Our essential items for the new Nintendo console

This story is part of our new The future of gaming series, a three-site look at the most pioneering gaming technologies, players and makers.


For decades, the gaming industry has been following the trend started by Nintendo since the launch of the console Game Boy In 1989. Versatile portable consoles are the future, even if they date back more than 30 years. Valve, Ayaneo, Asus, and even Play Station You have mobile gaming options now. But none of them have Mario, Link, or Samus.

How to follow Nintendo Converts, one of the greatest and most unique video game consoles of all time? Given the state of the industry and Nintendo’s penchant for unconventional innovation, here’s what we want to see from the next console — whether it’s actually called Switch 2, or something else entirely.

Strong first impression

First: Nintendo’s next console should be another hybrid model that can be played in either handheld or docked mode. The rest of its design is secondary, though no less important.

A big part of the Nintendo Switch’s brilliance is its charming, no-frills design: a rectangle with neatly rounded corners, familiar button layouts, and a refreshing touch of neon blue and neon red on the left and right Joy-Cons. If “Switch” is anywhere in the branding, the next console should use the same neon colors.

For handheld gaming, bigger isn’t always better. More power and a better screen usually mean more weight and shorter battery life. Longer handheld sessions with the 0.93-pound Switch OLED can become tiring, and your Steam Deck averages nearly double that at 1.5 pounds. History of video games Reported in October Nintendo is considering a cheaper LCD screen instead of OLED, but the best way forward is to offer both options at different price points like its competitors.

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Eye opening Xbox Series|s Partitioning could do wonders for Nintendo’s next console. Imagine a powerful, heavy-duty Switch that can go mobile but still handle the biggest new AAA games when docked. Then there is another lightweight, cheap, and easy-to-navigate alternative that is digital-only. Standard, Light and Pro options could be launched at the same time, and each will meet strong demand.

You can spend between $350 and $650 on the Steam Deck right now. What if Nintendo had $199, $350, or $500 options?

Joy-Con News

Two Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers lie on a white surface.

picture: Joby/Future Sessions (Getty Images)

the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con It’s easy to love and hate. It’s elegant and satisfying to tap on the sides of the controller, but it’s famous for Drift issuesIn some cases after only a few months of use. Nintendo’s new generation input devices need to be more powerful to reduce these issues, or at least make replacement and repair easier.

It would be nice to see existing hardware remain compatible with the Nintendo Switch 2. Every gadget these days uses USB-C, so as long as the Switch 2 isn’t too bloated to fit into the Switch dock, it seems possible.

What if instead of Joy-Cons, Nintendo approached next-gen consoles similar to Microsoft’s? Xbox Design Lab? Anyone can design a custom controller with custom grips, back paddles, and thumb sticks. The Switch successor doesn’t need to do almost anything, but it could give players the option of more ergonomic and customizable buttons for maximum comfort.

Interior

The standard Nintendo Switch comes with a meager 32GB of internal memory, while the OLED has 64GB. but The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom Tears It takes about 16.3 GB. You can’t let a main game take up more than half of the console’s total memory! The Retail Entertainment Association (ERA) appreciates this 89.5% of all video games sold in 2022 He was Digital downloads, so demand for storage is already high across every platform. The new Switch needs more hard drive space, especially as new Nintendo games increase in size.

If Nintendo opts for an internal solid-state drive, it will reduce loading times (which can be a big issue with some Switch games) and make it easier to free up more on-board storage space. Most devices offer different price points that depend largely on internal storage space. Overall, the Nintendo Switch 2 needs to feel more “next-gen” than its predecessor in terms of image quality, graphical processing, and overall power.

All versions of the current Switch have a 720p display when handheld and 1080p when docked. The frame rate typically stays at 30fps and maxes out at 60fps, but few games take advantage of that upper limit, and some older Switch games get jittery when there’s a lot going on on screen. The graphics usually look good but not great, but Nintendo’s cartoonish design style makes everything work.

Screenshot: Nintendo

A lot of players have colic on Zelda: Tears of the Kingdomdrawings . Nintendo got an A for innovative game and art design, but even so TotakAs a Game of the Year contender, let’s be honest: it hardly looks better Breath of the wildwhich was released six years ago.

The next-gen Switch should run at 1080p when handheld and upscale to 4K when docked. the Reports Gamescom 2023 Switch 2 demos indicate that the next console will use NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology. Neural graphics technology uses artificial intelligence to significantly boost frame rate and resolution without taxing the processor too much. What could be more useful for a mobile gaming platform?

