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Nintendo Switch eShop launches with nine games, but no music

Hello darkness, my old friend

The process of buying and downloading a game from the Nintendo Switch eShop.

The Nintendo Switch eShop is now live, with nine launch titles available for purchase such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch.

Nintendo released the Switch’s day-one update this morning, which is necessary for the console to be able to access the eShop. The update, which brings the Switch firmware from version 1.0.0 to version 2.0.0, also adds features such as sharing screenshots on social media and the despised friend code system.

Here’s the full list of games that are currently on sale in the U.S. eShop:

Nintendo said in a news release today that Breath of the Wild’s $19.99 Expansion Pass will also be available alongside the game. It is indeed live in the eShop right now, but it’s only accessible from Breath of the Wild’s game page in the store; it doesn’t have its own listing. (You can also get to it directly from the game’s main menu, after a patch.)

The eShop is selling fewer games at the moment in the U.S. than in other regions. Eurogamer reports that in the U.K., four Neo Geo ports are available for £6.29 ($7.72): King of Fighters ’98, Shock Trooper, Waku Waku 7 and World Heroes Perfect. The aforementioned news release did not mention any Neo Geo titles, so it’s possible that they won’t be available stateside — at least not yet.

You can watch footage of us buying a game from the Switch eShop in the video above. It’s a relatively pedestrian process, but there’s one notable thing about it: The Switch eShop doesn’t have any background music at launch.

Every Nintendo platform for the past decade — that’s the Wii, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U — has offered a store for digital games, and all of those stores have featured background music. The tunes could perhaps best be described as elevator music, but players came to love them (and not just because the songs got stuck in people’s heads). Check out the video playlist below for a chronicle of Nintendo eShop music over the years. We guarantee you’ll recognize some of those earworms.

This is just one more way in which the Switch offers a no-frills user experience, as we said in our review of the console. While some people will be happy to find that Nintendo has done away with elements like the Mii Parade, it seems the company has gone too far in the other direction: Compared to its predecessors, the Switch feels like it lacks personality.

We’ve reached out to Nintendo to ask whether the company plans to add background music to the Switch store in the future. We’ll update this article with any information we receive.

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