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Report: Nintendo Planning New Model Of Switch For Next Year

by Donald Theriault - October 4, 2018, 4:33 am PDT
Total comments: 21 Source: Wall Street Journal

Nintendo has not commented, and they won't.

Nintendo may be considering a Switch upgrade next year, according to a report published in the Wall Street Journal.

The report, which cites suppliers and "others with direct knowledge of the plan", indicates that Nintendo is weighing what improvements to include in a new model. Improving the system's LCD screen is seen as a possibility in order to make the handheld mode run more efficiently, display brighter, or make the tablet thinner. Game compatibility would be maintained in a newer model.

The industry trend in recent years has been to increase the lifespan of platforms by introducing more powerful models after a few years. Sony introduced a Pro version of the PlayStation 4 in 2016, and Microsoft followed with the Xbox One X last year, but both companies still sell slimmed down versions of their platforms that run at the original specs.

Talkback

AdrockOctober 04, 2018

Choosing to manage my expectations. This revision could be closer to Nintendo’s own Game Boy Advance SP AGS-101 model (the one with the backlit screen) than New Nintendo 3DS. We all kind of expect Nintendo to release a slightly more powerful revision due to its past behavior. There are certainly merits to that approach particularly if it makes certain current gen ports possible though as always, it comes with a risk of alienating standard Switch owners.

A smaller, more portable revision makes more sense for what Nintendo wants to do (e.g. DS/3DS per person adoption). I’d certainly buy an upgraded revision because I’ve done so every other time.

ShyGuyOctober 04, 2018

If this gives more horsepower I'm in.

KhushrenadaOctober 04, 2018

It's just going to be packaged with a new hat.

I would expect a pretty iterative update, but I disagree with the assumption we're talking smaller/lighter.  I expect the same form factor, slightly improved screen (1080p?), marginally improved internals. 

If I'm being cynical, I think it'll be more about keeping up with the general tablet supply chains and maybe making revisions to make cracking the Switch more difficult than having it be a "New Nintendo Switch XL".  Price points for tablets must be based on volumes, if the chipset/screens in a Switch are being used less in the market at large, it might be more financially viable for them to "bump" the specs a bit to keep in pace with the general tablet community's price breaks and keep leveraging the volumes.  They can even market it as a "gimmie" by keeping the Switch $300 price the same and advertise the better features.

But then again, it's Nintendo.  Your guess is probably as good as mine ;D

ArbokOctober 04, 2018

...my question is how easy would it be to migrate save data and other stuff for your current Switch to the new one, assuming it's compelling enough to merit an upgrade.

As someone who hasn't played around with the storage aspect much, could you move everything on the Switch to a large enough micro-SD?

AdrockOctober 04, 2018

Quote from: lolmonade

I would expect a pretty iterative update, but I disagree with the assumption we're talking smaller/lighter.

To clarify, I’m not saying that will happen. Rather, that’s what I think Nintendo should do if it wants multiple Switch households. I don’t see how Nintendo gets there with $300 hardware. It’s the same reason 2DS was a great idea. I have no use for such revision, but it fits into Nintendo’s plans for world domination.

Quote from: Arbok

...my question is how easy would it be to migrate save data and other stuff for your current Switch to the new one, assuming it's compelling enough to merit an upgrade.

“Transfer User and Save Data” is in the System Settings. I haven’t tried it though. If it’s anything like 3DS, it’s pretty straightforward albeit time consuming.

Ian SaneOctober 04, 2018

If they change the specs then I'm not buying a Switch on principle, just like how I haven't bought a PS4 or Xbox One.  The whole point of consoles is that they're standard hardware and if you have the system every game for the system plays on it and plays the same.  Once you get into multiple different hardware configurations then I might as well just stick to PCs because I'm always going to own a PC anyway.  We let these companies get away with this shit and they'll start pushing new specs every two years or maybe even annually.

I wasn't happy when the New 3DS came out but I already owned a 3DS at that point so it wasn't like I really had an opportunity to express my dislike of the concept to a Nintendo that already had my money.  But I don't have a Switch yet.

However if they want to make improvements that don't affect the games themselves like lighter weight, better battery life, etc. I'm fine with that.  Every system has different models.  I only object to this new industry standard of half-step spec bumps to get everyone to buy the same system multiple times in one generation.

Mop it upOctober 04, 2018

This would be around the usual time for a handheld revision in Nintendo's history so it's pretty much what I expected to happen.

Usually the first revision is more about things exterior to games, like how the DS Lite had a better form factor and screens. That's what I expect out of this. One thing they could do is give it a 1080p screen and make it so games run the same performance both handheld and docked. However, if they want the Switch to be one per person like 3DS rather than one per household, finding a way to reduce the price would be ideal for that.

One thing I hope they don't do is change the form factor such that it requires making new Joy-Cons. If they start selling a new type of Joy-Con that doesn't fit the current Switch and the current Cons won't fit the new model, that could get real ugly real fast.