Those that have been widely reported Gamescom showcases new Nintendo consoles Back in September it was also reported that a technical demo for Unreal Engine 5 was included The matrix wakes up. If the Switch 2 can run games built with Unreal Engine 5, that’s a strong indication that it will be a huge leap forward in terms of graphical fidelity.

Although it won’t be able to compete directly with the Xbox Series It just needs to justify the upgrade from the previous console.

Bells and whistles please

I still have stress dreams about watching Netflix on the Wii in college. The Nintendo Switch didn’t really help ease those unresolved feelings. It has Hulu, YouTube, and all the lively anime streaming services, but there are only a few. Most TVs these days have all the basic apps, so why can’t Nintendo’s new video game system do the same?

Interesting patent for a new invention Dual screen portable console A similar device exists for the Nintendo 3DS, and it could shed light on Nintendo’s plans. If this is where Nintendo is headed for its next console, it’s a great opportunity to bring the two-screen classics to something like Nintendo Switch Online and call it the Nintendo FlipSwitch (you heard it here first). If it had more applications, it could become the perfect portable streaming monitor for everything.

The player uses a Nintendo DS controller with a stylus.

Rumors suggest that Nintendo’s next console could take design cues from its DS line of handhelds.
picture: David McNew (Getty Images)

The Switch 2 also needs to upgrade its friends lists and voice chat. Yes, Nintendo products are geared toward kids, but many of those kids have grown up too. Becoming “friends” with your former college roommate so you can visit his beautiful tropical island shouldn’t be any harder than applying for a credit card. at least It is considered More flexible security options for adult players. Allow us to have a group chat without having to juggle a second device and a separate app.

Many fighting games have satisfying and fair online play. Why can’t I? Smashing? Say Nintendo remaster Super Smash Bros. Ultimate This is the next generation system. If the networking issues are also fixed, it will truly become a timeless classic.

the games

The biggest mistake Nintendo could make with the Switch 2 is lackluster backwards compatibility, especially since players continue to pay top dollar for first-party exclusives on the Switch. Imagine paying $69.99 for Kingdom tears In May 2024, and then you can’t even play it on the new console a year or two later. Not nice.

in February 2022 Q&A sessionNintendo has hinted at plans to tap into the Switch player base 132 million With the next console, which meant that backward compatibility was a priority. If there were some sort of upgraded Switch 2 cartridge, it would be nice to see Nintendo do something similar for the Nintendo DS, which had a small slot for DS games and a larger slot for last-gen Game Boy Advance games.

What about the games themselves? For starters, I’d like to see the Switch 2 adequately play major cross-platform AAA games and the most popular free-to-play titles. Cross-platform franchises such as Madden And Call of duty Reliably staying in the top ten bestsellers every year, but the Switch is far too weak to be able to play it well. If Nintendo makes the Switch 2 the best place to play these and other major free-to-play games like fortniteit could become the most important piece of gaming hardware of this century.

The Switch owes much of its early success to its existence Breath of the wild As a launch title, the best case scenario for Nintendo is a game with a similar wow factor. Nintendo insider Zippo claimed back in August That’s the new specialization Mario The title was “in the works” for the next system using Unreal Engine 4. This would definitely fit the bill.

When Nintendo let developers test the next-gen Switch at Gamescom, so was the new hardware It said Appears with promotion Breath of the wild experimental. These demos raise an interesting possibility: What if Nintendo remade the Switch’s greatest hits?

Wario smiling while racing in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has long been the best-selling title on the Nintendo Switch.
picture: Nintendo

Nine years after its first release, Mario Kart 8 He was The #11 best-selling video game Across all platforms in 2022. Until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate It made it into the top 20, even though it turns five years old just a few weeks from now. Both titles remain at $59.99 and are in high demand. These multiplayer games are so comprehensive with dozens of characters and maps, that it’s hard to imagine Nintendo making a true sequel anytime soon.

A collection of high-definition versions will be more than enough to convince many players to invest in a remastered version of Nintendo Switch Online Which is very similar to Xbox Game Pass, with enhanced versions of Mario Kart 8 And Super Mario Galaxy As part of a package deal. Well, even if you had to own the Switch versions of these games in order to unlock the next-gen upgrade, that would be a major selling point.


So when will the mighty Nintendo Switch 2 finally grace our hands?

In all likelihood, Nintendo doesn’t want to announce anything before the 2023 holiday season. Otherwise, it could drag down sales of the first Switch. If we had to make an educated guess, that would mean an early 2024 announcement for release date In the back half of the year.

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