The Nintendo Switch set the gaming world on fire when it was released in 2018. The landmark device combines the ease of portability of a handheld machine as well as the ability to dock and play at home. This level of flexibility is a first in the video game industry.
Rumors have been circulating about what's next for the Switch. It seems Nintendo may have something up their sleeve for fans who are ready for an upgrade. The changes will likely lure in new customers who weren't swayed by the original model. What changes are in store for the console you ask? We've rounded up 10 theories that have either been confirmed or make too much sense to ignore.
10 Portable Play
There are a lot of rumors about what changes we can expect in the Switch 2. The most exciting is that Nintendo will be releasing not one iteration of its popular console but two. The first will pack all of the portability of the original into a smaller and more intentionally designed package.
The target audience for this new device is the avid gamer who's always on the go. It will feature some hardware changed that don't support the easy of in-home play of the original. Attached controllers and a downgraded display make the smaller version of the new Switch the perfect console for those who spend a lot of time away from their TVs.
9 Home Console
Nintendo's second release of the new switch is a high powered upgrade from its predecessor. This console aims to provide a more traditional in-home gaming experience. The machine will feature the same ease of use with an external display as the original. There are rumors of hardware upgrades that could give the premium version of the console an edge for use with larger screens.
This iteration would move the Switch away from its original concept. What made the device so unique was its blend of home console and portable play. For players who value display and performance over ease of portability, this version may be just what it takes to get them on board with the Switch.
8 Upgraded LCD
A likely upgrade for the switch would be to it's LCD display. The layout and design of the screen may see a reduction in its bulky bezel. Extending the screen would be keeping on trend with most digital devices today.
Many would like to see the capability for 1080op resolution in the handheld device. This would be a major improvement over the current version at 720p. Nintendo fell slightly behind the curve with HD gaming. The company has said the technology became mainstream a few years earlier than anticipated. The regret of not jumping on that bandwagon right away may be what has compelled Nintendo to release such incredible 3D display technology.
7 New Software
When it comes to handheld consoles Nintendo is yet again at the cutting edge with the original Switch It'll have to push the envelope further to remain there with this second iteration. A software update is one of the most obvious changes that will be coming to the console.
Nintendo has made statements that they want to target the avid gamer. In order to keep the hearts and minds of the most devoted players, Nintendo will have to improve their software to reap the benefits of the hardware upgrades throughout.
6 Controller Support
The last thing Nintendo wants to do is irritate and alienate it's existing customers. There are millions of Joycon controllers and accessories out there today. Switch players would be out a lot of money if the new device couldn't be used with these peripherals.
This means the basic design of the home use model wouldn't stray far from the original. The detachable joycons would remain a central part of the design.
5 Better Battery Life
A common complaint from Switch users is that the 3-hour battery life is just not enough. The hardware upgrades rumored to be coming to the switch provide the perfect opportunity to increase the amount of time the console can be used between charges.
A smaller version geared specifically toward handheld play is just begging for extended battery life. The upgraded home version is meant for mostly in home use where players would have free access to charge the device. A longer lasting battery makes sense for either version. The console's main distinguishing feature is that it was designed to be played on the go. That's hard to do if you have to stay plugged in.
4 Release Time Frame
The Nintendo Switch was just released in 2018 making it a relatively young console. With the average generation lasting about 5 years between version, it's still got a lot of life left in it. Nintendo has been a believer in mid-generation hardware upgrades with new versions of consoles like the 3DS every couple of years.
Following that paradigm, the Switch could see new iterations in the second half of 2019 and again in 2021. These upgrades wouldn't render the current model obsolete but would serve to bring in new customers while giving an existing owner the option to beef up their experience.
3 Hardware Upgrade
The Nintendo Switch's 5.0 firmware update provides an interesting clue about future hardware upgrades. Hackers on Switchbrew decided to tear apart the update and get a feel for the changes. There they found references to a T214 chip, an upgrade from the current model's T210. They also saw evidence that Nintendo plans to double the system's RAM from 4 gigs to 8. The circuit board would also be in for an update as well.
You could easily write off the chip upgrade as a response to security issues such as pirated games. The massive jump in memory and improved PCB tell a different story. All of these things suggest a more powerful machine is on the horizon.
2 Price Points
If speculations are true and the Switch 2 will be released as two separate models they'll each represent different price points. The smaller handheld console will appeal to the budget gamer. Nintendo cut the cost of the device by replacing removable joycons with affixed versions. The HD rumble display would also be downgraded to make the machine more cost friendly.
It would be harder to play on an external display with this configuration without purchasing an additional controller. The console as it exists now would now be at the middle of the Switch price range. A premium version of the console would be designed more for in-home play on a larger screen.
1 VR Unlikely
Augmented and Virtual Reality consoles seem like the wave of the future but it's unlikely that the Switch 2 will catch it. Nintendo has released several statements, as recently as 2018, that the company has no intention of venturing into that arena. Nintendo prides itself on being set apart from most other gaming institutions. They're comfortable shaping their own culture and avoiding trendy bandwagons.
Nintendo's focus on peripherals demonstrates their desire to keep players' feet planted firmly on the ground. They aren't turning video games into reality but inviting players to take the game into 3D space. There have been rumors about 4K capability as well as 3D display technology but both of these seem unlikely.