What Would Make A New Nintendo Switch “Pro” An Essential Upgrade?
- March 7, 2021
Another day, another Switch Pro rumor. This time, Bloomberg has reported that a beefed-up version of the handheld/console hybrid will launch in time for the 2021 holiday season and include a 7-inch 720p OLED screen and 4K output in docked mode. Improving the Switch’s screen is one thing, but we’ve got some other hardware-related wishes that we’d love to see addressed with a Switch Pro.
What do you want to see improved with a potential Switch Pro model? Let us know in the comments below!
Improved Power and Performance
If the recent Bloomberg report is accurate, and the Switch Pro will be able to output in 4K when docked, that’s fantastic. An OLED screen will go a long way in making the images crisper in handheld too, but what about the power under the hood?
The Switch is much less powerful than even last-gen home consoles, and you need to sacrifice resolution, graphics, and sometimes even performance when playing certain third-party games on Switch. The pro (that was unintentional) of playing them on Switch is portability, but it sucks that Nintendo’s console is considered “the worst place to play” certain games like The Witcher 3 or Overwatch. I want it to be a contender, not the last resort. — Lucy James, Senior Video Producer
Bring Back The AR Camera
Aside from the , one of the 3DS’ most exciting features was its special integrated camera. While it has the same basic functions of a camera, allowing you to snap photos and share them, the 3DS camera can take pictures in 3D and was capable of reading data designed for Augmented Reality–or AR. Given the booming growth of AR over the last decade and how Pokemon Go is one of the most popular games globally, it seems only fitting that Nintendo should give a camera with AR functionality another go with the new Switch.
Given that the Switch has become a favorite for gamers on the go, having a new Switch with AR functionality could be a game-changer, especially with AR advancements. For the 3DS, its use of AR was limited to a few games, such as Pokedex 3D Pro and Kid Icarus: Uprising, which used specialized AR cards to open up added features. However, the 3DS also featured a free game called Face Raiders, which allowed you to turn photos taken from the camera and transmit them in a shooting game where you would fire at balloons in your area. It was a creative use of technology. Given how the upgraded Switch will be a much more sophisticated device than the 3DS, there is potential for something exceptional if an AR camera makes a comeback. — Alessandro Fillari, Editor
No. More. Joy-Con. Drift.
Look, it’s 2021. Joy-Con drift has been a problem since launch, and it’s wild that it’s still an issue over four years since the Switch launched, and even happens on the refreshed Switch model that was released in 2019. Yes, Nintendo will repair the busted controller for free, but it’s a hassle that we shouldn’t have to deal with. I want to fight bosses in my games, not the controller I’m using.
Anyway, the Switch Pro cannot launch with these issues: , and I hope they prioritize a fix. And gosh darn it, I also want to feel more comfortable purchasing those limited-edition Joy-Cons without worrying about future drift issues! — Lucy James, Senior Producer
New, Improved Joy-Cons With More Options
The Joy-Cons need to change. For motion-controlled games, they’re fantastic, but they still have so much room for improvement. As it stands, the Joy-Cons are relatively flat and lack a grip to rest your palms on, so they often get uncomfortable after a few hours. A slight redesign to the Joy-Cons’ ergonomics could do wonders for the controller–maybe an extended grip reminiscent of the various out there.
On the other hand, the Joy-Con analog sticks aren’t ideal for playing games with shooting mechanics. And as much as I don’t mind using gyroscope aiming controls, they’re no substitute for the precision and control offered by the Pro Controller’s stick.
The lack of an official D-pad option for standard Switch owners has also been a major pain point. I hope Nintendo will introduce an entirely new custom Joy-Con model for the Switch Pro, allowing for Xbox Elite controller levels of modular customization, where you can slot in a standard D-pad and other handy parts to create the perfect layout.
In so many words, I’m asking that Nintendo find a way to provide a prestige version of the Switch Pro controller experience to those who prefer playing in handheld mode. The Pro Controller is legitimately one of my favorite controllers of all time; it’s got a great balanced weight, and most importantly, it’s ergonomic enough that you can play non-stop for a long time. So if Nintendo can make playing the Switch as comfortable as that with the Joy-Cons on their own, then that would be a dream come true. — Matt Espineli, Editor
Better Battery Life
This one is a no-brainer, really, but I’d love to have better battery life in handheld mode. One of the biggest complaints about the Switch when it launched was its lackluster battery, which was addressed with the refreshed model released in 2019. If the reports are accurate and the Switch Pro will be much more powerful, I hope we don’t take a step backward when it comes to battery life. There’s nothing worse than being on a long car journey and just really getting into your groove in Breath of the Wild or FFXII, only for the fated low battery warning to appear. I speak from experience. Okay, the only thing worse is being the driver who can’t play, but you know what I’m getting at. — Lucy James, Senior Video Producer
Ethernet Port On The Console, Please
The Switch has no ethernet ports to speak of, so if you want to hardline the console, you need to buy a separate adaptor. For a Switch Pro, Nintendo should just avoid this whole process and include a port.
