Talking Point: So, What Are The Chances We’ll See A ‘New’ Nintendo Switch In 2021?

What’s that? Did somebody say ‘Switch Pro’? Oooh, ‘New Nintendo Switch’, is it!? A extra highly effective variant with 4K decision Deep Learning Super Sampling? 60 frames-per-second? Carbon fibre styling? Swiss Army Switch?…

It wasn’t lengthy after the Switch launched again in 2017 that rumours of a {hardware} revision began circling. You identify it, it has been proposed by any individual, and whereas we have completed our greatest to comply with our noses and doc credible scuttlebutt concerning a possible revised mannequin of Nintendo’s handheld hybrid, sorting wild hypothesis from well-founded theories based mostly on proof may be powerful when Nintendo are so stuffed with surprises.

The launch of the handheld-only Switch Lite in 2019 shed some mild on SoC revision rumours, however even that caught some onlookers without warning. A Switch that does not swap!? That’s the stupidest concept ever! Oh, dangle on…

It’s clear that Nintendo has one thing within the pipeline, although, be it a Switch ‘Pro’ or a ‘New Nintendo Switch’. The present console has overtaken a number of legacy methods in gross sales phrases and is even outpacing the mighty Wii on the time of writing, and Nintendo will wish to maintain that tempo up.

But will we see a brand new mannequin this 12 months? Well, analysts appear to assume so, however a few of them had been predicting an upgraded model two years in the past. As for Team NL, opinion is cut up. Below we current a few of the factors we have been discussing, and on the backside is a ballot — we would love to listen to your ideas!

So, let’s check out the (Switch) professionals and cons for a possible Switch {hardware} revision someday in 2021. We start with the arguments in opposition to…

No approach!

Nintendo's ticking along quite nicely with these two, thank-you-very-much.
Nintendo’s ticking alongside fairly properly with these two, thank-you-very-much.

The naysayers amongst us consider — fairly fairly — that the impetus to introduce a brand new Switch mannequin this 12 months simply is not there whereas the common model is promoting by the truckload. Simply put, Nintendo would not want a brand new console to drive curiosity and something it does put out would doubtless cannibalise gross sales of the present mannequin.

It’s an age-old dilemma for profitable {hardware} producers: when is the very best time to sacrifice the golden goose and make investments sooner or later?

if the ‘outdated’ mannequin continues to promote like scorching muffins, there is not any motive in any respect to hurry a flashy gateau to market

Given the occasions of the previous 12 months, it is doubtless that no matter plans Nintendo had have been shifted again by a number of months, if not attributable to manufacturing points then by re-evaluating the discharge schedule after an unforeseeable lockdown-fueled gross sales increase. Yes, enterprise is booming and a brand new console (a extra highly effective one, no less than) actually wants a brand new recreation or two to indicate it off; a Zelda or a Metroid Prime 4, for instance. If they don’t seem to be prepared but, and if the ‘outdated’ mannequin continues to promote like scorching muffins, there is not any motive in any respect to hurry a flashy gateau to market.

On the subject of these Switches flying off store cabinets proper now, all these hundreds of thousands of people that picked up a brand new console — maybe a flashy Monster Hunter one or that Red & Blue Super Mario quantity — won’t be too completely happy if a month later there is a a shiny new selection they may have purchased as a substitute.

Nope, even when Nintendo initially deliberate to launch a brand new Switch this 12 months, there is not any probability they’re going to danger disrupting the gross sales momentum they have going proper now.

Alternatively…

Yes approach!

Shiny new tech is good, especially if it's chromed and got some subtle, sexy neon.
Shiny new tech is sweet, particularly if it is chromed and acquired some refined, attractive neon. (Image: Nvidia)

As we have seen with Nintendo’s decades-long historical past of {hardware} revisions, a modest improve can work wonders by providing tweaks and enhancements that give fervent followers a chance to purchase one thing new — generally a number of instances — with out deserting a hard-won buyer base nonetheless shopping for your Animal Crossings and your Mario Kart 8s. It’s this pondering that created the Nintendo DS and 3DS ‘households’ of methods, and we have already had the primary addition to the Switch dynasty with Switch Lite.

a modest improve can work wonders by providing tweaks and enhancements that give fervent followers a chance to purchase one thing new — generally a number of instances — with out deserting a hard-won buyer base

If we glance again on the 3DS timeline particularly, the XL variant arrived round eighteen months after the unique, and the New 3DS launched simply over three-and-a-half years later. Switch launched in March 2017, Switch Lite arrived eighteen months later in September 2019 and the unique console shall be 4 years outdated in a few months. Obviously, we’re not fairly evaluating like-for-like right here due to Switch’s hybrid nature, but it surely’s onerous to argue that the well-loved launch fashions picked up by early adopters are wanting a bit drained and dog-eared lately. The authentic mannequin is due a spruce up, and one thing extra complete than an inside ‘silent’ revision.

And as for not eager to kill the present mannequin’s momentum, Nintendo has been within the recreation lengthy sufficient to know that you just strike whereas the iron is scorching! You flip the flames proper up, give individuals a second to catch their breath after which whack the dial as much as eleven! You’ve acquired to maintain that ball rolling! Letting up as a result of every little thing’s ticking alongside simply high-quality and dandy is not the best way to maintain progress within the online game… recreation.

Hot irons, balls rolling — all aboard the Mixed Metaphor Express: subsequent cease, Switch Pro! You see, we have thrown a practice in there now, too.

And who precisely are these hundreds of thousands of recent Switch homeowners who’ll be mad if a brand new mannequin seems? That’s simply how the half-step console cookie crumbles, we’re afraid; it is the identical with any iterative improve within the tech world. For die-hard Nintendo followers, sure, in fact it will be disappointing to spend cash on a console solely to have a brand new mannequin flip up a matter of weeks later, however these hardcore followers may have purchased a Switch way back and so they’ll doubtless be champing on the bit for a Pro mannequin. No self-respecting Apple aficionado would purchase a brand new iPhone on the finish of August, would they? Early adopters are hungry for the brand new flavour, and informal gamers will fortunately play the unique or Lite variants.

Yep, mark our phrases, in some unspecified time in the future this 12 months — October or November time, we would wager — there will be a brand new Switch on the block. Probably.


Nintendo Switch© Nintendo

For the file, Nintendo has acknowledged that it is not planning to launch a brand new Switch mannequin “any time soon”, though this time final 12 months they specified that no new mannequin could be launched “in 2020”. Bearing in thoughts how cautious they’re with this type of language, it isn’t a stretch to infer that they have one thing deliberate for the latter half of the 12 months. That’s not ‘any time quickly’, proper?

Either approach, it is clear from all of the rampant rumours that there is an urge for food for a mid-cycle refresh. Last 12 months we requested you what options you’d wish to see in a Switch ‘Pro’, and from a complete of practically 20,000 votes ‘a extra highly effective CPU’ got here prime of the checklist (adopted by ‘elevated decision’ and ‘a thinner bezel’ across the display screen). The need is there, then; Nintendo simply wants to determine how you can capitalise on followers’ starvation for one thing new in a approach that is additive to its present gross sales momentum.

That, and it will need a candy identify. ‘Pro’, ‘New’ — they have been completed. How about “Nintendo Switch Up”? “Switch On”? “Switchin'”…

Quick, let’s get to the ballot earlier than it will get worse:

Let us know your ideas on the potential for a brand new Switch mannequin this 12 months within the traditional place.