Despite the huge success of the Nintendo Switch and the advancements it’s made in portable gaming, the hardware is widely accepted as dated at this point in its lifecycle, and fans have been hoping for an upgrade for quite some time. As a result of its hardware limitations, third-party games run considerably worse on the Switch compared to the competition, which is to be expected, but those third-party games are also more expensive on the Switch.
Criticism aside, the franchise IPs exclusive to Nintendo are what keep fans coming back, as well as the hybrid consoles appeal to the casual gamer. However, according to sources close to Video Games Chronicle, a mysterious Switch successor is in development, so will it continue to capitalize on what works while updating and changing what doesn’t?
The Nintendo Switch successor is reported to arrive sometime in the second half of 2024 with details that suggest a more cost-effective LCD screen, and a continuous focus on portability and physical games via cartridge slots.
Media outlets and insiders speculate that an announcement could be made sometime by the end of the year, or early next year, but as is the case with Nintendo, the company plays its cards close to its chest until it’s confident for release.
Similar to the PlayStation 5 Pro, developer kits of the Switch successor are currently with key partner studios, according to sources close to VGC. The reason given for its late 2024 release is so Nintendo will have enough stock to not fall into the same trap that Sony did during the release of the PS5.
Nintendo Switch Successor: Speculation
The continuous focus on cartridge slots suggests a high price for its third-party games, but if the Nintendo Switch successor is able to close the gap between it and the Xbox Series S or PS4, for example, then it might not only add value for consumers to feel more confident in choosing the Nintendo Switch as their gaming platform of choice, but will likely mean that third-party developers will have an easier time developing for it in conjunction with the Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC, as well as games not being held back by the weak link of consoles, as this is a growing fear among players and the industry.
Regressing to an LCD screen is disappointing since the Nintendo Switch OLED was a fitting upgrade from the base model, but it is likely that Nintendo may be holding off on OLED with a similar upgrade either with the release of the Switch successor, or at a later date. Although it is unknown at this time how the Switch successor will tackle backwards compatibility, the upcoming console is likely to be another hybrid model, and fans are hoping that it could be a substantial enough upgrade to be able to hit 1080p display in portable mode and possibly a 1440P or 4K mode when docked.
Bridging The Gap Between the Casual and Core Gamer
The GameCube was not only on par with the PS2 and Xbox, but in some cases even succeeded the competition in its vast library of games, performance, and graphical fidelity, such as the case with Resident Evil 4. Nintendo recognized that the Wii and Wii-U were a step backwards, but came out on top with the Nintendo Switch. Even so, some players might argue that something was lost in Nintendo’s success to appeal to a casual audience, so there is a desire among players to return to form with the Switch successor, such as with hardware that rivals the competition, but also continuing to improve on the same philosophy and design that made the Nintendo Switch so popular.
Games that reflect Nintendo’s earlier era like Zelda Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, as well as Nintendogs, Star-Fox, F-Zero, and even Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, could make a return on the Switch successor if the company is to embrace the popular trend of remakes. After all, Nintendo did such a good job with Metroid Prime Remastered that there is surely a market for it. Metroid Prime 4 is reportedly still in development for Nintendo Switch, but many have speculated that it could also be a launch title for the Switch successor similar to what Zelda: Breath of the Wild was for the Switch while still launching on the Wii-U.
Unfortunately, there is not much information to go off of just yet, but this is the first bit of insider information regarding a Switch successor that seems substantial, so starting to think about what Nintendo is cooking up and what it might mean for the industry is exciting.
Source: Video Game Chronicles