This Nintendo Switch calculator app is actually very important


Shawn Farner

Writer and Storywriter


Like so many in gaming and tech, I’ve been very interested in the Epic vs. Apple trial currently taking place. Epic has done its best to paint Apple as very different than Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, who all operate walled gardens on their game consoles. It is my position these walled gardens aren’t all that dissimilar from iOS, and the capabilities of the Switch, in particular, aren’t all that different from a WiFi iPad. Nintendo is just more choosey about which apps make it onto the platform. Now there’s word of a Nintendo Switch calculator app, and really, I think it proves the point.

This Nintendo Switch calculator app is actually very important

The app — simply called Calculator — is officially available as of today (shout to Eurogamer). It was created by a developer called Sabec, and is currently selling for $9.99. As many (such as The Verge) have pointed out, this Nintendo Switch calculator app looks a lot like the one you’d find on an iPhone. By getting approved and existing on the eShop, this seemingly innocent calculator has made the Switch slightly more versatile than it was before — just as many other apps could if given the chance.

There are already apps for YouTube and Hulu on the Nintendo Switch. Now there’s a calculator. What’s stopping there from being a Spotify app? Or a Kindle app? Or even a simple web browser, for crying out loud? One could argue that, by letting this calculator app go to market, Nintendo has stepped right up to the line where “entertainment device” ends and “general purpose computing device” begins.

Now the question is, will Nintendo cross that line willingly, or will someone try to force the company to cross it. Because, from the standpoint of capability, the Switch really is just a tablet with attachable gamepad accessories. It’s very able to do tablet things. The existence of this Nintendo Switch calculator app really hammers that home, and makes it a lot harder for someone to say the Switch OS is all that different than iOS.

That could have very interesting ramifications for Nintendo if Epic is somehow able to nab a victory against Apple.

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