Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want –

Since Nintendo did not mention a word about the Switch’s successor in its latest financial report (covering the fourth calendar quarter of 2023), shareholders, fans, press and analysts are already looking at just one possible window to finally make a statement about the new console. Because it would be a big surprise if Nintendo Switch 2, for example, let’s call it that, will not be on the market before Christmas, the company is is obliged to make its plans public no later than the next fiscal report. That is, specifically in late April or early May 2024, if it does not already make an announcement in the busy month of March. Yes, next month.

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That report already includes all the results for fiscal year 2024, which ends March 31, so it also covers the first quarter of this calendar year. The manufacturer must then share its projections through March 2025 and define its investments and part of its strategy for that entire period.

The fact that Switch may become the best-selling console in Nintendo’s history this year, and that by the most optimistic estimates it may even become the best-selling console in history before going out of production, can no longer obscure the (tricky) issue of its natural succession. Hardware sales are falling week after week, there are no blockbusters in sight and the first party calendar until spring is filled with smaller-scale games or remakes and remasters of classics. It all fits together. It is the calm that precedes a new console.

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Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want

A few months ago I wondered what the playable invention of the Super Nintendo Switch will be, looking back at the history of Nintendo’s machines and their reliance on gameplay innovations to succeed or even survive. Today I want to dwell on the more incremental or evolutionary aspects of what the Nintendo Switch has been. That is, with the hybrid console in hand, where we expect, want or scream for Nintendo to make changes to Super Nintendo Switch or whatever that successor will be called, mainly at the hardware level.

What does Super Nintendo Switch bring in terms of changes, improvements and new features over the original Switch?

Here are 14 requests, ideas or wishes for the new console, along with the likelihood, in our opinion, that they will be fulfilled:

1. A centralized and improved online platform for the community

The great evolution in Nintendo’s online services was forged in the 3DS and Wii U era and finally consolidated with Nintendo Switch Online. However, the company is still years behind the competition, especially when other players such as Microsoft are service specialists.

Always protecting the privacy and exposure of minors, Nintendo needs to introduce a revamped online ecosystem to make it much easier to add friends and share games online. A central place to view activities and enter rooms and games and even tournaments, finally forgetting the pesky friend codes and expanding and facilitating connection and matching options. Of course, the problem of integrated voice chat must somehow be overcome, instead of looking the other way and covering the ears.

Opportunity: ★★ ☆☆☆

2. A screen to the brim

The Nintendo Switch OLED model did better in this regard, but seeing the bezels of a standard Switch today gives a painful feeling of old-fashioned toys rather than a modern gaming device. Today’s technologies make it much more feasible to utilize the available space, and speaking of the screen, it would be desirable to have the OLED variant as an alternative launch option… And maybe it’s time to increase the resolution for 7-inch or perhaps larger screens.

Okay, we know Valve didn’t do this with the Steam Deck and it’s a performance toll, but if Switch 2 is still carrying most of the game execution and is eminently more powerful, maybe it’s time to full-HD on portable to go, which would give a pixel density never before seen on Nintendo machines.
Opportunity: ★★★ ☆☆

Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want

Analog triggers

One day we will know why Nintendo’s love affair with analog triggers ended so quickly. True, they didn’t invent them, but they bet heavily on them with the Gamecube, with very ergonomic buttons and great spring travel for maximum precision in various genres, especially racing games. Above all, the fantastic F-Zero GX, to the point that we understand it didn’t get a sequel due to the simple fact that it couldn’t rely on those controls.

The fact that hardware innovation experts decided to leave them out of the Wii U and Switch is something we still don’t fully understand. It’s true that the former had a GamePad as sturdy as a toddler’s toy and that the latter is completely portable and maybe they were afraid of breakage, but then they introduced so many other delicate elements, like the 3DS’s analog pad. So? A patent conflict?

Let them figure it out, because if Super Nintendo Switch wants to be an alternative or complement to PlayStation and Xbox domestic consoles much more than the current machine, it needs to pick up what’s standard, especially when it comes to controlling vehicles and modulating certain shooting devices. And if it can, with additional resistance such as DualSense’s adaptive triggers, which combined with the movement targeting that Zelda spread would make using Link’s bow even more satisfying. Or the fighter jets of Splatoon!

Opportunity: ★★★★ ☆

4. Goodbye stick drives

Speaking of control, the Switch’s most significant and embarrassing production problem needs to be fully resolved. We know it’s complicated and that other manufacturers have had similar problems, but the kings of controllers need to find a definitive solution so that we never see our character, or the camera, move on its own again.

