Earlier this week, Nintendo finally announced the very popular Switch Lite, which looks good. At $ 200, although the standard model docking feature is not supported, the Switch Lite appears as the natural upgrade for anyone who still clings to a 3DS and an ideal pocket mate for long rides by car or plane.
But for someone who has a switch since its launch, the Lite switch does not interest me. What I really want is a Switch Pro.
Although this idea may seem like a chimera, there is evidence that Nintendo is already preparing to make it a reality. Last March, the Wall Street Journal announced that Nintendo was preparing to launch two new versions of the Switch: "a cheaper option for casual gamers", which has certainly become Switch Lite, and a version with " enhanced features for video games. In other words, a Switch Pro.
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More recently, a new document filed by the FCC states that Nintendo plans to upgrade the switch with a new SoC (a sophisticated term designating the processor of a gadget, a different type of flash memory and a new circuit board to accommodate these components).
In addition, as noted in a Digital Foundry report, many lines of code in one of the latest switch firmware updates add even more weight to the potential development of a more powerful switch. In version 5.0 of Switch's system software, reference is made to an unknown component, called Mariko, with the revision number t214 or t210b01 instead of the t210 designation reserved for the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip used in the current Switch.
In addition to that, a more powerful and more expensive version of the switch makes Nintendo's portfolio more meaningful. With the new $ 200 Switch Lite under the standard $ 300 switch, you get the feeling there's still enough room for a $ 400 or $ 450 Switch Pro to pay the other end of the Nintendo price range .
Oddly enough, although Nintendo has decided to announce the Switch Lite before it goes on sale later this fall, no official word has been announced about a Switch Pro. Here is what I would like to see.
This should be the number one upgrade on a Pro switch. In the current state of things, the switch features a 1280 x 720 LCD that looks downright archaic in a day when even the $ 200 low-budget phones come with 1920 x displays. 1080. The current screen of the switch is also not very bright or colorful according to modern measurements, and its caches take up a lot of space, which could be used to increase the size of its screen without increasing the overall dimensions of the screen. switch.
But even more than the display itself, the front of the Switch's display is plastic and not glass, which makes it incredibly prone to scratches. In addition, among all the modern gadgets with bright screens, the reflections that you get on the Switch's screen are infuriating. Using the switch in portable mode on sunny days (both indoors and outdoors) often results in your own ugly mug looking at you while you try to play. I do not try to solve some puzzles here, I do not count the number of times I blinked while playing. Box Boy and Box Girl.
And if Nintendo wants to go even further, from 6.2 inches to 7 inches or more, I would take it too. The standard switch is portable, but it does not fit in a pocket. It would therefore be nice to make the Pro switch a little bigger. (Bigger Joy-Cons would be a treat too.)
Longer battery life
The added benefit of giving the Switch Pro a bigger screen is that it could also give Nintendo more space to store a bigger battery. Depending on the game (as Breath of nature), it is possible to kill the battery of a switch in less than three hours. And this before considering the degradation of the longevity of all batteries over time. Whatever it is, a bigger battery is a fairly simple application with many benefits. Longer portable game, more juice to power a bigger screen, and even the ability to offer increased performance.
Support for wireless audio
Although I really like that Nintendo keeps the switch headphone jack on the Pro, Nintendo also needs to support Bluetooth audio devices. The trends are obvious, more and more people are giving up wired headsets and headsets for wireless alternatives, and it is high time that the switch reacts to that.
The Xbox One and PS4 support wireless headsets and, technically, the switch via its smartphone app, but this solution is far too cumbersome. There are even games like Fortnite for Switch that supports audio streaming and voice chat in the wireless game, but to take advantage of it, you need to purchase special third-party controllers.
While many Switch games have a fairly reasonable file size (Mario Odyssey is 5.5 GB, and Super Mario Party is less than 3 GB), others like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (14.9 GB) and Breath of nature (13.4GB) are not so small. The digital purchase of these two games and their download on the switch maximizes the system's 32GB of embedded storage.
Yes, you can add more space through the microSD card slot. However, the switch's standard storage is so small that it causes a type of anxiety. Because I always worry about running out of space, I tend to install everything on a microSD card. This habit results in slightly slower loading times than if games were running from the switch's internal flash memory. Sigh.
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Compare that to the 1 TB storage capacity you get on an Xbox One X or S or the 500 GB of basic storage you get on the cheapest PS4, and it's easy to understand why the next switch needs a stroke of memory.
A stronger crutch
Many people like to make fun of the switch stand. It's a little fragile, it does not always work, and sometimes it feels like it will break if you look bad. But the crutch of the switch is rather a case of good idea with poor execution. Although it may sound ridiculous, I lost count of the number of times I saw people playing Switch in real life in a bar, mall, queue, or even on a rooftop , while keeping the switch stalled on its crutch.
The switch stand is a good idea (more gadgets should prevail), it just needs to be stronger, more like what you get on a Microsoft Surface.
Bonus: Switch Lite D-pad
One of the sneaky things that Nintendo did for the Switch Lite was to replace the four buttons on the left of the system with a traditional D-pad. A lot of Switch fans have been asking for this since the beginning, although I understand why Nintendo did not, because it would have prevented the Joy-Con from acting as both controller and controller, while doubling the joystick. independent game. But after seeing it on the Switch Lite, it makes sense to install a D-Pad on a system for gaming enthusiasts.
So what is left?
But wait, you did not talk about faster performance. Yes, but as I explained above, Nintendo already seems to be working on it. And while it would be nice to see Nintendo add support for 4K TVs to a Switch Pro, I'm not sure that the Switch really needs it, or even support such high resolutions without a complete redesign.
With games like Mario Odyssey and The legend of Zelda: the breath of natureNintendo has proven, as it has time and again in the past, that it is not necessary to have faster clock speeds and more video RAM to create a game unbelievable. And when you add in the flock indies like Stardew Valley, Too much cooked 2 and more who rushed to support the switch, its clear graphics power is not one of the important limitations of the switch.
But it's just me, what do you think Nintendo needs to add to a Switch Pro?