The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s little console that can, and it would be really hard to capture lightning in a bottle that is Nintendo’s hybrid console. I have some of my own hopes, some of them realistic, and some of them completely ridiculous. I’m going to focus on the “realistic” expectations I have, and keep those ridiculous ones for the personal Nintendo fan. I know what I want and don’t want from a Switch 2, Super Switch, Switch U, or whatever Nintendo decides to call it. The Switch is easily my most played console, and the follow-up will almost certainly do the same, but that’s what I want and expect from Nintendo’s next console. But first, a little history.
Over six years ago, everyone, even die-hard advocates like myself, agreed that the Wii U failed to live up to expectations. Sales were bad. The games were great (as evidenced by the fact that 95% of them ported to the Switch), but the hardware was just an issue. The name allegedly confused people, and I know for a fact that at least one person in my circle of friends bought a Wii U thinking the gamepad was portable. Nintendo took the logical leap and made the Switch what the Wii U should have been in the first place.
When Nintendo first revealed the Switch, honestly, I had my doubts. No, I did not doubt Identification card Love it and order one for delivery on launch day (which I did, of course). It was a case where I wasn’t sure if people would care about a touchscreen controller, which, by the way, also works on your TV. Well, you’ve been away, and now the Nintendo Switch is the third best selling console of all time. I was honestly surprised at how much everyone got the hang of it, and Nintendo expertly advertised and marketed it for maximum excitement.
So when it comes to Nintendo’s next console, my first prediction is “surprise.” When the DS was announced, was anyone anywhere saying to themselves “You know, I’d really love it if my handheld console had a second screen, that I could touch?” Same with the 3DS, and even though the 3D was pretty gimmicky, it was a good gimmick. Show me someone who doesn’t like a 3DS and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t have a soul.
The Wii was also a big surprise. After the dust settled from initial memes mocking the name, everyone suddenly wanted to swing their arms around, or toss Wiimotes at their $2,000 plasma-screen TV screens. “Where’s my normal pack controller?” Many hardcore gamers asked, but Nintendo replied “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you, my ears are full of money right now.”
The Wii U … surprised us, too. See, I still love my Wii U, even though it failed to catch up as a system and also crashed my system (even in the end, the Wii U had one last surprise for me, I guess).
So I obviously don’t know what a surprise it’s going to be with Switch 2.0, but it seems like a resignation to get something none of us saw coming.
I also want backwards compatibility. I think that goes without saying, at this point, and is probably the biggest request people have for the next console. Backwards compatibility is something most Nintendo consoles have, especially handhelds. In fact, every Nintendo handheld game played well with its predecessor’s. Play Game Boy Advance Play Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Nintendo DS played GBA games, 3DS played DS.
The backwards adapter is not compatible with Wii U or Wii mostly because of the media, but also Nintendo figured, very correctly, they can re-release most of the best Wii U games and make a fortune. More than anything, I want to be able to continue playing my favorite Switch games on any next Nintendo console.
Here’s what I don’t care about at all: 4K gaming on Nintendo’s next console. Seriously, it’s such a waste of time on consoles that are supposed to be 4K right now. I end up playing at 60fps in Performance mode in every game that allows it on PS5 and Xbox, and I don’t care, to say the least, if Nintendo’s next console doesn’t run at native 4K. If it manages 60fps, great. If it’s 60fps at 1440p, even better.
Nintendo’s hardware history tells us we probably won’t get a 4K console, anyway. Pushing all these polygons requires a great deal of hardware power, and Nintendo has generally used older, more available technology for their consoles. For example, the Game Boy appeared in 1989 with a chip based on the Zilog Z80, which was first released in 1976. In addition, maintaining power needs also reduces costs.
Speaking of costs, I want Nintendo’s next console to hit the $399 price point. I honestly think between the continued success of the Switch and addressing its silicon processing and supply chain issues, Nintendo is waiting until they can hit that price point before they release their next console. The Steam Deck, and more recently the Asus ROG Ally, have shown that you can really squeeze a lot of power out of a handheld design, and the entry-level Steam Deck for just under $400 is now on sale.
Finally, please for the love of all that is a good Nintendo Online fix so we can use it without having to jump through a bunch of hoops. It’s crazy to me that I can’t meet my friends online and chat with them without a mess of confusion. Everyone has been doing it well for years now. Please, Nintendo, please make it easier to chat and play online with the next console.
Oh and also, I want Metroid Prime 4 to be a launch title.
These are my primary hopes and dreams for Nintendo’s next console. Don’t think I’m being unreasonable here. Curious to hear your thoughts on this matter. How important is 4K to you? Get in on the controversy in the comments.
Seth Macy is Executive Editor, IGN Commerce, and just wants to be your friend. You can find him hosting the Nintendo Voice Chat podcast.
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