AdrockOctober 04, 2018

I agree. New Joy Cons would only confuse people. I’d imagine if Nintendo introduced a smaller Switch, it’d be an inclusive unit similar to PS Vita or Game Boy Advance except with the ability wirelessly connect Joy Cons, just not slide it on. Not ideal, but it’s the most straightforward cost-cutting measure. Under $200 should be the goal; $150 would be *chef kiss*

Parts of games like Super Mario Party that show content across multiple Switch screens wouldn’t work or at least wouldn’t work as well with such a design. Including a larger screen would create a similar problem due to scaling with the standard Switch screens. Then again, I can see Nintendo turning into the shrug emoji if only certain games end up unplayable/impractical.

pokepal148October 04, 2018

Windy mentioned this on the discord but Labo basically binds them to the Switch's current form factor.

AdrockOctober 04, 2018

That’s a good point though if Nintendo cares enough (and it should since there’s likely significant crossover between people who would have a smaller Switch and are interested in Labo), it could release Labo for a smaller revision. One of the main benefits of selling cardboard is probably doesn’t cost a lot to accommodate these kind of changes.

Spak-SpangOctober 05, 2018

The most practical thing is to update the innards slightly.  I can see them keeping the same price, but include a bigger battery (which could be sold separately for older Switch units.  A better screen, and a small (New Nintendo DS slight bump in specs) this spec bump will only be used to keep the system playing the same in handheld mode and docked mode. 

One other things that I personally like to see is a slightly bigger controller redesign that fits in the old Nintendo Switch and the new Nintendo Switches that give better grip.

Finally I could see Nintendo providing a much stronger and better kickstand for the system.  Something that gives you more range freedom to have different angles and better stability. 

Right now, I hate the Nintendo Switch controllers.  I have tried them and every time they feel horrible to me.  Buttons too small, the controller too small, and I am baffled by those mistakes because Nintendo has design 2 almost perfect controllers.  The Wii controller and the Gamecube Controller.  Now I said almost perfect because some games did not do well with those controllers but those controllers were great.

Quote from: Spak-Spang

...I am baffled by those mistakes because Nintendo has design 2 almost perfect controllers.  The Wii controller and the Gamecube Controller.  Now I said almost perfect because some games did not do well with those controllers but those controllers were great.

Man, Boooold statement, especially when Nintendo made one of the most perfect controllers IMO (the SNES) and you didn't list it.  haha.

Mop it upOctober 05, 2018

Quote from: Spak-Spang

Nintendo has design 2 almost perfect controllers.  The Wii controller and the Gamecube Controller. 

While I think the Joy-Cons are decent and the Switch Pro is pretty good, I totes agree with you on that one.

Spak-SpangOctober 07, 2018

Lolmonade:  At the time the Super Nintendo Controllers were again almost perfect, and in fact I would say during that gaming generation WERE perfect.  However, they can't be used with modern gaming.  However, the Gamecube controllers could be perfectly functional in today's gaming world.  So could the Wii Controllers. 

Now, I admit the Wii Controllers did have compromises which is why they are not perfect.  But I really wanted to see a Wii controller with that Super Nintendo level polish that solved the compromises made with the first design.

EnnerOctober 07, 2018

Syrenne on Twitter mentioned an angle I didn't consider that makes me kinda hope that there isn't a major innards upgrade for the next model of the Switch. If there is, then that doubles the configurations that need to be QAed on the already many possible use cases of the Switch (docked, handheld, tabletop, etc.).

It's hard to know what Nintendo is thinking, but I expect this new model to be a minor upgrade (screen, battery life) and a cost savings revision.

Quote from: Spak-Spang

However, the Gamecube controllers could be perfectly functional in today's gaming world.

The Gamecube controller is missing a shoulder button, an analog stick, and a useable d-pad (even the Switch's solution is better), so no.

BlackNMild2k1October 08, 2018

Quote from: Spak-Spang

The most practical thing is to update the innards slightly.  I can see them keeping the same price, but include a bigger battery (which could be sold separately for older Switch units.  A better screen, and a small (New Nintendo DS slight bump in specs) this spec bump will only be used to keep the system playing the same in handheld mode and docked mode.

That would be a perfectly justifiable reason to updrade the Tegra chip in the Switch. More power that will be downclocked to keep performance the same in portable and docked modes.
Then it could have the added benefit to be unlocked during certain games to provide "more effects".

Quote:

Finally I could see Nintendo providing a much stronger and better kickstand for the system.  Something that gives you more range freedom to have different angles and better stability. 

I'd also like them to made that kickstand into something a little more stable.
A better screen is always nice, not that I noticed the need for one. But whatever they can do to improve performance and battery life at the same time

pokepal148October 09, 2018

Quote from: Shaymin

Quote from: Spak-Spang

However, the Gamecube controllers could be perfectly functional in today's gaming world.

The Gamecube controller is missing a shoulder button, an analog stick, and a useable d-pad (even the Switch's solution is better), so no.

It's also missing the clicky sticks (which can be really nice in certain situations), motion controls, either vibration or wireless capability depending on the model, the ability to connect to either the switch or Wii U (both systems which it can be used with.) without a dongle, and standard face buttons.

LemonadeOctober 09, 2018

This is the company that released 6 different models of 3DS. Of course they are planning a new model of Switch.

nickmitchOctober 09, 2018

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Quote from: Spak-Spang

Finally I could see Nintendo providing a much stronger and better kickstand for the system.  Something that gives you more range freedom to have different angles and better stability. 

I'd also like them to made that kickstand into something a little more stable.

I thought the kickstand was intentionally flimsy, so as to not break the system if you put it in the dock with the stand out.  I'm wondering what they could do to make it more functional so while keeping that aspect of it.

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