A reader makes his suggestion for how Nintendo should handle the next gen consoles… and compares that to what they’re actually likely to do.
With more news and leaks emerging about the PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett almost every week it’s more obvious than ever that we’re now entering the final furlong of the current generation. But even with the addition of streaming it feels like we all know pretty much what to expect when it comes to the new consoles. The unpredictability comes in when you add Nintendo to the equation, but more so than ever because nobody seems to have any clue what they’re planning or when.
I saw the rumours his week about the Switch Mini, but whether that particular leak is real or not Nintendo are bound to be planning something similar at some point. They’ve done that with all their previous portables and it’s usually come about a third of the way through its life, with another new model about a third in again. So does that mean the Switch still has another six or so years in it?
Maybe? I mean, that is what Nintendo has said a couple of times and while the Switch’s graphics are clearly well behind the curve they’re at a level where they’re probably going to be ‘good enough’ for a long time. And yet when the Switch ends up looking many times worse than a smartphone in 2025 I don’t think that many people are going to be willing to put down £250+ for a hybrid console any more.
So what are Nintendo’s options? To a degree I think it’s dependent on how much horsepower can be crammed into a console that size, which is not something I’m qualified to comment on. People complain about the power of the Switch, but I’m constantly impressed by how good the games look on such a small device. So if the next one looks as good as the PlayStation 4, and it’s always one generation behind (or slightly less) then I’m actually okay with that.
The Switch is so convenient I think that more than compensates for the lack of power. But that in itself creates a kind of problem, in that there’s no obvious way for Nintendo to innovate with a new console. Everyone loves the Switch form factor, so just changing it for the sake of it would be really damaging, in my opinion. But just having a Switch 2 that’s basically the same but with more power and a better screen just does not sound like the way Nintendo do things.
They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and there’s also the other issue that the Switch is the perfect way to use streaming. The problem is for streaming that you really need a controller and no one wants to carry that around with them, except… well, I think you can see where I’m going with this. Basically, streaming is even more reason not to change the design of the Switch.
And yet changing it anyway, missing out on obvious potential and easy money, while producing another white elephant like the Wii U sounds like the most Nintendo business decision ever.
So what’s my suggestion? Well, given all the above I’d say the best way to go is a Switch Pro in the next year or so and then a series of similar upgrades some time after that. I’d only make an actual Switch 2 when there’s some new hardware to justify it or when the portable graphics can match, or get close to, what Microsoft and Sony are doing.
That makes logical sense to me but of course this is Nintendo so who knows. But then guessing what they’re up to is the free game you get with every console purchase!
By reader Onibee
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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