Switch or not, a new Nintendo console is going to hit the shelves at some point. Whether the juggernaut continues to roll with its hybrid form factor or goes classic Ninty and shifts direction completely, the rumor mill is starting to swirl around possibilities for the next generation. Of course, the brand hasn’t confirmed the existence of any new hardware in the pipeline yet, but between insider information, firmware probes, and Nvidia leaks, there’s plenty of smoke to this fire.
While many were holding out for a Switch Pro when the new OLED model launched last year, there’s certainly something to be said for upgrading the current form factor. The hybrid design has managed to propel Nintendo to the top of the charts even despite the tech underneath hitting antiquity just a couple of years into its life cycle. The Nintendo Switch was nowhere near as powerful as its generation-mates, the PS4 and Xbox One, and is becoming even further dwarfed by PS5 and Xbox Series X. And yet, the device just won’t quit.
Considering Ninty has made a name for itself by stepping outside of mainstream development trends, and done so particularly well in the Switch, it would be difficult to imagine a world where the next Nintendo console bears no resemblance to its hybrid predecessor. Should we be looking at a Nintendo Switch 2 in the next release cycle, then, what are we expecting to see?
4K support is going to be at the top of many a wishlist, and its absence would potentially spell disaster for any next generation Switch. Thankfully, rumors suggest the next Nintendo console will offer a form of 4K upscaling within the dock, allowing for a big-screen UHD experience. Admittedly, the majority of these rumors stem from before the OLED model hit the shelves, and were later proved incorrect with the 720p / 1080p design of the newer console. However, Bloomberg’s insider tips and the fact that it is reported that 11 developers are in possession of kits for developing 4K Switch games, could still point to a UHD Switch 2 in the works.
What else can we expect? A 1080p handheld display would be an excellent addition to the Switch 2, after a little too long spent relaxing on its 720p laurels. We could also see a Joy-Con rework as well, to both increase the ergonomic comfort of the Nintendo Switch controller and the internal drifting issues as well. Hall Effect thumbsticks may make their way to these controllers at launch, making for a much more durable system overall.
The overall form factor, then, is unlikely to change too much. We’ll still have a Switch as we know and love it, but potentially with larger, higher resolution screen real estate and larger Joy-Con to go with it. Bumping things up to an 8- or even 10-inch display would seriously set the Switch 2 apart from its predecessors, and would leave space for those more comfortable gamepads as well.
Sticking with the Nintendo Switch form factor would be the obvious choice - but Ninty rarely makes obvious choices. What would happen if they once again throw that rulebook away and switched to a new console altogether? As unlikely as it is, all this rumble around 4K could be leading us towards a docked-only system that does away with the portability of the handheld in favor of beefier tech under the hood. That’s not the quirky, family-friendly nature of Nintendo’s catalogue, and with the PS5 and Xbox Series X having already enjoyed two years on the shelves, it might not be the smartest play either.
Of course, we’re merely shaking our fists at the sky right now. With the brand itself denying even the existence of new hardware, let alone the features swirling through the rumor mill, there’s no way to tell where we are in the Switch’s current timeline. Whether it comes in the form of a new Nintendo Switch console or something completely different, it’s going to be necessary to keep Ninty fresh in the coming years.
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