The Nintendo Switch is one of, if not my favorite video game console of all time. I love the portability and I am able to play most of the games that I really care about at the moment. That being said, I do wish I was able to play something like Red Dead Redemption 2 or Horizon Zero Dawn on it. That would be absolutely incredible and there have been rumors circulating for the better part of a year now that say Nintendo is working on a Switch that can do just that. Is that a good thing though?
The rumors so far have said that the Switch docked will be able to reach 4k resolutions and perhaps be on par with a PS4 Pro. The price is speculated to be around 400 dollars but again Nintendo hasn’t confirmed any of this. In fact, Nintendo as recently as February have said they have no intentions of releasing a “Switch Pro” anytime soon but how does that explain companies like Nvidia partnering with Nintendo fo just such a project?
Nintendo are no strangers to upgrading their handheld systems midway through their life cycle. From the Gameboy Color, to the Nintendo DS Lite, and the Nintendo 3Ds , there are several examples of better versions of the original hardware being released to keep things fresh. However, Nintendo has never released an entirely new version of one of their home consoles internationally. I seriously have my doubts but the industry seems convinced that a new Switch is coming and don’t think, given the specs, that that is a good thing.
If the main concern is to introduce a system that is able to play games that require more power, then there is little chance those games will be able to be played on both systems. The way it sounds now the new Switch is a new generation Nintendo Console which will also be outdated within four years since there is the potential games will begin to become exclusive to that hardware, which is my main concern.
The Nintendo Switch is a very successful console that has even been outpacing Sony’s success with the PS4 and the pandemic gave the Switch an even bigger boost as the Xbox One and Ps4 became more difficult to find than Switch models. That is a huge install base with a lot of potential for first party Nintendo and indie developer success and yet Nintendo is going to potentially throw that away by introducing a new Switch?
In many ways, the Nintendo Switch’s success is akin to the Wii’s success back in the day. Both consoles were able to capture not only regular gamers but the casual audience that hardly ever buys consoles. The parents, grandparents, and game curious all have been buying Switch models. That audience probably won’t upgrade to the new console if games begin to become exclusive for the Switch Pro and that will be a huge waste of potential sales.
However, if the Switch Pro is actually a Switch 2 then it risks having a Wii U situation. The Wii U suffered because it didn’t know what it was on top of not being a significant enough upgrade to sway customers to pick it up. The install base never got going, there was limited third party support so games rarely released, and the tablet controller gimmick made little sense to players and developers alike.
I truly believe Nintendo learned their lesson from a marketing standpoint to avoid the worst mistakes from the Wii U era but if it is supposed to be a significant upgrade to the Switch, that would mean that the original Switch’s life cycle was only 4 years. That is bad, especially since it’s Nintendo.
Nintendo is terrible with allowing customers to play their old games. It’s their biggest failure as a company, honestly. A true next generation Switch would likely mean people would not have access to their games unless they kept their old Switch which most people with less expendable income won’t do. Four years of games wasted unless they were ported over like the Wii U’s library but that brings with it its own criticisms like paying full price a second time.
We are several layers too deep into speculation at this point. My main concern is that the Switch Pro or whatever it’ll be called, will put a dead stop in the momentum that the Switch has built up and split the install base. For it to work, games need to work on both systems and if they can’t do that, Nintendo might be throwing away one of their greatest achievements.
I wish they would just focus on creating content for their console and not relying on the huge releases that make Xbox and Playstation competitive because Nintendo will never match them in terms of power.
Nintendo’s speciality has always been their first party games but recently they have gained a lot of success by working with indie developers. Practically every interesting indie game from the last few years has been released on the Switch and that’s fantastic.
The AAA ports like Doom and Outworlds are just bonuses but I also don’t NEED them; I have a PC for those. I just like playing unique experiences anywhere I want. If a Switch 2 happens, I want it to be at the proper time and not in the middle of this one’s life cycle.