Opportunity: ★★★★ ☆

Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want

5. Redesigned Joy-Con controllers for improved ergonomics

Still on the controllers. No one will deny that the Joy-Con were a great idea and have made previously unimaginable gaming possible, whether playing solo with one or two hands, or improvising a multiplayer game on the go. But the hands of most adults are not those of children. Nor are those of Japanese. Racing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with a single horizontal Joy-Con these days results in several hours of pain and stiffness, even if it’s just a quick cup.
We need Joy-Cons that are not much bigger, but with more space and ergonomics, taking into account standalone use.

Opportunity: ★★★★★

6. A D-Pad on each controller

Shall we continue with the controls? Yes, we will. The Pro Controller and Nintendo Switch Lite got it: the four-way digital pad is used as much or more than ever, especially given the 2D retro indie explosion. Playing games like Street Fighter or Mario vs. Donkey Kong on a standard or OLED Switch in handheld mode is difficult with the small directional buttons on the Joy-Con, also because of the above point.

And what happens if you hold it horizontally? Not so much, considering how many times you played horizontally with the left Joy-Con. The nice symmetrical design would be harmed because the right controller has to respect the four classic face buttons and their feel, but appearance is not the most important thing here.

Opportunity: ★★★ ☆☆

7. Make better use of the Dock

We’ve heard a rumor that the Dock of the Switch 2 will contain a little more hardware, a little more computer guts, if you know what I mean. The current one basically just acts as a box to charge, rest and connect to the network, TV and peripherals, but it’s still the handheld that runs games on the big screen, only with all the power and consumption of a plug and no battery usage.
Apart from all this, if the Dock 2.0 increases CPU and memory especially, higher resolutions and details can be put on the TV. Moreover, we have every right to imagine other applications, such as portable but streaming-powered gaming near the Dock, or the possibility of offering a Wii U-like dual-screen mode, where each “window” shows something different. This was lost with the eventual evolution to Switch, but Nintendo and others experimented a lot and came up with good applications, such as the unrepeatable Affordable Space Adventures.

Opportunity: ★★ ☆☆☆

Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want

8. More decent audio

Some Nintendo Switch titles, such as the two open-world Zelda games, MK8 Dx or Metroid Dread, offer great positional surround audio, but most people don’t even know about it. The option is somewhat hidden and it only comes in 5.1 and linear PCM, which wouldn’t be such a problem if we didn’t see so many games sticking to licensed formats like Dolby or DTS on the other machines. In other words, it would increase compatibility, use and thus enjoyment of the soundscape. You have to pay royalties, yes, and the PS5 itself had many problems and limitations in the beginning, despite Sony being the champion of cinema in the past, but we don’t live in the Wii era anymore and optical output is also a thing of the past, they would save some money.
It’s important for audiophiles and, again, if Nintendo wants to get a lot more new releases in all their glory from other companies, but we also understand that in the headset generation, and because it’s a semi-portable console, they don’t prioritize it. Although we disagree!

Speaking of earphones, it would also be advisable to adopt more recent Bluetooth formats to reduce latency and at least keep the USB-C port to allow some wireless earbuds to connect without delay.

Opportunity: ★★ ☆☆☆

9. Full backward compatibility

Can I use all my Nintendo Switch games and accessories on the successor? This is definitely the million-dollar question, especially among those who have gotten their hands on the machine in recent months and now smell white smoke. There are many factors here, but mostly physical games, digital download games and controllers.

Given their track record, we don’t believe that Nintendo downloading all the eShop games already on Switch will not allow downloading all eShop games already purchased on Switch to play them again, or to continue playing them on the Nintendo Switch 2. It would be a decision that is not only insulting to fans, but also somewhat absurd and inconsistent. We also expect this for the classics available as part of Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions, a service that, as mentioned above, they will want to protect and promote.

Will they now keep the same slot for cartridges or game cards? If there was a switch from DS to 3DS at all, it was for one main reason: piracy. Currently, some have already tampered with the Switch in various ways, and perhaps to avoid opening the back door already developed for the current console, they prefer to change the physical format again, perhaps cut costs and increase storage memory in the process (the two problems of current Switch cards). This is conjecture, but since it is the console for which most physical games are sold, we expect Nintendo is not done with boxed retail releases just yet. Will they dare to release a slotless model with more download storage in the style of the diskless PlayStation and Xbox? That doesn’t sound like them.

Another question are the Joy-Con controllers. We don’t see why they wouldn’t allow Pro controllers to be supported unless there is a radical and unexpected change in control method, but the Joy-Con could be made obsolete with something as simple as replacing the snap-on rail on the sides of the screen with sturdier ones. Perhaps they will also do away with the infrared sensor that, let’s face it, infra-uses…

Probability: ★★★★★ (digital games) ★★★★★☆☆ (physical games) ☆☆☆☆ (Joy-Con)★★★★★.

