo Switch linked with Leaderboards, Achievements system

Nintendo previously implemented Accomplishments for StreetPass Mii Plaza in 2011. Image: Nintendo via AFP Relaxnews

An online leaderboard and in-game achievement system, similar to those found on numerous other gaming platforms, may be on its way to the Nintendo Switch.

Ahead of the launch of spear-throwing arcade adventure “Lichtspeer” on Nintendo Switch, a spokesperson for its publisher revealed that an achievements and leaderboard system was on the new console’s development roadmap.

“Nintendo doesn’t have an official support for Achievements and Leaderboards, like Sony or Microsoft,” wrote Crunching Koalas co-founder Tom Tomaszewski, “but we know that they’re working on it.”

The response came during an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit when one participant had wanted to know whether “Lichtspeer” would have online rankings and, if not, why not.

Released September 7 as “Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition” on the Switch, the game had already been available for a year on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC, where players could measure progress and proficiency using PlayStation Trophies or Steam Achievements.

In its modern form, the achievement system was first deployed by Microsoft’s gaming division Xbox for the Xbox 360 console. It encourages players to spend more time with their games, motivating commitment and rewarding partial or full completion.

The Steam Network followed in 2007, and PlayStation implemented Trophies in 2008. Apple’s equivalent arrived on iOS in 2011 via the Game Center feature, and Google’s Android pushed the psychological incentive through 2013’s rollout of Google Play Games.

Nintendo had previously experimented with a 2011 concept called Accomplishments, but restricted them to mini-games contained within StreetPass Mii Plaza for the Nintendo 3DS.

A wider adoption of Accomplishments had been anticipated for the Wii U home console, thanks to a 2012 rumor regarding racing simulation Project CARS, but that PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC release never materialized for the underperforming Nintendo games machine.

“Isn’t this supposed to be a secret?” asked another Redditor, in response to the “Lichtspeer” reveal.

“Oops. Move along. Nothing to see here,” replied Tom, walking back an earlier “we know” to “a really strong feeling they hinted it a few times.”

Compared to the Wii U, the Switch is in much better health than its predecessor, meriting the development of a platform-wide achievements system.

The steady supply of well-received titles such as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, “Splatoon 2”, and October’s highly anticipated “Super Mario Odyssey” have established the Switch following a March 2017 launch, and a strong holiday period could even bode well for year-on-year comparisons with the PlayStation 4.

Perhaps it’s time for Nintendo’s Accomplishments to make a return. JB

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