In between continued rumblings of two upcoming Wii U ports and speculation of a new Direct livestream incoming very soon, the Nintendo Switch seemingly can’t get away from the rampant workings of the rumour mill. Well, if that wasn’t already enough, several reliable reports and sources have revived the belief that a so-called “Nintendo Switch Pro” will be hitting store shelves soon. The existence of a Pro was first speculated – alongside the launch of the Lite – so we thought it worth highlighting some key features we’d like to see included.
Now of course, the following is purely just speculation, and considering that the Nintendo Switch is an extremely well-designed console already, we’ve had to get quite lavish when it comes to our most wanted features. The Digitimes report suggests that the new Switch Pro model will be entering mass production during 2020’s first quarter in the hopes of released mid-2020. With that said, we’ll have quite a wait to see if any of these came true. So, without further ado, here’s five features we’d like to see in a potential Nintendo Switch Pro.
1. Improved battery life
Beginning with something extremely easy and achievable, it’d be great if the highly rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro featured vastly improved battery life. Nintendo has already rolled this small but substantial upgrade out in both the trimmer Nintendo Switch Lite and overhauled edition of the original model, but then it should be on the cards to push just how far the Switch’s battery can take you much farther.
The original launch Nintendo Switch has an average battery life range of 2.5 – 6.5 hours depending on the game being played, while the Lite improves upon it with a slightly better 3 – 7-hour span. It’s our hope that the Nintendo Switch Pro would be capable of easily beating that, possibly even reaching such heights as 10 hours of play time when played in handheld mode. Such battery life would do much to help players feel like they are truly playing like a pro, warranting the console upgrade by being able to play existing and upcoming Nintendo Switch games for much longer.
2. Better graphical quality when docked
A no-brainer for most people willing to make the jump from standard Switch to a Nintendo Switch Pro is unsurprisingly a more powerful CPU. Currently both the classic Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite run off of a Nvidia customised Tegra processor, which is a bit of a problem when you consider that there are now a lot of smartphones out there with better CPUs installed. Excitingly, however, this does mean that there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to a Nintendo Switch Pro that can output better graphics.
It’s hard to imagine the graphical capabilities running any better when playing a Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, we’ll be totally honest. But if it could benefit from a significant boost when placed in a revised dock, there’s a greater chance that it’s possible. Holiday 2020 sees the arrival of both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, meaning that there’ll be greater competition in terms of wooing over players that prioritise graphics. That’s why, as crazy as it may seem, this yet-to-be-confirmed Nintendo Switch Pro must do something from a graphics standpoint to stay competitive.
3. A slightly bigger screen
Here’s an upgrade that we think is somewhat easily achievable without compromising the Nintendo Switch’ unique hybrid experience: a slightly bigger screen. We’ll admit that the classic Nintendo Switch’s screen size is very appealing, but what player wouldn’t kill for the ability to experience their games on something a little larger? Better yet, the Nintendo Switch Pro wouldn’t even necessarily have to boast a bigger unit – just shrink the design’s bezel just a little bit and player perspective on games will be much improved.
The size of the current, dockable Nintendo Switch console stands at an impressive 6.2-inches, with the system’s smaller brother, the Nintendo Switch Lite, comes in at slightly less with 5.5-inches. We’d love to think that Nintendo could increase the screen size of the pro by at least some more decimals, possibly reaching a full 7-inches. Whether they do this by shrinking the existing bezel width or simply designing a bigger unit, nobody can say, but the latter option will also require a larger dock that could then make our second desired feature (listed above) much more likely.
4. Built-in 4K support
Here is where our hopes for the Nintendo Switch Pro start getting pretty far-fetched, but it’s no secret that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will launch in Holiday 2020 with full 4K support. While the existing Nintendo Switch console outputs at a max 720p in handheld and 1080p on the big screen, it’d be amazing if 4000p could be reached on the latter. This would mean that future Nintendo Switch ports, at least on the Pro model, wouldn’t require much effort on behalf of developers, with great games like Red Dead 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey easily transferrable.
Up until now, Nintendo has been experimenting with streaming technology and graphical downgrading in order to keep the Switch comparable with PS4 and Xbox One releases. So, when the new consoles arrive in Holiday 2020, we think it’s a near must that this suggested Nintendo Switch Pro needs to shoot for 4K quality. This might require more storage and bigger game cartridges, but it’d easily be worth it in the long run, even if it’s only achievable in docked mode.
5. Detachable Joy-Con with a true D-pad
Off the back of the near-impossible, we thought we’d finish off by going kind on our desired Nintendo Switch Pro features. It’s no secret that competitive players benefit greatly from their controller having a true, unbroken D-pad. The original Nintendo Switch model unfortunately didn’t feature joy-con with these built-in, but it’s since been remedied with the Nintendo Switch Lite.
The eSports and competitive scene surround Super Smash Bros. Ultimate alone necessitates that any future iteration of the Nintendo Switch and its controllers come with a built-in D-pad. Anyone playing competitively on a standard pair of Joy-Con are simply at a disadvantage in fighting games, sport games and even racing games for this reason, so here’s hoping that the Nintendo Switch Pro will include this long-desired feature. It might sound straightforward, but given Nintendo’s refusal to release new Joy-Con with a D-pad you never know.