nOS turns Nintendo Switch into a mini PC – and it's weird

Screenshot from nOS Nintendo Switch app
(Image credit: RedDeerGames)

The Nintendo Switch is one of our favourite devices for gaming, but could it also replace your iPad or PC? A new app billing itself as a replacement Nintendo Switch OS claims that it could. 

The 'new operating system' or 'nOS' lets you make notes, to-do lists and calculations. It has a gallery of pre-selected images, a notebook an MS paint-like app and simple puzzle minigame, but some Switch fans are confused about what it is (not yet got the console? See our pick of the best Nintendo Switch deals).

We should start of by clarifying that nOS is not an OS. It's a stripped-down app produced by the developer and publisher RedDeerGames. It does not replace nor modify the console's existing OS but simply runs as a game. It does however let you turn the Switch into more than a gaming device.

With the visual look of a cute retro OS, it lets you write notes, draw, use a calculator and organise your schedule. No, it doesn't look like it's going to replace a laptop or tablet, but it could be a neat way to add some functions to the Switch and could be useful for anyone who doesn't already use another device for organisational tasks.

Some fans are confused by the name (I don't understand, will this be a legitimate app that we can buy for the switch, or is this a homebrew piracy OS to flash over the existing switch firmware?, one person commented on the video above). Others thinks that it could be a winner if it adds extra features such as a web browser or the option to use streaming services. 

"OMG, this is adorable! I am a HUGEE sucker for these sorts of weird quirky "not really games" lifestyle games that were booming in the late 2000s Wii era," one person wrote. "Add a web browser and I’m sold," someone else wrote.

Perhaps most of all, nOS is a sign that Nintendo Switch, while great for gaming, needs more entertainment and non-gaming functionality. Many Switch users commented on the launch video that they wish there were actually a Switch operating system. "This is the sign for Nintendo to change their OS, the addition of new wallpapers and a browser is what everyone wants for the Switch," one person commented.

nOS is available on the Nintendo store priced at $40 but reduced to $1.99 until 16 February. For more choices for your Switch, see our pick of the best Nintendo Switch games. You can see the best current console prices below.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.