The Nintendo Switch Concierge service takes a tried-and-true public health idea, and applies it to gaming consoles. Instead of waiting until your Switch breaks before calling customer support, Nintendo is now encouraging recent console buyers to set up one-on-one calls to learn how to use the Switch properly in the first place. It’s the “preventative care” approach, but for the world of console gaming. Interestingly, the Nintendo Switch Concierge service will also leverage Microsoft Teams for video meetings – not the first time Nintendo has made use of Microsoft’s services.
Information comes from the official Nintendo website, which now has a “Nintendo Switch Concierge” subsection. The service is open to all “recent” Switch owners (“recent” is not defined, so you’re on the honor system), and setting up an appointment is a straightforward process. First, you pick a topic you’d like to discuss: Nintendo Switch 101, Games (Getting Started), Games (What to Play Next), Security and Privacy, Nintendo Account or Customization. Then, you pick an open spot on a digital calendar and schedule a 30-minute appointment with a Nintendo representative. When the time comes, the two of you chat via a Microsoft Teams video call.
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This service might not sound terribly interesting to people who already follow Nintendo Switch minutiae online. After all, this isn’t an opportunity to sit down with developers or Nintendo’s senior staff – it’s essentially a prophylactic tech support call. But remember that Nintendo targets new and casual gamers in addition to the core crowd, and sitting down with a real person for half an hour could seriously demystify how to set up a system, how to choose the right games and how to keep an online account secure.
As to whether it’s especially interesting that Nintendo is using a Microsoft service for the Switch Concierge Service, that depends. Nintendo has worked with Microsoft in more substantial ways before, including a Switch versions of Minecraft and the Ori games. Microsoft Teams, along with Zoom and Google Meet, is a major video meeting platform, and it’s probably easier for Nintendo to use an existing service that to develop something in-house.
In any case, if you use the Nintendo Switch Concierge service, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, Nintendo representatives can generally only discuss the topics listed above. You can’t badger them about when you favorite character will be in Smash Bros., or why the Switch Online selection is routinely so disappointing. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so if they’re all booked up, you’ll have to wait for the next round. You can schedule only one session; after that, it’s someone else’s turn. Finally, you must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States.
On the bright side, though, Nintendo will not record the calls or share your information in any way, so you don’t need to worry about your gorgeous mug showing up in a future ad for the platform.