When Nintendo released the Switch on March 2017, it became an instant sensation. Supply constraints made getting a console difficult, and the problem lasted months. When I finally got mine, I was impressed with its versatility; easy to use, powerful, compact, and fun!
Now, over two years after the Switch launch day, the console’s growth is starting to slow down. Nintendo has been focused on expanding its use cases with experiments like Labo, but hasn’t updated any part of the console.
A mini version of the Switch has been rumored for a while, and it’s Nintendo’s most likely next step to revitalize sales. Justin Latham created an interesting concept of what this could look like, including packaging and marketing material:
Nonetheless, updating the bigger Nintendo Switch is going to be necessary to compete with other players like Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation. Here are the top 4 upgrades the Nintendo Switch should get in order to become a new best-seller.
1. Bigger display
The current 720p screen works relatively well for such a portable form factor. However, after playing a visually rich game like Breath of the Wild on a big TV, the lack of definition when going mobile is heartbreaking.
Nintendo should provide an upgrade to the display, with a 1080p OLED panel, capable of delivering 60fps. That would be sweet, especially with a bezel-less presentation.
Removing the current bezels without changing the chassis size would be enough to remain compatible with existing Joy-Con, while providing a much more immersive experience. Getting such a beautiful (and big) display would also make the Switch a great device for watching movies and TV shows through Netflix, Hulu and any of the other one-thousand streaming services out there.
2. Longer battery life
A bigger display, even an OLED one, means more power consumption. The three hours of supposed battery life on a single charge when playing Breath of the Wild feel short. Other games might make the console’s battery last longer, but Nintendo says it can last about six hours max.
It would be awesome to see Nintendo update the Switch with a bigger battery, capable of providing up to ten hours of fun. As it happens with most of the consumer electronics available these days, people just want better battery life.
3. More stable kickstand
Even though some people make fun of the kickstand by exaggerating how unstable it makes the console, truth is the corner placement doesn’t help at all with stability. It’s flimsy, and its single angle makes it uncomfortable in short distances (like on an airplane tray table).
Having a wide kickstand with multiple angles would make the console an even better travel companion. Curved‘s Switch 2 concept addresses this in a beautiful way:
4. More durable Joy-Con
Without a doubt, the biggest weakness of the Switch is the Joy-Con. I had to buy a replacement for the left controller after just a year of use, and the new controller is already starting to worry me: it has stopped doing the signature ‘click’ sound when I attach it to the screen. The joystick is another weak spot within the controller, probably because it’s used constantly for moving the character in many games, and ends up suffering the most.
The Joy-Con attach to the Switch through a mechanism that is partly made of plastic. I bet that after a thousand clicks or so, the plastic gets slightly deformed and loses the apparent sturdiness that has out of the box. One of my friends returned the console after a weekend of intense gaming because the Joy-Con had started wiggling while being attached.
In fact, plastic is a common material on Nintendo portable consoles, and one of the top complaints from Switch customers online. I really hope that the Switch 2 uses better materials, at least on those moving parts that are more prone to fail in the long run.
Here’s my favorite Nintendo Switch 2 concept, by Curved:
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