If you’ve not already heard the news, Nintendo have now officially unveiled the Switch Mini, giving it the ample name Switch Lite, while simultaneously killing our dreams of seeing a Switch Pro this year. But what exactly could the newest iteration of Nintendo’s current flagship mean for the elusive Pro variant?
When reading through something very much peaked my interest; Nintendo’s claim that the Switch Lite uses a more efficient processor, which should lead to battery life improvements of up to 30%. This is bigger than meets the eye, companies don’t usually upgrade hardware when releasing a Lite version of their products.
So allow me to strap on my tinfoil hat here folks. My theory is that this new processor with efficiency improvements is actually a Pascal based NVIDIA Tegra X2 chip with a lot more power than the original switch, but downclocked and undervolted for the Lite to net it the same performance as the OG Switch with better battery life.
The full fat version of that SoC will be in the rumoured Switch Pro, offering at my best guess 8GB of RAM so more demanding games may run higher resolutions or better textures, a 1080p or 720p screen capable of 30-60FPS when un-docked for demanding games and 60FPS for lighter titles, with everything running at full 1080P 60FPS when docked. I’m not putting any stock into the idea of a Switch Pro doing 4K, anyone who does put stock into that idea should probably get in contact with the reality that 4K is incredibly demanding and the switch is already an engineering marvel, dont get too ahead of yourself. If there’s a Switch doing 4K, it’ll be the Switch 2 a few years down the line.
Coming back to that screen, in handheld mode the current switch can’t run every game at its native 720p resolution; Wolfenstein and Doom are big examples, as is Skyrim. As such, I’m unsure if Nintendo would focus on using its extra power to allow those games to run at the native 720p at 60FPS or if they’d place in a 1080p screen, giving gamers the option of 720p 60 or 1080p 30, like how a PS4 Pro gives players a similar option on certain titles. I guess it all boils down to how big of a performance increase the Switch Pro will have.
I’d also love better cooling, an aluminium or glass back for better thermal conductivity, and a better chassis to screen ratio; as the original Switch bezels aren’t pretty at all. I’m sure they would also benefit hugely from using an OLED panel for sharper colours, better contrast and best of all: improved battery life without a performance compromise.
it would be nice to see options for 64GB, 128GB and 256GB base models while retaining the microSD slot. Bluetooth headphone support would be greatly appreciated but is also wishful thinking at best if the Lite is any indication. I’m firmly believing in the 8GB of ram upgrade as dataminers have already uncovered references to 8GB already mentioned in background lines of code even all the way back the the 5.0 firmware update, it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe that this would make its way into commercial Switch Pro’s.
I don’t see much change coming to the Joy-Cons as the Lite has completely done away with them, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at bigger pro joy-cons compatible with the original switch with an offset thumbstick to dpad/button layout, closer to an Xbox controller rather than the joycons being layed out with thumsticks directly above or below the buttons, again this is more wishful thinking than a prediction.
However I do think a dock revision or redesign would be needed, finally updating to unlock full usb3.0 support, adding a native gigabit RJ45 Ethernet port and adding cooling fan of some kind while making the dock less plastic and overall less likely to scratch the switch would all be things fans would appreciate greatly.
For the Switch Pro I’m talking about here I feel £350-400 would be right on the money, roughly the price of a good mid-range phone with comparable features, I’d predict that if a Dock and Joycon redesign was to come out then they would be sold separately or as part of a more expensive Switch Pro Complete package for around £450.
What do you think about the rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro? do you agree with our predictions and wishlisting for the console or do you have other ideas? Sound off in the comments below
The Nintendo Switch Lite launches September 20, and will release in 3 colours at £200 RRP