So a new Switch model is coming sometime next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. And considering the habits of Nintendo when it comes to updating their consoles (especially their handhelds, which the Switch is, kinda), that should come as a surprise to few. But it begs the question — what will the new console look like? We have no idea right now. But if there’s one thing that we Nintendo fans are good at, it’s guessing.
So let’s wildly speculate about what features this theoretical new Switch will have!
Sleeker, slicker design
This one is a bit of a given, but the newer Switch’s design will probably be a bit more streamlined and fashionable compared to the current model (which honestly is fine on that front in my opinion, but tech companies seem to have some compulsive need to make their hardware as futuristically simplistic looking as possible). I can’t imagine the console getting any thinner, but some of the buttons around the interface could be smoothed out. They might also opt for a slightly different color scheme — maybe more silvery than gray.
The only feature explicitly mentioned in the WSJ report that was up for consideration was a better screen for the Switch in handheld mode, which seems pretty reasonable. The current screen is fine, sure, but it’s apparently behind a number of current smartphones in terms of quality (though we already know it won’t use the iPhone X’s fancy display). That said, I doubt the screen will be much bigger — at least, if they want the newer Switch to be compatible with current docks. Having the new model of Switch require a new dock would be a bit of a bonehead move… though Nintendo has been known to make those decisions in the past.
New Joy-Con model
This, technically, is not a feature of the core Switch console itself, but it seems logical that it would debut alongside new Joy-Con designs. The current Joy-Con build is impressive, but also rather small — a newer model with a larger frame would be beneficial for certain gamers who feel uncomfortable with the controller as it is now. Obviously, the strip that connects to the Switch has to be a similar size to be compatible with current versions of the Switch hardware though, so even that might be asking too much. Can we at least get a proper D-pad?
Improved memory, power, and resolution
As far as the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One… X have shown, upgraded specs seem to be the driving force behind mid-generation hardware revisions. Nintendo indulged in similar actions with the New 3DS, which is the only way to play certain games. While I sincerely hope there aren’t any exclusive titles locked behind the new hardware, I can see PS4 Pro style upgrades to specific games. Just improved specs across the board will be nice… though hopefully not too expensive.
Better options for a vertical display
This one’s a little niche, but of potential importance to arcade games and shmups. Certain Switch games currently have the option to have a vertical display, but the console isn’t built for that — necessitating a Kickstarted third party product to even utilize such features. Having this ability baked into the hardware of a newer model would be much appreciated, even if on a wide scale it’s not in high demand.
An extra kickstand
This is a smaller point, but one that’d be nice. The Switch’s current kickstand feels a bit wobbly and flimsy at times, so it’d make sense for them to add another one to improve stability. Alternatively, just making the current kickstand a bit sturdier would help alleviate the issue. Either way, it would make tabletop use of the Switch much more appealing in general.
A strange name
Okay, this is the only aspect I feel like I can guarantee. Nintendo has had some solid naming sense for revisions in the past (DS Lite and GBA SP being fine examples), but somewhere around five years ago they through common convention out the window. I would not be surprised if they legit called this a New Switch, or attempted to go for a clever, yet poorly conceived pun, like Switch On or Switch Off. Really, there are two names for this console I’ll accept: Lite Switch and Power Switch. Everything else? Won’t be worth it.
Let us know your own baseless assumptions on Twitter or in the comments.
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