Nintendo is on the verge of announcing a new Switch — here are 4 crucial things it needs to keep the momentum going
- Nintendo's Switch is two years old, and it's still an absurdly popular game console.
- According to several reports, Nintendo is deep into work on the next versions of the Nintendo Switch.
- The rumours point to two different versions of the Nintendo Switch in development.
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A new console from Nintendo? Already? Yes and no.
It's been just two years since Nintendo's Switch arrived, and in those two years, it's become a major hit. And now, in 2019, it sounds like Nintendo is gearing up for a second version of its hit console - or maybe even two!
So, what does Nintendo's next version of the Switch need to keep the company's momentum going? Here are a few key things:
But first, here's what the rumours say about Nintendo's next version of the Switch:
A new Nintendo Switch is said to be in the works, and it could arrive as soon as this fall.
That's according to a new report from Japanese publication Nikkei, which says that Nintendo will release a smaller, less expensive, portability-focused Nintendo Switch this fall.
The new report lines up with previous rumors about a Nintendo Switch hardware iteration, which pointed to two new versions of the Nintendo Switch: a smaller, less expensive one, and a more powerful new version.
The latter device is reportedly delayed, according to Nikkei, which cites development challenges.
With that out of the way, let's dig in to what Nintendo should put in new versions of the Switch.
1. A better screen.
The smartphone you own almost certainly has a brighter, higher-resolution screen than the one on the first version of the Nintendo Switch.
In an effort to keep price down, Nintendo's Switch has a measly 720p screen. That's a full generation behind even the least expensive modern televisions, and years behind the vast majority of modern smartphones.
Admittedly, the low-res screen suffices for most games. "Super Mario Odyssey" and "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" both look great in handheld mode.
But you know what would make them look even better? A higher-resolution screen.
Even better? Swap the LCD tech used for the current Switch screen with OLED! This would no doubt increase the price of the Switch, but it would also make Switch games look significantly better.
2. More horsepower.
The current Nintendo Switch is a shockingly underpowered device, and it kind of has to be - it's essentially a tablet by design, which automatically constrains what it's capable of doing. Putting in more powerful hardware would require a more powerful battery, thus increasing the overall size of the device.
But in the two-plus years since the Switch launch, more powerful chips have arrived and battery technology has improved. It's entirely possible to improve the console's horsepower without having to make any major sacrifices.
To be clear, we're talking about a PlayStation 4 Pro/Xbox One X-esque half-step up - horsepower that makes existing games look better rather than an entirely new platform.
In releasing a more powerful version of an existing console, console makers can bolster horsepower without having to release an entirely new platform.
In the case of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, both consoles offer sharper visuals and snappier load times, even though they're only intended to play standard PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games. Something similar with the Switch could be huge.
3. A handheld focus.
The main rumour about Nintendo's next Switch is it will be a portable-focused device.
The Switch that launched in March 2017 was explicitly sold as a multi-faceted device. Play it at home on your TV! Take it on the go! Set it up on a tabletop and play with friends!
It's right there in the name - the Switch is quite literally what the device does.
But Nintendo's long history of making beloved portable game consoles positions it perfectly to offer a portable-focused version of the Switch. Maybe it still plugs into the Nintendo Switch dock, but instead of having detachable Joy-Con controllers, they're permanently connected. Throw some plastic covers over the ports and maybe get rid of the kickstand on the back, and you've got yourself the most powerful Nintendo handheld console ever made.
The good news is that this seems to be Nintendo's intentions with the next version of the Switch - repeated rumors point to a portable-focused version of the Switch being announced and launched at some point this year.
4. More internal storage.
Is it boring? Yes, yes it is - but the Nintendo Switch could really use more internal storage. 32 GB simply isn't enough, even with the ability to expand storage via micro SD cards.
This one is pretty straightforward: Any new Switch console coming out should come with more internal storage. There is no good reason why it wouldn't - the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both launched in 2013, and the launch versions of those consoles came with 500 GB of internal storage apiece. That's well over 10 times more than the Switch, which launched in 2017.
Are Nintendo games smaller than the competition? Yes, usually, but 32 GB is still well below what most people need.
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