With rumors of a newer, better Nintendo Switch on the way, I got to thinking about what I really want to see in it — the Nintendo Switch Pro improvements I’d prefer make it into this iteration above all others.
Some of these will seem pretty obvious. I have a feeling, though, that I’ll differ with quite a few fellow gamers on at least one of these items.
Here’s what I want out of a new Nintendo Switch Pro.
1. Better controls
To me, Hori very nearly knocked it out of the park with the Split Pad Pro — so much so that I’m honestly surprised Nintendo didn’t take a run at something similar. The only real knocks against the Split Pad Pro are the fact that the product doesn’t have NFC capability, so you can’t use Amiibo, and it doesn’t support rumble. Other than that, the Split Pad Pro makes the Switch far easier to play.
Right now, the Nintendo Switch is a much better home console than it is a portable. The layout of the connected Joy-Cons makes it tough to be competitive in online games. Playing for any meaningful length of time will earn you some hand cramps. If the Nintendo Switch Pro can upgrade the pads, it’ll truly feel like a “pro-level” device.
2. Higher frame rates
I may be in the minority on this one, but I simply do not care if a Nintendo Switch Pro can do 4K or not. That is where PCs and more hardcore consoles are at now. The Nintendo Switch is not trying to address that market. Instead, it’s going for gameplay experience. The best experience in most games will be had at higher frame rates.
Rather than push for prettier, more taxing graphics, I want the Nintendo Switch Pro to make 60 FPS standard across all of the new titles that come out for it.
Some people will play mostly handheld. Do they really need 4K anything on what’ll undoubtedly be a not-4K portable display? No. Others will play mostly docked, like me. But I’m sure some of those people would agree that more frames is definitely the preferred upgrade avenue over graphics. I don’t feel particularly hindered by the current Switch doing 1080p or less, even on my 4K TV. Where I really feel the pain is in frame rate — when I’m playing Rocket League at 40-ish frames per second, for example.
It’s the processing power that prevents the Switch from getting a lot of titles it might otherwise have. If Nintendo can boost that, graphics be damned, the Nintendo Switch Pro might actually be an enormous step up from the current model.
3. A less flimsy dock
The official Nintendo Switch Dock is perhaps the biggest highway robbery in all of video games. You can’t even find the thing anymore separately, save for the $79.99 you can pay GameStop for a used version. The thing is light, cheaply made, and essentially serves as nothing more than a USB-C hub for you to connect your Switch and a few other devices. It’s really not worth that money. It’s really not worth more than $10, to tell you the truth.
I’d love to see Nintendo try a little harder on the official dock for the next Switch. Of all the Nintendo Switch Pro improvements the company could make, this would perhaps be the most immediately obvious in terms of quality. Imagine a legit nice place to put your Switch Pro to charge, or for docked gaming sessions. Imagine a dock that doesn’t have wires coming out of the sides for some insane reason. It’s 2021 — put some ports on the back and quit being so lazy, Nintendo.