Rumors have been circulating for years about the possibility of a Nintendo Switch 2 (or Switch Pro). The speculations started when The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was first teased in 2019, gained momentum with the launch of the Switch OLED in 2021, and now, with the standard Switch having been on the market for six years, the anticipation is growing.
There’s no denying that the Nintendo Switch is an excellent console. It boasts a unique and impressive game library, with more exciting titles on the horizon. Additionally, the number of features included with Nintendo Switch Online is consistently improving. It’s no wonder that the Switch remains our favorite portable gaming device. However, it is not without its shortcomings. There is definitely room for improvement, which justifies the need for an entirely new console in the near future. Nintendo recently announced that we won’t see a Switch upgrade in the next fiscal year, meaning that the earliest we might catch a glimpse of a new Nintendo console would be in late 2024.
Considering the Switch’s life span and the current gaming landscape, it’s crucial to assess what the Nintendo Switch 2 must bring to the table in order to be a worthwhile upgrade and compete with other platforms.
4K Resolution and Enhanced Processing Power
While the Switch was not designed to directly compete with powerhouses like the Xbox Series X or PS5 in terms of raw horsepower, even running exclusive games can feel underwhelming. Trailers for upcoming Nintendo titles often receive comments like, “that looks great… for the Switch,” and new releases don’t always live up to fans’ expectations. For example, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet had unusual bugs at launch, Sonic Frontiers couldn’t achieve high frame rates on the Switch, and games like Hogwarts Legacy and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum are coming to the Switch much later than their initial release dates due to the extra work required to fit them into the system. Although the upcoming Legend of Zelda installment looks stunning, one can’t help but imagine how much better it would run on a different console or PC.
While Nintendo has successfully carved out a niche in the gaming market for players who prioritize gameplay over graphics, the limitations of the Switch are becoming more apparent and will continue to be a concern moving forward. The current Switch can reach resolutions of 720p to 1080p with a frame rate limit of 60fps. What we truly desire is the ability to experience full 4K gaming on the Switch 2 and a significant bump in frame rate potential (ensuring a consistent 60fps at the very least). Although we won’t delve into the intricate details of processing power and preferred chipsets here, it is clear that Nintendo needs to deliver more power to fulfill our needs and expectations.
Standardize the OLED Screen
Image source: Nintendo
The Nintendo Switch has always been associated with bright and colorful gaming experiences compared to other consoles that tend to focus on visually and thematically darker, mature titles. Consequently, its successor should come equipped with a screen that accurately represents the vibrant content. When the Switch OLED model was released in 2021, the standard Switch’s LCD screen immediately appeared washed out in comparison. OLED screens have a distinct advantage, as they offer improved black levels, brightness levels, and color accuracy while consuming less power overall.
It would be immensely disappointing if Nintendo were to reverse such a remarkable upgrade and not make the OLED screen the standard for its next console, at the very least.
Expanded Internal Storage
Longtime Switch owners have likely encountered storage issues and have had to archive game data regularly to make room for new titles. The standard Switch and Switch Lite come with 32GB of internal storage, while the Switch OLED model increases it to 64GB. However, with new games becoming increasingly demanding and requiring more space each year, the idea of fitting more than a handful of premium titles within 64GB is laughable. Additionally, a portion of this limited storage is reserved for system use!
While Switch users can easily expand their storage by purchasing a large microSDHC or microSDXC card of up to 2TB, these cards are sold separately and can cost as much as a new game if you opt for a higher capacity. It’s an unfortunate additional expense for players when maintaining a decent digital library of games is essential.
When the Switch 2 arrives, Nintendo should transition to an internal solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD would provide greater internal storage capacity and drastically improved loading times compared to the Switch’s standard flash memory or external SD card data transfer speeds. Current games would perform better and faster, while developers would have more resources to work with when creating new games. Ultimately, it’s a win-win situation.
Image source: Shutterstock by saksorn kumjit
One of the Switch’s most beloved features is its ability to seamlessly transition between docked and handheld modes. What could be better than distributing Joy-Cons to your friends for a game of Mario Party Superstars or Mario Kart 8? The simplicity of the Switch’s controller design works well; we aren’t asking for anything complex. However, the quality of the Joy-Cons leaves much to be desired. Given their cost, they feel cheap, lack ergonomic comfort for extended gaming sessions, and are prone to the notorious Joy-Con drift. Joy-Con drift refers to the issue of the thumbstick moving on its own, causing noticeable gameplay problems.
Joy-Con drift has plagued Switch owners since the console’s launch, and Nintendo has made little effort to address the problem in newer models. While the company has been offering repairs for out-of-warranty Joy-Cons since 2019, the process is far from smooth, and users shouldn’t have to send in their basic controllers for issues related to design flaws.
Image source: Nintendo
Nintendo has released some stunning special edition Switch models for games like Splatoon 3, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. However, beyond a few different color schemes available for the Switch Lite and a limited range of first-party Joy-Con colors, there aren’t many options for customization. Players are left with third-party accessories that might not meet Nintendo’s standards.
While the base model should have its own color scheme, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could order a Switch 2 online and choose your preferred styles for the console, dock, and Joy-Cons? This level of personalization would make the Switch’s successor feel truly special, providing players with a compelling reason to upgrade. It would also be great to see this level of customization extend to the user interface, reintroducing the themes we loved from the Nintendo 3DS era and introducing new ways to personalize the current Switch’s rather plain menu screen.
And please, Nintendo, bring back translucent controllers.
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Note: This article was written for OnSpec Electronic, Inc. and does not contain any external links or contact information beyond what is mentioned in the text.