Ever since I first got my hands on the Nintendo Switch when it launched on March 3, 2017, I instantly fell in love with the console. It has very quickly become one of my favorite game systems of all time. I have dozens of games and have sunk hundreds of hours into my little hybrid console.
In a recently published report from the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is rumored to be preparing for a launch of two new versions of the Switch by the end of the year. This got me thinking, in what ways could the Nintendo Switch improve? It’s a tough question to answer considering there is so much that Nintendo did right with the Switch, but here is my wishlist for the heavily rumored Switch revisions.
Better Battery Life
Since I primarily play my Nintendo Switch docked, this is isn’t a massive issue for me, but I know many gamers who play their Switch almost exclusively in handheld mode. If you’re playing a smaller indie title you could get decent longevity out of the battery life. However, if you are playing a more graphically intensive game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, then don’t expect anything more than two to three hours. That is abysmal for a modern handheld.
I’m not saying the Switch has to have the battery life capabilities of modern cellphones, but extending the play time to eight or ten hours would be quite an upgrade.
More Internal Storage
Out of the box, the Nintendo Switch comes with 32 GB of internal memory. This is practically useless. Several games take up much more space. Unless you plan on getting physical copies of every game, you most likely will have to purchase a mini SD card almost immediately after buying your Switch.
I didn’t mind having to pick up a mini SD card because I also had to buy a hard drive for my Xbox One. It would be nice, however, if Nintendo included something at least reasonable in terms of storage for the new Switches. To keep the cost of the less expensive model down, I don’t imagine Nintendo upgrading the storage much if at all. A more substantial internal drive would be something I could definitely see in the “pro” model.
Those with fast internet, myself included, might not immediately notice that the Switch’s Wi-Fi is pretty bad. It’s not powerful enough to run at speeds that would allow game streaming. It also frequently loses connection in handheld mode when even slightly away from major Wi-Fi spots. There’s a reason Nintendo recommends using an ethernet cable when playing online in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Improving the Wi-Fi would be a great way to easily enhance the overall portability aspect of the Switch and the user experience as a whole.
Overall Hardware Design Upgrades
Don’t get me wrong, the Switch is the sleekest piece of hardware that Nintendo has ever designed, but some aspects still feel cheap. The kickstand is terrible and barely works. Nintendo advertised that you could prop it up in tabletop mode anywhere, but if the surface you put the device on is slightly uneven or bumpy, there’s a good chance it will fall over. I think a kickstand more akin to something on Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices would be a substantial improvement.
Have you ever noticed that the little game cartridge flap at the top of your Switch feels rather flimsy and cheap like the kickstand? I think that’s another thing Nintendo could easily fix in the next model. I would want something much sturdier that clicks into place when you press down on it. Having to tug on the flap to get your game out, combined with the flimsy nature of the plastic is what causes many of them, mine included, to never clamp down quite how they are supposed to. I know this is rather nit-picky, but it’s a fix I would greatly appreciate in the next model.
Another essential improvement to the design would be making the plastic thicker to avoid Switches bending when they get too hot. Nintendo could also make the screen glass like on most modern tablets to help prevent this problem.
Headphone Jacks on Controllers
Currently, the Nintendo Switch does not support Bluetooth headphones. Nintendo has stated that this is because they need to keep all the Bluetooth channels in the Switch allocated to support up to eight controllers connected to the console at one time. This is a very reasonable explanation, but what isn’t reasonable is that there isn’t at least a headphone jack on the controllers. If you want to use headphones when playing on the TV or in tabletop mode, you need to sit right next to the console, which can be very awkward when trying to play comfortably. I’m not a console engineer, but I don’t think it’s that unreasonable to update the tech to be able to add a headphone jack similar to how Microsoft did to their Xbox One controllers.
Nvidia Tegra X2 Chip
The Nvidia Tegra X1, the current chip in the Nintendo Switch, has proven to be a competent chipset. It’s strong enough to run games like Doom and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. Albeit, it’s using dynamic scaling technology and the performance is nowhere near the same level as the Xbox One or PS4 versions. However, these ports are still considered miracles in their own right, considering how well games run on the Switch despite the graphical downgrades.
The Tegra X2 Chip is essentially the Tegra X1, but better. It has twice the memory bandwidth, and its use of the Pascal GPU architecture is much more efficient than the X1’s Maxwell GPU. It adds an additional CPU cluster as well. It makes perfect sense as a replacement processor for the Switch, and it should give the new Switch the boost in performance it needs to run even more graphically demanding games.
If Nintendo were to integrate the Tegra X2 chip into the new Switch, then a better screen is entirely possible. It would certainly be nice to play in 1080p on the TV and in handheld mode, and the power of the X2 could make that a reality while maintaining decent battery life. Perhaps the Tegra X2 would allow the new Switches to support HDR, a feature present on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that allows for better lighting and richer colors.
A bigger screen is also possible, perhaps by not making the unit itself bigger, but eliminating the bezel that surrounds the screen would make the new Switches look much sleeker.
Fix the Terrible Dock
The docking station is my least favorite aspect of the Nintendo Switch. It’s essentially a giant hunk of plastic with a few ports that will cost you a pretty penny of $90 if you need to buy another one. It doesn’t have nearly enough ports, and the fact that it can scratch the Switch itself just by regular use alone is inexcusable.
To improve it, Nintendo should add a bit of mesh on the inside of the dock to help guide the Switch into place while not scratching the front of the screen. Adding more ports would also be very handy, like an Ethernet port so consumers won’t be forced to purchase an adapter. A few more USB A ports would also be much appreciated.
What improvements do you hope to see in the heavily rumored Nintendo Switches? Let us know in the comments!