Nintendo Switch Pro, how should the new Nintendo console be?

Nintendo Switch Pro, how should the new Nintendo console be?

Nintendo Switch Pro

With four years on its shoulders, Nintendo Switch could feel the weight of age. The sales, however, demonstrate quite the opposite: the console is depopulating all over the world, far surpassing the other competitors. A particularly difficult situation for Nintendo, which on the one hand sees the most demanding players request a revision of the Switch, many other new buyers instead would like their console to be supported for several more years. So what will happen in this 2021, the year in which the much rumored Switch Pro should come out?

Just as the competition did during the last generation of Playstation and Xbox, we expect a console also enhanced by Nintendo. This would certainly not be new for the Japanese company, which in the past had accustomed us to various revisions, for example of the Nintendo 3DS. Today we will go to see why Nintendo is delaying so much before announcing the mid-gen wait and what features the Switch Pro will need to have to be truly palatable to the public.

Switch in 2021

The Nintendo's hybrid console reached around 80 million units sold at the end of 2020. A truly impressive figure for the Switch, which is literally dominating the global console market in terms of sales. Several announced video games have yet to hit the shelves, so the Nintendo Switch lifecycle appears to be far from over. In short, the console is enjoying excellent health and Nintendo undoubtedly wants to ride the wave as long as it continues to register this interest and these mind-boggling numbers.

However, there is undoubtedly a more demanding slice of the public who, seeing the next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony, along with important updates for the PC hardware market, began to feel the need for something new. also on the Switch front. Let's be clear, Nintendo never wanted to compete with Playstation and Xbox, in fact its hybrid console was already much less powerful than its competitors at launch. We cannot deny, however, that in these four years since the announcement of Nintendo Switch, several rather concrete needs related to a hardware update of the console have not appeared. There is room for improvement and it would be possible to bring an improved hybrid console to the market, without overly distorting the nature of the device. Gamers do not require hardware that can compete with Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, well aware that this will not be possible in the short term.

What you need is a machine with a few key improved features, such as one OLED screen with 1080p resolution, a more compact and lightweight design, improved autonomy and a dock station capable of supporting 4K video output. All wrapped up in a package at the same launch price as the first Nintendo Switch, with the consequent price drop of the current version.

We can say that they would be pretty reasonable technical specifications for 2021. The Nintendo Switch screen was already criticized at launch for its abundant bezels, limited resolution and generally not excellent panel quality. Even the design of the console, although loved for its hybrid nature, is undoubtedly rather bulky and there is certainly room for improvement from this point of view. The same battery could be updated and improved to ensure greater autonomy even in the most complex titles. Finally, the 4K video output from the dock station is now necessary given the widespread use of TVs with this resolution.

“The game is not worth the candle”?

Nintendo è aware of these needs of its users and is certainly already planning something for the future. In the same way, with the approach of the 100 million units sold all over the world, it certainly cannot abandon this user from one day to the next. The added power of a hypothetical Switch Pro could really bring some fresh air and improve performance to many titles, but the same games should also support the less powerful console released four years ago.

Just as happened with Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, the developers found themselves in difficulty having to adapt their creations for two machines with different computing power. The risk is therefore not to see notable improvements with the Pro version of Switch, but rather slight tweaks in performance such as resolution and in-game frame rate.

If on the one hand it is a slice of the public that developers would like more computing power to be able to have more complex video games on the Switch, on the other hand there is the need to also support the old hardware by now widely spread all over the world. This will likely prevent the arrival of new cross-gen ports like the recent Doom Eternal, or a general improvement in quality in complex titles like the follow-up to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

Switch Pro will therefore become a console dedicated to a more demanding audience, who will want to play, for example, Monster Hunter Rise with a higher resolution. However, it remains possible that most Nintendo Switch owners are not part of this category of gamers, so Nintendo will have to balance the needs of very different users, the most passionate ones on the one hand and the more casual ones on the other.

Alternative solutions

There would then be alternative solutions that Nintendo could think of. Both have already appeared in some patents recently filed by the company, even if this is not enough to confirm their arrival on the market. These solutions would solve the Nintendo Switch's lack of computing power, each using a different method. For the first we talk about the use of streaming, then with the console connected to servers in order to receive the video signal of the game at a higher resolution. When you connect the console to your TV where you need 4K video output, you typically also have an internet connection. Thanks to the latter, the console could neglect the computing power of its processor and rely completely on servers dedicated to cloud gaming.

Another possible solution would be to sell exclusively a dock station equipped with a processor graphic capable of upscaling video in 4K. Being Nintendo in close relationships with Nvidia, they could jointly create a custom processor that can work exclusively for it, taking advantage of Nvidia's popular proprietary DLSS technology in particular. In this way the most demanding gamers could buy this dock station to increase the performance of their console when connected to a TV. The price of a similar accessory could be around € 100-150 and would probably be quite successful even if it is not a completely new console.


It is not easy to predict what will happen with Nintendo Switch in the near future. We know that the Japanese company does not feel any pressure at the moment to have to launch a "Pro" version of Switch on the market. There is therefore still time to produce excellent video games and squeeze the current hybrid console to the last bit of power. In the future, other possible solutions will probably emerge to make a console of this type more performing, such as the arrival of 5G which could act as an important link for cloud gaming.

Nvidia and its recent acquisition of ARM will also undoubtedly have new hardware solutions for the future of portable devices. In the same way, once all the video games promised for this generation of consoles have been released, Nintendo could directly opt to launch a Switch 2, thus making a significant leap forward in terms of power to give more freedom to developers and start a new cycle of sales, hoping to achieve the same success as the current Nintendo Switch.

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