Finally getting confirmation of the long-rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro’ existence felt cathartic. After years of speculating that Nintendo might introduce a mid-generation upgrade to its wildly successful hybrid console, last month we received hard facts via Bloomberg about what features this more powerful hardware would tout. A much larger screen and upscaled 4K visual quality when playing in docked mode are hopefully just beginning of this product that we may see launch before the end of 2021.
This got us thinking, though, what existing Nintendo Switch games would benefit most from this forthcoming Pro console? Despite running on much older tech than PS5, Xbox Series or even the two predecessors to both those consoles, no Nintendo Switch game currently looks bad per se, but we start salivating at the thought of seeing some of the platform’s best games running at 4K. With all that being said, here’s our top picks for the games we’re dying to play on the souped-up Nintendo Switch Pro.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Link and Zelda’s Nintendo Switch debut is already a beautiful game, expertly working towards the console’s strengths by opting for a whimsical art style that sits somewhere between fantasy and reality. However, there’s no denying how much better this dilapidated version of Hyrule could look with the extra oomph of a brighter OLED screen. Seeing something out in the distance and riding endlessly towards it is one of the best things about Breath of the Wild, but imagine getting to do so while having more clarity on these amazing views.
In the television side, you have to imagine that Nintendo will be releasing a patch for the game to coincide with the Switch Pro’s launch. Ideally this would bump the frame rate to a silky and smooth 60 frames per second, giving the game a much faster sense of pace and going further to create a world you almost feel like you could reach out and step into. It’s highly likely that the sequel to Breath of the Wild adopt some of these traits – having been developed alongside the Pro – but we’d like to see this modern classic retroactively get some attention, too.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Despite being a small device, the Nintendo Switch has played host to several sprawling open-world games during its four years on the market. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was one of the earliest attempts at this, though the result wasn’t as smooth performance-wise as most players would have liked. It presents a world full of giant creatures and far away landscapes, and it’s precisely in visually demanding sections such as this that the frame rate and overall visual clarity can suffer.
That’s why Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of the most obvious candidates to receive a patch to run better on the Nintendo Switch Pro. We know that something like this is possible because the recent remastered of the first game, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, is a much more technically reliable experience. Audio hitching and frame tears simply occur far less frequently, and we feel that this equally as good sequel deserves a similar approach. The Nintendo Switch Pro could help a lot.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
One of the most celebrated open-world games from the past decade or so is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and the Nintendo Switch proved to be so popular that even CDProjektRed wanted a slice of the pie. This resulted in a port that’s a bit muddier than its PS4 and Xbox One equivalents, but The Witcher 3 on Switch is still a very good time and stays true to the original vision of the game. It could look and play better, though, with the extra power of Nintendo Switch Pro.
So much of The Witcher 3 is about staying immersed within the illustrious world of The Continent. As Geralt of Rivia you constantly roam the lands in search of your next monster bounty or quest item, fulfilling your role as a Witcher while helping those less fortunate than you – and making a little bit of money on the side. It plays perfectly fine on Switch but pales in comparison to other versions. Hence why it’d be nice to see it receive a substantial patch when the Pro eventually launches.
Delayed long after it was originally meant to release on Nintendo Switch, this ambitious port of Doom Eternal was, in fact, worth the wait. True, it might not look as graphically impressive as other versions, but the core experience of becoming the Doom Slayer and gunning down legions of Hellish monsters remained intact. Playing it on Switch currently does mean you won’t be able to enjoy variable lighting, a consistent frame rate and 60 fps. That could all change, however, by the time the Nintendo Switch Pro arrives.
So much of Doom Eternal’s action is about being brisk and reacting quickly. This is something that is only hampered when you don’t have the full 60fps working on your side. And while Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch gets the job done, as it were, this is a game that would easily benefit from the Pro’s extra horsepower. Any first-person shooter benefits from being able to keep up with your movements and reactions, and Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch could be improved manyfold from a Pro patch.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Filled to the brim with bombastic action and legions of enemies on screen, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamitywants to deliver an epic sense of scale but strongly suffers from frequent framerate dips. So much is happening on screen at any one time that the Nintendo Switch often struggles to keep up, resulting in a hack-and-slash action that is fun and enjoyable but, you can tell, is definitely being held back by the tech.
Regular pop in and slow down would be a thing of the past if Age of Calamity receives a patch to coincide with the release of Nintendo Switch Pro. It’s especially important because this is a game set 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, meaning these characters and settings already are familiar to people and deserve to be rendered just as strongly as Link’s main outing. Age of Calamity rarely outright freezes, but the constantly disrupted action is a problem for a lot of players hoping to enjoy the game at its fullest.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
We’re being a bit cheeky with this last entry because it covers a Nintendo Switch game that hasn’t released yet. Judging by the one trailer we’ve seen so far, though, Pokémon Legends: Arceus looks to be one of the most ambitious entries in the creature-collecting series yet. If only its world didn’t appear extremely washed out and fairly empty compared to what we’ve come to expect from other open-world games.
Luckily, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is scheduled to release towards the end of 2021, which may indicate that it’s being planned as an early Nintendo Switch Pro showcase title. Pokémon games have never been known for looking the best, instead relying on interesting creature designs and a colourful art style to draw players’ eye. However, the alluring OLED screen in handheld and 4K resolution on TV could making “catching em all” in Pokemon Legends: Arceus more vivid and exciting than ever before.