With a new Nintendo Switch revision sporting better battery life already gracing store shelves the world over, and the Nintendo Switch Lite out in September, it appears that Nintendo isn’t done with iterations of its popular hybrid console.
Nintendo is no stranger to having multiple hardware revisions of its devices. We’ve seen it with the GBA, DS, and 3DS to name a few, each variant seeing slight improvements to the overall quality, enhancing what was already a solid experience during the initial launch. While the oft-rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro is yet to be announced or even get an official name, we’ve seen hints of it emerge what with the likes of Sharp stating that its IGZO displays would find their way into Nintendo Switch hardware, which would be a welcome upgrade over the existing screen.
Here’s everything else we’d like to see in the Nintendo Switch Pro.
You know the Nintendo Switch’s specifications are far from what was envisaged when Nintendo’s own exclusives like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Yoshi’s Crafted World don’t even hit 720p in handheld mode. Although we’ve seen Nintendo allow developers to boost Switch GPU clock speeds in certain situations, it’s not as widespread as it should be.
Taking advantage of improvements to the Tegra X1 architecture that Nvidia has rolled out could result in a consistent frame rate and better visuals that as well as sustaining the aforementioned boost mode above and beyond select circumstances. In a nutshell: the jump from the Switch and Switch Pro should be more than what we saw upgrading from the Nintendo 3DS to the New Nintendo 3DS XL which was a near invisible spec bump and a few token exclusives.
A Nintendo Joy-Con drift fix
The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift problem occurs when Joy-Con analogue sticks move at random and register as inputs on the console even when the Joy-Con aren’t being used. Nintendo hasn’t told us how many consoles have been impacted by the notorious Joy-Con drift issue but it appears to be widespread enough for the company to change its support policy in the US and reports likening it to the red ring of death disaster that plagued the Xbox 360.
Early teardowns of the Nintendo Switch with improved battery life reveal that nothing has been done to rectify the issue and it’s uncertain if the Nintendo Switch Lite would have the same problem. Hopefully the Nintendo Switch Pro is drift-free as it should be.
Nintendo Switch Pro Bluetooth support
Any Switch owner would tell you that the existing Nintendo Switch Bluetooth support is abysmal at best. You can’t use wireless earphones or headsets. Be it the AirPods or generic wireless headphones, you can’t use them on the Nintendo Switch like you would on an iPhone or Android smart phone.
Instead you’ll have to use a Bluetooth transmitter to get them working and then too not all headphones may function properly. Considering the Nintendo Switch is based on what’s essentially mobile hardware, it would be great if the Nintendo Switch Pro would crib from one of smartphone’s better features that you don’t realise until you need it — expanded Bluetooth support.
More built-in memory
Let’s be honest, the 32GB built-in memory on the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite is ridiculously small when you consider the soaring file sizes of most games for the console. The likes of Warframe clock in at 22GB while Breath of the Wild with all its updates is around 14.4GB, and the production of 32GB Nintendo Switch cartridges seems limited, with The Witcher 3 being one of the first 32GB releases later in the year.
It doesn’t help that microSD card prices are still expensive, particularly for the high-capacity options of 400GB or more. All of this results in a situation where Nintendo would do well to have its Switch Pro launch with at least 64GB of built-in memory.
A sturdier kickstand
On the whole, the Nintendo Switch is a rather durable piece of kit. Which is why its flaws are all the more glaring. One of them in particular is the kickstand. While the rest of the Switch appears to be assembled by a team of competent industrial designers who knew what they were doing, the flimsy nature of the kickstand, which also doubles as a microSD card cover is an anomaly in the system.
It’s so fragile that I end up having to be extra careful every time I want to prop my Switch up on a table, so much so that I try avoiding it as much as possible. Although there are third-party accessories to rectify this on existing consoles, the Nintendo Switch Pro could do with a better built kickstand out of the box.
The storage problems that plague the Nintendo Switch are compounded by its erratic Wi-Fi. Downloads aren’t fast as they should be and the lack of a pause download option is just as annoying. And though Nintendo can rectify the latter with a patch, only new hardware can solve poor downloads the Switch, something the improved variant doesn’t feature according to initial reports. How bad are they you ask? Well full downloads of games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Warframe, and Mortal Kombat 11 have, in my experience, completed overnight instead of the usual few of hours they should take on a 50Mbps connection. A better Wi-Fi chip would do wonders on the Nintendo Switch Pro.
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