The Nintendo Switch Lite is a nice addition to the console's family, but what consumers really need is a Switch Pro, and soon. Nintendo consoles have rarely attempted to compete with Microsoft and Sony in terms of processing power or screen resolution, and that's not what's being suggested here - but upgrades to those features are desperately needed nonetheless, if only to keep the console from slipping too far behind the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett when those inevitably release sometime around 2020.
The announcement of the Nintendo Switch Lite briefly kickstarted the discussion surrounding a Switch Pro once more before Nintendo quickly dismissed the possibility in the near future. Instead, recent filings with the FCC have indicated that Nintendo will be looking to upgrade the base model of the Nintendo Switch instead, providing a boost to processing speed thanks to a new Nvidia chip design and the potential for better storage as well. That's a start, but it's unlikely to matter much when consumers begin comparing the Switch to next-gen consoles rather than the PS4 and Xbox One.
Once those consoles release, the gap in technology will once again be plainly evident. The Nintendo Switch already struggles with display and graphics when it's docked and on a bigger television screen - not enough to really hinder the device, but enough to remind fans that it lags behind its counterparts in the market. It also has laughable built-in storage that almost certainly needs upgrading within the first few months of owning it, and screen resolution support that can make it look more than one generation behind other consoles. It's impossible to completely change the device, but is 4K resolution completely out of the question? The graphics themselves can certainly be pushed harder, and need to be moving forward.
The notion that Nintendo is a company that does its own thing also needs to be used as less of a crutch for devices like the Switch and a potential Switch Pro. While that's true to an extent and many people love Nintendo for following the untrodden path, there's a limit to that being productive before it begins to self-sabotage. The Switch isn't there, but the adamant stance that there's no need for one with better processing speeds and performance in docked mode is absurd. The Nintendo Switch Lite will address everything people who only play the console in handheld mode could want - now we need one that's tailored for a docked setting, too.
A Switch Pro that has better performance while docked might not sell the same amount of units as the base console, but with the right pricing model, it could appeal to fans on the other end of the spectrum that the Nintendo Switch Lite occupies, and it wouldn't be surprising to see it move a similar amount of units. The Switch Pro would also be an investment in the future of the console - something that could see late-adopters give it a chance even after the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett have released. Even if it's not a direct competition, and Nintendo has made that very clear with the way it conducts its business, perception is everything. Even just establishing the Switch as having a next-gen-esque option would work wonders for a company that merely needs to keep its console in the discussion before letting its first-party games buoy it moving forward.
It might not feel like Nintendo needs a Switch Pro right now. But the company needs to get started on one, and soon - the Nintendo Switch Lite is a great nod to one demographic of fans, but it's leaving another demographic out in the cold ahead of some serious leaps in technological prowess coming in the next couple of years.