10. The sweet spot between power and price

Aside from knowing if they have a playable ace in store, as we mentioned earlier, the only thing “known” about Super Nintendo Switch is that it is a matter of more and better will be. Above all, more power and better performance. But if you see how products like Asus’ ROG Ally, Valve’s Steam Deck or Lenovo’s Legion Go come out in terms of power/price ratio (and in some cases with the performance disadvantage of relying on a non-dedicated operating system), it will be very interesting to see where Nintendo stands with its hardware, taking into account that they expect to sell many millions more than the above three combined.

We don’t expect Nintendo Switch 2 to dare to break the €500 barrier and that it will be around the margin of €400-450 will sit, looking at their current and previous pricing policies. How much brute power they can cram into a portable device for that price, which in turn makes a significant difference to 2017 hardware, will be key to defining what the machine will be able to offer in its early years. Specifically, these components are usually fast, capable and modern processor and graphics chips (4K HDR on TV and DLSS to save some sauce?), the amount and type of RAM and solid-state storage.

Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want

Nintendo has never been lavish with brute force. Well, never since the Gamecube flop. They had already given up that race. Component suppliers, however, will have competed to offer them the best package deal, knowing they have huge potential for success. And the company will want to allow outside companies to easily port their AAA PS5 and Xbox Series releases to its new hybrid so they can play them on a real handheld. They will want to keep necessary optimization to a minimum, the multi-format capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 want to embrace and be smart about hardware engineering.

Games as recent as Hogwarts Legacy show that this path can be hugely lucrative for Nintendo and the third-party players who will jump in, perhaps more than ever, no matter how untimely this new console seems.
Opportunity: ★★★★ ☆☆☆☆ (you define sweet spot).

11. Total redemption with third parties

The previous point goes hand in hand with this one. Nintendo’s negotiations with third parties now that they are in a position of power must be fruitful. More than ever. The path that was abandoned out of arrogance in the Nintendo 64 era and restored little by little with 3DS and Switch must now be walked to the end.

Third parties will only release their blockbusters on the Nintendo Switch successor at the same time as on PS5 and Xbox Series if it is convincing enough, and only if they all do, will this point be made for the first time since the SNES.

Ok, I sounded a little Bilbo Baggins. Nintendo Switch has been home to big, huge hits by others, like Minecraft. But it has not been home to Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Elden Ring, Tekken and Grand Theft Auto. And FIFA/EAFC don’t count, where EA almost always delivers a substandard port.

It has always been the company’s biggest challenge with such a strong first party portfolio and certainly one of the most important challenges they have set themselves now.

Opportunity: ★★ ☆☆☆

12. Two blockbusters at launch

Nintendo has learned a lot from previous hardware debuts and some post-launch droughts. With its front-line studios already running full speed on the new machine for several years, we might not quite expect the juggernaut that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey were in just 9 months in the previous launch year, but a similar effort.

We are confident that Nintendo’s big new game will EAD Tokyo, whether it’s the next 3D Mario, or perhaps with Donkey Kong as a special guest, it will be the big launch game for the Super Nintendo Switch. And it may not be the only one. When Smash Bros., Animal Crossing or Splatoon are mostly second-wave hits (and when Metroid Prime 4 still has time left and we don’t expect the inevitable sequel to Mercurysteam’s Metroid Dread to be ready either), there are few console-selling IPs of its own left. Will Nintendo dare to launch its new console along with the new Pokémon ?

Opportunity: ★★★★ ☆

13. Gamecube in NSO

Give me the analog triggers I asked for before and then give me Gamecube as part of Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. We lost its backwards compatibility after the Wii, so it seems the most distant and forgotten console for how beloved the little cube-shaped machine was. That the remasters of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess HD remained on the Wii U didn’t help.
The new hardware should be able to run, enhance and store these downloads without much stress, and then NSO will have a growing and incredibly enticing retro collection – yes, because that’s retro too – in subscription format. And while we’re at it, DS and 3DS are also very welcome.

Opportunity: ★★★ ☆☆

14. A modern and agile eShop

We started talking about a centralized online system, and this should go hand in hand. Moving from the Wii U and 3DS eShops to the Nintendo Switch Store was a huge leap forward for humanity. Nowadays, however, when we are all used to browsing all kinds of digital services and stores, it has become archaic. We need it to not take several seconds to load each page, to be able to filter and find games much easier (do I really need to take that walk to re-download the games I own?) and, although some may not like it, for new releases, sales and offers to merge with menus and system software. Everything and everyone is going digital and Nintendo has figured out how to do it better after years of lagging.
Opportunity: ★★★★ ☆

What are you asking of the successor to the Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo Switch 2 wish list: 14 new and improved features we want

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