As we close out 2020, one console that's been a source of comfort for many with lockdown and furlough, as been the Nintendo Switch.
With Animal Crossing being the stand-out game for the console this year, it allowed many to meet up with people in the world, visiting their islands and even some creating whole talk-shows from the game.
Now that we've seen the release of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, eyes are slowly turning to Nintendo, with rumours slowly growing as to what a next-generation Switch could look like.
While the company have stated that they see the Switch as 'mid-way' through its lifespan, we think that this only applies to the current Switch. Here's what we want to see in its next-generation model, to help carry it forward in this new decade.
Why The Time is Now for a Switch 2
We're at a point where the hardware is showing it's age. The 'Age of Calamity' game the crossover between Zelda and Dynasty Warriors, while a great game, suffers from terrible slowdown. Youtuber 'MVG' showcased an overclocked Switch easily fixing this issue.
It's a fantastic explainer in how a faster processor can result in a better experience. Developers are at the point where creating games or ports of existing ones for the Switch is an easy task now; the trouble is making sure that their ideas are 30FPS to 60FPS playable.
With games like 'Control' and 'Resident Evil 7' seeing availability on the platform through a cloud service, it's the only viable method for this generation for the Switch. Otherwise the storage sizes and graphics required by these games would have to be severely reduced if they were able to be downloaded locally onto the system.
Couple this with newer games being wished upon to be played on a Switch, developers are increasingly finding themselves in a bind; which is why it's becoming difficult for some to justify a budget for a Switch port, when the game may only be able to reach 30FPS.
Super Switch Hopes
The first wish; a new NVIDIA 'Tegra' chip. The 'X1' is used in the Switch, and its clock-speed is higher once the Switch is docked, but as explained, that's not enough anymore.
We now have chips that don't even require a fan from ARM, take Apple's own 'M1' chips for their Mac line. This is where NVIDIA's 'Tegra Xavier' chip comes in. Essentially, it's a '2.5 generation' jump from what the 'X1' has, featuring a jump in GPU capabilities, and 4K gaming would be possible.
Although the design would most likely require a fan, it would work with previous Switch games regardless, but it could speed some games up, similar to what the 'PS4 Pro' 'Boost Mode' does.
The storage is also another aspect; while the console has 32GB of storage, it's just not enough anymore. 128GB should be the new standard for this next-generation.
When you combine these two new features, it could help the 'Online Service'. The next step will either be Nintendo 64 or Game Boy games, and while Game Boy will be easily emulated, the Nintendo 64 would be a struggle for the current Switch system.
We can see the 'Nintendo 64' library be exclusive to the 'Switch Pro' consoles, it's a 'Nintendo' trait; a way of upgrading from one system to another.
Getting away from the obvious hopes; the design of the Switch is timeless; it fits to any situation, so the thought for a 'Switch Pro' could be a bigger battery, but also a thinner bezel for the display.
It would be mad to think of all your joy-con controllers not be compatible for this new Switch, so this can really be seen as given, but possibly one that has an actual DPAD this time.
While it was October 2016 that the Switch was announced, it was January of 2017 when all its details was explained. One can't help wonder if January of 2021 will show a sudden Direct, explaining the next chapter of the Nintendo Switch.
We are at a point where the Switch needs to ascend to its next level, hardware-wise now. With Zelda's 35th anniversary just a month away, it's an exciting time to see how Nintendo will announce a new model with a fresh playing field.