If it feels like people have been talking about possible Switch Pro features for years, it’s because they have. There’s been perpetual leaks, rumblings, chatter, and buzz around what extra magic Nintendo could add to their hit hybrid console. But if a Switch Pro is coming at some point, what features could it add? How can the Nintendo Switch get better?
Here’s a rundown of what new features could be there, alongside some blue-sky thinking. If all of these came true, it would be the perfect console. For more Nintendo news, you can check out our thoughts on the future of Splatoon or the strange silence for Zelda’s anniversary.
1. Bigger, Brighter, High-Res Screen
The Nintendo Switch is an HD console, but only just. On a TV screen it tops out at 1080p, but in handheld it’s down at 720p. The screen struggles to fight the sunlight if it’s outdoors, and also has quite an ugly bezel. It’s the best handheld screen Nintendo has ever made, but they can do better.
There have even been rumours that a Switch Pro would feature a mini-LED display. These work similarly to OLED, reducing the amount of light spill and increasing the contrast. From there, if a Switch Pro features a smaller bezel and a brighter screen, it could be something really special. Just being able to play outdoors on a sunny day would be enough.
2. More Horsepower
The current Nintendo Switch model has actually already had an update to its chip. The upgraded Tegra X1 in the new Switch and Switch Lite focused on efficiency, reducing power consumption, leading to an increase in battery life. Assuming it maintains that great battery life, one of the Switch Pro features that would be great to see is a bit more horsepower.
The issue with some games on the Switch currently is frame-rate or resolution dips. To avoid one the game often sacrifices the other, and to not have to make that trade-off would be wonderful. Remember juddering through the Lost Woods in Breath of the Wild at 6 frames per second? Well, a chip upgrade could let us see those cheeky Koroks in all their woodland glory.
3. Nvidia DLSS Upscaling
While core hardware upgrades could get the Switch Pro to 4K, one feature that has been rumoured is Nvidia’s new DLSS (deep learning super sampling) upscaling. This is a system where lower-resolution images are upgrading to higher-resolutions by some deep learning trickery. Nvidia themselves claim that it can lead to as high a quality as native rendering, yet with much less powerful hardware.
As Nintendo has been using Nvidia’s Tegra X1 for the current Switch, it doesn’t feel like an unbelievable jump for them to get DLSS. By making the most of this magic trick, we could see 4K on a docked Switch without breaking the bank. This would let Nintendo keep their price down yet attempt to compete with the next-generation of consoles.
4. Bluetooth Functionality
Did you know the Nintendo Switch has Bluetooth? It’s how the Joy-Con connect to the system. It’s a feature almost every piece of technology has, and it has become a vital part of our day-to-day lives. But for some reason, even though the Switch has Bluetooth, we aren’t allowed to use it.
This isn’t the biggest deal if you mostly play in docked mode, sure. But if you have a Switch Lite or love playing on the go, it would make life a lot easier if there was wireless headphone functionality. If a Switch Pro added this feature I wouldn’t have to bring two pairs of headphones when I can finally leave the house again. It is only the tiniest nuisance, but it feels like something that is so easily fixable.
5. A Better Kickstand
This might sound a bit daft, but the kickstand on the Switch needs to be fixed. While we all make fun of the rooftop party in the original Switch trailer, there are a lot of situations where you need to prop the console up on a table. One of the best things the Switch offers is being able to set up a game of Mario Kart anywhere you want, but it can be anxiety inducing.
So, if the Switch Pro features a sturdy stand, one that doesn’t fall over every time you set up Rocket League on in the garden, that would make life a lot easier. Of course, this is only a slight nuisance. But it could make the true promise of the Switch a more concrete reality.
All things considered, most of these dreams don’t seem so unlikely. If Nintendo can focus-in on the small nuisances and scale-up to stronger hardware, it feels like we could get a well-rounded, luxury piece of tech. If not, then maybe a Switch Pro is a waste of time?