Preferably, including the port on the console itself would be ideal, allowing you to hardline in regardless if you’re playing docked or handheld. An ethernet port would be an especially welcome addition for the many multiplayer-focused third-party games that have been released for Switch since its launch, such as Rocket League and Apex Legends.
Many of these games support cross-play with their Xbox, PlayStation, and PC counterparts, so the least that Nintendo could do is ensure that Switch owners can have the same type of stable online connection. Trying to play multiplayer games (especially shooters) via Wi-Fi isn’t ideal.
And beyond third-party games, Nintendo has a few first-party games that would benefit from a hardline connection, like the upcoming Splatoon 3. Sure, the Switch’s whole shtick is that it can easily transition between a traditional console and handheld device, so one more cord would tie it down, but it’s a small price to pay for a smoother internet connection. — Jordan Ramée, Associate Editor
Built-In Microphone For Voice Chat
Voice chat should be on the console. I shouldn’t have to download the Switch Online app to chat with my friends while we play a game. It would be cool if Nintendo added a built-in microphone to the Switch Pro to make things easier for those trying to get into online play. If anything, it could even be incorporated into games again, much like what we saw on DS and 3DS. Not that I’d want to return to the age of game mechanic gimmicks involving blowing into the microphone, but imagine all the quirky voice-related game ideas that Nintendo could cook up again if given the opportunity! — Lucy James, Senior Video Producer
Give Us StreetPass (Or Something Like It)
I’ve already , the 3DS’ best feature, and how I wished it had made its way to the Switch. With a Switch Pro possibly on the horizon, now is Nintendo’s chance to reintroduce the feature–or at least a spiritual successor to it. What StreetPass did well was two-fold: It accented the portability of the 3DS system itself, and it created a social space that enhanced the feeling of belonging to a community of Nintendo fans. There’s no reason the company can’t recreate both of those on the Switch–and use it as an opportunity to soft-launch new firmware on older models too.
The Switch is built around its portability. The system’s entire point is that it isn’t tethered to one place, so give us a reason to take it out with us. The initial hip marketing push featured attractive 20-somethings hosting rooftop parties with their Switches, but the system itself doesn’t incentivize us to actually take it out. And while Nintendo has (somewhat) bulked up its online service offerings, the system still lacks a real sense of a shared community.
If anything, the blockbuster success of the Switch is even more reason to introduce a StreetPass-like system. The Switch surpassed the lifetime 3DS sales in half the time on the market, so a feature that lets it passively ping other users would be much more useful and prolific than ever before. There are a lot of Switch fans out there, Nintendo. Let us meet them. — Steve Watts, Associate Editor
Bluetooth Headphone Support
I want to be able to use Bluetooth headphones without an adapter on the Switch Pro. I know the Switch can already support up to eight Joy-Cons, so it’s easy to see why headphone support didn’t make the cut. But we’re in the wireless age, a time of AirPods and wireless noise-cancelling headphones. So if I could just turn on my headphones and pair them with my Switch automatically without faffing about with an adapter, that would be lovely. — Lucy James, Senior Video Producer
Expand The Classic Games Library
I’d love to see changes to Nintendo Switch Online’s library of classic games. While it’s fantastic that Nintendo has opened up the NES and SNES library for the Switch, it’s still keeping a treasure trove of its titles locked to older systems. I know it’s not as simple as just porting them over; there’s undoubtedly a lot of emulation work that needs to go on behind the scenes. But if we can expect beefier specs on the Switch Pro, then I hope the extra horsepower can make it possible for games from the N64 and GameCube to come to the service.
If more classic games became available, I’d expect a price increase for Switch Online, but, honestly, I’d pay it. I can never say no to that sort of nostalgia, especially as the years pass and these classic games and consoles become harder to access. — Lucy James, Senior Video Producer