Over the past year or so, there’s been a lot of talk about Nintendo potentially introducing a new “Pro” model of its Nintendo Switch console, in time for the release of the new The Legend of
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom this May. We’ve seen plans, but apparently they’ve been scrapped, but that hasn’t stopped talks from making the rounds.
It’s already introduced an upgraded model of the Switch with a new OLED model screen. But we’re talking a power upgrade to handle more sophisticated games, something a lot of fans wouldn’t mind taking on the go. So should Nintendo do it? Let’s look at the pros and cons of introducing a new model.
Pro: More Developers Might Be On Board For a More Powerful Switch Model
These days, developers seem to be all about working on hardware that can handle state-of-the-art performance with games. After all, we’ve seen ports of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and other games of that type on Switch; and while they look great, they do come up slightly short technically.
With a new, advanced model, developers would be able to get more out of the Switch, including an improved frame rate and possibly even some new additions to gameplay. There’s a reason some folks prefer the PS5 and Xbox Series X to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for their game experiences right now. However…
Con: A New Nintendo Switch Pro Might Leave Old Owners In the Dust For Certain Games
By introducing an all new Switch model, you create a dividing line that’s sure to confuse a few players that are already used to what the older Switch can do. The last time Nintendo did this was with the New Nintendo 3DSXL, the only hardware that could handle the port of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. That bummed out a few players that wanted to enjoy that game on an older 3DS platform.
Nintendo has to be careful here. Could it possibly enhance older Switch games to run better on the Switch, just as some Xbox 360 games do on Xbox Series S/X with “boost”? Perhaps. But changing the game entirely to the point where it only runs on some systems is asking for trouble.
Pro: A revamp of the control system could do away with controller drift
Nintendo continues to improve upon its control model with each step forward they take with consoles. Case in point – the rad “dogbone” controller that came with the top-loading NES. With that, Nintendo could easily make improved JoyCons and Pro Controllers that do away with the drift issue entirely, focusing more on the type of gameplay that players can get behind. Not that the older Switch games stink, but it’s clear Nintendo’s been doing their homework to make improvements in this department. That said, though…
Con: Would the older controllers work on the new system?
One of the big problems with adapting to a new system is that there’s a possibility older controllers wouldn’t work with it. Now, in some cases, there’s a possibility, like with Xbox One controllers working with Xbox Series S/X. Been keep in mind that the PS4 controller only works with PS4 games on PlayStation 5. And if developers did add some new tricks to their Switch Pro games, they’d likely need a new controller to play them – which means gamers would need to spend even more money on accessories to get the best gameplay experience. And in the days of an ever-growing inflation problem, not everyone will have the cashola to do that.
Pro: It’d be fairly easy to upgrade from system to system
If we’ve seen anything over the years, it’s that Nintendo has streamlined the system for transferring older games to a new system, like with the Wii to the Wii U. And now that a new login system is in place, transferring your data and games from one Switch to another is a snap. And that could be the case with Switch Pro as well.
Granted, there are probably some hurdles to overcome, but with a few system settings, there’s no reason why you can’t pick up where you left off. Heck, it may even be as easy as taking out the memory card, setting up a new profile, putting it in the new system and being ready to go. Alas…
Con: Not everyone will get the new Switch Pro right away
The Nintendo Switch OLED is a great little system, but you’ll notice that not everyone ran out to get one compared to their older Nintendo Switch. That could also be the case with the Switch Pro. Even with its improved power and features, not everyone is going to be in a hurry to snag a system for $350-$400 when they’re still so highly invested in their old system.
Not to mention the fact that availability could be an issue. The OLED took a while to track down shortly after launch, though it’s much easier to find now. Still, a Switch Pro could be tougher to come by, especially after what we’ve seen with the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X over the past couple of years.
So, as you see, there’s a lot to consider. A Switch Pro would be awesome to have, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we decide on the upgrade. We’ll have to see what this year brings…
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