SINCE ITS RELEASE in 2017, the Nintendo Switch console became the second best-selling home console of all time, behind only the Wii. Nintendo has been known to release upgraded consoles every three to five years, and while speculation around a new Switch has been brewing since 2019, a Bloomberg report from March sparked a more intense conversation. Changes for the as yet unconfirmed “Switch Pro” include revamped hardware, a larger portable screen, Joy-Con changes, and more. While no official plans for a new console have been announced, here are some improvements we’d like to see.
Smoother portable display
One of the Switch’s greatest strengths is its ability to function as a portable device. Reports suggest that the Switch Pro could provide a significant upgrade to the LCD screens present on both the current Switch and the Switch Lite: a 7-inch 720p OLED display. While LCD screens rely on the backlight to illuminate the pixels, OLED screens allow each pixel to produce its own light.
For the Switch Pro, that would mean sharper, more contrasting visuals in portable mode. The ability to seamlessly switch from a docked game to a handheld game is what makes the Switch innovative, but the existing handheld screen can sometimes appear blurry or pixelated. It would be nice if even the most demanding games still looked good on the go, and an OLED display would help the console achieve that.
Better graphics when docked
Rumor has it that the Switch Pro will feature a new Nvidia chip that would make it capable of 4K output when connected, which was recently published. Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X already offers. While the current Switch only supports 1080p, Nvidia’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology would allow the Switch Pro to enhance that image and aim for 4K.
DLSS uses artificial intelligence to enhance images in real time and allows games to run at a lower resolution without sacrificing visual quality. This technology is already used in games like Control and has become more and more mainstream on PCs since its unveiling in 2019. With DLSS, the Switch Pro could see more efficient console performance, as good as it looks, allowing it to stand alongside its mainstreams. competitors.
Longer battery life
The current Switch has surprisingly low battery life, especially for a console that markets portability as one of its main differentiators. It’s common to see the dreaded low battery indicator after just three or four hours of play for larger games, making it hard to rely on the Switch for entertainment on the go.
If the Switch Pro has a larger screen, the larger size would make room for a more powerful battery, and the supposed OLED screen would help conserve juice while gaming in portable mode. The original Nintendo DS supported up to 10 hours of playtime, and with a more efficient display design, there’s no reason the Switch Pro couldn’t match it.
More robust design
Even when handled with care, Switch screens are easily scratched. It is not particularly tedious to purchase a screen protector as a accessory, but if the Switch Pro is priced higher than the original, its value should be reflected in its durability. This should include improvements to its extremely fragile kickstand, which is difficult to maneuver and makes it difficult to play with the console stalled.
The Switch Pro could solve this problem by putting a kickstand on each side or by beefing up its design to withstand a little more turbulence. A more robust backing device would make it easier for groups to play undocked and help the Switch realize its party gaming potential.
Currently, owning a Switch usually means buying a separate MicroSD card so you can have all of your games loaded and ready to go. The console only has 32GB of memory, which is not enough to hold more than a handful of games and apps. Many popular titles reach 10 GB or more, and some, like NBA2K20, are so bulky that they require a MicroSD card to even play.