What is it? Did anyone say ‘Switch Pro’? Oooh, ‘New Nintendo Switch’, is it !? A more powerful variant with 4K resolution Deep Learning Super Sampling? 60 frames per second? Carbon fiber styling? Swiss Army Switch? …
It wasn’t long after Switch was launched back in 2017 that rumors of a hardware version began circulating. You name it, it’s been suggested by some, and while we’ve done our best to follow our nose and document reliable scuttlebutt regarding a potentially revised model of Nintendo̵
The release of the handheld-only Switch Lite in 2019 shed light on rumors of a SoC revision, but even that surprised some spectators. A switch that does not switch !? That’s the dumbest idea ever! Oh, hang on …
It’s clear that Nintendo has something in the pipeline, though, be it a Switch ‘Pro’ or a ‘New Nintendo Switch’. The current console has surpassed several older systems in terms of sales and even surpasses the powerful Wii at the time of writing, and Nintendo will want to keep that pace up.
But will we see a new model this year? Analysts seem to think so, but some of them predicted an upgraded version two years ago. When it comes to Team NL, opinions are divided. Below we present some of the points we have discussed, and at the bottom there is an opinion poll – we would like to hear your thoughts!
So, let’s take a look at the (Switch) pros and cons of a potential Switch hardware revision sometime in 2021. We begin with the arguments against …
Naysayers among us think – quite reasonably – that the drive to introduce a new Switch model this year is just not there while the regular version is sold by the truck. Simply put, not Nintendo need a new console to create interest and anything do put out will likely cannibalize sales of the current model.
There is an old dilemma for successful hardware manufacturers: when is the best time to sacrifice golden goose and invest in the future?
If the ‘old’ model continues to sell like hot cakes, there is no reason to rush a flashy street to the market
Given the events of the past year, it is likely that no matter what plans Nintendo had been moved back by several months, if not due to production issues, by reconsidering the release schedule after an unpredictable lock-driven sales improvement. Yes, business is booming and a new console (at least a more powerful one) really needs a new game or two to show it off; a Zelda or a Metroid Prime 4, for example. If they are not ready yet, and if the ‘old’ model continues to sell like hot cakes, there is no reason at all to rush a flashy street to the market.
When it comes to the theme of these switches flying off store shelves right now, all the millions of people who picked up a new console – maybe a flashy Monster Hunter number or the red and blue Super Mario number – may not have so happy if a month later a shiny new variant they could have bought instead.
No, although Nintendo originally planned to release a new switch this year, there is no chance that they risk disrupting the sales moment they have started right now.
As we’ve seen with Nintendo’s decades of history with hardware versions, a modest upgrade can do wonders by offering tweaks and improvements that give ardent fans an opportunity to buy something new – sometimes several times – without leaving a hard-won customer base still buying your Animal Crossings and yours Mario Kart 8s. It is this mindset that created the Nintendo DS and 3DS ‘families’ of systems, and we have already had the first addition to the Switch dynasty with Switch Lite.
a modest upgrade can do wonders by offering tweaks and improvements that give ardent fans an opportunity to buy something new – sometimes several times – without leaving a hard-won customer base
If we look back at the 3DS timeline, the XL variant arrived around eighteen months after the original, and the new 3DS was launched just over three and a half years later. Switch was launched in March 2017, Switch Lite came eighteen months later in September 2019, and the original console will be four years in a couple of months. Obviously we do not compare like-for-like here thanks to the Switch’s hybrid nature, but it is difficult to argue that the beloved launch models that were adopted by early adopters, look a bit tired and dog-eat-dog these days. The original model is due to a spruce, and somewhat more comprehensive than an internal “quiet” revision.
And when it comes to not wanting to kill the speed of the current model, Nintendo has been in the game long enough to know that you strike while the iron is hot! You turn the flames straight up, give people a second to catch their breath and then clock the steering wheel up to eleven! You have to keep the ball going! Lets go up because everything ticks just fine and dandy is not the way to sustain the growth of the video game … the game.
Hot iron, balls rolling – all aboard the Mixed Metaphor Express: next stop, Switch Pro! You see, we’ve also thrown a train in there.
And who exactly are these millions of new Switch owners going crazy if a new model shows up? This is how the step console cake crumbles, we’re scared; it’s the same with any iterative upgrade in the technology world. For dead Nintendo fans, yes, of course It would be disappointing to spend money on a console just to have a new model appear a few weeks later, but those hardcore fans will have bought a switch a long time ago and they will probably be impressive for a Pro model . No self-respecting Apple fans would buy a new iPhone in late August, would they? Early adopters are hungry for the new flavor, and casual gamers like to play the original or Lite variants.
Yep, note our words, at some point this year – October or November, we will bet – there will be a new switch on the block. Probably.
For the record, Nintendo has stated that it does not plan to release a new Switch model “at any time”, although this time last year they specified that no new model would be launched “in 2020”. Given how careful they are with this type of language, it goes without saying that they have planned something in the last half of the year. It’s not ‘any time soon’, is it?
In any case, it is clear from all the violent rumors that there is an appetite for an update in the middle of the cycle. Last year we asked you what features you want to see in a Switch ‘Pro’, and from a total of almost 20,000 votes’ a more powerful CPU ‘came at the top of the list (followed by’ increased resolution ‘and’ a thinner frame around the screen). The desire is there, then; Nintendo just needs to figure out how to take advantage of fans’ hunger for something new in a way that is additive to the current sales momentum.
That, and it needs a sweet name. ‘Pro’, ‘New’ – they are finished. What about “Nintendo Switch Up”? “Turn on”? “Switchin ‘” …
Quick, let’s get to the polls before it gets worse:
Let us know your thoughts on the potential for a new Switch model this year in the usual place.